NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith joins Xfinity Series team as part owner

Emmitt Smith, the NFL's career rushing leader, is joining the Xfinity Series as a part owner of Jesse Iwuji Motorsports.

Iwuji is fielding his own team as an owner-driver, and now he has Smith on board.

Smith joins a growing list of sports personalities to get involved in motorsports team ownership, including former NFL coach Joe Gibbs and former NBA stars Michael Jordan and Brad Daugherty.

"It was mainly because of my relationship with Jesse," Smith said during the television broadcast of Saturday's race at Michigan International Speedway. "I do follow what Jordan and other guys do. But usually when I get into something, it's because of a relationship. All people are looking for is an opportunity."

Iwuji, who has been racing part time in the series since 2018, is from the Dallas area and serves as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

He is one of two Black drivers regularly competing in a national series. Bubba Wallace competes in the Cup Series. And Iwuji is hoping Smith's involvement will help bring diversify to the sport and attract more sponsorship.