“Not in Cards Right Now”: Bubba Wallace Explains Hesitation To Follow in Denny Hamlin & Michael Jordan’s Footsteps

Published 02/18/2023, 9:30 AM EST

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Bubba Wallace has remained an essential part of NASCAR and proudly represents the African American community in the sport. In his six-year NASCAR career, Wallace has participated in 183 races, during which he joined NBA legend Michael Jordan-owned racing team 23XI racing. While the organization geared up for the 2023 season, the media caught up to Wallace for an extensive interview that explained his delay in taking a major step that most athletes, including his racing team owners, had taken.

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After conquering the sports world as one of the greatest basketball players, Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan went on to dominate the corporate world as a businessman. Apart from being an avid investor in several successful ventures, Jordan owns the Charlotte Hornets and co-founded the 23XI racing team alongside business partner Denny Hamlin.

Bubba Wallace has no intentions of owning a team

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23XI racing was founded by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin in 2020, and NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace has been racing for the team since the 2021 season. During an interview with J.T. Keith of Clarion Ledger, Wallace talked about Jordan and Hamlin, the major and minor stakeholders of the team, respectively, and opened up about his future plans. When asked about his bosses, Wallace replied that both were highly competitive, which of course, doesn’t come as a surprise to MJ fans.

“Denny’s been around for a handful of years. He thinks he knows this sport inside and out and he’s a walking notebook. MJ, he’s there. He wants to make sure you have all of the resources and everything in place to win,” said Wallace.

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Furthermore, Keith asked the No. 23 driver if he planned to remain in the same organization or career path till he retired. Wallace’s plans contrasted with his racing team owner, Jordan, who shifted his career trajectory from being an athlete to becoming a multiple business owner.

Michael Jordan, Who Punished Bubba Wallace for Kyle Larson Blowup, Was Himself Suspended for Punching an NBA Legend in 1993

In response, Wallace said, “Oh yeah. I have to win a lot more races before I think about owning a race team. Owning a team is not in the cards right now.”

While Wallace made it clear that he is a lifer, a several-month-old interview revealed that he wouldn’t mind doing a car swap with a particular racer.

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Wallace would like to try a hand in F1

While both NASCAR and Formula 1 are a type of racing sport, the biggest difference and a rather significant one are the cars. While F1 drivers race in single-seater vehicles, NASCAR drivers use stock cars to race. During a podcast episode, Bubba Wallace expressed his wish to swap his seats with F1 legend Lewis Hamilton.

WATCH THIS STORY: NASCAR World In Disbelief Over Brawl In Race Amid Bubba Wallace-Kyle Larson Cloud Over Driver Behavior

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“I’ve always said I would love to do a car swap, especially with Lewis. I’ve never had the chance to meet Lewis yet. We’ve had multiple conversations with each other, and I’ve always enjoyed that time with them. But I think a car swap would be really fun,” said Wallace.

While Hamilton is yet to comment on Wallace’s statement, it would be fun to watch the two veteran racecar drivers talk about their experience.

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Written by:

Siyari Debbarma

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Siyari Debbarma is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. She is currently pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering and previously interned at the Y-East Organization as a content writer. Siyari has played quite a bit of basketball throughout her school years, and started following the NBA last year.
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Edited by:

Jayant Chhabra

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