“How Can I Pass That by?” – Bubba Wallace Relishing Opportunity to Team Up With Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin

Published 11/18/2020, 9:42 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)


Bubba Wallace recently ended his time at Richard Petty Motorsports with the end of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. This frees him up physically and mentally to devote all his time and energy to 23XI Racing.

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The star NASCAR driver is set to run for the new Denny HamlinMichael Jordan team. It has been over a couple of months since the new team was announced with Wallace as the driver. However, the 27-year-old driver expresses it still hasn’t sunk in completely for him.

I’m still processing it every day,” Wallace said during a recent interview. At the same time, he is quite delighted to get an opportunity to work with Toyota again, as well as Hamlin and Jordan, whom he called ‘legends of sports’.

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“But I get to return to the Toyota Family and work with two legends in the sports world — how can I pass that by?” Wallace continued.

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 on July 12, 2020 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Bubba Wallace excited at the prospect of learning from the greats

Hamlin and Jordan have both expressed, time and again, that they want to get the process right. While Jordan also said that he wants to win sooner rather than later, Wallace said that the NBA legend and his NASCAR Cup counterpart want “to do it right and want to win.”

Wallace is excited to learn from them both in various aspects. “Both Michael and Denny are at the top level in their careers, business, and personal lives. So I’m excited to learn from them both,” Wallace said further.

OAKVILLE, ONTARIO, CANADA – JULY 20: Five-time NBA MVP Michael Jordan smiles after hitting to the seventh green during the RBC Canadian Open’s Mike Weir Charity Classic Pro-Am at Glen Abbey Golf Club on July 20, 2009 in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

Will Wallace make the most of the superior resources at 23XI Racing?

Recently, many key details about the personnel for Wallace’s No. 43 team were revealed. This included Toyota’s involvement as the manufacturer and Mike Wheeler’s inclusion as Wallace’s Crew Chief.

They are also partnering with Joe Gibbs Racing, the team Hamlin drivers for, for some other resources.

Nov 8, 2020; Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace during the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Many NASCAR fans and experts believe Wallace has outdone his equipment at Richard Petty Motorsports. Hamlin and Jordan are of the same opinion, and they vowed to give him better equipment and resources at 23XI Racing for him to race to the extent of his abilities.

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While expecting wins right off the bat would be a bit too demanding; however, there will be a certain amount of pressure on Wallace to quickly announce himself as a serious contender for the Playoffs. Will he be able to shoulder this responsibility?

DIVE DEEPER

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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