NBA legends Michael Jordan and LeBron James were both delighted following the latest NASCAR race on Sunday.

The NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday has significance for the greatest NBA player in history. Whether you believe LeBron James or Michael Jordan to be the best, the statement is still true.

Jordan is a co-owner of 23XI Racing, and Bubba Wallace, one of his drivers, was the first to qualify for the race. Chris Buescher’s No. 17 Ford is mostly supported by James’ charity. Buescher qualified 19th overall.

James wasn’t present for the race. But prior to the race, James tweeted to wish Buescher well. The LeBron James Family Foundation emblem and a tribute to James’ Ohio hometown of Akron were also shown on the green and gold racecar.

According to the foundation’s executive director, Michele Campbell, “to see our Foundation featured alongside one of the most recognizable NASCAR racing teams teaches our youngsters from Akron that nothing is out of their grasp.”

The relationship is relevant because James owns a small portion of Fenway Sports Group, which has a stake in Buescher’s team, Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing. In light of the NBA legends operating for each squad last weekend, Buescher suggested that there may be some friendly competition between himself and the 23XI vehicles. Buescher acknowledges that he is not a huge NBA fan.

“Fair enough, I don’t follow sports. Any other sport, I’m lousy with,” Buescher said. “Since we were so focused on racing, I never got involved in anything else. I am poor at knowing anything about other sports as a result.”

The first few years that Michael Jordan owned a NASCAR Cup team were successful


Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan have been close friends for a long time. The idea for 23XI Racing was born out of that friendship. With Bubba Wallace at the wheel, the team made its debut at the 2021 Daytona 500. The driver created team history by being the first Black driver to win a race since Wendell Scott more than 50 years earlier and collecting the organization’s first trophy at Talladega late in the season.

In the off-season prior, the team added a second vehicle and filled the vacant slot with experienced driver Kurt Busch. The 43-year-debut old’s season with 23XI has been up and down, but in the usual form, he still managed to win back in May against Kansas.

It’s interesting to note that LeBron James indirectly acquired a stake in a Cup Series team when he joined Fenway Sports Group, a month after Jordan and 23XI made their Cup Series debut in Daytona. This collaboration undoubtedly contributed to this week’s announcement that Chris Buescher’s No. 17 RFK Racing vehicle would carry The LeBron James Family Foundation as its major sponsor at Michigan in a few weeks.

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