Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin Starting NASCAR Team With Bubba Wallace as First Driver

Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin are starting up a new NASCAR team, with Jordan's first driver set to be Bubba Wallace. Read their statements here.

Bubba Wallace

Image via Getty/Jared C. Tilton/Stringer

Bubba Wallace

On Monday night it was announced by Michael Jordan and current driver Denny Hamlin that they would be starting a new NASCAR team that would have a car on the track for the 2021 Cup Series season. The first driver for that team will be Bubba Wallace

ESPN reports that Jordan will be the principal owner, while Hamlin will be a minority partner. Denny will also continue racing the No. 11 car for Joe Gibbs racing. 

"Bubba has shown improvement since joining the Cup series, and we believe he's ready to take his career to a higher level," said Hamlin in a statement. 

Tonight, I’m excited to announce 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 @BubbaWallace. pic.twitter.com/nIJv0X6ZOX

— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) September 22, 2020

Jordan also released a statement in which he relayed that he's been a fan of NASCAR his whole life, and that now is a good time to get into the sport due to its embrace of "social change." When reading this statement, note that Wallace is the only Black driver at the national series level competing in NASCAR full time.

"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."

As for the actual driver, it was earlier this month that Wallace announced he'd be leaving Richard Petty Motorsports at the conclusion of the 2020 season. Wallace raced for Petty's team for three years and had yet to win a race. In 2020 he had five top-ten finishes (a career-best) and also sits at 23rd in the Cup standings (also a career-best). 

Like both Jordan and Hamlin he too put out a statement on the news. You can read that right here:

This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I believe is a great fit for me at this point in my career. I’m grateful and humbled that they believe in me and I’m super pumped to begin this adventure with them.


BW https://t.co/q5tCyiurpi

— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) September 22, 2020

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