Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin Partner on NASCAR Team for Bubba Wallace
Jordan becomes the first Black principal owner of a full-time Cup team in decades
Announced on Monday night, Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin are starting a single-car NASCAR Cup Series race team with Bubba Wallace as the driver of a car that is expected to hit the track bearing No. 23.
Thanks to the new partnership, Jordan is the first Black principal owner of a full-time NASCAR Cup team in decades. Black NASCAR Hall of Famer Wendell Scott drove his own car from 1961 to 1973.
“Historically, NASCAR has struggled with diversity and there have been few Black owners,” Jordan said. “The timing seemed perfect as NASCAR is evolving and embracing social change more and more. In addition to the recent commitment and donations I have made to combat systemic racism, I see this as a chance to educate a new audience and open more opportunities for Black people in racing.”
Jordan pairing with Wallace, the only Black driver at the top tier of NASCAR, seems like a natural fit. “This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Wallace said. “I am grateful and humbled that they believe in me and I’m super pumped to begin this adventure with them.”
Hamlin, who will be the minority owner of the single-car team, will remain a driver of the No. 11 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Wallace, who has made 105 career starts at NASCAR’s top level, announced earlier this month he would be leaving Richard Petty Motorsports, the team that hired him full-time for the 2018 season. He had five top-10 finishes this year, including a fifth-place run in the regular-season finale at Daytona International Speedway.
The as-yet unnamed Jordan/Hamlin/Wallace team should start racing beginning in 2021.
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