Back in September Michael Jordan announced that he would be starting a NASCAR Cup Series team for the 2021 season and the only black NASCAR driver Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. would be joining him.
On Thursday, NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin and NBA legend Michael Jordan revealed that Wallace will be racing with the No. 23 for their newly-formed team, 23XI Racing.
Hamlin and Jordan — who announced they would be teaming up last month to create a new NASCAR Cup Series team — landed on the team name 23XI Racing, pronounced twenty-three eleven, as a reference to both athletes.
The 23 pays tribute to Jordan’s former NBA jersey number while the 11 is a reference to the No. 11 car that Hamlin drove for the past 14 seasons.
According to the release, 23XI Racing will make its NASCAR Cup Series debut at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 2021.
“Michael and I have a shared vision for this team, 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,” Hamlin said in a release.
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) October 22, 2020
Wallace shared the exciting news on his social media accounts alongside a video announcing the team name and car number.
“This is the start of the new adventure! So ready! #23XI,” Wallace tweeted Thursday.
When revealing the collaboration last month, Hamlin, 39, said he and Jordan, 57, knew their driver “had to be Bubba Wallace.”
“Bubba has shown tremendous improvement since joining the Cup Series and we believe he’s ready to take his career to a higher level,” Hamlin wrote on Twitter. “He deserves the opportunity to compete for race wins and our team will make sure that he has the resources to do just that.”
— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) September 22, 2020
“Off the track, Bubba has been a loud voice for change in our sport and our country,” Hamlin said. “MJ and I support him fully in those efforts and stand beside him.”
Much respect for MJ for entering a space that generally not for US, it’s going to be interesting to see what kind of impact he has in NASCAR. Let’s go Bubba.