Denny Hamlin is staying at Joe Gibbs Racing. The 50-time Nascar Cup Series winner will remain as the driver of the No. 11 Toyota after inking a multi-year deal with the only team he’s ever competed for.
Hamlin announced the news on his podcast, “Actions Detrimental,” on Monday with team owner Joe Gibbs.
”Joe Gibbs Racing has been my home for almost 20 years now,” Hamlin said in a statement. ”My relationship with Joe (Gibbs), my team, and everyone at JGR means a lot to me. We have accomplished so much together over the years. I’m excited to finally announce this so we can put all our focus on chasing the championship.”
Hamlin has competed with Joe Gibbs Racing in the Cup Series since running seven races in 2005. He’s only raced the No. 11 car with JGR, and he’s won three Daytona 500s since taking over the car full time in 2006.
”It is amazing to think it has been almost 20 years since J.D. [Gibbs] first saw him race and we signed him to that first contract,” Gibbs said. ”He has been a big part of Joe Gibbs Racing ever since then and we look forward to that continuing for years to come.”
Sponsorship for the No. 11 team has not been announced for next year. Hamlin has been supported by FedEx throughout his entire Cup Series career for 30-plus races every year. But this year, there’s some new colors that have appeared on his No. 11 Toyota, including Coca-Cola, Yahoo!, Shingrix and Mavis Tires & Brakes, as well as returning sponsors SportClips and Interstate Batteries. Through 27 races, FedEx has only been on his car for eight events, which means 2023 will be the fewest primary schemes for the delivery service since it began its partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2005.
“It’s been all FedEx all the time for me,” Hamlin said of the sponsorship changes in July. “It’s different and people are saying that the teal car stands out. Mavis has really grown from the last six months to a year, and this is the next part of their journey in the growing process. Being out here at a Nascar race, this is their base and their customers.”
On the podcast, Gibbs said “it solidifies where we’re going for the next several years.” And Hamlin responded by saying he wants to end his driving career with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Hamlin co-owns 23XI Racing with Michael Jordan, which is also a Toyota organization. On the podcast, Hamlin said 23XI will continue its relationship with Toyota. The team’s two drivers, Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick, both qualified for the Cup Series Playoffs in 2023.
“Nothing really changes,” Hamlin said.
Hamlin’s extension is significant for JGR, which lost two-time Cup champion Kyle Busch to Richard Childress Racing. JGR also recently announced Martin Truex Jr. will return to the No. 19 team for at least the 2024 season.