Sports Toyota unveils the No. 23 car Bubba Wallace will drive for Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin
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beginning next season in the NASCAR Cup Series that will see Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. behind the wheel of the No. 23 Toyota Camry. Toyota Racing Development (TRD) will provide engines for the team co-owned by Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan and current NASCR driver Denny Hamlin.
last week, with 23XI Racing, pronounced "23 11," a clear nod to the NBA legend's iconic No. 23 jersey and Hamlin's long career driving the No. 11 car for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Slam Dunk: Jordan picks 23 for car number of new NASCAR team
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Picking the car number for Michael Jordan's new NASCAR team was a slam dunk: Bubba Wallace will drive the No. 23 car when the team makes its debut next season. Jordan named his team 23XI Racing — that's pronounced twenty-three eleven — in honour of both his retired uniform number with the Chicago Bulls and the car number of his partner and three-time Daytona 500 champion Denny Hamlin. Jordan and Hamlin announced last month they had formed a NASCAR team with Bubba Wallace as the driver, a high-profile pairing of a Black majority team owner and the only Black driver at NASCAR’s top level.
“We are excited to be a part of this new team with Michael, Denny, and Bubba,” said Ed Laukes, Group Vice President of Toyota Division Marketing at TMNA. “As a Chicago native, I saw firsthand Michael’s determination as he led his team to multiple NBA championships. I know he brings that same drive and work ethic to this new opportunity.
"Denny has been a valuable part of the Toyota family for over a decade, and we are happy to support him as he takes the next step into NASCAR team ownership. We are also thrilled to bring Bubba back to the Toyota family.
"Bubba achieved many firsts with Toyota, and we are counting on him earning many more victories with 23XI Racing behind the wheel of a Camry.”
For Wallace, it is a return to the Toyota camp, with whom he competed for Rev Racing in what is now the ARCA Menards Series East, Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series and Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Truck Series. Wallace has four wins driving a Toyota.
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23XI Racing will also have a relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing. Gibbs will build the No. 23 Toyota chassis while technical information and open communication between the teams are encouraged.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to provide resources to this new Toyota team to help them get started,” said Joe Gibbs. “We can remember being in a similar position nearly three decades ago, and we were fortunate to have a similar agreement that helped us in the beginning. We’re happy for Denny to realize his dream of ownership, and certainly, it’s a big deal for NASCAR to have someone with the respect and stature of Michael Jordan enter our sport.”
“My main goal for 23XI Racing is to be competitive for a championship as soon as possible,” said Jordan. “Our partnership with Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing gives us the equipment, resources, and expertise to do it.”
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Hamlin and Wallace unveiled the car on CBS This Morning.
JUST REVEALED: Here's the new race car for the Michael Jordan-ownedteam , ahead of its debut on the track next year.
This morning,— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) is unveiling its partnership with the team. and join us live from .
23XI Racing will give Toyota six cars in 2021 alongside the four-car Joe Gibbs stable and Gaunt Brothers Racing.
“Toyota has been a big part of my NASCAR career,” said Hamlin. “We’ve achieved multiple milestones together,. I know how they support their teams, and when I decided to move to team ownership, I knew that I wanted Toyota to be alongside our team. Toyota supports my vision with this team and will be integrated with our team members to support us as we grow and strive to achieve race wins and championships.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY NETWORK:
Opinion: Jack Nicklaus gets Masters under way, stays mum on Trump .
After getting the 2020 Masters off to a soggy start with his ceremonial tee shot at dawn, Jack Nicklaus said he was done talking about politics. “I think I’ve said enough about that,” he said. “I don’t think this is the place for politics.”From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day. Nicklaus was responding to a question I asked in a Thursday morning news conference with fellow honorary starter Gary Player.