Denny Hamlin pokes fun at Michael Jordan’s stock car simulator experience

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Michael Jordan and NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin are on their third season together. The business partners have done their best to build 23XI Racing.

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

On 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 23XI Racing co-owner Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, ahead of 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 drive a stock car for a few laps. He then recalled that Jordan had a hard time using Toyota’s simulator.

“Never again,” Hamlin said. “He did it once, but it was the simulator at TRD. That content hasn’t been released and probably never will be released because you, good luck trying to get them to approve it. But he wanted to feel what we feel, and so he Toyota set it up and our team set it up for him to get into the Toyota simulator.

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Hamlin then explained how he helped set up a job in the simulator for Jordan. They eventually chose Charlotte.

“This was a few years ago, I don’t think it was last year… So I thought, I said, ‘What kind of job do you want to be at?’ He says, “I don’t want Daytona, it just keeps her wide open, that’s too easy. Give me something, what’s next.” I’m like, ‘Okay, let’s go to Charlotte.’ I probably could have picked Las Vegas or something, or Michigan probably should have, but he didn’t last long.”

NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan meets 23XI Racing co-owner Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, ahead of 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 23XI Racing co-owner Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, ahead of 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 a good job, he had a problem keeping the car on the bottom of the track. And then it was probably 15 minutes and he said ‘I’m done’, A) he was sweating profusely. It was very hot. They had to adjust you wouldn’t believe how they adjust it like the backseat is out of the simulator so his legs fit in the pedals. He put the helmet on and he just said ‘Man I just my eyes “I got so dizzy. Like I just started feeling sick.” So he had to drop out.”

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, (C) smiles 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 the practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 4, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, (C) smiles 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 the practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 4, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

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

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

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