The future of 23XI Racing started when Denny Hamlin read “fake news” about him and Michael Jordan teaming up for a team.
Hamlin has always been an avid golfer and when NASCAR was on hiatus during the pandemic, the Joe Gibbs Racing’s No.11 driver spent many hours golfing.
However, in the absence of NASCAR, golfing didn’t serve to fill the void left by the Cup Series for him.
“I’m big into golf, but I realized pretty quickly that I can’t golf every day,” Hamlin said on Episode 2 of Netflix’s “RACE: Bubba Wallace,”. “I knew that it was — I wanted to run a business. I didn’t know what that business was going to be.”
With running a business his intention all along, Hamlin read a rumor article regarding him and Jordan coming together to buy a stake in a NASCAR team. Hamlin and Jordan were already familiar with each other at that point as the driver is sponsored by Jordan Brand.
And when the “fake news” lingered on Hamlin’s mind, he decided to test Jordan’s opinion on that matter.
“I’ll never forget, I was on the ninth hole of my home golf course and I was like, ‘Should I send Michael this article? Let me get his temperature here,'” Hamlin said. “And I sent it to him and he responded immediately, says ‘Haha, obviously fake news, not real, but if you want to make it real news let me know?'”
It pretty much-set everything in motion. Just a few days later, a meeting was held between Hamlin and Jordan in Florida and several months later, they had a team in the NASCAR’s top tier.