Michael Jordan says the new NASCAR team will “open more opportunities for Black people in racing”
Six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan is set to dig his toes into the world of stock car auto racing. The former NBA star has team with Denny Hamlin and Bubba Wallace to form a new team for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series team.
Several weeks ago, rumors were circulating that Michael Jordan was looking to become a NASCAR team owner. A few weeks ago, a PR rep shot down the rumor.
In fact, the rumors were true.
Michael Jordan will serve as the majority owner of the new NASCAR team. Denny Hamlin, will serve as a minority co-owner.
Denny Hamlin currently drives the No. 11 with Joe Gibbs Racing. Weeks prior, he stated that he planed to drive with FedEx and Joe Gibbs Racing through the duration of his career.
But, looking into the far future, Hamlin is looking for ways to stay involved in the sport beyond retirement as a driver.
Jordan and Hamlin have purchased the charter from Germain Racing. That team currently fields the No. 13 driven by Ty Dillon.
A charter guarantees a starting position in every race.
Bubba Wallace will serve as the driver.
Michael Jordan comments on his NASCAR team
Jordan becomes the first Black majority owner of a NASCAR Cup Series operation since Wendell Scott in the 1970s.
Jordan has homes in many locations. One of those is Lake Norman, North Carolina, the heart of NASCAR country. Another is Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Growing up in North Carolina, my parents would take my brothers, sisters and me to races, and I’ve been a NASCAR fan my whole life,” Michael Jordan said.
“The opportunity to own my own racing team in partnership with my friend, Denny Hamlin, and to have Bubba Wallace driving for us, is very exciting for me.”
“Historically, NASCAR has struggled with diversity and there have been few Black owners. 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.”
Denny Hamlin comments on his new NASCAR team with Michael Jordan
“11 years ago, I met Michael Jordan at a then-Charlotte Bobcats game and we became fast friends. Not long after, I joined Jordan Brandon as their first NASCAR athlete. Our friendship has grown over the years and now we are ready to take it to the next level,” Hamlin stated via social media.
“Tonight, I’m excited to announce that MJ and I are starting a new, single car NASCAR Cup Series team for 2021. Deciding on a driver was easy – it had to be Bubba Wallace.”
“Bubba was shown tremendous improvement since joining the Cup Series and we believe he’s ready to take his career to a higher level. He deserves the opportunity to compete for race wins and our team will make sure he has the resources to do just that.”
“Off the track, Bubba has been a loud voice for change in our sport and our country. MJ and I support him fully in those efforts and stand beside him.”
“More details about the team will be released at a later date, but for now, I remain focused on winning a championship for my No. 11 FedEx Toyota Joe Gibbs Racing team this season and in the years ahead,” Hamlin concluded.
Bubba Wallace comments on driving for Michael Jordan
Last week, Wallace informed Richard Petty Motorsports that he would not return to the team in 2021.
Additionally, on Monday, Chip Ganassi Racing announced that Ross Chastain would drive the No. 42 for Chip Ganassi Racing. The No. 42 ride was a car Wallace was looking into driving in 2021.
“This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I believe is a great fit for me at this point in my career,” Wallace stated via social media.
Wallace added, “I’m grateful and humbled that they believe in me and I’m super pumped to begin this adventure with them.”
NASCAR comments on Michael Jordan forming a new racing team
“We proudly welcome Michael Jordan into the NASCAR family and look forward to watching Michael, Denny Hamlin and Bubba Wallace compete in 2021,” the NASCAR statement opened.
“Michael is an iconic sports figure and celebrated champion whose fiercely competitive nature has placed him among the greatest athletes of all time. His presence at NASCAR’s top level will further strengthen the competition, excitement and momentum growing around our sport.”
“We wish Michael and hos team tremendous success.”