February 20, 2022 marked the first day that The Money Team Racing (TMT) competed in a NASCAR Cup Series race. The team owned by boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and William Auchmoody prepared for the Daytona 500 and paid off a bold gamble by completing the race and finishing 26th overall despite early tire issues.
When the new Cup Series team set out to compete in the Great American Race, it did not have an official driver or a list of sponsors. TMT Racing was more of an idea that Auchmoody pitched to potential brands that could support the No. 50 Chevrolet.
He listed Kaz Grala as the primary driver and ultimately secured a deal with Pit Viper, the sunglasses brand that also supports Toni Breidinger in the ARCA Menards Series.
“In this day of NASCAR, funding is key,” Auchmoody told Heavy on February 19. “I mean, none of this happens without sponsors like Pit Viper and other people that get involved. So I always said, ‘Hey, Kaz, if I find a sponsor and it’s not a driver bringing us a sponsor, I’d love for you to drive for us.’
“So that’s when we started about three or four months ago — six months ago maybe really — including him in our presentations to sponsors. Like the first time I pitched Pit Viper, Kaz was listed as our driver. So that’s really when things started taking off for us.”
ALL the latest NASCAR news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on NASCAR newsletter here!
“The key here really is the Money Team Racing was selling a team concept to sponsors. That’s hard to do,” Grala told Heavy. “It’s a lot easier to say, ‘Well, we’re going to be in the Daytona 500. Sponsor our car.’ No, it’s, ‘Well, we’d like to be in the Daytona 500. If you sponsor us, then we’ll do it. We promise.’
“That’s a hard sell. It takes somebody with some guts, a brand that is loud as bold. They’re like, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna take this plunge with you. We’re gonna do it. We’re gonna see how it goes.'”
Grala Chose TMT Racing Over Other Opportunities
A part-time driver since the 2017 season when he drove for GMS Racing and won the Truck Series opener at Daytona, Grala has suited up for numerous teams over the years across all three national series.
The Massachusetts native has competed for Kaulig Racing and Richard Childress Racing in the Cup Series; Niece Motorsports and Young’s Motorsports in the Truck Series; and several teams in the Xfinity Series. He has become a trusted figure that can step in on short notice and contend for top-10 finishes, which put him in position to receive multiple offers ahead of the 2022 season.
Grala took a gamble and joined TMT Racing despite the uncertainties surrounding the team, its schedule, and its list of partners. The reason is simple. He believes in the considerable amount of untapped potential.
“I just feel like from a long-term perspective, I think this team has so much potential, obviously, with Floyd’s name and the marketing ability that this group has,” Grala told Heavy. “We’re seeing it as we speak. I think the sky’s the limit, and I don’t know that there’s too many teams that in their infancy you can say, ‘Oh yeah, that’s definitely got potential forever.’
“A team like RCR has been around for 50 years, but year one, did somebody know that they were going to become what they became? Probably not. I feel like, maybe it will, maybe it won’t. But it’s got all the parts and pieces to make it there.
“I want to be on the ground floor, so I think it was a no-brainer for me with this. Obviously, I had some opportunities for this year in the Truck and Xfinity Series as well, and I didn’t have to forego on those for this opportunity to start the Cup program. So everything really meshed well, and it’s looking like it’s shaping up to be a reality.”
Grala Will Pursue Multiple Starts With TMT Racing
Securing a start in the Daytona 500 was a major step in Grala’s racing career, but it will not be the last in 2022. He and TMT Racing have plans to compete in multiple races with Pit Viper as the primary partner.
The schedule is not quite set, but there are numerous options that will fit his skillset. One of the trips to Talladega Superspeedway is an option, as is the race at Watkins Glen International on August 21.
One option that seems to be the next on the schedule is the trip to Circuit of the Americas in Texas. The Cup Series will take on the road course for the second consecutive season on March 27, and TMT Racing has plans to be part of the competition. Grala has one previous start at the track when he finished second in the Camping World Truck Series race for Young’s Motorsports on May 22, 2021.