12 Coolest Celebrities To Own NASCAR Teams
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NASCAR and celebrities seem to have gone hand in hand over the years, each proving to be an attraction to the other.
But there is a certain group of celebrities who have taken things a step further: They have also become partial or full team owners—some have even got behind the wheel as drivers—in NASCAR, most notably the first NASCAR Cup Series.
Here is a list of 12 celebrities – both present and past – who put their money where their mouth was and invested in team ownership or as drivers themselves. Some only lasted a short time, while others lasted until 2023:
Announcement – read on below
The late comedian joined forces with longtime friend, Hollywood entrepreneur, and producer/director Hal Needham to form Mach 1 Racing in NASCAR Cup in 1981. While Reynolds was largely fading from the public eye after the first three seasons, the organization would go on to run nine seasons, winning nine races ( All by NASCAR icon Harry Gant), before closing shop in 1990.
The NBA Hall of Famer and lifelong NASCAR fan got her start by co-owning Liberty Racing, a Truck Series team that included drivers like current NASCAR star Kevin Harvick and the late Kenny Irwin, but that team only lasted three seasons (1997-99). This would eventually lead to Daugherty becoming part ownership of JTG Daugherty Racing with Tad and Jody Geschickter in 2008, a role that Daugherty still holds today.
Armando Christian Pérez, aka singer and rapper Pitbull, joined Justin Marks as co-owner of Trackhouse Racing in 2021. He has compared his journey of ownership of the American Superstardom and NASCAR team with one of the team’s drivers, Daniel Suarez. Suarez is of Mexican descent, while Pitbull, who was born and raised in Miami, is of Cuban descent.
The late country music legend, Marty Robbins, was a longtime NASCAR fan and eventually formed Robbins Racing as an owner and driver, competing in 35 races with one Top 5 finish. The team competed on a part-time basis from 1966 until 1982, when Robbins died on December 8 of that year in Nashville at the age of 57.
By Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman
NFL Hall of Famers and Dallas Cowboys legends Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman were co-owners of Hall of Fame Racing, which was founded in 2006 and lasted only two full-time seasons. The team was sold to Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkle after the 2007 season, and eventually closed its doors after two years.
NFL Hall of Favre Brett Favre became partners with NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett and formed Jarrett/Favre Motorsports in 1999, which competed part-time in the then-Busch Series. However, the partnership did not last long. When Rayovac ended its sponsorship in 2001, the team folded shortly thereafter.
Former NFL coach Jerry Glanville competed in six NASCAR Busch Series races in 1992 and 1993 (with a best finish of 20th), as well as 27 Truck Series races from 1995 through 1999, with a best finish of 14th (three different times). Glanville also had a minority ownership interest.
Joe Gibbs: The Pro Football Hall of Famer and former NFL Super Bowl champion coach was actually a hot player first before he got into the pétanque game, competing as a drag racer in Southern California. He eventually started a NASCAR Cup team, which continues to this day, as well as an NHRA drag racing team that competed in the early 1990s.
The NFL Hall of Famer joined forces last year with rookie driver and former US Navy lieutenant Jesse Iwuji in full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series operation that is expected to continue into 2023.
The legendary boxer co-owns The Money Team (aka TMT), which has made four NASCAR Cup starts in 2022 with Kaz Grala behind the wheel for the first three races and IndyCar veteran Conor Daly making one start (the team’s best finish was 23rd, Both by Grala at the Coca-Cola 600 and by Daly at the Charlotte Roval race).
It is uncertain if TMT will return in 2023. Grala has signed on to race full-time in the Xfinity Series for Sam Hunt Racing in 2023, and it is unclear if Daly will attempt more Cup races for the Mayweather group.
The shock rock legend and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer grew up in the Motor City before his family moved to the Phoenix area. But Cooper fell in love with two things growing up: music and racing. He eventually became a part-owner of the Montgomery Racing Busch Series team in 2003. Sadly, the team didn’t even last two years, and Alice, even though he never raced the car, kept rocking and rolling.
The NBA Hall of Famer — considered by many to be the sport’s greatest player of all time — joined forces with longtime friend and veteran NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin to form 23XI Racing in late 2020, and debuted as a full-time racing operation in 2021 with Bubba Wallace.
The team has expanded to two cars in 2022 with Kurt Busch. Tyler Reddick will replace Busch for the 2023 season as Busch has essentially opted to semi-retire and will compete on a spare basis due to the severe concussion he suffered in July 2022 that forced him to miss the remainder of the season. And rumors persist that if an extension is not reached in the coming months, Hamlin’s current contract with Joe Gibbs Racing and FedEx will expire after next season. If that happens, those same rumors insist that 42-year-old Hamlin could race an extra year or two for 23XI Racing.
Honor Union: Wayan Brothers
Famous comedians, the Wayan Brothers (Marlon, Keenan Ivory, Damon and Sean), held a major press conference at Auto Club Speedway in September 2005, announcing that they would be putting together a NASCAR Cup team – called Star Motorsports – to compete the following season. Well, it turns out that the joke was in NASCAR, where the brothers and their planned team never materialized.
Announcement – read on below