“From That Point I’ve Been Hooked” – Michael Jordan Reveals Long-Standing Interest in NASCAR

Published 02/17/2021, 11:15 AM EST
DATE: 10/20/01 PHOTO BY : JOEL RICHARDSON DIG MICHAEL JORDAN AND THE WIZARDS HOST NEW JERSEY NETS (Photo by The The Washington Post via Getty Images)


Without a doubt, NASCAR is considered as one of America’s favorite past-times. So it isn’t surprising that NBA legend Michael Jordan is also a massive NASCAR fan. Ahead of the 2021 Daytona 500, Jordan, Bubba Wallace, and Denny Hamlin sat down to talk about the 23XI Racing team.

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The former basketball star confessed that he has been a fan of the sport since childhood. He said, “I grew up with NASCAR. My father used to pack the whole family in, we’d go to Darlington, Rockingham, Charlotte, Daytona, and Talladega. We would spend the whole day, and from that point on, I’ve been hooked.”
Of course, Jordan may not get a chance to be there at every race. However, he declared that even if he is physically not present, he will definitely be there in spirit. Otherwise, Denny Hamlin will likely act as his proxy, since he is the co-owner.

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What else did Michael Jordan say?

Speaking about the decision to start a new team, he revealed that he toyed with the idea for a long time. This was largely because he had never seen any NASCAR team owners of color. Of course, he acknowledged that African-American presence was a bit of a minority in the sport.

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Feb 14, 2021; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23) gets ready for the restart of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
However, the opportunity to become a trailblazer in this field, rarely arose. Now, Michael Jordan is a proud owner of a Cup Series team and has a decent driver in the form of Bubba Wallace. The driver quickly set about proving his mettle and was quick right off the bat. He was a regular presence in the Top 5 during the Daytona 500, thus rewarding Jordan’s faith in him.
Obviously, Wallace was disappointed with the way his race ended. Especially since he got caught up in the multi-car pile-up that took place late in the race. On the bright side, there are still plenty more races left to prove himself further. Additionally, the NASCAR paddock will remain in Florida soil for a couple more races.

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DIVE DEEPER
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Dhruv George

11290 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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