Bubba Wallace is ready for the 2021 season. On Thursday, the NASCAR driver went to Twitter to announce he will drive the No. 23 car for Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin's new team. Jordan and Hamlin also announced the team's name, 23XI (pronounced twenty-three-eleven) Racing, which combines Jordan's number with the car number that Hamlin has used throughout his NASCAR Cup Series Career.
"This is the start of the new adventure! So ready!" Wallace wrote on Twitter. The team will make its on-track debut at Daytona Speedweeks in February 2021. As for other details, such as manufacturer affiliation, that has yet to be announced. Hamiln released a statement about the team name and said it's a perfect combination of him and Jordan.
"Michael and I have a shared vision for this team," Hamlin said in a team release, "so it’s exciting to see it reflected in the team name and on the race car with the iconic number 23 that Michael made famous." The news of Wallace joining Jordan and Hamlin's team was announced late last month. At that time, Jordan talked to the Charlotte Observer and explained why they chose Wallace to represent 23XI.
"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. "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." Jordan owning a NASCAR team seems like a surprise, but he has known Hamlin for many years as Hamlin is a member of the Jordan brand.
"11 years ago I met Michael Jordan at a then-Charlotte Bobcats game and we became fast friends," Hamlin said in a statement when the announcement was made. "Not long after, I joined Jordan Brand as their first NASCAR athlete. Our friendship has grown over the years and now we are ready to take it to the next level." Wallace is currently racing for Richard Petty Motorsports. He announced he wasn't returning to Richard Petty Motorsports in early September.