Monday night, NASCAR's Denny Hamlin and NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan stunned racing fans by announcing they are creating a new race team. This new charter will feature one driver — Bubba Wallace — and will compete in the 2021 Cup Series season. Jordan, who owns the Charlotte Hornets, then released a statement expressing excitement about the future in motorsports.
"Growing up in North Carolina, my parents would take my brothers, sisters and me to races, and I've been a NASCAR fan my whole life," Jordan said. "The opportunity to own my own racing team in partnership with my friend, Denny Hamlin, and to have Bubba Wallace driving for us, is very exciting for me.
"Historically, NASCAR has struggled with diversity and there have been few Black owners. The timing seemed perfect as NASCAR is evolving and embracing social change more and more. In addition to the recent commitment and donations I have made to combat systemic racism, I see this as a chance to educate a new audience and open more opportunities for Black people in racing."
With the announcement on Monday, fans immediately headed to social media to express both surprise and excitement. They proclaimed that they are ready to see a No. 23 Toyota winning races and called for special paint schemes. Others said that they were happy to finally see good news in 2020. A few Twitter users expressed outrage about the partnership, but they were fewer in number.
yes yes yes 1000x yes come on @BubbaWallace this is real change! So what number? 23?— TheDonJMill ☮️☯🏁🌎 (@TheDonJMill) September 22, 2020
This is awesome. Hooray for good 2020 news!— brad culp (@bbculp) September 22, 2020
This is why MJ is not 3-6 in the finals and is the greatest basketball player of all time— danny🍎 (@IcyDimes) September 22, 2020
The Dream Team but in racing. Congrats to everyone! @Jumpman23— Iris (@Free_Spirit2972) September 22, 2020
we just gonna ignore his 6 wins in the truck series?— Mik (@miklast_) September 22, 2020
This is awesome! Hope the team doesn't fold after a few years though and lasts a while. New Owners have the backing at first then after a few years they pull the plug. Hoping that doesn't happen here. Hope the car will be #23 or #45— Chad Alenduff (@chadalenduff) September 22, 2020
This is why Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all time.— Michael 🐐 Jordan (@MJisgoated) September 22, 2020
What was that about NASCAR being done and not attracting any new attention since it "went woke?" What was that about Bubba Wallace being done?
That's what I thought. Suck it, haters.— Faith Naff #BlackLivesMatter (@FaithNaff) September 22, 2020
Can’t hate Jordan being involved in anything. Good luck to team Jordan. Should be cool— dmnbankr (@kidpowell) September 22, 2020
Right, Finishing 2nd in the Daytona 500 is proving nothing.— Garage Area Media™️ (@GarageAreaMedia) September 22, 2020
Congrats man. That’s awesome!— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) September 22, 2020
THE CAR BETTER BE #23— Jakob Rowell 2-0 (@Lightupthehalo0) September 22, 2020
I’m betting the house on the Daytona 500 next year on BW!!— Biff (@Tee62008080) September 22, 2020
This is mega Denny. This has a potential reach that NASCAR has never had if you guys win together. Thanks for going all in with Darrell. I've been waiting to see someone like Darrell get a shot at winning Cup cars my whole life.— Chuck Foolery (@Machwon46) September 22, 2020
I did cry... I was reading the announcement out loud to my husband and got choked up when I got to that part 😢🥰— 🐝Sarah D. Dean 4️⃣3️⃣🏁4️⃣8️⃣ (@GreenEyedSarah) September 22, 2020