I guess Michael Jordan won’t be the only superstar from another sport to roll into town for the Daytona 500 with his own NASCAR team this year.
Legendary former boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. has announced that he’s launching his own NASCAR Cup Series team, The Money Team Racing.
TMT Racing will attempt to make the season-opening Daytona 500 on February 20 with driver Kaz Grala behind the wheel of the #50 Chevrolet, and will then enter “select” races for the rest of the season.
The team’s Daytona 500 car will be sponsored by Pit Viper sunglasses. And veteran crew chief Tony Eury Jr., cousin and former crew chief of Dale Earnhardt Jr., will be on the pit box for TMT’s debut.
Rumors about Mayweather’s entry into the sport came as early as 2019, with plans to run the season finale in the 2019 season and then field a full-time entry in 2020. That never happened though, and in 2020, talks of partnering with another established NASCAR team fell through and delayed TMT’s NASCAR debut even further.
But now Money Mayweather is ready to bring his racing team to life, along with co-owner William Auchmoody, who will also serve as the team’s general manager.
On his entry into the world of NASCAR team ownership, Mayweather said:
“I love fast cars and I love to compete. I know NASCAR will not be easy, but anything easy isn’t worth doing to me.
With that being said, this move into auto racing seems to be a perfect fit for the Mayweather brand.”
The car number 50 was chosen to signify the number of Mayweather’s boxing wins – all without a loss.
Mayweather of course joins Michael Jordan as the latest superstar from a sport other than NASCAR to jump into team ownership in the Cup Series. Jordan’s 23XI Racing, which he co-owns with NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin, debuted in 2021 fielding the #23 car for Bubba Wallace.
And last year, 23XI announced that it would be expanding to a two-car team with the addition of Kurt Busch in the #45 car.
And while it’s tough to jump into the sport and be competitive right away, Jordan proved that with the right resources a new team can still field a winning car after 23XI and Wallace scored their first Cup Series victoryat Talladega last fall.
Talking about getting the chance to drive for a guy like Floyd Mayweather, Grala said that he knows the boxing legend has a desire to win:
“It’s an honor to be behind the wheel for Floyd Mayweather’s entrance into NASCAR. It’s a really exciting time in our sport as it globalizes and reaches new audiences.
I know Floyd is here to win, and I absolutely feel that everyone involved in this program is capable of making that happen. We know we will need some time to grow together as a new organization, but I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of building this team from the ground up.”
But it’s going to be tougher for Mayweather out of the gate than it was for Jordan: 23XI Racing had a charter that guaranteed the team would be in every race, while TMT Racing is an “open” team, which means that it will have to qualify on speed to make the field on Sundays.
Still, with a guy like Floyd Mayweather behind the team (and the new NASCAR Next Gen car debuting this year that will, in theory, even out the competition), it would be foolish to count TMT Racing out.
The guy’s a proven winner, and while it may take a bit to learn the ropes in NASCAR, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing TMT in the Cup Series Victory Lane at some point down the road.
Floyd Mayweather’s The Money Team Racing will attempt to make the Daytona 500 with Kaz Grala as the driver. Tony Eury Jr. to crew chief. No. 50 Chevrolet. Pit Viper sunglasses to sponsor car. ECR engines. Team plans part-time schedule in 2022. pic.twitter.com/1e2XKRHoUP