Hall of Famer Jordan set for biggest leap yet into NASCAR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Michael Jordan might take his greatest leap yet — and he’s attempting to alter the video game once again.

Jordan goes into NASCAR not simply as the very first Black principal owner of a full-time Cup Series group in almost 50 years. The Hall of Famer is attempting to reach the rarified air of celeb owners who discovered crossover success in the sport.

“He’s as excited as he’s ever been, that’s for sure,” stated Denny Hamlin, Jordan’s partner at 23XI Racing.

Forget the green flag. NASCAR requires to roll out the red carpet when the Daytona 500 leads off the season Sunday loaded with more star power in the suites than on the superspeedway.

Pitbull, who has an ownership stake in Trackhouse Racing, signed up with Jordan as A-listers in among the more inclusive and pricey clubs in NASCAR.

Jordan is a friend of Hamlin and long-time fan of the sport who as soon as stated he sets his clock to enjoy NASCAR each week. Jordan assisted introduce 23XI Racing with Bubba Wallace as the chauffeur, a prominent pairing of a Black bulk group owner and the only Black chauffeur at NASCAR’s leading level. And Wallace is taking the reigns from Jordan’s No. 23.

Jordan was arranged to movie a section for Fox that must air on the pre-race section Sunday.

Pitbull’s was drawn in to NASCAR more from the cinema than the Big One at Daytona.

It’s decreasing! Pitbull likes “Days of Thunder!”

Yes, it was the Tom Cruise flick of overstated NASCAR racing that initially pumped Pitbull for the requirement for speed to the point that he included group owner this year to his prolonged list of names that currently consist of Grammy-winner and benefactor.

Believe Rick Hendrick ever worked together with Ne-Yo?

Or that Richard Childress shouted “Timber!” with Kesha?

“Mr. Worldwide” sure has, and both the platinum-selling rap artist and Jordan have the international super star appeal NASCAR — a market that has actually reinforced its dedication to variety — counted on to expand its fanbase.

“Michael Jordan has a huge following and that following is now peaking and having an interest in NASCAR,” Hamlin stated. “I think that you have a lot of people that have never attended NASCAR races before that will probably go knowing that their favorite guy might be there.”

Pitbull will not just attend his very first Daytona 500 as group owner, he will provide the command for chauffeurs to begin their engines.

Trackhouse Racing, released late in 2015 by previous chauffeur Justin Marks, has chauffeur Daniel Suarez in the Daytona 500.

“The reason that I got involved in this is because there was a greater initiative,” Pitbull stated. “The greater initiative is what we need more than ever, especially in these times, I’ll say it again: One race, one race only, the human race. If we can do it through music, through NASCAR, by entertaining, motivating and inspiring them, then that’s what I signed up for.”

Jordan and Pitbull are the most recent boldface names to acquire motorsports.

Joe Gibbs won 3 Super Bowls as Washington’s coach prior to he made the switch to NASCAR and won 5 Cup champions as the owner of his eponymous race group. Brad Daugherty, a five-time NBA All-Star, is co-owner of JTG Daugherty Racing.

Patrick Dempsey, Paul Newman and David Letterman all owned shares of groups in open-wheel racing.

The real celebs, however, typically just cameo in NASCAR’s world to command the chauffeurs to begin their engines or play a pre-race performance. Some have actually attempted — maybe lured by the adventure of competitors they couldn’t discover in retirement — to own a share of a NASCAR group.

“I’m far from a celebrity,” Pitbull stated. “I’m a hard, hard worker. Big difference. Celebrities will sell anything. I’m not here to sell anything. I’m here to help the culture, help unify, more than anything help motivate and inspire those through my story, through Daniel’s story, Justin’s story, (President) Ty (Norris’) story and NASCAR’s story.”

The list of failures with huge goals with savings account that couldn’t match might extend around the Harley J. Earl prize: Yeah, we’re discussing you Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach, 50 Cent, Randy Moss and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.


Hall of Popularity Racing was established in 2006 with some Dallas Cowboys star power. Previous Cowboys QBs Staubach and Aikman belonged to an ownership group that ended up 26th in points in the very first season. Terry Labonte, Terry Raines shared the No. 96 cars and truck because very first season and HOF Racing ended up 25th in the owners’ standings in 2007.

HOF Racing had a hard time with J.J. Yeley in 2008 and the group ended up 39th in the owners standings. Staubach and Aikman left the group at the end of the season and the group was shuttered after 2009.

The group had a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing however was among numerous little NASCAR groups ejected throughout the recession.


Moss discovered it much easier to score goals than he did top-10 surfaces in the Truck Series. Moss purchased into an existing series group in 2008 and relabelled it Randy Moss Motorsports. He even altered the truck number from 46 to 81 to show his jersey number.

“A guy like Randy isn’t going to make a commitment like this unless he’s really passionate about this and he wants to be successful,” Tony Stewart stated at the time.

Moss appeared poised to make it work in NASCAR. He won 3 races with Mike Skinner in 2009 however the group never ever won once again prior to it flamed out after the 2011 season and 119 races.


Joyner-Kersee, the Olympic gold medalist commonly thought about among the fantastic professional athletes of perpetuity, teamed with spouse Bob Kersee to field an entry in the 2000 Daytona 500. The group had chauffeur David Green went into in the race however withdrew when it was not able to discover sponsorship.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.