NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin and basketball legend Michael Jordan announced Monday night that they will field a single-car NASCAR Cup Series team for 2021, and they already know who will take the wheel: Bubba Wallace.
“Bubba has shown improvement since joining the Cup series, and we believe he’s ready to take his career to a higher level,” Hamlin tweeted.
Meanwhile, North Carolina native Jordan said the timing and teamwork simply aligned to create the perfect opportunity for everyone involved.
“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. 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,” Jordan said.
“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,” he added.
While Jordan will serve as the car’s principal owner, Hamlin will be a minority partner while continuing to drive the No. 11 car for Joe Gibbs Racing, ESPN reported.
Earlier this month, Wallace announced he will leave Richard Petty Motorsports following the 2020 season.
“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 tweeted. “I’m grateful and humbled that they believe in me and I’m super pumped to begin this adventure with them.”
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