Michael Jordan Starts New NASCAR Team With Bubba Wallace as Driver

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Michael Jordan attends 1st round match between Roger Federer of Switzerland and Marinko Matosevic of Australia at US Open tournament in Flushing Meadows USTA Tennis Center (Credit: Shutterstock)

Michael Jordan is teaming up with race car driver Bubba Wallace to enter the world of NASCAR.

The NBA legend will be primary owner of a single-car team that will race in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series. Professional race car driver Denny Hamlin is the minority owner and Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver on the NASCAR Cup Series, will be the driver.

“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,” Jordan said in a news release. “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.”

Related Story: NASCAR Driver Bubba Wallace Fires Back Over Claims Noose Was a Hoax

Jordan previously worked with Hamlin on his Jordan Brand. Hamlin is longtime friends with Wallace, who previously raced for Richard Petty Motorsports, but recently announced he was moving on.

Wallace issued a statement Monday on Twitter about his new partnership, tweeting: “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.”

Hamlin said in a statement, “Deciding on a driver was easy – it had to be Bubba Wallace.”

Jordan has kept his hand in the world of sports since retiring from basketball. He is currently an owner of the Charlotte Hornets.

Wallace has nine career top-10 finishes in the Cup Series. In June, he gained national attention after it was reported that a noose was found hanging in his garage.

The FBI investigated and determined the rope had been in the stall since 2019 and said it was not an act of hate against the driver. Since then, Wallace has spoken out and publicly expressed his anger over attacks on his character and suggestions that the rope was part of a hoax.