Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan teamed up to form a new NASCAR team for 2021; NASCAR is monitoring them to make sure it’s not a fifth Joe Gibbs Racing car
In 2021, 23XI Racing is set to make their NASCAR Cup Series debut. The team was put together by current NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin along with 7-time NBA champion, Michael Jordan. Bubba Wallace was selected as the driver for the team just a few months ago.
In October, the team released the paint scheme for the new No. 23 machine. They also announced Toyota as the manufacture as well as an alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing.
NASCAR has rules that limit teams to only 4 cars. A fifth car is allowed for rookie drivers, on a limited basis.
23XI Racing, must run independent of JGR. Currently, the team is operating out of the Germain Racing shop, the same team from which they purchased the charter.
Hamlin, part owner of 23XI Racing, currently drives for Joe Gibbs Racing. That’s worth noting for the extra close ties to Joe Gibbs Racing.
Many fans, particularly on social media have speculated that 23XI Racing is really just a fifth JGR car. This is something NASCAR is already monitoring.
Steve Phelps on 23XI Racing
“It’s something that obviously our competition guys are going to look at to make sure that it isn’t a fifth JGR team,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said of the new NASCAR team.
“There obviously is a technical alliance there. As there was a technical alliance with Furniture Row Racing and Leavine Family Racing.
“Technical alliances are fine. It is a unique situation in that we’re going to a new car in 2022 which will kind of change the game board, completely.”
Phelps added, “We will need to be satisfied that they are not acting as a fifth JGR team. So, it’s something we’ll monitor.”