It was announced this past weekend that another famous sports star would be dipping their foot into the NASCAR pool of owners. Emmitt Smith will partner with journeyman driver Jesse Iwuji to field a new entry in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2022. The new team has yet to be named, but Iwuji has already been named as the full-time driver.
This team will more than likely act as the next step for Rev Racing drivers looking to jump into the Xfinity series. Iwuji and Smith have both said they want this team to act as an opportunity for minority drivers looking for their big breaks in NASCAR.
The idea itself is great and with Emmitt Smith on board, there will probably be ample sponsorship to help some drivers who can’t fund their rides. While the exact specifications of the team aren’t disclosed, there’s the potential for this to be a solid Xfinity entry down the line.
Jesse Iwuji being named as the driver is the only question I have in terms of the team’s true goals. I understand Iwuji still has his dreams of being a NASCAR driver, so I don’t fault him too much, but I question why a driver like Nick Sanchez or Rajah Caruth wasn’t considered for the seat. A guy like Ryan Vargas probably would’ve been an even more ideal choice and gain a lot of fan interest.
Iwuji has never been able to do anything in his career that would have you believe he’s at the competitive level of an Xfinity driver. Iwuji has never been in decent equipment, but he hasn’t even shown the ability to outdrive his equipment. In some cases, he’s even been significantly off of the pace.
His only saving grace was in 2019 when he was driving for Josh Reaume’s truck team and scored a better average finish in 5 races than any other driver with at least 4 races. His average finish of 21st was better than that of Josh Bilicki, Mason Massey, and Josh Reaume. However, he followed that up in 2020 by having a worst average finish (30th) than Josh Bilicki, Josh Reaume, or Angela Ruch.
Hopefully, this first season is just the settling-in season for the team. Iwuji will get the seat and help get the team where he wants it before handing it off to a more talented driver. I hate bashing Iwuji because I truly think what he and Smith are doing is going to be great for the sport as a whole. My only wish is that this seat was going to someone with a higher ceiling.

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