Famed NBA legend Michael Jordan is set to become a NASCAR team owner.
Jordan announced his partnership with Denny Hamlin, the current second place NASCAR Cup series championship placeholder. The two have already purchased Germain Racing cars for first driver Bubba Wallace, who plans to leave Richard Petty Motorsports at the end of the season. A sponsor, car number, and crew have yet to be announced, however, the charter promises that there will be a starting spot in the Cup Series field every weekend. Additionally, a technical alliance has been formed with Joe Gibbs Racing, Hamlin’s current employer.
Hamlin and Jordan may seem like an unlikely pair, but the two became friends back in 2009 and have played golf together for the past fourteen years. Hamlin has also been spotted wearing a custom Jordan brand fire suit and racing shoes. Jordan has also accompanied Hamlin to the racetrack on various occasions.
From 2003 to 2013, Jordan often headed to Daytona as the owner of AMA Superbike team, Michael Jordan Motorsports. While Jordan had been previously approached to invest in NASCAR, the NBA star initially hesitated. After doing his homework, he discovered many arduous factors required to lead a racing team to success. Now that timing has finally aligned for both Jordan and Hamlin, they plan to walk down the road pit at Daytona in February.
While Jordan had been approached previously and asked to invest in NASCAR, the NBA legend initially hesitated. He had done his homework and discovered that many factors that are required for a racing team to have success. The time has finally been right so that Jordan and Hamlin will work together with their team to hope for success in Daytona in February.
What to Expect
When interviewed late Monday night by The Charlotte Observer, Jordan spoke about the team’s potential.
“I think [Bubba Wallace] has the potential to be [a champion]. If I didn’t think so, I wouldn’t get into this,” he stated. “Luck has a lot of do [with winning] in a lot of sports. But if you feel you have the same knowledge and the same equipment, you give yourself a chance. Then it’s all up to the driver.”
Wallace was the first African American driver to race full time at NASCAR’s highest level since Wendell Scott nearly 50 years ago. This is definitely going to be an interesting and unique partnership that will produce a strong team. Fans can stay tuned to see how the pair will continue to make an impact on the world of racing by bringing African Americans to the forefront of a sport usually dominated by Caucasians.