Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to Form Cup Series Team

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

Denny Hamlin announced on social media that he would be partnering with NBA icon Michael Jordan to form a single-car NASCAR Cup Series team, hiring Bubba Wallace as their driver for the 2021 season. 

Jordan, who is the owner of NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, has longtime connections with the three-time Daytona 500 Champion through his Jordan Brand for almost a decade. Jordan will be majority owner of the new team, while Hamlin will have minority ownership. 

Hamlin has been vocal about wanting to be a team owner within NASCAR. 

“I think that I’m always looking towards what I’m going to do after my driving career is over,” Hamlin said. “I’ve got some great partners that support me and my decisions in what I will do for years to come.”

Jordan, who previously denied interest in forming a NASCAR team, said he sees this as an opportunity for growth within the sport for a broader audience. 

“Growing up in North Carolina, my parents would take my brothers, sisters and me to the races, and I’ve been a NASCAR fan my whole life,” Jordan said. “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 to 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.”

Credit: Lisa Janine Cloud for Skirts and Scuffs

Bubba Wallace has five top-10 finishes this season in his third season racing for Richard Petty Motorsports. The 26-year-old’s best finish came in the 2018 Daytona 500, where he finished second to Austin Dillon. 

The team will receive a charter from Germain Racing; however, Jordan announced that Bob Germain will remain onboard the newly formed team. 

“Bubba has shown tremendous improvement since joining the Cup Series and we believe he’s ready to take his career to a higher level.” Hamlin said in a statement, “He deserves the opportunity to compete forski race wins and our team will make sure he has the resources to do just that.” 

Hamlin will continue racing for Joe Gibbs Racing, where he holds 43 career wins. He is currently second in the Playoff standings, 19 points behind leader Kevin Harvick. 

NASCAR President Steve Phelps confirmed earlier this month that as long as it could ensure fairness to competition that it is possible for a current driver to race for a different organization and be owner of another. 

The announcement comes after Wallace previously announced he would not return to RPM despite receiving a contract extension offer. 

Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to Form Cup Series Team  Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to Form Cup Series Team Reviewed by Courtney Horn on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 Rating: 5