By CLTure News
September 21, 2020
It’s been a big year for Hornets chairman and NBA legend Michael Jordan with the release of the now Emmy Award-winning documentary, The Last Dance. Today, MJ announced a partnership to form a new NASCAR Cup Series race team with three-time Daytona winner Denny Hamlin. In addition, rising NASCAR star Bubba Wallace has signed a multi-year deal to drive for the 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 through a press 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.”
— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) September 22, 2020
For Denny Hamlin, he’ll continue to drive the No. 11 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing as he also serves as a minority partner for the Jordan-led team.
“Starting a race team has been something that Michael and I have talked about while playing golf together over the years, but the timing or circumstances were never really right,” Hamlin communicated in the press release.
Bubba Wallace Jr., who has played a critical role in NASCAR’s push for equality, led efforts to ban the Confederate flag at race events back in June.
“This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I believe is a great fit for me at this point in my career,” said Wallace.
With the purchase of the team, Jordan is also the first Black majority owner of a full-time team in NASCAR’s premier series since Hall of Fame inductee Wendell Scott.
The team name, Bubba’s car number, manufacturer, sponsors and more details for the race team scheduled to start in the 2021 Cup Season will be announced at a future date.