NBA icon Michael Jordan is launching a new Nascar Cup race team to start competing during the 2021 season. The team will include a couple of racing heavyweights with three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin serving as a minority owner, and up-and-coming driver Bubba Wallace signed on to drive under a multi-year deal.
Jordan purchased the charter from Germain Racing and will be the first Black majority owner of a full-time Nascar team since Wendall Scott owned and raced his car into the early 1970s. Hamlin will continue to drive the No. 11 car for Joe Gibbs Racing where he has won 43 races in 15 seasons; he currently sits second in the Nascar playoff standings.
Wallace is the only Black driver in Nascar and spent the last three years racing full-time for Richard Petty Motorsport before announcing his plans to leave the team earlier this month, despite a reported offer that included a stake in RPM. Wallace rose to prominence on the Nascar circuit this year when he pushed the sport’s governing body to ban the Confederate flag—a popular item at events—which it eventually did.
Wallace found himself the center of attention again when a noose was found in his garage stall at a racetrack. The FBI investigated and found the noose had been in the garage since 2019 and Wallace was not a target. His sponsorship profile soared this summer with Beats, Columbia Sportswear COLM and Cash App. Wallace has won six races on Nascar’s Truck Series.
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