NASCAR team ownership has proven a tough nut for professional athletes from other sports to crack. Dan Marino, Brett Favre, Joe Washington, Julius Erving, Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach and Jackie Joyner-Kersee are among the myriad superstar athletes who have come and gone in NASCAR.
But one NFL All-Pro who so far has made NASCAR work for him is a somewhat unlikely choice: Randy Moss, a man who often has been a lightning rod of controversy in the National Football League is closing in on 2 1/2 years as a partner in the Randy Moss Motorsports NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team.
Moss owns the No. 5 Toyota Tundra driven by former series champion Mike Skinner, who currently is eighth in the Truck Series points standings. And this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, RMM will again be a two-truck team, as young Tayler Malsam will return to the squad to drive the No. 25 Exide Batteries Toyota Tundra.
The Truck Series, in fact, is something of an oasis for Moss, who is in the final year of his contract with the New England Patriots and already has stirred things up in the Northeast with a long tirade after the Pats’ season-opening race.
But if Moss’ future in the NFL remains uncertain, for now at least, it’s looking pretty good in the Truck Series.
“I'm excited to have the opportunity to go back to Randy Moss Motorsports and race with my old team,” said Malsam. “When we parted ways it was on good terms and I'm still friends with the guys on the team so it's like I'm going back to race with family. Exide is a fantastic sponsor; we had a great time working together last season and I'm looking forward to having them on my Toyota Tundra at Las Vegas. Hopefully we can pick up right where we left off and race for the win on Saturday night.”
Malsam will have many of the crewmen he raced with during his rookie campaign, including crew chief Doug Wolcott.
“It’s going to be great to have Tayler back behind the wheel of our Toyota Tundra,” said Wolcott. “We had a lot of success with Tayler throughout the 2009 season—10 top-10 finishes and finished just outside the top 10 (in 12th) in the season point standings.”
Crew chief Wolcott is one of Malsam’s biggest supporters.
“There is no doubt that Tayler is a talented driver,” said Wolcott. “He gives great feedback to help us make the adjustments we need on the truck and knows how to get up on the wheel. Our guys have worked hard to prepare a great truck for the race at Las Vegas and I think you’ll see us racing near the front of the field before the night is over on Saturday.”
Randy Moss Motorsports started the season as a two-truck organization but took a brief three-week hiatus to regroup and prepare for Malsam’s return to the No. 25 Exide Batteries Toyota Tundra. Malsam is expected to be behind the wheel of the No. 25 Toyota Tundra again before the 2010 season concludes, with race dates and sponsor details to follow, according to the team.
Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of SPEED.com, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for TruckSeries.com. You can follow him online at twitter.com/tomjensen100 and e-mail him at Jensen is the author of “Cheating: The Bad Things Good NASCAR Nextel Cup Racers Do In Pursuit of Speed,” and has appeared on numerous television and radio shows. Jensen is the past President of the National Motorsports Press Association and an NMPA Writer of the Year.