Major NASCAR news dropped late Monday night when Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan announced they were forming a new team for 2021 with Bubba Wallace as their driver. Wallace called it a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" and said he looks forward to what is to come with the team.
This move makes the six-time NBA Finals champion the first Black majority owner of a full-time race team in the NASCAR Cup Series since the 1970s. Jordan, who is also the Charlotte Hornets chairman, wrote in his statement that growing up in North Carolina made him a NASCAR fan. He added that the sport has struggled with diversity and the timing seemed right for him to grab the chance to be involved with racing.
Hamlin tweeted out Jordan's statement, along with a photo with the GOAT. He said deciding on a driver was easy.
Hamlin will continue to race in the No. 11 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing and serves as a minority owner of the new team.
Earlier this month, Wallace announced he would be leaving Richard Petty Motorsports next season, but would be finishing out the year with them. Fellow NASCAR drivers, athletes from other sports and celebrities went to Twitter to congratulate the trio on their new racing adventure. Here are some of the best reactions:
Jeff Gordon approves.
Two Bubbas is better than one.
Lewis Hamilton wrote, "This is huge."
David Ragan broke down the deal.
I think this a good deal for all.— David Ragan (@DavidRagan) September 22, 2020
A small team gets $$ injected
Bubba has a chance in a better car
Another driver has a shot in the 43
And to have a sports legend like MJ involved is icing on the cake.
Nascar needs another 2-3 deals like this https://t.co/KvwA9vJ7RQ
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas tweeted the goat emoji.
Ryan Eversley gave a shoutout to the haters.
Wallace also had a message for anyone who doubted him.
Bernard Pollard Jr. called the news "freaking awesome."
Actress Gabrielle Union even got in on the conversation.
The first female Black tire changer in NASCAR is looking to join the team.