Three-time Daytona 500 winner and best contender for this year’s trophy, Hamlin made the announcement on social media. This team will be the single car Toyota entry paired with Joe Gibbs Racing.
“I met Michael Jordan eleven years ago at the then Charlotte Popcots game and we became fast friends,” Hamlin wrote. “After a long time, I joined the Jordan brand as their first NASCAR player. Our friendship has grown over the years and now we are ready to take it to the next level.
“Determining the driver is easy – it has to be Papa Wallace.”
Hamlin said more details are coming. Wallace is the only black driver at NASCAR’s top level.
There has been speculation for months that Hamlin is organizing some sort of ownership board as he expects Nasscar’s business model to become more favorable to team owners when the “Next General” car is released in 2022. NASCAR rules currently prohibit the driver from owning one team while driving for another, but with Jordan operating around Hamlin’s policy as primary owner.
Jordan became a partial owner of Popcots in 2006 and acquired the team directly in 2010, restoring ownership to its original Hornets name. Hamlin is a long-time season ticket holder with court seats on the audience bench.
Jordan has twice gone to the NASCAR Season Finals to watch Hamlin race for the championship. Hamlin, 39, is still seeking his first title.
Wallace, who has amassed about 18 million in sponsorship deals since turning Social Equality into his platform, has already said he will leave Richard Betty Motorsport at the end of the season.
“This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I believe is most relevant to me at this point in my career,” Wallace wrote in a social media post affiliated with Hamlin.
“I’m so grateful and humble that they trust me. I’m so motivated to start this adventure with them.”