NBA Legend Michael Jordan has joined forces with defending Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin to co-own a new race team, 23X1 ― with a nod to Jordan’s No. 23 jersey number. Bubba Wallace will be behind the wheel, beginning at Sunday’s Daytona 500. The Jordan-Hamlin-Wallace alliance aims to attract more eyeballs from all corners, yet the allure is undeniable for Black sports fans given MJ’s involvement. Having such a high profile celebrity as Jordan will only amplify NASCAR’s push for diversity in the garage and broader fan appeal.
“It’s all about exposure, reaching out to the right people because they have ideas of how they want to see success and grow their name, grow their brand,” Wallace said. “And getting to be a part of NASCAR where a lot of minorities, you know, that’s not really what they go to. We’re changing the game and everything that happened last year.
Jordan remains among the most popular and visible athletes among all baby boomers and Gen Xers due to his dominance during the 1980s and 1990s with the Chicago Bulls. Jordan Brand shoes and athletic gear kept alive his legacy with future generations in the age of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Steph Curry.
Jordan is not the only minority celebrity to enter the garage in 2021, either. Just recently Rapper Pitbull, a Miami native of Cuban descent, has joined forces with Mexican driver Daniel Suarez and became a co-owner of Trackhouse Racing Group