Michael Jordan made a big splash by teaming up with Denny Hamlin to buy a NASCAR Cup Series team that will feature Bubba Wallace as the driver. While the team has yet to announce a name, number and manufacturer, some of those details may be starting to come into focus.
A company called 2311 Racing LLC in North Carolina, c/o Jump DC, recently filed trademark applications for the number 23 and the name 23XI Racing. On the application, the address listed traces back to a company called The Sacks Group, which lists Jordan as a client.
This is standard practice for teams when entering NASCAR meaning, it is very likely that the team name will be 23XI Racing and Wallace will drive a car with Jordan’s famous No. 23 on it next season.
“It’s all going to be what Bubba wants. I’m not going to impose on him with my persona,” Jordan told the Charlotte Observer after being asked about Wallace potentially driving the No. 23. “At the end of the day, I want him to have his own identity. If he chooses to drive that number, great! If he chooses another number, that’s great as well.”
As for the manufacturer, the likely partner is Toyota. Hamlin currently drives for Joe Gibbs Racing in a Toyota and Jordan also mentioned in the Observer interview that he was working with Gibbs on a deal.
“We’re still working through things but I think they’ll wind up being in Toyota,” Gibbs told CBS Sports in an exclusive interview in the second week of October. “I think in this case with Michael Jordan and Denny it’s going to be a situation where you can help somebody get started.”
The new team will begin full-time competition in the 2021 NASCAR season as Hamlin continues to drive for Gibbs. As for Wallace, he’s going to be coming off a season where he already secured a career-high in top-10 finishes.
“I think they’ll win in their second year,” Kurt Busch told CBS Sports regarding the Jordan-Hamlin-Wallace team. “It’d be tough to win in that first year but that’s the process of developing a program. The Furniture Row guys proved that you can do it as an independent team. It’s out there. The template is out there. You just gotta plug in the puzzle pieces.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!