NASCAR’s Chris Buescher shines a light on the LeBron James Family Foundation with car #17

LeBron James isn’t changing careers, but his presence will be felt at the NASCAR FireKeepers Casino 400.

On Sunday, August 7, Chris Buescher’s #17 car will feature numerous references to James’ humanitarian efforts, including the LeBron James Family Foundation logo and multiple mentions of James’ I PROMISE school in his hometown of Los Angeles. Akron, Ohio.

Following the reveal of the new look for the #17 car, James took to Twitter to share his excitement, sharing that it’s “for the love of my kids and families”.

So why NASCAR, why now, and why car #17?

Why is LeBron James on Chris Buescher’s #17 car?

James is one of the biggest stars the NBA has ever seen, in part because his stardom isn’t limited to the world of basketball.

Since 2011, James has held a minority stake in Liverpool FC, a stake which was increased in 2021 when James and his business partner Maverick Carter became official partners of Fenway Sports Group (FSG). As well as the Red Sox and Liverpool FC, FSG is a parent company of RFK Racing, the stock car organization that will field Buescher’s No.17 car as well as Brad Keselowski’s No.6 car.

The partnership paved the way for James’s foundation and school to feature prominently in Sunday’s race.

LeBron James’ history with NASCAR

As big a star as James is, it’s no surprise that Sunday isn’t the first time his name or likeness has appeared on a production car.

In 2005, an animated version of James appeared on Bobby Labonte’s #18 car for the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The collaboration, which was carried out through a partnership with Powerade, led to a 20-year-old James attending the race in Tennessee.

NBA presence in NASCAR

LeBron’s presence at FireKeepers Casino 400 is a reminder that the NBA and NASCAR worlds have been linked for some time now.

The most notable example is Michael Jordan.

In 2020, Jordan, along with Denny Hamlin, founded 23XI Racing, an organization that fielded Bubba Wallace’s #23 car and Kurt Busch’s #45 car.

While Jordan now has the biggest ownership presence by far, former No. 1 draft pick Brad Daugherty has long been involved with NASCAR as a broadcaster and former team owner.

Other NBA stars to make appearances at NASCAR races include Magic Johnson, Yao Ming, Dirk Nowitzki and Shaquille O’Neal.

2022 NASCAR Cup Series Schedule

Date Race Track Time (ET) TV channel Radio
August 7 FireKeepers Casino 400 Michigan International Speedway 3 p.m. UNITED STATES DNR
August 14 Federated Auto Parts 400 Richmond Circuit 3 p.m. UNITED STATES DNR
21st of August Go bowling at the Glen Watkins Glen International 3 p.m. UNITED STATES DNR
August 27 Coke Zero Sugar 400 Daytona International Speedway 7 p.m. NBC DNR

2022 NASCAR Calendar: Playoff Races

(all Eastern times)

Date Race Track Time (ET) TV channel Radio
September 4 South 500 Darlington Racecourse 6 p.m. UNITED STATES DNR
September 11th Hollywood Casino 400 Kansas Circuit 3 p.m. UNITED STATES DNR
September 17 Bass Pro Shops Night Race Bristol Motor Circuit 7:30 p.m. UNITED STATES PRN
September 25 AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Texas Motor Speedway 3:30 p.m. UNITED STATES PRN
October 2 YellaWood 500 Talladega Superspeedway 2 p.m. NBC DNR
October 9 Bank of America ROVAL 400 Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL 2 p.m. NBC PRN
October 16 South Point 400 Las Vegas Motor Speedway 2:30 p.m. NBC PRN
October 23 Dixie Vodka 400 Homestead-Miami Speedway 2:30 p.m. NBC DNR
October 30 Xfinity 500 Martinsville Motor Speedway 2 p.m. NBC DNR
November 6 NASCAR Cup Series Championship Phoenix Racetrack 3 p.m. NBC DNR

In Canada, fans can watch all NASCAR races on TSN.

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