Aikman, Staubach coming to NASCAR
By MIKE HARRIS, AP Motorsports Writer
January 16, 2003
Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach quarterbacked the same NFL team. Now they're part owners of the same team -- planning to enter a car in NASCAR's Winston Cup Series in 2004.
The former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks are partners in Hall of Fame Racing, which will be directed by former Trans-Am driver Bill Saunders, who will act as managing partner.
``Roger and I have discussed this for a while, and all the pieces just came together. We're not naive going into this thing. We recognize it will be a real challenge,'' Aikman said in a telephone interview Thursday with The Associated Press.
So far, Aikman said, the team has no shop, no equipment, no employees other than the three owners, no driver and no sponsor. The latter will be a priority, the three-time Super Bowl winner added.
``For Roger and me, our involvement will, hopefully, be in sponsorship, and we'll be go to the races when we can,'' he said.
``Maybe we can bring some things to a company that others can't. We're not in it for the sake of being in it,'' Aikman added. ``We'll be up and running in 2004 but we know we've got a lot of work ahead.''
Stars from other sports have not had a very good track record in NASCAR. NBA great Julius Erving and NFL star Joe Washington had a Busch team, but couldn't sustain momentum, lost their sponsor and disappeared from the stock car sport. Three years ago, Olympic track star Jackie Joyner-Kersee and her husband, Bob, announced plans to form a team, but nothing ever materialized.
Aikman, 36, retired from the NFL after the 2000 season. Two-time Super Bowl winner Staubach will turn 61 on Feb. 5 and retired following the 1979 season. Their mutual love of football and the Cowboys brought them together years ago.
``Roger has been a friend and mentor to me for many years,'' Aikman said. ``Roger is very competitive and I am very competitive, and now we get to be involved in a sport and have an opportunity to get together and do something special.''
Aikman said Joe Gibbs, former coach of the Washington Redskins and now owner of Joe Gibbs Racing, which won Winston Cup championships in 2000 and 2002, has helped get the team off the ground.
``Coach Gibbs has been a tremendous resource for our team already,'' Aikman said. ``When he got involved in the sport, people helped him and he is returning the favor and keeping us, hopefully, from hitting some of the same pitfalls he found.''
He also said it's premature to be talking about a driver.
The team will be headquartered in Dallas while maintaining a race shop in Charlotte, N.C., where most of the Winston Cup teams are based.