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Denny Hamlin explains goals for 23XI Racing, changes made for 2024 NASCAR season

Stephen Samraby:Steve Samra02/16/24

SamraSource

Denny Hamlin Martinsville headset
Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Team owner Denny Hamlin has big expectations for 23XI Racing ahead of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series campaign.

Hamlin was proud to have his two drivers make the playoffs in Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick in 2023, but he still has lofty goals for his race team, that he owns with NBA legend Michael Jordan. So what’s the goal for 2024? Hamlin took some time to explain during his latest Actions Detrimental podcast.

“I mean, our expectation is to continue to get better. That’s a very vague statement,” Hamlin stated. “You know, I — just two cars in the playoffs, that’s way too modest, for what we have going on there. So my goal would be to have both cars, at least both cars in the Final 8.

“That’s my goal, that continues to move us towards that trajectory of having a car in the Final 4 in the first five years.”

Last season, Reddick made it to the Round of 8, while Wallace was eliminated in the Round of 12. If 23XI Racing can get both cars to the Round of 8, they’ll have a shot at getting both into the Championship 4 at Phoenix. That would be the dream, but Hamlin isn’t getting ahead of himself just yet.

He recognizes the success doesn’t happen overnight. That’s why Hamlin and the decision makers at 23XI Racing have made some changes ahead of the 2024 campaign, as the team owner looks for an uptick in success for his squad.

“There’s been a few changes,” Hamlin stated. “We’ve just added some more resources here and there. I think obviously, being in a new building, there’s a lot to gain with that. I’ve said many times, this building was built for the employees. It’s very employee friendly. You know, we’ve added just people. Some engineering staff. Got some great tools and stuff that we’re working on towards the future.

“I just think that they’ve got everything that they need to go out there and compete for race wins, every single week. I’d say that whatever the expectations are of a Joe Gibbs Racing car, I don’t understand why that we would move our goals any lower than that.”

That’s a pretty poignant statement at the end. Hamlin believes 23XI Racing should be on the level of Joe Gibbs Racing, who’s been one of the top teams in the sport since their inception. Still, it’s not far-fetched. Hamlin has his foot in both camps, as a driver for JGR, and owner for 23XI Racing.

We’ll see if 23XI Racing can meet Denny Hamlin’s goals in 2024, but his five-year plan has a lot riding on the success of this season. The pressure is on for Tyler Reddick and Bubba Wallace.