Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Jordan buys Nascar team, Bubba Wallace set to drive



Jordan buys Nascar team, Bubba Wallace set to drive

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Basketball legend Michael Jordan announced on Monday he has purchased a Nascar Cup series charter team and recruited trailblazing black driver Bubba Wallace to race for the new outfit next season. Getty Images/AFP

Jordan buys Nascar team, Bubba Wallace set to drive

Basketball icon Michael Jordan announced Monday he has purchased a Nascar Cup series charter team and recruited trailblazing black driver Bubba Wallace to race for the new outfit next season.

Jordan, widely regarded to be the greatest player in NBA history with an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion, will be the majority owner in the new franchise with veteran racer Denny Hamlin as minority partner.

“Growing up in North Carolina, my parents would take my brothers, sisters and me to races, and I’ve been a Nascar fan my whole life,” Jordan said in a statement.

“The opportunity to own my own racing team in partnership with my friend Denny Hamlin, and to have Bubba Wallace driving for us is very exciting for me.”

Jordan, who also owns the Charlotte Hornets NBA team, said he hoped his ownership could bring new audiences to the white-dominated world of Nascar and boost involvement of minorities.

“Historically, Nascar has struggled with diversity and there have been few black owners,” Jordan said.

“The timing seemed perfect as Nascar is evolving and embracing social change more and more. In addition to the recent commitment and donations I have made to combat systemic racism, I see this as a chance to educate a new audience and open more opportunities for black people in racing.”

Wallace, the only black driver in Nascar, will spearhead the team behind the wheel. The 26-year-old had confirmed earlier this month that he would not race again for Richard Petty Motorsports.

Wallace has spoken out against racism repeatedly this year in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis, and in June called on Nascar chiefs to ban the Confederate flag from racetracks used on the circuit.

The flag has long been a staple at Nascar tracks in the sport’s southern US heartlands, but it remains a symbol of slavery and racism for many. Nascar later banned displays of the flag at its races.

Wallace was involved in controversy in June, after his team reported that a noose had been found hanging in the team garage at Talladega Superspeedway.

A subsequent investigation by the FBI determined Wallace had not been the victim of a hate crime and that the noose was a pull-down rope on a garage door that had been there since 2019.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia's cluster cases jump to 259

    The Ministry of Health on February 27 recorded 26 more cases of Covid-19 linked to the February 20 community transmission, bringing the total to 259 in one week. The 26 include three Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. The ministry noted that five of the Chinese