The wait is over.
In September, Michael Jordan became NASCAR’s first Black principal owner in almost 50 years. He announced that three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin would join him on his quest to conquer auto racing, and he also revealed that he stole Bubba Wallace from Richard Petty Motorsports to drive for his team beginning in 2021.
Then as fans speculated on what Jordan’s NASCAR team would be called, trademark filings spilled the beans and we learned that Jordan’s latest venture would fall under the umbrella of 23XI Racing, a nod to his iconic jersey number during his playing days.
There’s also been speculation about which manufacturer Jordan would work with, as well as what Wallace’s car would like. And on Friday, 23XI Racing answered both questions with a big reveal on their Twitter account.
“It’s official,” 23XI Racing tweeted, along with a picture of a tricked out red, white and black Toyota Camry. And yes, that’s “23" painted on the doors, because of course, it is.
ESPN notes that lost in the excitement of 23XI Racing’s reveal is an alliance that assures that Jordan’s team will be provided the best opportunity to compete.
Joe Gibbs Racing is the flagship organization of Toyota Racing Development and the team Hamlin has driven for throughout his 16-plus-year Cup Series career. The TRD relationship includes an agreement with JGR that allows 23XI Racing to purchase equipment and share technical information.
“My main goal for 23XI Racing is to be competitive for a championship as soon as possible,” Jordan said in a statement. “Our partnership with Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing gives us the equipment, resources and expertise to do it.”
Apparently, Wallace didn’t always have access to the best equipment while racing with Richard Petty Motorsports, but that will no longer be a problem.
“There’s no doubt that Bubba has outperformed the equipment he’s had, week in and week out,” Hamlin said Friday on CBS This Morning while sitting next to Wallace.
And yes, they both were rocking Jordans.
Hamlin then noted that unlike the Chevys of Richard Petty Motorsports, Wallace will be returning to Toyota for the first time since Wallace’s 2013-14 seasons in the Truck series—back when he was still driving for Kyle Busch.
“This is a great opportunity for him to return to the Toyota family, a family he was with early in his career,” Hamlin said. “It’s an exciting partnership for everyone.”
Wallace echoed those sentiments.
“I’m still processing it every day,” he said. “I’ve just got to make sure I do my part and deliver each and every time out next year.”
Jordan’s disdain for losing is well-documented, so hopefully, his union with Hamlin and Wallace is a fruitful one.