- Bubba Wallace will drive the single car for Michael Jordan’s 23XI NASCAR Cup Series team.
- Wallace announced on Thursday that his car number will be 23.
- Jordan bought a charter that will guarantee Wallace a start in every Cup Series race in 2021.
Picking Bubba Wallace’s car number for his new team was a no-brainer.
After former Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan named his new NASCAR Team 23XI ( pronounced as twenty three eleven ) in honor of the number he immortalized during his NBA career and the car number of his business partner and three-time Daytona Champion Denny Hamlin, it was but moot and academic that the team’s car will also bear Jordan’s iconic jersey number.
𝙃𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙚 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙚. #23 pic.twitter.com/vuH3wKRa5M
— 23XI Racing (@23XIRacing) October 22, 2020
Hamlin also tweeted: “A new chapter in Motorsports. The norm doesn’t fit for us. This is only the beginning. @23XIRacing.”
In a press release, Hamlin talked about the choice of car number:
First Black Principal Team Owner Since 1973
Last month, Jordan and Hamlin announced that they would be fielding a single-car entry to the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series. The pair went on to announce that they have selected Wallace, who currently drives the no. 43 Chevrolet Camaro for Richard Petty Motorsports this season, as their driver.
Jordan, who is the only Black majority team owner in the NBA, also became the first Black principal owner of a full-time NASCAR Cup Series team since Hall of Famer Wendell Scott drove his own car in a total of 495 races from 1961 to 1973. MJ bought a charter to ensure that Wallace will have a guaranteed spot in every Cup Series race in 2021.
The team has yet to announce its car manufacturer for its debut race at the 2021 Daytona 500 on February 14, 2021 but because Hamlin is the driver of the no. 11 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing, it is expected that the No. 23 will most certainly be a Camry aligned with JGR.
Wallace Gets Top-Level Equipment
Wallace is the only Black driver in the high profile NASCAR Cup Series. Wallace has been the sport’s main figure in its campaign for racial equality. This year, the 27-year old Wallace used his platform to successfully campaigned NASCAR to ban the Confederate Flag at its races.
The move to 23XI Racing is a big one for Wallace’s career. This is the first time in his NASCAR career where he will have top-level equipment. Wallace has a total of nine Top 1o finishes in a total of 109 career starts for Richard Petty Motorsports. Earlier this week, RPM announced that Erik Jones will replace Wallace in its car no. 43 in 2021.