*Michael Jordan has joined forces with three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin to create a new single-car NASCAR Cup Series team that will feature Bubba Wallace as its driver.
The NBA legend will reportedly serve as principal owner of the team with Hamlin a minority partner while he continues to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing, per MSN.com.
The opportunity comes at just the right moment for Wallace, 26, who announced a week ago that he will be leaving Richard Petty Motorsports after the 2020 season.
“This was not an easy decision as I have nothing but the utmost respect for Richard Petty and his family, but I believe it’s time for someone else to take over the reins of the No. 43,” Wallace, who has raced with Richard Petty Motorsports for three seasons, wrote on Twitter.
“Thank you to the King and everyone at Richard Petty Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to start my Cup Series career. I’ve grown so much as a driver and as a person since joining them. We’ve got nine more races together, and I hope we can finish the 2020 season on a high note,” his post continued.
This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I believe is a great fit for me at this point in my career. I’m grateful and humbled that they believe in me and I’m super pumped to begin this adventure with them.
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) September 22, 2020
The announcement comes less than three months after Wallace — the only top-tier Black NASCAR driver — was at the center of a noose controversy.
On June 21, NASCAR notified him that a noose was found hanging in his garage stall at the Talladega Superspeedway.
After an investigation into the incident, the FBI declined to file any federal charges.
According to a statement from U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, the noose had been in the garage since last fall, per USA Today.
Wallace “was not the target of a hate crime,” NASCAR said in a statement.
“Historically, NASCAR has struggled with diversity and there have been few Black owners,” Jordan said in a statement. “The timing seemed perfect as NASCAR is evolving and embracing social change more and more.”
Jordan said his new team with Wallace is a chance to “educate a new audience and open more opportunities for Black people in racing.”
The team will start racing in the 2021 season. Details about the name, car number, manufacturer and sponsors will be announced at a future date.
“This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I believe is a great fit for me at this point in my career,” said Wallace.
The Pulse of Entertainment: Brian Courtney Wilson Says Be ‘Still’ on New Album
*“Move past fear,” said Grammy nominated Brian Courtney Wilson about the meaning of the title to his new album “Still” (EMI/Motown Gospel). “You got to stay focused on your assignment. It’s in the Bible. Be still and keep moving without doubting and move mountains.”
“Still” is the Chicago native’s fifth album and in that time since 2009 he has garnered multi-Grammy nominations, a Billboard Music Award nomination, and has won multiple Stellar Awards, a Dove Award and an ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Award. Featured artists on “Still” include Maranda Curtis and Jeff Pardo. Grammy nominated Eric Roberson (United Tenors) co-wrote the track “Waiting” which encourages one to recognize when God has answered your prayers.
“The best feeling I had was when Eric Roberson sent it to me,” Brian said about the single “Waiting.” “I was almost in tears. It’s why I was feeling this peace.”
Other tracks on the album include “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler);” “Ain’t No Need to Worry,” featuring Maranda; “Forever;” “Sure As;” the title track “Still;” “Merciful and Mighty,” and “Fear is Not Welcome,” featuring Jeff.
Wilson launched his first solo tour, “Just (B) Tour,” just before the pandemic hit and grounded everyone home.
“It went well,” he said when I asked about the tour. “I’m looking forward to doing it again. We’re figuring out a way to do it virtually.” www.BrianCourtneyWilson.com
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, MS, MBA, MPhil has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENTS: “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 21st year. Next events are coming to Los Angeles Saturday, November 7, 2020 via Zoom Video Conferencing and to Baltimore Saturday April 17, 2021 at Security Square Mall. The ULMII event is a free conference offering an Entertainment Business Panel Q&A Session, a Talent Showcase and Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $15,000 valued in prizes/product/services. Log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information or to RSVP for Zoom Access email [email protected]
The Grand Canyon Experience
*Traveling to the Grand Canyon just for a photo op, without actually hiking the trails, is like opening a bag of chips to eat just one then throwing away the rest. It’s like baking a sweet potato pie just to eat a fork full then throwing away the rest. It just shouldn’t happen!
This year I chose to make the Grand Canyon one of my vacation travel destinations for the physical challenge of its hiking trails, surrounding outdoor activities, the ease of getting a flight there and – last, but not least – the majestic beauty of it all.
In a virus-rich world it helps to choose outdoor activities with plenty of space where there is less crowding! Always up for new adventures, I’ve committed to at least one major hike every year for the rest of my life. Or at least as long as I’m physically able. The last thing I want is to have to be rescued off the side of a mountain in the middle of a national forest – by a donkey. That’s how they do it, in case you didn’t know. I’ve seen it. It’s not attractive. Even when I’m hiking I want to keep up appearances. But I digress.
I prefer beach destinations as my go-to vacation spot. But there I was standing at the top of the Grand Canyon south rim waiting to start my hike with a paid tour guide.
I’m no shrinking violet who needs to be led around by the hand on a hike. But this was just my second official hike; the first one being to the top of Half Dome at Yosemite National Park last year.
It took my hiking partner and I eleven hours traversing that mountain. It was dark by the time we found our way back to the car. So this year when the fear of contracting COVID caused him to forego our planned Grand Canyon trip I decided to go alone.
I was scheduled to meet my hiking tour guide at 7am. I was there. He wasn’t. No cell phone reception kept me from calling the tour office to inquire about the mix-up. So I started the 6-hour hike alone. I was determined to have a great experience and be back in my hotel room before nightfall.
Hiking in the canyon is different than in a national park: First you hike down into the canyon. Then you hike up and out of the canyon. It takes twice as long to hike up. So if you start early enough in the day you won’t get caught in the dark.
I was less than half way into the hike down into the canyon when I observed a man wearing tour guide paraphernalia talking tour guide lingo leading a group…on a tour. Turns out this was my group. They had left without me.
Shane, the tour guide claimed he wasn’t aware I had signed up for the tour, therefore he thought all participants were there. Turns out there was a second Steffanie – different spelling – on the tour that day. It’s a detail the guide overlooked. So they left without me. At least that was the story he told me.
I joined the tour for the remainder of the hike. I made up for lost time by asking the guide plenty of questions while following at his heels. Shane assured me my fee would be refunded because of the mix-up. Still, I made him work double-duty as my photographer.
A woman fell to her death a few weeks before my visit while – of all things – trying to snap photos. I wasn’t trying to go out like that!
Two hundred miles separate the south rim in Arizona from the west rim near Las Vegas. And just to confirm that, I took a white water rafting tour along the Colorado River that runs through it! IMG_3155 (1)
When we weren’t riding through rapids getting water splashed in our faces with the force of five water log rides, we stopped to swim in the river, eat on beach landings and we even hiked to a hidden waterfall. A couple on the excursion with me also got engaged!
It was my first time river rafting experience, but it won’t be my last!
If you’re contemplating a vacation put the Grand Canyon at the top of your list. But if you go promise me you won’t just snap photos from the rim, but you’ll hike to the bottom and swim in the river too!
Steffanie Rivers is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. Email her at [email protected] with your comments, questions and speaking inquiries. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @TCBStef.
‘Selena: The Series’ – Official Trailer Debut from Netflix! / WATCH
*Today, Netflix debuted the trailer for “Selena: The Series” – A coming-of-age story following Selena as she chases her dreams, and the heart-wrenching and life-changing sacrifices she and her family make as they navigate the highs and lows of success, loss, love, and music. Part one of the two-part series premieres on Netflix on December 4, 2020.
MORE ABOUT SELENA: THE SERIES
Before she became the Queen of Tejano Music, Selena Quintanilla was a young girl from Texas with big dreams and an even bigger voice. Selena: The Series explores her journey from singing small gigs to becoming the most successful female Latin artist of all time — and the years of hard work and sacrifice the Quintanilla family navigated together.
From executive producers Jaime Dávila, Rico Martinez, Hiromi Kamata, Suzette Quintanilla, Simran A. Singh and Moises Zamora, Selena: The Series was created by Zamora, with Don Todd (“This is Us”) consulting, and stars Christian Serratos, Gabriel Chavarria, Ricardo Chavira, Noemí Gonzalez, and Seidy López.
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