Bubba Wallace sparked excitement among racing fans when he announced he will race for Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin, starting with the 2021 Cup Series season. Now he has unveiled the new paint scheme. Wallace and Hamlin appeared on CBS This Morning to show off the brand new No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota Camry.
The No. 23 Toyota Camry incorporates the color scheme of the Chicago Bulls, the team that Jordan led to six NBA Championships. The base is white and covers most of the body, but there are red stripes on the fenders, roof and doors. Black trim runs along the edges of the red stripes. Wallace's name sits above the door in white text. The team has not provided any information about sponsors just yet, so the current design simply features the team name on the rear fenders and on the hood.
Here's @23XIRacing's new Toyota Camry.
➖ Sponsorship is still TBA. pic.twitter.com/RN4TwOKS82— Adam Stern (@A_S12) October 30, 2020
The racing team teased the reveal on Thursday night with a simple video on Twitter. The camera zoomed in and showed the outline of a car covered by a sheet. Once a hidden figure ripped off the cover, the screen went black and simply said "Tomorrow."
When Wallace, Jordan and Hamlin announced their team in late September, there were immediate questions about the number on the Toyota Camry. Many automatically assumed that the former Chicago Bulls star would push his brand on the team. However, Jordan shied away from making any definitive decisions about the number at the time of the announcement by saying that he would be happy to see No. 23 on the car but it would "be great as well" if Wallace went in a different direction.
The number was very important to many fans, but it was less of a concern to Jordan when the trio announced the team. The former NBA star's goal was to simply create a winning team. He expressed this opinion while explaining why Wallace was the perfect choice for him and Hamlin.
"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 to the Charlotte Observer. "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."
Prior to the announcement in late September, rumors ran rampant about Wallace's destination for the 2021 season and beyond. Richard Petty Motorsports wanted him to come back to the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro, but this outcome was not a certainty. Ultimately, Wallace announced that he would pursue other opportunities but did not provide any further information, which prompted rumors about a potential pairing with Hamlin.
Now that he has a new team, as well as a new car, Wallace will prepare for the 2021 Cup Series season. Although he will first have to finish up the 2020 slate of races. Wallace will take part in the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway, which is the final race before the cutoff. One week later is the Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway.