Over the course of its history, NASCAR has frequently seen its owners come from former drivers and former crew members.  But in recent years the racing sport has seen an influx of celebrities taking on the car owner duties.

The 2021 racing season will bring two new teams to the line up with basketball legend Michael Jordan and “Mr Worldwide” himself Pitbull joining as part owners in those teams in the Cup Series.

The Xfinity Series will also see a new team this season when Big Machine Records executive Scott Borchetta turns a life long passion for racing into a profession. 

Big Machine Racing has tapped Jude Jade Buford to drive the number 48 car.

Borchetta noted, “we’re only starting at zero because it’s a new team, but we’re bringing decades worth of experience to starting this team. … I’m very blessed to be able to help other race drivers in a sport that I love so much.”

Big Machine fans will have to wait until the second race of the season to see Buford since the Brentwood, Tennessee native is not approved to run on the high banks of the tri-oval at Daytona.

Speaking on his choice of the 32 year old Buford over a young driver, Borchetta said, “(Buford) lives to race, races to live.  He’s so technical about his approach and has this extraordinary humbling confidence. And it’s like, you know what, this guy deserves a shot. He’s not the youngest guy on the grid, but I think he’s going to show everybody … I mean it’s going to take a minute and I don’t have any false expectations. We have a lot to learn and build the team out.”

Borchetta first caught the racing bug in 1970 when he saw the IndyCar Series run the inaugural California 500 at Ontario Motor Speedway.

Later he split his time between rock and roll and racing motocross and quarter-midget cars. 

Now in Nashville, Borchetta returned to racing in 1995.  In 1999 he moved to SuperTrucks and took home three championships in a row between 2003 and 2005.

Speaking on his decision Borchetta said, “it’s always been part of my DNA.  It’s always been part of my culture. To me, the music business and racing business are very similar. It’s like, give me that open lane and I’ll find a way to beat you. There’s a lot of similarities because it’s about talent and providing that talent with the best possible opportunity to do their best work. There are a lot of parallels for me.”

With a little help from champion crew chief Ray Evernham, Borchetta ran in the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association.