Denny Hamlin: 23XI Racing's speed and performance need work

Denny Hamlin discussed the team's recent struggles on a podcast, emphasizing that he is doing everything he can to get the team back on track.

by Sead Dedovic
Denny Hamlin: 23XI Racing's speed and performance need work
© Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images Sport

Denny Hamlin, co-owner of 23XI Racing and a NASCAR driver, is not happy with 23XI's performances this season. Although the start was promising and it seemed they were heading in the right direction, things have been far from ideal lately. Tyler Reddick has been somewhat better this season, with a win, while Wallace has had massive problems from race to race. 

Denny Hamlin discussed the team's recent struggles on a podcast, emphasizing that he is doing everything he can to get the team back on track. He admitted that he is not particularly happy with 23XI's performances and speed.

“I mean, you try to, right? You just hope that they’re doing everything they can. Certainly, I’m not overjoyed with the performance and speed at 23XI right now.“- Denny Hamlin said, as quoted by On3.

Hamlin also commented on the performances at JGR, emphasizing that JGR has cars that are strong in the dry, but at times, they don't try to show what is necessary. They need speed, which they currently lack. He admitted that they are working on it, trying to figure things out. Hamlin confirmed that his team is giving their maximum effort to improve moving forward.

“I think that you know, there’s definitely some JGR cars that were very, very strong in the dry, and just for whatever reason, could not, they’re not showing the speed that they were early in the season. So yeah, they’re working on it, trying to figure it out. But you know, they’ve got some good information that they can look at to get better.”- he continued.

Denny Hamlin
Denny Hamlin© James Gilbert/Getty Images Sport

Denny Hamlin put an accent on the playoffs as well, believing that Wallace will have a difficult task to secure the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

Hamlin explained that you always have to account for the possibility of an unexpected winner who is outside the cut-off line. If that happens, Chris Buescher would move to the next spot above the cut line. He pointed out that Buescher is quite ahead of Joey Logano and Bubba Wallace. So, the strategy involves avoiding bad luck first and then beating Logano over the next seven to eight weeks. 

Hamlin admitted that this won't be easy. Considering Logano's recent performance, it’s not impossible, but consistently being better than him over the next several weeks will be a difficult task.

Unlike his drivers, Denny Hamlin is doing well in NASCAR, currently sitting third in the standings, with only Chase Elliot and Kyle Larson ahead of him. Hamlin will go all out to try to win the trophy. He faces a tough challenge, but his experience could be the decisive factor in what's to come. 

Known for frequently sharing his opinions about NASCAR drivers and events in the NASCAR world on his podcast, Hamlin also discussed drivers who excel in wet racing conditions. The last race presented exactly such conditions, and Hamlin shared his thoughts on the drivers who perform extremely well in those circumstances.

“I mean, I think that — you know, you’ve got [Kyle] Larson, [Chase] Briscoe has been good in these types of conditions. CBell (Christopher Bell) comes to mind. Chase Elliott, although I’m surprised he didn’t run better. I don’t know if he had any damage or not. I just, you know, recall the race at COTA that they were having in the wet weather. Those are the ones that immediately draw my eye,” Hamlin said.

Hamlin believes there are a few other drivers who perform well in such conditions, but he highlights that these drivers almost always deliver top performances in wet weather conditions. Denny further noted that the top 10 in wet weather conditions is quite different from the top 10 in dry conditions. The experienced NASCAR driver thinks that such conditions simply suit some drivers better, allowing them to excel.

Denny Hamlin on the last race

Denny Hamlin spoke about the last race and the conditions, expecting NASCAR to end races due to rain. He expected rain to appear.

“We definitely knew that rain was imminent. [Chris Gabehart] told me that it was going to come around lap 245-250 if things stayed green. Once Stage 2 ended and we won Stage 2, he said, ‘Alright, you’re going to be back in traffic let’s just say eighth or 10th. What are you going to need?’ I said ‘I think I need to be freed up a little bit.’ He’s like ‘Just so you know, you got about 50 laps to do this.’“-Hamlin said.

Hamlin explained that they had another quick caution during the race, likely the third caution involving Kyle Busch or something similar. He mentioned that the number of cautions continued to increase as the race went on.

The great driver was scared because of the rain, and he pointed out that this was one of the reasons why everyone was aggressive.

Denny Hamlin