Denny Hamlin pokes fun at Michael Jordan’s stock car simulator experience
Michael Jordan and NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin are in their third season together. Business partners are doing their best to build 23XI Racing.
The pair’s close working relationship has certainly given Hamlin the opportunity to learn more about Jordan over the past few years.
During a recent episode of the Action Detrimental with Denny Hamlin podcast, Hamlin shared a fun story about one of the greatest players in NBA history.
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Hamlin was asked if Jordan would ever take a stock car for a few laps. He then recalled a time when Jordan had trouble using Toyota’s simulator.
“Never again,” Hamlin said. “He did it once, but it was the simulator in TRD. That stuff hasn’t been released, and it probably won’t ever be released because you, good luck trying to get them to approve it. But He wanted to feel what we felt, and so Toyota set it up and our team set him up to go into the Toyota simulator.”
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Hamlin then explained how he helped set up a track in the simulator for Jordan. They finally chose Charlotte.
“It was a few years ago, I don’t think it was last year … 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 to keep him open, it’s too easy. Give me something, what’s the next step.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, let’s go Charlotte.’ I probably could have picked Las Vegas or something or Michigan probably should have done it, but he didn’t last long.
However, the six-time NBA champion’s time behind the wheel was short-lived.
“I mean, he did OK, he had trouble keeping the car down the track. And then it was maybe 15 minutes and he says, ‘I’m done,’ a) He was sweating profusely. Very hot.” . They had to modify, you wouldn’t believe how they had to modify it like the back seat is out of the simulator so that his legs would fit in the pedals. He puts the helmet on and he’s like, ‘Man, I just my eyes, I got so dizzy. That’s why he had to step down.”
Jordan is a self-proclaimed lifelong NASCAR fan, and he certainly came away from the simulator experience with a better understanding of what drivers face when they’re on the track.
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Jared Allen, who co-hosts the podcast, asked Hamlin to ride with Jordan in a two-seater race car. “He wouldn’t trust me to do that. No. Because he knows I tried to scare him,” Hamlin said.