Cassill makes NASCAR history with cryptocurrency sponsorship deal

Landon Cassill and JD Motorsports partner with Voyager Digital to bring first car paid fully in cryptocurrency to NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Landon Cassill has partnered with Voyager Digital Ltd. for the remainder of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, making him the first driver to be paid fully in cryptocurrency. JD Motorsports announced the 19-race primary sponsorship deal Thursday.

Quite literally and figuratively, Cassill is investing his financial and professional future in Voyager.

“You can say no pun intended, but it really is,” Cassill told NASCAR.com. “I check my Voyager account probably 100 times a day.”

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Voyager operates a crypto-asset trading platform. Cassill, an avid supporter of the cryptocurrency market, met Voyager CEO Steve Ehrlich a couple years ago at a crypto conference and has kept in contact since then. Their budding relationship is what sparked this partnership.

JD Motorsports‘ No. 4 Chevrolet will officially sport its first Voyager paint scheme in Saturday‘s Tennessee Lottery 250 at Nashville Superspeedway (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports Live, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Ehrlich and other Voyager employees plan to be in attendance, as the company is excited about joining the sport and gaining a national platform.

“It goes all to education, and what we try to do is educate the masses on why cryptocurrency matters, why digital dollars is where we‘re going,” Ehrlich said. “… I always tend to ask people as customers or people that are wanting to learn more: When was the last time you actually used real greenback dollars? Most people don‘t. They use debit cards, and everything is electronic anyway. So, this is the next phase of electronic currency.”

Cryptocurrency can be turned into everyday cash and transferred to a personal banking account, thus avoiding volatility. Voyager even offers various interest rates to its users; the amount depends on the asset. Voyager will pay Cassill and JD Motorsports in a portfolio of crypto assets led by Litecoin and Voyager Token.

“Well, I mean, there is risk in holding cryptocurrency as there is with any stock or any investment,” Cassill said. “But for me, it‘s something I‘m familiar with, I‘m comfortable with and I feel like I have a good handle on what I‘m willing to risk and what I need to pay my bills.”

JD Motorsports owner Johnny Davis trusted Cassill‘s instincts, too, when approached with the offer.

Voyager actually had a one-off opportunity with the No. 4 car about a month ago at the Circuit of The Americas, where Cassill placed 22nd. Otherwise, JD Motorsports has had nine different main sponsors through the 14 races so far. That‘ll no longer be the case with Voyager.

“It gives us the opportunity to have more continuity on the car,” Cassill said. “These are small details that people maybe don‘t realize. But with a small team, just knowing what‘s going on the car and the team being able to take the energy that they might have focused on selling sponsors week to week or wrapping the car 10 different ways every week, now my guys can focus on the performance and make sure that we‘re getting everything we can out of the car.”

This season, Cassill has posted a best finish of 12th twice — Daytona Road Course in February and Darlington Raceway in May. He‘s ranked 18th in the standings right now — six spots outside of the 12-driver playoff field with 12 events left in the regular season.

Cassill, a 31-year-old from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has competed in the Xfinity Series since 2007 in both limited and full-time roles. His career-best result was third at Daytona International Speedway in 2011.

This 2021 slate marks Cassill‘s first full-time effort in the series since 2014, when he closed out the season 12th in points.

“In the crypto world, we say, ‘to the moon,”” Ehrlich said. “We think this partnership is to the moon on what we can do for education and growth of both brands.”