Michael Jordan has finally worked his way into the NASCAR scene through ownership of 23XI Racing alongside driver Denny Hamlin. The move has put a bright future ahead for his involvement in the sport. Jordan‘s decision to head that route surprisingly came in a short window of time.
Michael Jordan makes the leap into NASCAR ownership
After spending much of his life as a huge fan of NASCAR, Michael Jordan finally went the ownership route in sport.
Before the 2021 season, Jordan and minority partner Denny Hamlin announced the creation of 23XI Racing. The company paired the move with the addition of free-agent Bubba Wallace as their first official driver.
“It was one of those things, again, it’s always been on my mind,” Jordan said of NASCAR team ownership via NBC Sports. “I go with my gut feeling. When the time is right you know it. When this was presented to me, I felt good about it. When Bubba was involved in the whole conversation I felt good about it.
The company’s name bears Jordan’s iconic jersey number along with the car number that Hamlin has used throughout his NASCAR career. Over the last few years, there remained some lingering speculation that the former Chicago Bulls great would venture that route.
Jordan’s commitment to this new business endeavor was a decision that seemingly came together in days.
Michael Jordan needed only 10 days to assemble his NASCAR superteam
Although the chatter of ownership hovered around Jordan for quite some time, his pathway toward that monumental decision came together quite quickly.
The NBA Hall of Famer told NBC Sports last September that the entire process took only 10 days to complete to go from an idea to actually creating a NASCAR team.
“When we got into this dialogue and I saw that OK, I might have a chance if we can put together the right situation to possibly win,” Jordan said. “That became more intriguing. That was my mindset going into this.
“I remember the conversation with Dale Earnhardt (last November). In essence, I love the sport. I was looking for an entry opportunity. This was the opportunity that was just presented to me in just the last 10 days.”
In other words, once Jordan saw the right opportunity crop up, he pounced at it. He now has his footing in the sport that he has always admired from afar.
Bright NASCAR future lies ahead
With Jordan officially in the mix as a NASCAR team owner, 23XI Racing already has some big plans ahead.
Hamlin has voiced that the team hopes to add a veteran driver once the company expands to more than one car. There have been talks that Brad Keselowski could fit the bill as their next big move as he will enter free agency after the 2021 season.
Meanwhile, 23XI Racing is eyeing some significant internal changes to find a new company headquarters. According to WSOC-TV, the cost of the new building is expected to range between $9 million to $16 million, with the property size around 60,000 to 90,000 square feet.
Hamlin described the desire location as similar to a Class A building with considerable warehouse space. The company wants a facility that can house two to three race teams, including their cars, parts, pit crews, and more.
23XI Racing holds some significant plans ahead that clearly signal their desire to be a prominent fixture for many years.