Michael Jordan Gets Into the NASCAR Game The basketball great will field a Cup car with Bubba Wallace behind the wheel.

By Jonathan Small

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Streeter Lecka | Getty Images

Growing up in North Carolina, Michael Jordan used to go to NASCAR races with his family, and now His Airness will become the sport's first Black principal owner of a full-time Cup team since Wendell Scott drove his own race car from 1961 to 1973, according to ESPN.

Jordan is teaming up with three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin to form a NASCAR Cup Series team. The driver will be Bubba Wallace, who is the only Black driver in the Cup Series and made headlines earlier this year after he successfully asked NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at its races.

"This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I believe is a great fit for me at this point in my career," Wallace tweeted. "I'm grateful and humbled that they believe in me, and I'm super pumped to begin this adventure with them."

Related: How NASCAR Champion Julia Landauer Handles Her Fear

Making a statement

Jordan, who also owns the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and has a net worth of $1.6 Billion, has been using his money to combat systemic racism. Last June, he pledged $100 million over 10 years to "organizations dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education."

He sees his investment in NASCAR not only as a good business move but also a step toward racial equality. "Historically, NASCAR has struggled with diversity, and there have been few Black owners," he said in a statement. "The timing seemed perfect as NASCAR is evolving and embracing social change more and more."

Mike's last dance in motorsports

Jordan's foray into NASCAR is not his first time dabbling in motorsports. Mike also likes motorbikes. In 2004, he launched the Michael Jordan Motorsports Racing Team in the AMA Pro Superbike series. That venture was not as successful as he hoped — he only had one win in 10 years.

But he and Hamiln are confident this time will be different. "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 tweeted. "He deserves the opportunity to compete for race wins, and our team will make sure he has the resources to do just that."

Related: 4 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Be Relentless Like Michael Jordan

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Founder, Write About Now Media

Jonathan Small is an award-winning author, journalist, producer, and podcast host. For 25 years, he has worked as a sought-after storyteller for top media companies such as The New York Times, Hearst, Entrepreneur, and Condé Nast. He has held executive roles at Glamour, Fitness, and Entrepreneur and regularly contributes to The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, Maxim, and Good Housekeeping. He is the former “Jake” advice columnist for Glamour magazine and the “Guy Guru” at Cosmo.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Growing a Business

5 AI Hacks You Need to Know About in 2024

Despite its vast potential, the key to leveraging AI effectively lies in balancing automation with human oversight to avoid pitfalls and ensure that creativity and decision-making remain human-driven.

Business News

Former Pediatrics Professor Donates $1 Billion, Makes Albert Einstein College of Medicine Tuition-Free

Dr. Ruth Gottesman's husband left her $1 billion in Berkshire Hathaway stock with the following instructions: "Do whatever you think is right with it."

Starting a Business

Long-Lost Sisters Who Built the Largest Black-Owned Wine Company in the U.S. Reveal How to Break Into a Notoriously Tough Industry

Andréa and Robin McBride followed their shared love of wine into business — but it hasn't always been easy.

Devices

Get a 15-inch MacBook Pro for Less Than $375

Save on this refurbished MacBook Pro for a limited time.