Michael Jordan becomes a NASCAR team owner with Bubba Wallace driving

Paired with NASCAR icon Denny Hamlin, Jordan and his new racing team are prepping for competition next year.

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Charlotte Hornets owner, Michael Jordan, is teaming up with NASCAR legend Denny Hamlin to start his own racing team, and the dynamic duo has already announced their first driver will be Bubba Wallace. 

Read More: Michael Jordan serves as middle man between owners, players during NBA meeting

The NBA icon, who has been making major donations to combat systemic racism, announced Monday evening his single car NASCAR Cup Series team would be gearing up to compete next year. 

NBA legend Michael Jordan (left) is starting a NASCAR racing team, and its first driver will be NASCAR icon Bubba Wallace (right), its sole Black racer. (Photos by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Cincoro and Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

“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. “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.” 

Read More: NASCAR fans boo Black racer Bubba Wallace, cheer after he crashes at Confederate flag-adorned racetrack

He also explained that he hopes the move will encourage more Black owners in NASCAR and help draw more Black folks into the world of racing.

“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,” Jordan added.

Hamlin, a three-time Daytona 500 winner, echoed his sentiments in his own social media announcement. 

“Tonight, I’m excited to announce MJ and I are starting a new, single car @NASCAR Cup Series team for 2021. Deciding on a driver was easy – it had to be @BubbaWallace,” he wrote on Twitter. 

Read More: Michael Jordan, Jordan Brand to donate $100 million to racial equality organizations

Wallace, NASCAR’s only Black driver, confirmed his involvement and expressed his excitement over the new opportunity.  

“Proud to announce that Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin are teaming up to start a Cup team in 2021, and I’m wheeling it. This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I believe is a great fit for me at this point in my career,” he posted on Instagram. “Michael and Denny are both 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 they believe in me and I’m super pumped to begin this adventure with them.”

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Here’s to new beginnings! ??

A post shared by bubbawallace (@bubbawallace) on

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