Michael Jordan becomes owner of NASCAR Race Team with Bubba Wallace as his first driver

Michael Jordan, Bubba Wallace
Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin
Michael Jordan with Denny Hamlin in an undated photo. Denny Hamlin
NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace made news recently when he, without explanation, resigned from Richard Petty’s racing team, leaving many wondering if Wallace was stepping away from the sport.

But in completely unexpected news, it was announced that Wallace will be racing again, for a new team… Michael Jordan’s racing team.

Jordan partnered with driver Denny Hamlin to establish the new racing team and tapped Wallace as their driver.

“Historically, NASCAR has struggled with diversity, and there have been few Black owners,” Jordan said in a statement. “The timing seemed perfect, as NASCAR is evolving and embracing social change more and more.”

Hamlin said deciding on Wallace as their first driver was a no-brainer, “Eleven years ago, I met Michael Jordan at a then-Charlotte Bobcats game, and we became fast friends. Not long after, I joined Jordan Brand as their first NASCAR athlete. Our friendship has grown over the years, and now we are ready to take it to the next level. Deciding on the driver was easy — it had to be Bubba Wallace.”

Bubba Wallace
Fontana, Ca: Bubba Wallace stands by his car before qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on February 29, 2020.
Wallace called his addition to the Jordan team “a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”: “I am grateful and humbled that they believe in me, and I’m super pumped to begin this adventure with them.”

Jordan becomes the first Black principal owner of a full-time Cup team since Hall of Famer Wendell Scott drove his own race car in 495 races from 1961 to 1973. Scott’s 1964 victory at the Jacksonville 200 is the only win by a Black driver in Cup history.

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