NASCAR Star Bubba Wallace Reveals How Michael Jordan’s ‘The Last Dance’ Changed His Mentality

Published 01/23/2021, 1:15 PM EST
TALLADEGA, ALABAMA – JUNE 22: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 Victory Junction Chevrolet, speaks to the media after the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


‘The Last Dance’, a sports documentary based on former NBA superstar Michael Jordan, has inspired a lot of people. One among those is the full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver, Bubba Wallace.

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The 27-year-old will drive for Jordan’s majority-owned Cup Series team, 23XI Racing, in 2021. Mentored by Denny Hamlin behind the scenes, Wallace is certainly entering a whole new and exciting chapter of his professional racing career.

Speaking in a brief interview, he talked about how his mentality changed after watching Jordan’s documentary. In that regard, we just might see a much more motivated and energized Bubba Wallace on the track this year.

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Bubba Wallace had a good 2020 season with Richard Petty Motorsports

Wallace stated, “My mentality changed when I watched ‘The Last Dance’. It’s like, ‘Okay, alright, I see what I need to be like as an athlete if I want to reach these goals and this is what I need to be like’.

“I mean, there’s a lot of pressure. But I keep telling them after the year we had in 2020, pressure is nothing but a thing,” concluded Wallace.

The former Richard Petty Motorsports driver extracted some good performances from his No.43 Chevrolet Camaro in 2020.

While wins were a fair distance away owing to the gulf in racing quality on the track, Wallace managed an impressive tally of 5 Top-10 finishes.

23XI Racing makes its debut in the upcoming Cup Series season

The trio of Jordan, Hamlin, and Wallace sure seemed to excite racing fans after the official announcement came forth last year.

Quite recently, a post had also displayed the fully finished No.23 car being part of the Toyota manufacturing injector line alongside other Cup Series cars.

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SPARTA, KENTUCKY – JULY 12: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 Victory Junction Chevrolet, races Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, during the NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Qualifying for the Daytona 500 and ensuring a decent result in the season opener would be one way to get the ball rolling for 23XI Racing. But at a big picture level, deriving consistency from the races across the regular season will also be a key objective.

Therefore, the expectations from Wallace and 23XI Racing would certainly be high, considering the reputation of its owners. It would fascinate to see how the driver-team partnership gets going as we count down the days to the new season.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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