2021 has been a very big year for NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace and the star racer is looking for more of the same in 2022.
Bubba Wallace, a popular name among NASCAR fans, left Richard Petty Motorsports a short time ago. Deciding to take his talents elsewhere, he landed with 23XI and its co-founder, NBA legend Michael Jordan. In an interview with PEOPLE, the NASCAR star says he’s extremely proud of what they are building. Their first season together was successful as the two prominent professional sports figures are carving out a place in history.
“I am just honored to be able to drive for Michael Jordan,” he says. “M.J. stepping up in a way that he did for me has been — you know, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to thank him enough. Just this opportunity this year and moving forward. He gave me an opportunity to shine and put my best foot forward.”
It was certainly an incredible year for the duo as both Bubba Wallace and Michael Jordan made history on the NASCAR track. With 23XL, Michael Jordan became the first African American majority owner in the sport. Wallace is currently the only African American driver in the NASCAR Cup Series and won the Yellawood 500 earlier this year. The race took place at the historic Talladega Speedway in Talladega, Alabama. In doing so, Bubba Wallace became the first African American to win a NASCAR Cup Series race in many decades. The last to accomplish this feat was Wendell Scott in 1963.
“I’ve watched that race probably 100 times now,” he says. “I’ll often think about it just what we were able to do as a team that day and the feeling going into it.”
NASCAR Superstar Bubba Wallace Talks About Making History
Bubba Wallace says he had a notion before the Yellawood 500 that he and his team were going to do well.
“I kind of had a preconceived notion that we were going to win,” he continues. “It was just something that obviously I tell myself, ‘Hey, we’re gonna win’ every weekend. But this one was a little bit different and a feeling that I haven’t had in a long time.”
Bubba Wallace’s boss will once again appear on the front of Wheaties Cereal Box for the 19th time. The NASCAR driver is extremely of Jordan’s easy transition from the court to the track.
“I’m honored to represent my boss,” Wallace says. “Wheaties has done a lot to highlight champions on and off the courts, on and off the fields, [and] on and off the tracks. It’s really cool to be celebrating the 100th anniversary with the Michael Jordan gold foil edition.”
While 2021 was a great year, Bubba Wallace and Michael Jordan are hopeful for even more NASCAR success next year.