It didn’t go that well…
Ahead of the 2021 season, Denny Hamlin called Michael Jordan with the idea of starting a NASCAR Cup Series team. Bubba Wallace was signed and the team went to the grid for the 2021 season.
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Now, Jordan is deeply invested in the sport of NASCAR. In 2022, the team expanded to a two-car operation with Kurt Busch signed as the second driver. For this season, Tyler Reddick is filling the seat as Busch is now retired from full-time racing and recovering from a concussion.
Jordan has expressed that he’s always been a NASCAR fan. The North Carolina native wasn’t born too far from the hub of the sport.
That later led to becoming a team owner. But, the curiosity didn’t stop there as the multi-time NBA champion wanted a better understanding of what drivers feel inside the car.
Each manufacturer has their own simulator for development. That sim swings and sways in the direction the car is moving. The handling itself is tuned by the teams to be as close to the rear thing as possible.
Following a lot of adjustments to fit a man 6′ 6″, Michael Jordan stepped into the cockpit…
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“He did it once but it was the simulator at TRD,” Denny Hamlin said via his Actions Detrimental podcast.
“That content has not been released or will it probably ever be released. Because, good luck trying to get them to approve it.”
“He wanted to feel what we feel. Toyota set it up, a couple years ago.”
“He said, ‘I don’t want Daytona, you just hold it wide open. That’s too easy. What’s the next step?’ “
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Toyota Racing development loaded up the digital Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“He didn’t last long. He did ok but he had a problem holding the car down on the bottom.”
“It was probably 15 minutes and he says, ‘I’m done.’ He was sweating profusely. It was really hot. You would not believe how they had to modify it. Like, the backseat is out of the simulator to fit his legs in the pedals.”
“He like, ‘My eyes. I got so dizzy.’ He started feeling queezy so he had to quit.”
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