Michael Jordan is starting a NASCAR team with Bubba Wallace as his driver.
Over the last year, Bubba Wallace has become one of the bigger names in NASCAR as a vocal advocate for social justice and the only Black driver in the sport. Now, he’s about to join one of the biggest NBA names of all time.
As first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Jordan and three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin are forming a new NASCAR Cup Series race team that will be ready to compete in 2021, with Wallace being their first and only driver.
According to The Undefated’s Marc J. Spears, Wallace has signed a multi-year deal to drive for the currently unnamed, single-car team of the Charlotte Hornets’ owner. Jordan is now the first Black majority owner of a full-time race team in NASCAR’s premier series since Wendell Scott owned and raced his own car in the 1960s and ’70s.
The Hornets released the following statement from Michael Jordan:
“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. 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 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.”
Bubba Wallace and Michael Jordan is an awesome combination for NASCAR
Wallace has become one of the more respected and well-liked drivers in NASCAR over the past few months, and though Jordan was criticized in the past during his prime playing days for not using his platform to speak out on matters of social justice, he’s worked to make amends by donating his time, money and resources to important social causes in recent years.
This is simply an awesome way for both he and Wallace to truly make their mark in a sport that has struggled with inclusion in the past but has since shown signs of progress.