Michael Jordan opens up on becoming NASCAR team owner, having Bubba Wallace as a driver
Six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan is teaming up with Denny Hamlin and Bubba Wallace to form his own NASCAR team, and the basketball legend is thrilled about it.
In an interview with Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, Jordan opened up about why he decided to become a NASCAR team owner and have Wallace as one of his drivers:
“When (Hamlin) told me there was a possibility of getting Bubba Wallace, I’m saying, ‘OK, this is perfect!’” Michael Jordan told The Observer.
“If I’m getting involved in NASCAR, then get a Black driver (with) a Black owner. If I’m investing, if I’m a participant, then I want to win! I don’t want to be out there to be just another car. I feel like Bubba feels the same, and Denny (with six victories this season) has definitely done that this year. We’ve got the right people involved. Now, we need to get the right equipment. The right information and data. Give Bubba his best chance to win.”
Michael Jordan is the first Black principal owner of a full-time race team in NASCAR’s premier series in almost 50 years. The Chicago Bulls legend continues to make history, both on and off the basketball court.
Bubba Wallace was in the headlines earlier in the year when a noose was found in his garage. While the FBI ruled it wasn’t a hate crime, he stood by his initial comments claiming it as an “act of racism.”
Wallace is the only African American driver in NASCAR’s top-level Cup Series, so Jordan made it a point to have Wallace as his driver since NASCAR has struggled on the diversity front.
Jordan and his family used to go to NASCAR races all the time when they were growing up in North Carolina. His Airness has always been a fan of the sport.