Bubba Wallace Thrilled After Finally Meeting Michael Jordan Ahead of NASCAR Daytona 500

Published 02/14/2021, 7:30 AM EST
FONTANA, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 29: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 Victory Junction Chevrolet, stands by his car before qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)


For the first time, Bubba Wallace and NBA legend Michael Jordan finally met. Until now, their only other meeting was a phone call between the two. Admittedly, Wallace has always been a big fan of Jordan and his NBA exploits.

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As it happens, Jordan has been pretty versatile in the sporting scene. Aside from being a player, he tried his hand at Baseball, being an NBA team owner, and many more. His stint as a NASCAR Cup team owner is only his latest endeavor.
The two of them met at the Daytona International Speedway for a media event. They also took part in a promo for the race weekend at the Daytona 500.

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Due to their stake in the team, Jordan and co-owner Denny Hamlin, are pretty nervous. Surprisingly, Bubba Wallace is not as fussed about the situation.

Bubba Wallace is in awe of Michael Jordan

“It’s pretty comical,” Wallace said. “It’s like their little kid out there racing, I don’t know. I’m like, you guys are nervous, I’m just over here ready to go. When he walked in the room it was like, ‘Oh wow, this is for real’.”
Admittedly, the 27-year-old found it hard to answer what it was like to meet the basketball legend. This was largely down to the presence of the coronavirus pandemic. So when the opportunity to meet at the Daytona 500 emerged, Jordan took it, and left Wallace in awe.
It is worth mentioning that this is Wallace’s maiden season in the 23XI Racing team. Up until then, he spent three seasons with the iconic #43 for Richard Petty Motorsports. With the outfit, he often outperformed the car’s capabilities and it wasn’t long before Hamlin and Jordan noticed him.

Good times filming with these two. Don’t miss the #Daytona500 pre race show tomorrow on @nascaronfox. pic.twitter.com/sMZZEPPBTa

— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) February 13, 2021

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Although he is winless in 112 career Cup starts, nobody can deny his prowess behind the wheel. In fact, Bubba Wallace finished as the runner up in the 2018 Daytona 500. Now with his new team, Wallace is putting the Toyota car through its paces. Apparently, he topped in practice and starts sixth for Sunday’s race.
It is also noteworthy that Bubba Wallace is trying to succeed Wendell Scott as the next African-American NASCAR winner. Heading into the first race of the season, Bubba Wallace knows that it is time to get serious.

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Dhruv George

11301 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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