Sunday October 1, 2023

Michael Jordan Starts NASCAR Team, Signs Bubba Wallace as First Driver

  • Jordan will become the first Black majority owner of a full-time race team in NASCAR’s premier series since NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Wendell Scott owned and raced his own car.
  • Wallace is currently the lone Black driver in NASCAR.
Matt Slocum/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network
Front Office Sports Today

Donovan McNabb and the State of Football

From Taylor Swift to the Prime Effect, there's a lot going on in the world of football.
Listen Now
September 29, 2023 | Podcast
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

Michael Jordan is now the majority owner of a single-car NASCAR team, with Bubba Wallace as his driver. 

The NBA great, along with three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin, purchased a NASCAR Cup Series Charter that will debut in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series. 

Wallace, having a breakout season, announced in early September that he would not return to Richard Petty Motorsports, with which he had made all of his 105 career starts at NASCAR’s highest level.

RPM had offered Wallace an ownership stake in an effort to get him to stay with the team in 2021 and beyond. 

Wallace has five top-10 finishes this year, including a fifth-place finish in the regular-season finale at Daytona International Speedway, also the site of his career-best finish: second in the 2018 Daytona 500.

Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR, emerged as a prominent voice for social justice campaigns in the wake of multiple police killings of unarmed Black people over the summer and spoke out against the presence of the Confederate flag in the sport.

Jordan is now the first Black majority owner of a full-time race team in NASCAR’s top series since Wendell Scott, a NASCAR Hall of Fame member, owned and raced his own car from 1963-73. 

In a statement, Jordan said: “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.”

Bubba Wallace

Bubba Wallace Attracting Sponsors Following Rise in Visibility

Bubba Wallace has emerged as one of NASCAR’s most marketable drivers as…
August 12, 2020

It is the latest business move this year for Jordan, who is also the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets. He previously took an equity stake in DraftKings, while also being named a special advisor to the company’s board. Jordan and his brand also pledged $100 million over the next 10 years to organizations dedicated to “ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education.”

Hamlin, who was Jordan Brand’s first NASCAR athlete, said that he and Jordan became friends after meeting 11 years ago at a Charlotte Bobcats game. He will remain the driver of the No. 11 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.

“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,” Hamlin, 39, said in a statement. “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.”

Hamlin was an owner in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series in February, for which Jordan designed a Jumpman-themed No. 23 car. 

NASCAR said in a statement it “proudly welcome[s] Michael Jordan into the NASCAR family, and look[s] forward to watching Michael, Denny Hamlin and Bubba Wallace compete in 2021.”

“His presence at NASCAR’s top level will further strengthen the competition, excitement and momentum growing around our sport,” it said.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Baltimore Looks To Return To The Oriole Way

Lease deal offers new hope, but market and economic challenges remain.
College football is taking over Saturday night.

How College Football’s Biggest Games Took Over Saturday Night

Network competition and West Coast storylines helped college football stage a coup.

Ryder Cup’s Future Hanging In The Balance Amid Saudi Disruption

An unexpected change could be coming to the Ryder Cup.

Colorado Has Become the Hollywood of College Football. This Weekend Proves It.

Folsom Field will welcome dozens of Hollywood stars on Saturday.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Donovan McNabb and the State of Football


Featured Today

Toy Story

‘Toy Story’ Success Could Lead to More Disney-Branded NFL Kid-Casts

A successful ‘Toy Story’ game could open the door for other franchises.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce on field after the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
September 29, 2023

Taylor Swift Shaking Up Travis Kelce, Chiefs Prop Betting Market

Sportsbooks are capitalizing with Taylor Swift-themed prop bets.
Taylor Swift reacts while sitting next to Donna Kelce watching the Kansas City Chiefs vs Chicago Bears game during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
September 28, 2023

Taylor Swift Is Affecting The NFL, Chiefs Ticket Markets

Swift will visit her second NFL stadium in as many weeks.
September 28, 2023

BioSteel Bankruptcy Shows Perils of Costly Sports Partnerships

BioSteel spent heavily on partnerships deals before bankruptcy.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Chicago Cubs
New York
Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, Inc.
USA - Multiple Locations
Liverpool players celebrate after a goal.

FSG Sells $200M Liverpool Stake To Private Equity Firm

New York-based private equity firm makes its first deal
September 26, 2023

Panini Picks Up Legal Win, Will Still Make WWE Trading Cards

New York judge denies WWE's bid for restraining order
September 25, 2023

Hollywood Writers' Deal Would Boost Sports Networks and Agencies

Several major sports media entities, talent agencies exposed to strike's effects
September 21, 2023

TKO Makes First Big Move After WWE-UFC Merger

Investors drop TKO shares by 15% following SmackDown rights deal
Deion Sanders
September 19, 2023

Deion Sanders' Sunglass Tiff Nets Eyewear Company Nearly $4.5 Million

Sanders has Midas touch for sunglasses sponsor Blenders.
September 15, 2023

Goldman Sachs Opens Door For Clients To Invest In Sports Teams

Firm initiative opens new opportunities for wealthiest clients
An Everton player displays shirt sponsor, a gambling company, during a match.
September 15, 2023

Everton Acquisition By 777 Partners Extends U.S. Presence in Premier League

American entities now control half of Premier League clubs
September 12, 2023

TKO $21B Merger Closes With Aggressive Ambitions

Newly created company looks to accelerate existing growth trajectory