Announced today, Denny Hamlin (the sport’s only Jordan Brand athlete) will be starting his own Cup Series team next year with the GOAT, Michael Jordan. MJ, who is also an owner of the Charlotte Hornets, will have a majority stake in the new team, while Hamlin will be a minority owner.
Hamlin broke the news on Twitter earlier this evening:
“Eleven years ago I met Michael Jordan at a then-Charlotte Bobcats game and we became fast friends. Not long after, I joined Jordan Brand as their first NASCAR athlete. Our friendship has grown over the years and now we are ready to take it to the next level… Deciding on the driver was easy, it had to be Bubba Wallace.”
“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. 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. 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.”
Bubba, who announced his departure from Richard Petty Motorsports earlier this year, echoed their excitement for the new team:
“This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I believe is a great fit for me at this point in my career. I’m grateful and humbled that they believe in me and I’m super pumped to begin this adventure with them.”
However, Hamlin will continue to drive the #11 car for Joe Gibbs racing.