Live Fast Motorsports, the NASCAR Cup Series team being formed by Matt Tifft and B.J. McLeod, will campaign a No. 78 Ford Mustang that has a “strategic partnership” with Stewart-Haas Racing. McLeod will drive the car.
The name and number were unveiled Friday on social media by the team, which announced last month it’ll have the charter used by Go Fas Racing.
During a news conference Friday, McLeod confirmed Live Fast Motorsports has purchased 12 Mustangs from Stewart-Haas Racing and also will receive all of its parts and pieces through an “open door” alliance with the team.
“We have to have a platform to start with, and we’re going to need help,” McLeod said. “It’s crazy how competitive the Cup Series is from a driver and owner standpoint. That (SHR) relationship gives us resources we could only dream of having.”
McLeod, 37, has raced across NASCAR’s top three national series since 2010, starting 16 Cup races last year. He will continue to field three full-time Xfinity Series teams through B.J. McLeod Motorsports.
McLeod demurred on how much he and Tifft were investing but said “we have no problem feeling we can sustain the team several years.”
Tifft, 24, retired from driving following seizures that began in October 2019. He made 134 starts in the Cup, Xfinity and truck series from 2014-19 but always had plans to move into team management.
Tifft said the venture grew out of discussions with McLeod that dated to last year.
“B.J. and I have been good friends a long time,” Tifft said Friday. “I’ve talked of many years down the road wanting to be an owner in the sport. I love NASCAR. I always thought I’d love to be a part of that side post-driving. I didn’t think post-driving would come as quick as it did.
“But B.J. has been a great owner in the sport at every level. B.J. is a great guy and great businessman and knows how to run a team. I can’t want to get this venture started.”
McLeod and Tifft obtained Archie St. Hilaire’s ownership interest of the Circle Sport Racing charter by partnering with Joe Falk. St. Hilaire divested his portion of the charter as Go Fas Racing cuts back to a limited Cup schedule next year.
Tifft said the team was zeroed in on only obtaining the charter used by Go Fas because “it was an opportunity that if we didn’t take, we didn’t know if we would get a charter and have that opportunity again. We couldn’t pass it up.” He also said the SHR alliance would help the team through “a transition year” to the Next Gen car in 2022.
“Having SHR is such a huge help to learn the nuances of the sport,” Tifft said. “We’ll all be learning.”
Live Fast Motorsports also launched a website Friday that lists the team’s headquarters in Mooresville, North Carolina.
#TeamLiveFast is here! 🏁
— Live Fast Motorsports (@teamlivefast) November 20, 2020
The team will be using the No. 78, which Furniture Row Racing used to win the 2017 championship with Martin Truex Jr., because it was McLeod’s number dating to childhood.
McLeod said he checked with former Furniture Row executive Joe Garone and with NASCAR to ensure former Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser would approve.
“This is decades of dreaming, decades of work, decades of being focused,” McLeod said of Live Fast Motorsports. “A lot of relationships were built to get to this point. Matt will make me stronger, he has good qualities helping the weaknesses I might have.
“I can’t wait to get going and run into goods and bads and work together and make this thing successful for years to come.”