Mathis still looking for sponsor to run team

For the past two years, former NFL player Terance Mathis, has been working the telephones trying to find a sponsor for his Victory Motorsports. He brings star appeal to the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, as well as the opportunity for the sport to embrace a minority-owned team. On the surface, it should be an easy sell. A high-profile owner with a chance to break the color barrier in a sport that's trying desperately to chip away at its all-white perception should have Corporate America ready to come aboard. But Mathis, like so many before him, has learned it's not that easy. "I'm still battling the battle," Mathis said. "The reason this isn't easy is because unlike other sports, where the whole league makes sure you're on the right path, in NASCAR you're on your own. It needs to be fixed." In the past four years, several high-profile people from sports and entertainment have talked about joining NASCAR. The sanctioning body has put many of them on display, hoping to give its diversity program some legs. But for the most part, it has turned into a daunting task. Mathis, for now, is up for the challenge. "I'm stubborn," he said. "That's how I played my career. I'm going to work my tail off and find a way to make this happen. There have been times when I've decided I can't do this anymore, then I get a phone call or an e-mail from somebody that reminds me this is more important than a race team. We can't close the door on this. I want to make it viable for anyone who wants to come into this sport. I started this thing, and I want to see it to the end." While Mathis continues to struggle to find funding, Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith, actor/comedians Tommy Davidson, Damon Wayans, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans will have a car on the track this year. Their #06 Ford is scheduled to make its debut in the Busch Series race at Mexico City today. Others, like Mathis and former Oakland Raiders receiver Tim Brown are still looking. Augusta Chronicle

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