Mooresville, NC (January 19, 2021) – Scott Borchetta, the President/CEO and Founder of the powerhouse independent record label Big Machine Label Group, announced today the formation of the Big Machine Racing Team. The team will compete full-time in the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series with Nashville driver Jade Buford behind the wheel.
Borchetta — the racing aficionado and entertainment mogul whom Fast Company magazine calls “one of the most creative people in business”– has a long history of merging his Nashville music empire which includes superstars like Tim McGraw, Sheryl Crow, Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line, with the sport of racing. From providing talent for pre-race ceremonies to securing title sponsorships such as the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard, Borchetta’s announcement today is an exciting yet natural progression for the entrepreneur who is no stranger to the track himself. Borchetta raced moto-cross and quarter midgets as a kid in Southern California before following his dad in the Nashville music business in the early ‘80s. He picked racing back up in the late ’90s in the NASCAR SuperTrucks Weekly Series where he won three consecutive championships and in 2020, Borchetta raced in the SVRA Group 6 Division, picking up a National Championship in his ’72 Corvette. The Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway further recognized his commitment to the sport this past October by inducting him into their Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Hall of Fame.
“I’ve always been involved in racing, it’s a part of my DNA,” says Borchetta. “Whether as a competitor, a fan or a sponsor, racing is a constant in my life and is a part of our Big Machine culture. The formation of the Big Machine Racing team only broadens the integration opportunities for our recording artists and the sport.”
The Mooresville-based team will be overseen by longtime NASCAR Crew Chief Patrick Donahue. A seasoned veteran who led four-time NASCAR Champion and Hall of Fame driver Jeff Gordon to victory in the Xfinity Series, Donahue says, “The opportunity to partner with Scott and all things Big Machine is one that I just could not pass up. He’s driven to succeed in everything he does and I have no doubt that with our hard work ethic and determination, we will find our way to the front.”
Big Machine Driver Jade Buford is well known for his road racing prowess which includes wins at such tracks as Sebring and Watkins Glen as well as a fastest qualifier/pole position at Daytona. Buford had his first Xfinity starts in 2020 where he was immediately competitive, scoring a Top 10 finish at Charlotte’s rainy Roval which was considered to be one of NASCAR’s toughest races of 2020.
Buford says, “I’m thrilled and honored to pilot the Big Machine Xfinity Chevrolet Camaro in 2021. I’ve dreamed of being in the NASCAR Series and I intend to make the absolute most of this opportunity. I know it’s a steep learning curve, and we face great challenges, but I have the utmost confidence in what we’re building and I just can’t wait to get to Daytona!”
Big Machine brands will be the primary sponsor for the No. 48 Xfinity Chevrolet, including Big Machine Vodka, Big Machine Hand Sanitizer and key Big Machine Label Group artists.
Billboard magazine has consistently recognized Borchetta as one of most powerful people in music over the past decade while Forbes declared that he built “country music’s hottest label.” Big Machine Label Group is home to over 40 recording artists and songwriters across the Country, Pop, Rock and Americana genres, many of whom have won numerous GRAMMY®, CMA, ACM, Billboard and American Music Awards. Borchetta has also created innovative partnerships in the film and TV space with hit shows such as NBC’s “The Voice” and FOX’s “American Idol” where he served as the show’s in-house mentor. In 2017, Borchetta announced a partnership with fashion designer John Varvatos for the creation of Big Machine/John Varvatos Records which has become a successful rock label. In that same year Borchetta announced the creation of Big Machine Vodka, a spirits brand that became the title sponsor of the legendary Brickyard 400 race in 2018 and 2019. The Big Machine Vodka distillery quickly pivoted at the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic by producing hand sanitizer which was first made available to essential workers in the Nashville and Indianapolis regions.