Charlotte, North Carolina – Danny Hamlin has launched his own team of NASCAR race cars in partnership with Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan and Buba Wallace as pilots.
Hamlin, a three-time Dayton 500 winner and top contender for this year’s Cup title, announced this on social media. The team will be a Toyota representative for a car compatible with Joe Gibbs Racing.
“Eleven years ago, I met Michael Jordan in the then-Charlotte Bobcats game and we became quick friends,” Hamlin wrote. “It wasn’t long before I joined Jordan Brand as their first NASCAR racer. Our friendship has grown over the years and we are now ready to take it to the next level.
“Deciding for the driver was easy ̵
Hamlin said there would be further details. Wallace is the only black driver at the highest level of NASCAR.
Jordan said he has been a NASCAR fan all his life – his parents take his siblings to competitions while growing up in North Carolina.
“The opportunity to have my own racing team in partnership with my friend Danny Hamlin and get Buba Wallace to drive for us is very exciting for me,” Jordan said in a statement. “Historically, NASCAR has struggled with diversity and has few black owners. The timing has looked perfect as NASCAR evolves and embraces more and more social change. In addition to the recent commitment and donations I have made to combat systemic racism, I see this as a chance to train new audiences and open up more opportunities for blacks in competitions. “
It has been speculated for months that Hamlin is organizing a ownership group as he expects NASCAR’s business model to become more favorable to team owners when the Next Gen car is launched in 2022. NASCAR rules prohibit the current driver from owns a team and drives for another, but Hamlin bypasses politics with Jordan as the main owner.
Jordan became a partial owner of the Bobcats in 2006 and bought the team directly in 2010, restoring the franchise to its original name, the Hornets. Hamlin is a longtime holder of season tickets with court seats on the visitors’ bench.
Jordan twice traveled to the NASCAR season finale to watch Hamlin’s race for the championship. Hamlin, 39, is still looking for his first title.
Wallace, who has raised about $ 18 million in sponsorship deals since turning social equality into his platform, has already said he will leave Richard Petty Motorsport at the end of the season.
“This is a unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I think is very appropriate for me at this point in my career,” Wallace wrote in a post on a social network coordinated with Hamlin’s.
“I’m grateful and humble that they believe in me and I’m super pumped up to start this adventure with them.”