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Having accomplished everything shy of winning the Super Bowl as a wide receiver of the New England Patriots, Randy Moss turned his attention to another form of competition Saturday, July 19.
Moss, who bought a 50-percent share in Morgan-Dollar Motorsports several weeks ago, made his debut as a truck owner on July 19 at the Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway, accomplishing a dream. The debut marked the end of six months of hard work.
"This is something I have looked forward to for quite a while now. It has been a long process for me to be here in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and its been an experience. Teaming up with David Dollar has been a ride. Its had its ups and downs, but mostly its been ups," said Moss, who was presented a racing jacket with the Kentucky Speedway and New England Patriots logos on the front and Moss and the number 81 on the back.
Moss, a native of West Virginia, said the fact Kentucky Speedway is three hours from his home-state was important in him deciding to debut the #81 truck, driven by Willie Allen, in the Bluegrass State.
"This is close to my roots. When we were picking dates, this was it. I didn't want to be in Homestead or Dover. To be three hours from where I grew up and the people from my home state could come, it played a lot in us choosing to open at Kentucky," said Moss, who has sponsored a dirt track program and has been an ambassador for the Urban Youth Racing School.
Moss said his upbringing in West Virginia helped mold him into a fan of racing.
"I have a little bit of racing background in my roots with dirt tracks. I have been blessed with what I have accomplished in my career. I've been a fan," Moss said.
Moss said it wasn't until the 2001 death of Dale Earnhardt Sr. that he "started paying more attention to the sport."
"At first, I didn't know how big it could be," Moss said.
Earlier this month, Moss was asked by a reporter at Daytona if he liked to see wrecks, and he said, no.
"I'm not here for that. I like to see them go around and compete. I'm not here for the wrecks, but rather to compete and win, spin your car out, all the champagne and to go to Victory Lane," Moss said.
Moss is one of a handful of NFL players who have become interested in racing, joining the likes of Dan Marino, Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach and the late Reggie White as car owners. However, Moss says there is one big difference between himself and the former NFL players.
"They jumped right into the top of NASCAR and I told David that I didn't want to jump into the top, but rather start at the bottom. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is considered the bottom and I want to gradually work my way up. How long will that take? I really don't know, but right now, I am enjoying the ride. Hopefully we can win, get some victories. What's after that, I really don't know," Moss said.
Despite starting small, Moss understands there are several doubters in the racing world.
"I visualized it happening. I do have a passion for it. When the team and the driver sees how focused I am with my profession, I think it can go a long way. A lot of people have seen what I can do on the football field and venture out to NASCAR. A lot of people think it's impossible, and all my life I have been doubted with everything I have put my hands on. I am up for the challenge. I've been doubted, but I have been able to succeed. With my passion and determination to win, I think it can carry us a long way," Moss said.
And for those questioning whether or not getting involved is part of Moss enjoying a hobby, he has a stern message for them—he is in to win.
"I have one set of licenses. I don't want to be in the car or truck, but I think the sport itself is what gained my interest. I like to compete on the football field and with anything I do. Seeing them compete is something that gives you a good rush as a fan, and that is what led me here. I want to win," Moss said.
The drive to Victory Lane began with Allen finishing 15th.