The future landscape of NASCAR is changing. With some recent organizational announcements, there’s a shift going on in the sports’ highest level. Starting with the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, Go Fas Racing (GFR) will enter into a technical alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), one of Ford’s most competitive organizations.
GFR team-owner Archie St. Hilaire has been preparing for the opportunity to take his organization to the next level since the team’s first full-time season in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2014.
“2020 will be an exciting year at GFR with the addition of SHR cars and their technical assistance,” St. Hilaire said. “I can’t thank all of the great people at SHR for the opportunity to align with them. All of this couldn’t happen without the help of our wonderful sponsors and marketing partners. GFR has improved every year in our six years in the NASCAR Cup Series and I believe that the best is yet to come for this little team and our great group of employees.”
Via this new alliance with SHR, GFR will be provided with chassis, data and technical support for the No. 32 Ford Mustang in addition to their present relationship with Ford Performance and Roush Yates Engines.
“This arrangement will allow Go Fas Racing to improve its performance in 2020 and position itself for future growth,” said Greg Zipadelli, Vice President of Competition for SHR.
To date, St. Hilaire has more than 200 NASCAR Cup Series starts under his leadership, giving a wide array of drivers the opportunity to compete at NASCAR’s level, including past champions.
2020 driver negotiations are still ongoing.
This isn’t the only team with an alliance for 2020. Leavine Family Racing has strengthened their alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing for a similar deal next season as well. Christopher Bell will be their driver.
See, the reason this is happening is, the big teams are capped at what they can do. NASCAR has a four car limit for any organization in the Cup Series. Since teams like SHR and JGR already have four cars under their umbrella, they’re limited in terms of expansion. With some drivers coming up through the ranks that they have their eyes on, mixed with contracts in place already, they need somewhere to go.
It’s a win-win situation.
They can essentially add a fifth car but not run it under their banner. LFR is basically a fifth JGR car with Bell driving it. Toyota has made it known that they’re not going to put Bell is bad equipment so the alliance between the two organizations got deeper. That’s a win for a smaller team like LFR who normally wouldn’t run up front.
Same now for Go Fas. They typically are a 20th to 30th place team. This propels them to a top 20 effort. Cole Custer is an SHR driver deserving of a Cup role but if SHR and Daniel Suarez work out a deal for Suarez to return, Custer has no where to go. Another season in the XFINITY Series doesn’t make much sense.
So, SHR can put him with Go Fas and ensure he has a caliber ride.
Furniture Row Racing did this with JGR and it worked instantly. They and Martin Truex Jr. had career years together with JGR and Toyota’s backing. Unfortunately, the money didn’t work out well and FRR folded.
But, this is something that we’re seeing in all forms of motorsports and it’s not going to go away any time soon.