NASCAR: NFL star eyeing Cup Series team ownership?

Alvin Kamara, Saints (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Alvin Kamara, Saints (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara posted that NASCAR should “stay tuned” regarding him having his own racing team.

The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season got underway on Sunday with the 63rd annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, and it marked the first race with NBA legend Michael Jordan and musical artist Pitbull as team co-owners.

Jordan co-owns 23XI Racing, one of the sport’s three new teams for the 2021 season, along with Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin, and Bubba Wallace is the driver of the team’s #23 Toyota.

Pitbull co-owns Trackhouse Racing Team, another new team for this season, along with former driver Justin Marks, and Daniel Suarez is the driver of the team’s #99 Chevrolet.

Could this new wave of celebrity team owners be starting a trend?

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We already know that legendary boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is seeking to join the Cup Series as a team owner, with the focus being on full-time competition next year after co-branding a Spire Motorsports entry throughout the 2021 season. Nothing has been confirmed, however, in that respect.

Could NASCAR attract an owner from the NFL as well? New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara attended the Daytona 500 for the first time last year, and he has grown into a huge fan of the sport ever since — as have many high-profile athletes in other sports.

He recently spoke to The Players’ Tribune on the first episode of “Truss Levels”, an original podcast series with New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan and former Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram II, about his fandom, saying “NASCAR lit, bro. … This s*** lit.”

During the 2021 season opener, Kamara was following the action closely, and he tweeted this during the nearly six-hour rain/lightning delay at the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked oval in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Of course, discovering that he can own a racing team and actually doing so are two separate ballgames.

You could even make a case that owning a Cup Series team specifically is a third.

Kamara has since partnered with JD Motorsports with Gary Keller to sponsor Ryan Vargas’s #6 Chevrolet for the Xfinity Series race at the Daytona International Speedway road course this weekend with The Big Squeezy, Kamara’s chain of juice bars in Louisiana, as the primary sponsor.

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Whether or not that will lead to a bigger role in the sport remains to be seen, but it is certainly an exciting step in the right direction, especially given the fact that his interest in the sport clearly wasn’t just a one-off last year like many had initially speculated.