When it was announced that Denny Hamlin would be partnered by Michael Jordan to form a Cup Series team, expectations from the team were going to be automatically high.
Maybe for the success that Hamlin has garnered in the Cup Series and Jordan as an NBA legend, a team formed with winners is set to win, right?
They brought Bubba Wallace in the fray, signing him to drive the No. 23 car in the one-car team. While Wallace might not have reached the heights of success on the race track, but his off-track activism during the 2020 season made him a name well-known in the NASCAR and the racing industry.
But, going by Hamlin’s expectations, Wallace will have to excel in the race track, too, this season. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver said:
“I don’t know how we’re going to start, how it’s going to be in the middle. What I want to see is a steady progression from Week 1 to Week 36 and know that when we get to the end, we are building something here that is a competitor – a legit competitor – and not just battling within the Top 15.”
Hamlin has been with NASCAR long enough to know that you cannot post consistent results in all the 36 races and there are going to be ups and downs throughout the season. However, what Hamlin is demanding is the intention to compete.
“That doesn’t mean finishing there necessarily. But putting your car in those positions where you are giving yourself solid opportunities to, ‘Hey you can win this race. With the right strategy call, with the right restart, you can win this race’.
“We want to build a castle and honestly, we are in the foundation stages.”