Jordon-Hamlin’s gain is Germain Racing’s loss

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - AUGUST 30: Ty Dillon, driver of the #13 GEICO Chevrolet, practices for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on August 30, 2019 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Lost amidst the stunning news late Monday that Michael Jordon and Denny Hamlin will form a new team in 2021, was the loss of another single car team at the end of this season.

NBA legend Michael Jordan announced Monday that he has purchased a NASCAR Cup Series Charter and Bubba Wallace will be the driver for a team owned by Jordan with a minor ownership stake for Denny Hamlin.

That charter was purchased from Germain Racing owner Bob Germain. Germain said the team will continue until the end of the season with Ty Dillon as driver of the No. 13.

“Being an owner in NASCAR for the last 16 years has been a thrilling and rewarding adventure,” Germain said in a statement. “From winning two NASCAR Truck Series championships in 2006 and 2010 to competing at the highest level of motorsports in the Cup Series for the last 12 seasons, I have experienced the highs and lows of our sport. I’m extremely proud of what Germain Racing has accomplished at every level and I will be transitioning out of ownership with many memories and friendships. I appreciate the interest and offers made over the last couple of weeks and I am excited to see how the sport continues to grow in the future.

“Thank you to GEICO for their loyalty to Germain Racing for over a decade. It has been a great source of pride for our team to represent their brand on the track. Doug Barnette with Player Management International has facilitated our GEICO relationship since the beginning and I truly appreciate his efforts. Finally, to my employees: building a team camaraderie and creating a family atmosphere has been a highlight of this journey. I will miss each of you.”

Germain had been thinking about selling the charter when the team’s primary sponsor GEICO elected not to renew with the team. GEICO is one of NASCAR’s “Premier” partners, sharing equal billing with Busch Beer, Coca-Cola and Xfinity.

A NASCAR charter, instituted by NASCAR in 2016, guarantees a starting spot in each race. There are currently 36 charters available.

Germain Racing began in NASCAR in 2004 in the Truck series. It entered Xfinity in 2007 and the Cup series in 2009.  The team has 22 wins in the Truck series the last coming in 2011.  Ty Dillon has raced for the team since 2017 and has one top-5 and five top-finishes.

Germain Racing is the second team to sell its charter since August. Leavine Family Racing announced it had sold its charter on Aug. 4. Spire Motorsports purchased it and will be a two-car team in 2021.

Greg Engle