The 2020 NASCAR Silly Season on Monday saw one of the biggest announcements not just this year, but in NASCAR circles in general. Bubba Wallace will drive for a new team in 2021, which will be jointly owned by NBA legend Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin.
The basketball legend opened up about the new association and why he and Hamlin chose Bubba Wallace as their driver. Jordan, who has won so much in basketball, wants to continue that trend in NASCAR too.
“If I’m investing, if I’m a participant, then I want to win! I don’t want to be out there to be just another car,” Jordan said in an interview.
“I feel like Bubba feels the same, and Denny has definitely done that this year. We’ve got the right people involved. Now, we need to get the right equipment. The right information and data. Give Bubba his best chance to win,” he added.
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.
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) September 22, 2020
Michael Jordan shows confidence in Bubba Wallace
“I think he has the potential to be (a champion). If I didn’t think so, I wouldn’t get into this,” Jordan said further.
Wallace is often billed as a future star of the sport. He has long expressed his desire to race for a team where he can win races and contend in the Playoffs. At Richard Petty Motorsports, Wallace drove a car that was a 23rd-24th place car at best.
Jordan also said that they are in talks with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR)- Hamlin’s current team – for data on new equipment and car set-up. It is also expected that Wallace will drive a car that comes from the Leavine Family Racing, which is a JGR affiliate, and sport Toyota engines.
That is certainly a step in the right direction with the aim of Wallace being a contender to win races.
Time for Wallace to unleash his talent
While the new development is not a sure-shot recipe for success, Wallace now has the backing to make it happen. At the same time, all eyes will be on him to do well.
“You’re going to a team that is building from scratch. Expectations won’t be huge right away,” leading NASCAR reporter Pockrass said. “But it also has the backing of Michael Jordan. One of the most well-known people, I would say, in the world.”
With Jordan’s confidence and backing, and the talent that Wallace is waiting to unleash, things could get very interesting in 2021.