When Jesse Iwuji contests his first full NASCAR Xfinity Series season as an owner/driver, it will be in a Chevrolet Camaro SS. On Monday, Jesse Iwuji Motorsports (JIMS) announced it will field the #34 Camaro for Iwuji in 2022.
JIMS was formed in August by Iwuji and Emmitt Smith, the National Football League’s all-time leader in rushing yards who spent much of his career with the Dallas Cowboys. Iwuji grew up in Dallas County’s Carollton, Texas, and also played football in high school and the United States Naval Academy. The latter and his ensuing military service have made him a prominent ambassador for NASCAR and its military fanbase and communtiy.
When Iwuji began his professional motorsport career in road racing, one of his first vehicles was a Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z06. While he has used all three NASCAR manufacturers—Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota—as a stock car driver, much of his starts have come with Chevy.
“The story of going from the Navy to NASCAR and having my Corvette play a key part in that journey makes this partnership not only authentic, but inspirational for any person out there looking to accomplish big goals and dreams,” Iwuji said Monday. “This journey gives people hope and shows how much life truly rewards those who stay strong enough, long enough.”
He has five career Xfinity starts since 2020. His series début, a twenty-sixth at Road America, came in an MBM Motorsports-owned Toyota while the next four were in Camaros for B.J. McLeod Motorsports and Mike Harmon Racing. Of the quintet, his best career finish came at his home track Texas in 2020 of twenty-third. Iwuji also has fifteen career Truck starts since 2018 with a pair of top twenties at Texas 2019 and Talladega 2020.
In 2021, he entered five Truck races for Reaume Brothers Racing, failing to qualify at Daytona and scoring a best run of twenty-eighth at Texas. His lone Xfinity start of the year was a thirty-first at Pocono for MHR.
JIMS will operate out of a shop run by fellow Xfinity team JD Motorsports. Hendrick Motorsports will provide engines.
#34 has historical significance for Iwuji, who is one of just two black full-time NASCAR national series drivers alongside Bubba Wallace of the Cup Series. The number was notably used by Wendell Scott, a 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee and the first African-American Cup race winner. Scott’s son Frank attended JIMS’ Monday announcement at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
“Our team could not be more excited about the partnership with Chevrolet because of what it means to our race team and fans as we get our footing in NASCAR,” commented Smith. “It was vital to align to a manufacturer that not only provided us with the very best in technology but also believed in supporting Jesse, believed in the great men and woman that defend our country, believed in diversity, and believed in everything that our team stands for. Jesse Iwuji Motorsports is thrilled to have Chevy play a vital role in our mission to drive diversity, equity and inclusion in racing and join in the development of Jesse as he chases his dream.”