In all fairness to Steve Turner, he’s been here for a while. But as an owner he’s relatively new to the game – and it sounds like he could soon be one of the biggest independents in the sport.
FoxSports first reported on Saturday about the possible sale of Braun Racing to Turner. We are hearing, barring any last minute issues, it’s a done deal. It’s been common knowledge around the sport for some time that Todd Braun is/was willing to entertain offers.
So far this season Turner has been linked to at least two other teams – Phoenix Racing and Randy Moss Motorsports – in his quest to expand from his existing two truck operation.
What Turner would get in the acquisition of Braun is equipment, and perhaps most importantly, several lucrative sponsorship deals – add those to his existing deal with Ricky Carmichael and Monster Energy Drink.
Turner, if you’re not familiar, is the president and COO of Texas-based RedHawk Energy, an oilfield services company. He joined that organization after the sale of his own Xxtreme Group (another oilfield services company) to RedHawk late last year.
Throughout racing circles, Turner has been a familiar name for some time as the benefactor of young NASCAR driver James Buescher (Buescher dates Turner’s daughter Kris).
He formed Turner Motorsports last season, running select Truck Series races with Ricky Carmichael and Scott Wimmer. Carmichael has run the full truck schedule this year, and Buescher has been in all but a few races in a second truck. As an owner, Turner has already collected six top-fives and 11 top-10s.
Though many around NASCAR are once bitten, twice shy with new team owners (see Alex Meshkin and Bobby Ginn), I think Turner could prove formidable. While he may be moving a little fast (I’m personally a fan of the Kevin Harvick, KHI model) he appears to have some wealth and a solid business background, and he understands the cost of racing (only 1 of 2 Turner Motorsports Trucks is funded – Wolfpack Rentals is a RedHawk company) – something Meshkin and Ginn had absolutely no conception of.
We’ll see how everything turns out, but Steve Turner is definitely someone to keep an eye on. He’s shown over the past several months a strong desire to become a player in NASCAR – with the right resources and right moves he could be there very soon.