Big Machine Racing has just made a major move for the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. The team announced an enhanced partnership with Richard Childress Racing that now includes chassis and engineering support.
Owner/music mogul Scott Borchetta made the announcement with a press release on Thursday, October 7. He confirmed that BMR will relocate to North Carolina to be closer to RCR but clarified that the team will remain an independent operation. Additionally, Chevrolet will return as a primary partner for the team’s second year. BMR already receives horsepower from ECR engines, a partnership that will continue in 2022. The new deal adds in technical and engineering support, as well as “key assets.”
“To be able to join Richard Childress and the iconic RCR means we just put a turbocharger on our Big Machine Racing program,” said Borchetta. “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.”
BMR is finishing up its first year in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The team has competed in 27 of the 28 races with driver Jade Buford in control of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro. The 33-year-old has 14 top-20 finishes as a rookie, as well as a ninth-place run at Michigan International Speedway.
Buford Will Return to Big Machine Racing for the 2022 Season
Buford has performed steadily in his first season with Big Machine Racing, and he will have the opportunity to continue during the 2022 season. The team confirmed in the press release that he will return as the driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro.
Buford will continue to work with crew chief Patrick Donahue, a 28-year veteran of NASCAR. Donahue has worked with a multitude of drivers across multiple series, including Jeb Burton, JJ Yeley, Garrett Smithley, and Casey Atwood in the Cup Series. As an Xfinity crew chief, he helped guide Jeff Gordon to two wins — Phoenix in 1999 and Homestead-Miami in 2000 — before working with 13 other drivers.
“I’m over-the-top excited for the future of Big Machine Racing,” Buford said in a press release. “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.
“With support and access to RCR’s resources, we will have a much better playbook going into every race. Thank you to our team owner, Scott Borchetta, for making this opportunity possible. This will be a huge step forward in making Big Machine Racing a weekly front-runner in the Xfinity Series.”
Childress Has Created a Championship-Winning Organization
One of the most successful owners in both the Xfinity and Cup Series, Childress has created a championship-winning organization. Dale Earnhardt won six of his seven championships with RCR while five drivers have won Xfinity Series championships.
Kevin Harvick was the first to hoist the trophy after winning five races during the 2001 season. He added his second championship in 2006. Clint Bowyer won the championship in 2008 while driving the No. 2 Chevrolet and then captured the title in 2013. Tyler Reddick is the most recent champion, winning his second consecutive title in 2019. Though his first title was with JR Motorsports.
Expanding the partnership with RCR does not automatically make Big Machine Racing a championship contender, but it won’t hurt. Buford will have better equipment throughout the 2022 season as he pursues more top-10 finishes.