Skip to main content

Denny Hamlin made plenty of headlines this year, both on and off the NASCAR track, and many of the latter came on his popular Actions Detrimental podcast. With the 2023 campaign in the rearview, it’s understandable that the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, along with the rest of his fellow competitors, won’t be in the news as frequently for the next few months. 

However, the three-time Daytona 500 winner was among multiple NASCAR Cup Series drivers in Las Vegas checking out the Formula 1 spectacle in town over the mid-November weekend and, unsurprisingly, making all the motorsports headlines. Interestingly, the driver still managed to make some news of his own with a photo and comment on X about seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Denny Hamlin makes surprising comment about Lewis Hamilton meeting

Denny Hamlin was there. So was two-time champion Joey Logano. And, of course, Vegas natives Kyle and Kurt Busch wouldn’t miss F1’s first visit to Sin City in more than 40 years.

Everyone in attendance witnessed Max Verstappen complete a three-race sweep of the U.S.-based events and, more impressively, record his 18th victory in the season’s first 21 races. The Dutch driver has dominated for the last few seasons, supplanting Lewis Hamilton, who had a stranglehold on the sport since 2014 by earning six titles in seven seasons.

The Brit finished seventh in Las Vegas. However, it wasn’t his race performance that got the attention of some fans over the weekend, but a couple of photos of him with Hamlin on X.

In the first image of the pair talking, the description said, “Denny in the peak of his ‘come to 23XI’ pitch,” humorously implying that the 23XI Racing co-owner was pitching the English driver on coming to race for his America-based team.   

That conversation took an interesting turn when the JGR driver shared his own photo in response to the previous image, which showed him shaking hands with Hamilton and included the following: “This was actually the peak of the pitch,” Hamlin wrote, hinting at some type of agreement. 

Why there may be more truth to what Hamlin had to say

While fans could understandably dismiss the comment by Hamlin as a joke, it’s not so far-fetched when you look back at history, including the recently concluded 2023 season. 

F1 champion drivers have crossed over into the NASCAR Cup Series for years. Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 champ, made his Cup debut in 2007 and most recently competed in the 2022 Daytona 500. He was joined last year by 2007 title-winner Kimi Raikkonen, who ran at Watkins Glen.

This season, Raikkonen ran a second race at Circuit of the Americas and was joined by 2009 champ Jenson Button. The English driver also competed on the Chicago Street and Indianapolis Road Courses.

In addition to that history of F1 drivers making the crossover to NASCAR, Hamlin’s 23XI Racing team showed in 2023 its willingness to allow drivers from other disciplines to drive one of its cars. Travis Pastrana ran in the Daytona 500, and former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi raced at Indy.

In other words, Hamlin might have been kidding about that handshake with Hamilton. But it also shouldn’t come as a surprise if the seven-time champ tries his hand in NASCAR at some point in the future — and if it’s with 23XI, which also happens to be the only team with a Black driver in Bubba Wallace.

It all just makes too much sense.

To stay up to date on the latest happenings in NASCAR, including breaking stories you can’t find anywhere else, follow Kyle on YouTube and Twitter.