Bubba Wallace to drive for Michael Jordan-Denny Hamlin Cup Sequence staff in 2021

Bubba Wallace has a full-time journey for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Sequence season: a single-car staff led by NBA legend Michael Jordan and Joe Gibbs Racing veteran Denny Hamlin.

Hamlin and Jordan introduced the staff’s formation Monday evening. Jordan reportedly would be the principal proprietor, whereas Hamlin will maintain a minority stake. Hamlin will proceed to drive the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 automotive.

“Bubba has proven great enchancment since becoming a member of the Cup Sequence and we consider he is able to take his profession to the next stage,” Hamlin mentioned. “He deserves the chance to compete for race wins and our staff will ensure he has the sources to just do that.”

MORE: A whole clarification of the Wallace noose case at Talladega

Hamlin additionally acknowledged Wallace’s social justice advocacy this 12 months because the Cup Sequence’ lone Black driver.

“Off the monitor, Bubba has been a loud voice for change in our sport and our nation. MJ and I assist him totally in these efforts and stand beside him,” Hamlin mentioned. Hamlin supported Wallace after a June incident at Talladega, when a rope that appeared like a noose was seen outdoors the Wallace staff storage.

Jordan likewise tied Wallace’s signing to the combat for racial justice and variety in racing.

“Traditionally, NASCAR has struggled with variety and there have been few black house owners,” Jordan, who described himself as a lifelong NASCAR fan, wrote in an announcement. “The timing appeared good as NASCAR is evolving and embracing social change increasingly more.

“Along with the latest dedication and donations I’ve made to fight systemic racism, I see this as an opportunity to teach a brand new viewers and open extra alternatives for Black individuals in racing.”

Wallace, 26, got here up via NASCAR’s Drive for Range program. He’s ending his third full season within the Cup Sequence, all with Richard Petty Motorsports. Wallace introduced Sept, 10 he wouldn’t return to the staff in 2021. He has three profession top-five finishes and 9 top-10s in 105 races. His highest end was second within the 2018 Daytona 500. Hamlin completed third in that race.

“This can be a distinctive, once-in-a-lifetime alternative that I consider is a good match for me at this level in my profession. I’m grateful and humbled that they consider in me and I’m tremendous pumped to start this journey with them,” Wallace mentioned in an announcement.

The Jordan-Hamlin staff shall be a constitution staff, one in every of 36 within the Cup Sequence. Fox Sports activities reported that Hamlin bought the constitution of one-car Germain Racing, which employs Ty Dillon as its driver within the No. 13 automotive.

Hamlin’s announcement didn’t point out a automotive quantity or main sponsor. STP has been Wallace’s most seen sponsor with Petty Motorsports.

Hamlin and Jordan’s ties return over a decade, once they met at an NBA sport. Jordan owned the NBA’s then-Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) and Hamlin finally turned an endorser for Jordan Model. Hamlin raced in a Jordan Model-sponsored truck in 2013.

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