On Tuesday, Big Machine Label Group president and CEO Scott Borchetta announced the formation of a new NASCAR Xfinity Series team.
The country music label owner is a racing aficionado who is well-known for his love of NASCAR. Although he normally works with country stars like Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett, and Florida Georgia Line, he’s branching out soon. Borchetta announced the creation of Big Machine Racing Team, and said they plan to compete full-time this season.
“I’ve always been involved in racing, it’s a part of my DNA,” said Borchetta in a news release. “Whether as a competitor, a fan or a sponsor, racing is a constant in my life and is a part of our Big Machine culture. The formation of the Big Machine Racing team only broadens the integration opportunities for our recording artists and the sport.”
Borchetta has combined his two passions of music and motorsports on multiple occasions in the past. The Big Machine brand has previously paired with pre-race ceremonies and other race sponsorships.
Additionally, the 58-year-old has been a racer himself over the years. As a child, Borchetta grew up competing in motocross and quarter-midgets. In the 1990s, he returned to racing at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. He went on to win a Legends division championship in 1998 and three straight NASCAR SuperTrucks division championships from 2003-2005. The Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway inducted Borchetta into the track’s Hall of Fame just last year.
New NASCAR Team’s Crew Chief and Driver Announced
Big Machine Racing Team’s No. 48 Chevrolet will be driven by racer Jade Buford. He made his first four career Xfinity starts this past season, each of them on road courses. Buford’s strongest finish came at Charlotte Motor Speedway in rainy conditions where he came in eighth place.
Longtime NASCAR crew chief Patrick Donahue will take charge of the new NASCAR team. During the past two seasons, Donahue served as crew chief of the Xfinity team SS Green Light Racing.
On Wednesday, Donahue shared further details on the team’s new driver on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. He revealed that Buford has not been approved to race on the oval at Daytona International Speedway. Therefore, he will miss out on the Feb. 13 Xfinity season opener at Daytona. However, Buford will be available for the second race on Feb. 20 at the Daytona road course. He’ll also be available to race the remainder of the 2021 Xfinity schedule as well.
Buford has significant experience in road racing with stops in multiple sports car series. They include his time in the GRAND-AM, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, British GT Championship, and the GT World Challenge America. Buford has also earned wins at historic circuits including Watkins Glen International and Sebring International Raceway.
“”I’m thrilled and honored to pilot the Big Machine Xfinity Chevrolet Camaro in 2021. I’ve dreamed of being in the NASCAR series and I intend to make the absolute most of this opportunity,” Buford said in the same news release. “I know it’s a steep learning curve, and we face great challenges, but I have the utmost confidence in what we’re building and I just can’t wait to get to Daytona.”