23XI Racing, the new Cup team co-owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin, will be aligned with Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing.
Toyota Racing Development will build the team’s engines and provide technology, data and technical assistance. 23XI Racing will purchase chassis and other services from Joe Gibbs Racing.
The team, which will have Bubba Wallace as driver, will debut with the 2021 Daytona 500. Mike Wheeler will be the crew chief, Hamlin confirmed Friday.
“My main goal for 23XI Racing is to be competitive for a championship as soon as possible,” said Jordan in a statement. “Our partnership with Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing gives us the equipment, resources and expertise to do it.”
Hamlin has been with Toyota for more than a decade with Joe Gibbs Racing. He has scored 41 of his 44 Cup victories with Toyota, including three Daytona 500s.
Wallace marks his return to Toyota. He first joined the manufacturer in 2011 as a part of Rev Racing in what is now the ARCA Menards Series East. He also drove for Toyota in the Truck Series with Kyle Busch Motorsports and in the Xfinity Series with Joe Gibbs Racing.
“We are excited to be a part of this new team with Michael, Denny and Bubba,” said Ed Laukes, Group Vice President of Toyota Division Marketing at Toyota Motor North America, in a statement. “As a Chicago native, I saw firsthand Michael’s determination as he led his team to multiple NBA championships. I know he brings that same drive and work ethic to this new opportunity.
“Denny has been a valuable part of the Toyota family for over a decade and we are happy to support him as he takes the next step into NASCAR team ownership. We are also thrilled to bring Bubba back to the Toyota family. Bubba achieved many firsts with Toyota, and we are counting on him earning many more victories with 23XI Racing behind the wheel of a Camry.”
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to provide resources to this new Toyota team to help them get started,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing, in a statement. “We can remember being in a similar position nearly three decades ago and we were fortunate to have a similar agreement that helped us in the beginning. We’re happy for Denny to realize his dream of ownership and certainly it’s a big deal for NASCAR to have someone with the respect and stature of Michael Jordan enter our sport.”