On Saturday, Sept. 16, the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series silly season got even sillier when Trackhouse Racing announced that Zane Smith would join the team, but would be loaned out to drive a third car for Spire Motorsports in 2024.
Spire acquired a third charter by purchasing the one currently owned by Live Fast Motorsports. Frontstretch confirmed the sale prior to the Trackhouse announcement, and Live Fast said that it would have more details this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
Live Fast has only been on the Cup Series scene for three seasons. Co-owned by drivers B.J. McLeod and Matt Tifft, LFM has fielded the No. 78 since 2021, with McLeod gaining the team’s best finish of seventh at Daytona International Speedway in August 2022.
Live Fast had acquired its charter from the now-defunct Go Fas Racing. While the price of the charter was never revealed, we can estimate. The same year Live Fast purchased its charter from Go Fas, another new team entered the sport — some team called 23XI Racing.
23XI had purchased its charter from the now-defunct Germain Racing for $13.5 million. While Live Fast likely didn’t have as much of a budget as 23XI did, we can estimate that the price of Go Fas’ charter was somewhere in the ballpark of $10 million.
But as we all know, the price of charters have since gone up.
Spire’s purchase of Live Fast’s charter was to the tune of a whopping $40 million. Some people noted that the worth of charters mean that essentially back-of-the-pack teams are pricing themselves out of ever buying a charter again. Even small team owners, such as Alpha Prime Racing’s Tommy Joe Martins, stated that small Cup teams are going the way of the dodo.
But maybe for McLeod, that was the goal all along.
Since the charter system was introduced in 2016, the value of one has gone up considerably every season. McLeod had really shown no interest in the Cup Series, as he’s only made select starts since 2015 until 2021, when Live Fast came into existence. Since that happened, he has run a majority of Cup Series races.
With the sale of his team’s charter, McLeod will undoubtedly put his full focus on his Xfinity Series program, B.J. McLeod Motorsports, which currently fields the No. 78 full-time for Anthony Alfredo.
Alfredo to BJMM was an odd move. He had shown great promise in a limited Xfinity season at Richard Childress Racing before his stock plummeted due to a poor 2021 season driving for Front Row Motorsports in the Cup Series. After a single season with Our Motorsports, where Alfredo again showed some speed, he joined BJMM when Our downsized from three cars to one.
However, things could be looking up for Alfredo and BJMM. If we estimate that Live Fast purchased Go Fas’ charter in the range of $10 million in 2021, and now sold it to Spire for $40 million, that means McLeod made approximately $30 million dollars in profits.
For a small team, that’s huge. And McLeod is a guy who can do a lot with a little, so imagine what he can do with … well, a lot. Maybe even Tifft could jump ship as a minority owner of BJMM for a little more experience in ownership.
This move might have been purposeful for McLeod to improve his Xfinity Series program. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see Alfredo and BJMM show dramatic improvement in 2024. Maybe that’s why Alfredo signed with BJMM. He has a committed sponsor in Dude Wipes, so he probably could have found a better ride. Maybe he joined BJMM knowing that this was a possibility.
Live Fast did say that it would compete part-time in 2024 as an open team, and I have no doubt that any driver McLeod taps for that will be in-house, whether or its himself or Alfredo (or maybe even Tifft — wouldn’t that be cool?) or a combination, depending on number of races run.
With that, even Live Fast could see an uptick in performance. Not only does the team now have $30 million to use, but reducing a schedule to include just a handful of races will allow the team to avoid any potential resource stretching and perhaps improve its race results.
While Live Fast will no longer be competing week in and week out on Sundays, McLeod will still be smiling in 2024, only maybe a little bit wider this time. The business world can be a cutthroat one, but it’ll certainly have its advantages. For Live Fast and BJMM, a boost in equipment (and in turn performance) is certainly an advantage to doing business.
And it’s all thanks to McLeod’s business idea that just made him a millionaire.
About the author
Anthony Damcott joined Frontstretch in March 2022. He is an editor and co-authors Only Yesterday (Wednesdays) and Fire on Fridays (Fridays); he is also the primary Truck Series reporter/writer and dabbles in SRX coverage too. A proud West Virginia Wesleyan College alum from Akron, Ohio, Anthony is currently pursuing a master's degree. He is a theatre actor and fight choreographer-in-training in his free time. He's a loyal fan of the Cincinnati Reds and Carolina Panthers, still hopeful for a championship at some point in his lifetime.
You can keep up with Anthony by following @AnthonyDamcott on Twitter.
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