Amid a respectable debut season, Big Machine Racing announced Thursday it will return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2022 with Jade Buford as its driver — and a major new partner alongside it.
The team, owned by Big Machine Records CEO Scott Borchetta, will work with Richard Childress Racing in an enhanced partnership with the longtime championship organization.
RCR will provide Big Machine Racing with chassis and engineering support, along with other assets. Big Machine Racing will continue to run ECR engines. And though the No. 48 team will remain a one-car operation, the team will relocate to RCR’s campus in Welcome, North Carolina, after spending the 2021 season in Mooresville, North Carolina.
“To be able to join Richard Childress and the iconic RCR means we just put a turbocharger on our Big Machine Racing program,” Borchetta said in a team release. “As a racer and fan, I’ve always looked up to Richard, all of his accomplishments and his organization. He’s a winner in the truest sense and I look forward to the day that we can share our first victory together.”
Richard Childress, whose organization already has a technical alliance with Kaulig Racing at the Xfinity Series level, is excited to add Big Machine Racing to the program.
“Scott Borchetta and everyone at Big Machine Racing have built a great program, and we look forward to not only continuing our relationship in 2022 but to enhancing it with additional technical and engineering support,” said Childress, chairman and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “Our team partnership model is proven, and we know that this partnership will be beneficial for Big Machine Racing, RCR, ECR and Chevrolet.”
Not only will Buford return to the driver’s seat, but Patrick Donahue will also return to the No. 48 team atop the pit box as crew chief.
Through the opening 28 races of Big Machine Racing’s existence, the No. 48 Chevrolet sits 24th in the owner’s championship, while Buford is 23rd in the driver standings, just 38 points below 20th. The team earned its first top-10 finish in late August at Michigan International Speedway, placing ninth.
“An alliance with an organization like RCR will give us a huge advantage in improving our racing program and add another level of consistency that will help us achieve better results across the entire season,” Buford said. “With support and access to RCR’s resources, we will have a much better playbook going into every race.”
Buford, an avid road-course racer, will start from 19th position this weekend at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, where he finished eighth last year.