While Denny Hamlin declined to say Friday if he is trying to invest in Richard Petty Motorsports or help find an investor, he said that he will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing and sponsor FedEx “as long as I want to drive.”
Questions have been raised about Hamlin looking into some form of ownership in a team. The 39-year-old is in his 15th full-time season in Cup. He’s never driven for a team other than Joe Gibbs Racing.
“I don’t have anything to announce or to speak about when it comes to it,” he said to a question of if he’s trying to invest in RPM or help find an investor for the team that employs Bubba Wallace.
“I think that I’m always looking towards what I’m going to do after my driving career is over. I’ve got some great partners that support me and my decisions in what I will do for years to come. So, I don’t know. I wish I had something to announce, but I really don’t.
“There’s a lot of things up in the air that are still getting worked on, but I just got – I’ve got to win this weekend and next weekend, and that’s where I’ve got to focus, but certainly I believe that, no matter what, my career will be with Joe Gibbs Racing and FedEx as long as I want to drive.”
Hamlin has won six races this season and has 43 career Cup victories. Every eligible driver with at least 30 Cup wins has been elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Hamlin was asked if the Next Gen car, scheduled to debut in 2022, makes it more attractive to get into team ownership.
“When I look at my career in racing, I’ve been around for 15 years in the Cup Series,” he said. “I always think about what I want to do afterwards. I don’t know that ownership will be it. I don’t know what my role will be, but I know that it will probably be in NASCAR in some kind of way, shape or form.
“I’m always looking at avenues that would allow me to stay in the sport beyond driving. Certainly, it’s a sport that I believe in. Certainly, the financial model hopefully will get better in the next few years for the team owners, regardless if I’m in it or not. But I don’t know. My focus has got to be on driving and winning a championship for Toyota and FedEx right now. If there’s ever opportunities to prepare myself for the future, then I look to capitalize on those.”
His immediate focus is Saturday night’s Cup regular-season finale (7:30 p.m. ET on NBC and the NBC Sports App).
Throwing it back to 1973, the year Federal Express began and when Cale Yarborough won in the #11 at Darlington. Paying tribute to all 500,000 hard-working, past and present @FedEx team members. I've been asking for this design for a while and it's finally happening! #Southern500 pic.twitter.com/NR0VlppEnk
— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) August 28, 2020