NASCAR: The new Cup team no one is talking about
There has been plenty of talk about the new NASCAR Cup Series teams involving Michael Jordan and Pitbull, but another new team is flying under the radar.
When it comes to new teams for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, all of the attention has been directed at two particular one-car organizations.
A lot of the focus has justifiably been on the entry of NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan into NASCAR.
Following months of speculation, Jordan partnered with longtime friend Denny Hamlin, who currently drives the #11 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, to form 23XI Racing.
Bubba Wallace is set to join the team as the driver of the #23 Toyota with Mike Wheeler, a former crew chief of Hamlin, as his crew chief. They are set to have a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing following the closing of Leavine Family Racing, which had a technical alliance with the four-car Toyota powerhouse in 2019 and 2020.
While it may not happen right away, their goal is ultimately to compete at a level where Wallace can contend for wins and championships like Furniture Row Racing, which had a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing from 2016 until they closed in 2018, were able to do.
And much of the remaining attention has been focused on Trackhouse Racing Team, another new team started by Justin Marks for which Daniel Suarez is set to drive next year. Grammy Award-winning Latin artist Pitbull is set to join the team as a partner.
But there is another new team set to enter the NASCAR Cup Series full-time next year that hasn’t garnered much attention at all.
This new team, known as “B. J. McLeod Motorsports with Matt Tifft and Joe Falk” before confirming their new name as Live Fast Motorsports, is set to compete with a newly purchased charter in 2021.
Notably, they are set to have a technical alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing.
B. J. McLeod Motorsports did compete in 15 races in 2020, marking their first Cup Series appearance after spending several years competing in the Xfinity Series and Truck, Series, but that was only as B.J. McLeod Motorsports. Now they are set to run a full schedule with team owner B.J. McLeod as the driver.
Go Fas Racing’s original charter is currently used by Wood Brothers Racing to run their #21 Ford. Go Fas Racing’s #32 Ford had been run using a charter which was half-owned by Joe Falk, the owner of Circle Sport.
But Go Fas Racing, which had a technical alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing in 2020, will not be running full-time next year, as they are only planning to compete in five or six races on the 2021 schedule.
As a result, they have transferred their half of the charter to the new partnership between B.J. McLeod Motorsports and Matt Tifft, with Falk continuing to own the other half.
This new team is set to run the #78 Ford, although McLeod will not compete for points.
In addition to serving as the team owner of B.J. McLeod Motorsports, McLeod has competed in NASCAR on some level in every year since the 2010 season. Last season, he competed in 48 races across the Cup Series, the Xfinity Series and the Truck Series.
Tifft had competed in NASCAR until close to the end of the 2019 season when he was sidelined with seizures, so his ownership stake in this team is his way of getting back into the action following a full year away while his racing career remains in question. He is NASCAR’s youngest team owner at just 24 years old.
The 2021 season is scheduled to get underway this Sunday, February 14 with the 63rd annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. This race is set to be broadcast live on Fox beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. McLeod qualified in 38th place.