NBA legend Michael Jordan announced the purchase of a NASCAR Cup Series Charter with Bubba Wallace as the driver when the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season begins. The news comes after Wallace revealed on Sept. 10 that he will no longer be racing for Richard Petty Motorsports.
Jordan, who is the current owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, will be the majority owner of a NASCAR Cup Series team while Denny Hamlin is a minority owner of the single-car team.
“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.
“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.”
Hamlin will remain a driver of the No. 11 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, where his Cup Series career began in 2005. He has six wins this year and is one of the favorites to win the 2020 championship.
“Bubba has shown tremendous improvement since joining the Cup Series and we believe he’s ready to take his career to a higher level,” Hamlin stated. “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.”
Wallace said: “This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I believe is a great fit for me at this point in my career. Both Michael and Denny are great competitors and are focused on building the best team they possibly can to go out and compete for race wins. I’m grateful and humbled that Michael and Denny believe in me and I’m super pumped to begin this adventure with them.”