Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin to launch new NASCAR team in 2021, name Bubba Wallace as their driver

Wallace finds a new franchise to be a part of after announcing he would not be returning to Richard Petty Motorsports earlier this month


                            Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin to launch new NASCAR team in 2021, name Bubba Wallace as their driver
(Getty Images)

Michael Jordan, the NBA legend, has brought a NASCAR Cup Series charter and behind the wheel of his team will be Bubba Wallace when the 2021 NASCAR season begins. Jordan, who currently owns the NBA side, Charlotte Hornets, is a majority owner of the racing team. Wallace finds a new franchise to be part of after announcing he would not be returning to Richard Petty Motorsports earlier this month. Also joining Jordan will be Denny Hamlin who was announced as the minority owner of the team.

Wallace has had a great run this year. In a 105-race career, 2020 has seen him be part of five top-10 finishes. "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 in a statement.

"Historically, NASCAR has struggled with diversity and there have been few Black owners," Jordan said in a statement. 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.

Talking about being the new driver, Wallace wrote on social media, "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." Meanwhile, Hamlin will continue to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing. With the news breaking, the reactions on social media were immediate as Twitterati weighed in on the latest piece of NASCAR news.

For some fans, it was something to look forward to. "I am thrilled about Michael Jordan coming into #NASCAR! Definitely a big deal for the sport having a major sports icon coming in to run a team. I'm really excited to see this team hit the track next season!" read one of the tweets.



 

One of the fans opined it was Jordan's first political decision. "Michael Jordan just made the first political choice of his basketball/business career and everyones gonna have a field day with this one," read one of the comments.



 

At the other end, some had their thoughts about the choice of driver. "Should they sign actual good drivers? MJ being a terrible owner again. No wonder the hornets never do anything. Common theme is MJ as owner," reckoned one of the fans.



 

While a few had questions about Jordan's latest venture. "Does Jordan need a tax break or something? Where was Jordan 10 years ago when Nascar was way more popular? Is he supposed to come in and 'restart' the interest in Nascar?"



 

NASCAR's official welcome statement read: "We proudly welcome Michael Jordan into the NASCAR family, and look forward to watching Michael, Denny Hamlin and Bubba Wallace compete in 2021. Michael is an iconic sports figure and celebrated champion whose fiercely competitive nature has placed him among the greatest athletes of all time. His presence at NASCAR’s top level will further strengthen the competition, excitement and momentum growing around our sport. We wish Michael and his team tremendous success."

(Story updating)

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