Slam Dunk: Jordan picks 23 for car number of new NASCAR team

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FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2020 file photo, former basketball superstar Michael Jordan speaks during a news conference ahead of NBA basketball game between Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks in Paris. 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 and Denny Hamlin announced last month they had formed a NASCAR team with Bubba Wallace as the driver. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

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 honor 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.

“This is the start of the new adventure! So ready! #23XI,” Wallace tweeted Thursday.

The team made the announcements by launching social media pages that include a video and a “Here we come. #23” message.

“A new chapter in Motorsports. The norm doesn’t fit for us. This is only the beginning. @23XIRacing,” Hamlin tweeted.

The team has not yet named a manufacturer for its debut at the 2021 Daytona 500, but because Hamlin drives a Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, the No. 23 will almost certainly be a Camry aligned with JGR.

Jordan becomes the first Black principal owner of a full-time Cup team since Hall of Famer Wendell Scott drove his own racecar in 495 races from 1961 to 1973.