Team of the Future: 23XI Racing is bringing new energy - and new money - to NASCAR
Less than halfway through their first season as NASCAR team owners, Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin look poised to make the sport’s first major investment in a racing headquarters in more than a decade. It’s one of several ways — along with an emphasis on diversity and strong appeal to corporate sponsors — the Jordan-Hamlin pairing could provide much-needed momentum to an industry that calls the Charlotte region home.
Jordan and Hamlin started 23XI Racing (that’s “twenty-three eleven,” a mashup of Jordan’s basketball jersey number and Hamlin’s race car number) this year after signing driver Bubba Wallace as a free agent. Hamlin, who remains an active driver as part of Joe Gibbs Racing, is a minority partner in Jordan’s startup NASCAR venture.
The retired basketball star and the NASCAR driver befriended one another as Hamlin, an avid basketball fan, became a familiar courtside presence at Charlotte Hornets games. Jordan bought the local NBA team in 2010.
Hamlin has taken the wheel, steering plans for a new 23XI Racing headquarters anticipated to cost $9 million to $16 million and span 60,000 to 90,000 square feet. He described assembling the project as equivalent to a Class A office building with ample warehouse space. This office, though, would house two to three race teams, cars, parts, pit crews and more.
The team’s current one-car operation is housed in a 25,000-square-foot Mooresville building owned by the defunct Germain Racing team.
Hamlin personally has an option on a 15-acre site in Huntersville that would make the 23XI headquarters part of a larger commercial development.
According to documents filed with the town, the overall 37-acre project would be at the corner of Hambright and Statesville roads, near Interstate 77. Developer Jake Palillo plans to build 300 apartments and a commercial building in addition to the race team’s home base.