NASCAR's Bubba Wallace Talks Virtual Racing With New Team, Relationship With Co-Owner Michael Jordan (Exclusive)

Bubba Wallace made an impact on NASCAR last season, leading to him joining a new team, 23XI [...]

Bubba Wallace made an impact on NASCAR last season, leading to him joining a new team, 23XI Racing, which is owned by fellow NASCAR star Denny Hamlin and NBA legend Michael Jordan. But how is it working with Jordan, who is one of the greatest athletes of all time? recently caught up with Wallace, who admits having Jordan call him regularly is interesting.

"Yeah, he's definitely been a phone call or a text away for sure," Wallace said to PopCulture. "Always saying good luck or good race after, each and every race. It's been cool to get those text messages and it's still surreal to see MJ is shooting me a message and driving home is kind of surreal as well, but all in all, we're all competitive myself, Denny and MJ, we want to win. We want to grow this team to outstanding heights. And it really starts with this year and getting everything underneath us as a solid foundation."

One of the top sponsors for 23XI Racing is McDonald's, and Wallace was recently at the company's headquarters in Chicago to participate in an eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series event, the Windy City 110, which is the first-ever Chicago street course race. Wallace talked about the difference between competing in a virtual race and competing in actual NASCAR races.

"It's actually the physical feel," Wallace stated. "I've spent a couple of days here in Chicago throughout my career coming up here, racing over at the speedway, but I don't remember any of the streets and how bumpy they are. So getting a feel for that on the SIM here has been challenging. If we do get it to where we actually come here in real life, it'll be a heck of a show for the fans that they definitely want to attend. I'm excited to be here at the headquarters of McDonald's in the windy city."

Wallace went on to show a lot of love to McDonald's, who has been by his side the last few years. "They've stepped up in a huge way this year in becoming one of the founding partners of our race team at 2311 racing and then also for me to be able to sign on as a mentor for the Black and Positively Golden Mentorship. I've really had fun with that. Myself and Rajah Caruth, giving him some pointers, another fellow African-American youngster coming up through the sport, trying to make a name for himself. Giving him all my tips and tricks and words of wisdom to help him guide his way has been really cool and I appreciate McDonald's being behind us and supporting both of us."