NBA legend Michael Jordan has announced that he’s launching a Nascar race team for the 2021 season.
Jordan is pairing with some big heavyweights including three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin being a minority owner.
Also, driver Bubba Wallace signed on to drive for the team with a multi-year deal.
Jordan released a statement:
“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 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, who’s currently racing for Joe Gibbs racing also gave a statement:
“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. It just makes sense now to lay the foundation for my racing career after I’m done driving and also help an up-and-coming driver like Bubba take his career to a higher level. Plus, Michael and Bubba can be a powerful voice together, not only in our sport, but also well beyond it.”
Purchasing a full-time NASCAR from Germain Racing makes Jordan the first black primary owner since Wendell Scott.