Denny Hamlin will remain at Joe Gibbs Racing and his 23XI Racing team will remain with Toyota as part of contract extensions announced Monday.
Hamlin indicated in the last month that he had agreed to terms with JGR earlier this year, but he co-owns 23XI Racing (with NBA legend Michael Jordan), and negotiations to extend their deal with Toyota as well with JGR for a technical alliance went deep into the summer.
All the deals had to be agreed to before any were signed, as Hamlin couldn’t drive a Toyota and own a car of a competing manufacturer.
“Joe Gibbs Racing has been my home for almost 20 years now,” Hamlin said in a JGR news release. “My relationship with Joe, my team, and everyone at JGR means a lot to me.
“We have accomplished so much together over the years. I’m excited to finally announce this so we can put all our focus on chasing the championship.”
Terms of the deals were not announced.
“23XI will continue its relationship with Toyota into the future,” Hamlin said Monday night on his “Actions Detrimental” podcast.
“Nothing really changes. We’re going to continue on the path that we’ve been on. … This kind of solidifies all those deals as done.”
Hamlin has made all 641 of his Cup starts with JGR and has 50 career Cup wins, including three Daytona 500 victories. About the only thing he hasn’t done is win a championship. He has made the playoffs in 17 of his 18 seasons (including this year), just missing in 2013 when he missed four races with a broken back suffered in a race at California.
Hamlin first drove for JGR in the Xfinity Series in 2005 after being noticed by Joe Gibbs’ son J.D. when Hamlin was doing test laps in a car to be used at JGR diversity.
“It is amazing to think it has been almost 20 years since J.D. [Gibbs] first saw him race and we signed him to that first contract,” team owner Joe Gibbs said in a statement.
“He has been a big part of Joe Gibbs Racing ever since then and we look forward to that continuing for years to come.”
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A courtside ticket holder of the Charlotte Hornets, Hamlin has long been friendly with Jordan, a motorsports enthusiast whose father would work on a race car owned by a Wilmington (N.C.) businessman. They formed 23XI Racing, which debuted in 2021 and this year put both its drivers, Tyler Reddick and Bubba Wallace, in the playoffs.
Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass, and sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass.
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