The Floyd Mayweather Racing Team Is Still Taking Baby Steps After Others Grew by Leaps and Bounds

The ownership duo of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Willy Auchmoody looks to be following the Trackhouse Racing model: A big-name celebrity collaborating with a racing guy to field a NASCAR Cup Series team.

But whereas Justin Marks and Pitbull have shepherded Trackhouse into prominence in just its second season, The Money Team Racing is continuing down a slow path in its second go-round.

A Floyd Mayweather racing team may eventually become a NASCAR staple

Floyd Mayweather Jr. looks on during a news conference with Deji Olatunji at the Mayweather Boxing Club on Oct. 13, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Steve Marcus/Getty Images
Floyd Mayweather Jr. looks on during a news conference with Deji Olatunji at the Mayweather Boxing Club on Oct. 13, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Year 2 of Trackhouse Racing’s NASCAR Cup Series adventure exceeded nearly everyone’s expectations. Not only did Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez win races, but Chastain pulled off the move of the century in the Martinsville playoff race to advance to the Championship 4. The year was a success by any measure.

Following largely the same ownership structure, Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin made progress at 23XI Racing, too. Bubba Wallace and Kurt Busch won races in that team’s second season, and 23XI has lined up rising star Tyler Reddick to replace Busch in 2023.

The two organizations have injected some new blood into NASCAR. A Floyd Mayweather racing team would be another step along those lines and potentially expand the sport’s audience. For now, however, The Money Team Racing is taking small steps leaving it a long way from being a Sunday force.

The Money Team is adding a few races in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series

The 2022 Daytona 500 was less than three weeks away when The Money Team Racing announced it was going to make a go of it with driver Kaz Grala. It was a decision two years in the making as Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Willy Auchmoody held back from committing to anything until the pandemic played out.

They gave veteran crew chief Tony Eury Jr. a nearly impossible deadline to prep the car, and Grala qualified for the Daytona 500. Graza finished 26th to kick off the season, then placed 25th at Circuit of the Americas and 23rd in the Coca-Cola 600. The team entered one more race, and IndyCar veteran Conor Daly finished 34th at the Charlotte Roval.

According to TobyChristie.com, TMT Racing has set sights on six races for the upcoming season, beginning with Daytona, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. Beyond that, the focus will be the road courses at Circuit of the Americas, Indianapolis, and Charlotte. Watkins Glen is a possibility, too, and Auchmoody would add the two Talladega races if enough sponsorship money materializes.

Running a quarter of the schedule would be a milestone, but advancing beyond that in subsequent seasons is less likely without a charter, a commodity in short supply while teams wait to hear how much more TV money will trickle down beginning in 2025.

“If a charter was to become available, we would definitely be a player, for sure,” Auchmoody said. “The charter prices have gone up, but they’ve gone up reflective of what the potential payout could be with the new agreement.”

The Money Team Racing turns to a new primary driver

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Though his 34th-place finish – with virtually no experience in the car – on the Charlotte road course was nothing noteworthy, Conor Daly made enough of an impression on co-owner Willy Auchmoody to earn the designation of primary driver of the No. 50 Chevy for The Money Team Racing in 2023.

“We only ran one race with him last year, obviously, but myself, the crew chief, our PR team, my family … he’s just a really awesome guy, like really awesome,” Auchmoody said. “We enjoyed every aspect of working with him.”

Auchmoody said crew chief Tony Eury Jr., a NASCAR veteran who worked with Dale Earnhardt Jr., made the decision easy.

“When the crew chief makes a comment that we could build something around this kid, especially a crew chief that has his background,” Auchmoody said. “He helped Danica (Patrick) get into NASCAR. He was the first crew chief she had when she ran in NASCAR, and he loved working with her, and he feels he could take the knowledge that he learned from her transition from IndyCar to NASCAR and do the same thing with Conor.”

Auchmoody said the only potential change in plans would be if Helio Castroneves came aboard to drive the Daytona 500. Castroneves is reportedly trying to decide between TMT Racing and Trackhouse Racing, but landing him would be a big attention-getter for the Floyd Mayweather racing team.

Got a question or observation about racing? Sportscasting’s John Moriello does a mailbag column each Friday. Write to him at [email protected]