BJ McLeod owns both BJ McLeod Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and Live Fast Motorsports in the Cup Series. New challenges appear often, but McLeod loves life in the fast lane, and nothing can stop him on this journey.
BY JOSEPH WOLKIN, @JoeWolkin
“When I look back and see everything that’s fallen into place, the most wonderful part is the people that have made it possible for me to get where I’m at. It’s unbelievably hard and crazy, and we’ve been fortunate to have all of that fall into place. When it was going on for the last 10 years, I enjoyed every second of it. It was hard, but my wife kept me going when things didn’t look bright. I may not have thought we were going to go down the path we would take, and she told me we would keep moving forward. I didn’t realize how hard it actually was because I love what I do. It’s almost impossible to look back and see how everything had to fall together to end up now part owner of a Cup charter, I drive a Cup car, I drive an Xfinity car and I get to do a lot of dreams that I dreamed as a kid. It’s crazy that it’s all come together.”
“I like to say yes to anything I can when it comes to racing. It kind of started with having my own teams and they all had drivers in them at Michigan, and Mike Harmon asked me to drive his car. I finished 20th and on the lead lap, so I had a call from Johnny Davis when I went in the lounge to change clothes like the minute after the race. I called Johnny and he said I don’t have anybody for Iowa next week, do you want to do it? I ended up running 70 or 80 races for him over two and a half years. The opportunity presented itself and I said absolutely. I’m always thinking about my teams first and putting the right people in the right places. That means not putting me in the seat for the last couple of years, when I’ve only driven one of my cars a few times. The development of our Xfinity team and moving it forward is number one. If not fortunate enough to have a ride with Johnny or someone else, I don’t drive and it is what it is. It’s definitely fun to make the most of those opportunities.”
“Working with Matt, Joe and my wife manages the organization, it’s been easier for me because I have more people to help guide us on our path. It’s been easier to work towards the future than it has been on the Xfinity side because it’s just my wife and I. Being a Cup owner definitely puts a level of stress on you to perform every week and dealing with being a lower budget team. It’s going to take years, not months or weeks. When we started it, Matt, Jessica and Joe knew it was going to take a while. But when you start living it, it becomes more difficult. Our guys bust their butts and we’re very proud of what we’ve done in our first year. We’re going to the track and racing for 30th. It’s hard for us to see our guys work hard and see that’s all we have with our budget. In the same sense, we knew what we were getting into and we’re here for the long haul. We want to show our sponsorship partners that we can be good for them and increase our sponsorship dollars year-over-year to be 25th, then 20th and, from there, it’s the winner’s circle once you’re in the top 20. You have to accept where you’re at. We’re willing to stick it out for decades to get to where we want to be.”