Entering the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, which starts with this weekend’s Daytona 500, the sport over the past 12 months has seen an influx of new investors that it hasn’t had in years. While two Cup Series teams did fold last year amid the start of the coronavirus pandemic, they’ve been replaced by three new ones that are generating significant hype and media coverage.
Among them are 23XI Racing, co-owned by Michael Jordan and driver Denny Hamlin, plus Trackhouse Racing, co-owned by rapper Pitbull and entrepreneur Justin Marks. Elsewhere, a team affiliated with Floyd Mayweather is preparing to join the sport, and country music mogul and entreprenuer Scott Borchetta has started a new NASCAR Xfinity Series team that will debut this season.
Moreover, for the first time since NASCAR introduced its charter system in 2016, charter values are climbing because other groups remain interested in purchasing them. Sources said around 10 groups are exploring charter opportunities, including both existing teams and, more crucially, business people from outside the sport who are interested in joining NASCAR.
More teams are expected to join the Cup Series field, or expand their current operations, in 2022. That includes Kaulig Racing, an Xfinity Series team that is starting a part-time Cup Series operation this year and which sources say is already in the market looking for a charter. 23XI Racing is also already eyeing expansion and would need new charters to make that happen.
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