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Bubba Wallace to Drive for Michael Jordan-Owned NASCAR Racing Team

NBA legend partners with Denny Hamlin on new venture

Michael Jordan is buying his own NASCAR team, with Bubba Wallace as his driver.

The NBA legend and business partner Denny Hamlin have purchased a NASCAR Cup Series Charter and will begin racing next season. Wallace, the NASCAR Cup Series’ only Black driver, announced earlier this month he was leaving Richard Petty Motorsports.

Jordan, who also owns the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, is from the North Carolina area; he played college hoops at the University of North Carolina. A name for the Jordan-Hamlin group will be announced later.

“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 in a news release. “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.”

Last season, Wallace found himself in the middle of controversy when a rope that was fashioned as a noose was found hanging in his stall before the Geico 500 in June. That came a few weeks after Wallace had successfully petitioned for NASCAR to ban the use of the Confederate flag at its events.

NASCAR strongly condemned the action shortly after and launched an immediate investigation with help from the state of Alabama and the FBI, which later determined that Wallace “was not the target” of a hate crime, pointing to photographic evidence that the noose found in his garage stall was a garage door pull and had been there “as early as last fall.”