NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan meets with co-owner of 23XI Racing Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, , prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Pocono Organics CBD 325 at Pocono Raceway on June 26, 2021 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.


Michael Jordan and NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin are in their third season working together. The business partners have been doing their best to build up 23XI Racing.

The pair’s close working relationship has certainly given Hamlin the opportunity to learn more about Jordan over the last few years.

During a recent episode of the Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin podcast, Hamlin shared a hilarious story about one of the greatest players in NBA history.

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NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan meets with co-owner of 23XI Racing Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, , prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Pocono Organics CBD 325 at Pocono Raceway on June 26, 2021 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Sean Gardner/23XI Racing via Getty Images)

Hamlin was asked if Jordan would ever take a stock car for a few laps. He then recalled a time when Jordan had a tough time using Toyota’s simulator.

“Never again,” Hamlin said. “He did it once, but it was the simulator at TRD. That content has not been released, nor will it probably ever be released because you, good luck trying to get them to approve it. But he wanted to feel what we feel, and so Toyota set it up and our team set it up for him to get in the Toyota simulator.”

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Hamlin then explained how he helped set up a track in the simulator for Jordan. They ultimately selected Charlotte.

“This was a couple years ago, I don’t think it was last year’s …So I’m thinking, I said, ‘What kind of track do you want to be on?’ He’s like, ‘I don’t want Daytona it’s just hold her wide open, that’s too easy. Give me something, what’s the next step.’ I’m like,’Alright, let’s go to Charlotte.’ I probably could have picked Las Vegas or something or Michigan probably should have done that, but he didn’t last long.” 

NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan meets with co-owner of 23XI Racing Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Pocono Organics CBD 325 at Pocono Raceway on June 26, 2021 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. 

NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan meets with co-owner of 23XI Racing Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Pocono Organics CBD 325 at Pocono Raceway on June 26, 2021 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/23XI Racing via Getty Images)

But, the six-time NBA champion’s time behind the wheel was short-lived.

“I mean, he did okay, he had a problem holding the car down on the bottom of the track. And then it was probably 15 minutes and he says, ‘I’m done,’ A) he was sweating profusely. It was very hot. They had to modify, you would not believe how they had to modify it like the back seat is out of the simulator so to fit his legs in the pedals. He put the helmet on and he’s just like, ‘Man, I just my eyes, I got so dizzy. Like I just started feeling queasy.’ So he had to quit.”

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, (C) shares a laugh with Christopher Bell, driver of the #20 SiriusXM Toyota, (L) and Ty Gibbs, driver of the #54 He Get us Toyota, on the grid during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 04, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, (C) shares a laugh with Christopher Bell, driver of the #20 SiriusXM Toyota, (L) and Ty Gibbs, driver of the #54 He Get us Toyota, on the grid during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 04, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Jordan is a self-proclaimed lifelong NASCAR fan, and he certainly came away from the simulator experience with a better understanding of what drivers encounter when they are on the track.

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Jared Allen, who co-hosts the podcast, asked Hamlin ride along with Jordan in a two-seater race car. “He wouldn’t trust me to do it. No. Because he knows I’ve tried to scare him,” Hamlin said.

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