Quin Houff has joined StarCom Racing in a two-year-deal to drive its No. 00 car full-time in 2020 and 2021, the team announced Wednesday.
Houff, 22, made 17 Cup starts last year, splitting time between Spire Motorsports and Premium Motorsports. He replaces Landon Cassill in the No. 00, but the team stated it will announce plans for Cassill at a later date.
“I’m very excited to become a part of the StarCom Racing family,” Houff said in a press release. “This is the chance of a lifetime to be able to become a full-time NASCAR Cup driver and to turn my childhood dream into a reality. I can’t thank those that were involved throughout my career enough; especially my family and sponsors! I also would like to thank StarCom Racing for this opportunity. I am looking forward to building a reputation and experience alongside this young fast-growing team at the top-level of motorsports.”
Houff’s best finish this season was 28th in the Coca-Cola 600.
“In our efforts to continue the progression of StarCom Racing, we have many plans for building the team in 2020 and being prepared for the introduction of the Next Gen car,” said Derrike Cope, the team’s manager, in a press release. “I am pleased to have young and passionate driver, Quin Houff, to continue his progression in the NASCAR Cup Series. He is a delightful, quick-witted young man that is eager to finally showcase his talents and race in his first Daytona 500!”
Cassill has made 65 starts for the team over the last two years.
“We are thankful for all that Landon Cassill has brought to StarCom Racing’s program in 2019,” the team said in a statement. “We have a commitment to Landon that we plan to honor in 2020. Details to come at a later date.”
I told ya I had some exciting news! Excited to continue to do what I have dreamed of from a young age! https://t.co/U6QXiXVU4l
Stock-car racing may not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about the Pacific Northwest, but make no mistake, despite being the only region in the continental United States without a NASCAR national series race, the Northwest has produced plenty of talented drivers who achieved success in NASCAR’s highest levels.
Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Mike Bliss and Derrike Cope are all drivers who once called the Northwest home, and Kennewick, Washington’s Brittney Zamora hopes to become the next Northwest racer to become a NASCAR star.
At age 20, Zamora may be a NASCAR K&N West Series rookie, but she enters the series with an impressive racing resume.
Born into a racing family, Zamora began racing karts at age four. She went on to race in the Northwest Super Late Model Series, where she would win Rookie of the Year honors in 2016, and won championships in 2017 and 2018.
Zamora’s success in late models led to the opportunity to drive the No. 99 ENOS/NAPA Filters Toyota for Bill McAnally Racing this season in the West Series, as well as on part-time basis in the East Series. Through seven K&N West Series events, Zamora has four top fives, five top 10s, 26 laps led and one pole.
“It’s been a pretty good start,” Zamora told NBC Sports. “A lot of people have expectations for me to go out there, but my expectations for myself are a little higher. I’m disappointed that we haven’t gotten that win yet.”
Regardless, Zamora believes she’s on the right track. When asked what grade she would give her performance this year, Zamora gave herself “a B+ or an A-.
“For our first year in the series, and with the competition out here, we’ve done really well progressing and achieving our goals,” Zamora said. “We’ve already met a lot of our goals and we’re only halfway through the season. As long as we can keep improving and keep setting those goals and reaching for them, (we’ll be fine).”
Zamora insists she would have never made it into the sport without the help of her racing hero.
“A lot of drivers get asked ‘who’s your biggest idol in racing?’ and they’ll say A.J. Foyt, Dale Earnhardt, one of the guys in the Cup Series or someone like that. Mine would have to be my dad,” Zamora said.
“He is who got me into racing. I went to the racetrack when I was four days old to go watch him with my family. It’s been my whole life. Growing up and seeing him win championships racing super late models, I wanted to follow in his footsteps, and not only have I done that but I went beyond that with his help and support. I wouldn’t be here today without him.”
Brittney’s father, Mike Zamora, raced across the Northwest for more than 20 years. Once it was time for Brittney to move up to those cars, Mike gave up his seat and began serving as her crew chief.
In the K&N West competition, however, Mike finds himself watching his daughter race from a distance. He and Brittney still find plenty of time to talk to each other during race weekends, and Mike offers his daughter advice when she asks for it, but he doesn’t get to be as hands-on with her K&N car as he is in late models.
“I don’t mind it at all, but it was kind of hard to take a step back because with our racing, I’m so involved,” Mike said.
“I’m the crew chief. We’re building the cars ourselves in our garage. With Bill McAnally Racing, they have guys that this is what they’re doing for a living and they’re better at this than I am. It’s hard to just sit back and watch, but I know that she’s in good hands.”
Though it is too early to predict how her racing career will turn out, she is on the right track to hone her racing skills.
“I’ve thought about this my whole life because I want racing to be my career,” Zamora said. “I don’t want a normal job. I want to be in a race car. Holding a steering wheel is my profession.”
“The Cup Series would be great. It’s the highest level of stock car racing there is, but honestly if I could make a career out of racing ARCA, Trucks, or Xfinity, I would be happy. As long as I’m in a race car competing every weekend, that would be nice.”
StarCom Racing has named Wayne Carroll as crew chief for driver Landon Cassill in the 2019 Cup season, NBC Sports has confirmed.
Carroll served as crew chief for 12 Cup races last season on StarCom Racing’s No. 99 car, working with several drivers including Derrike Cope, Gray Gaulding, Kyle Weatherman and three races with Cassill.
After leasing a charter from Richard Childress Racing for the No. 00 last season, StarCom purchased the charter for the same car for this season. The No. 00 and 99 will also have ECR motors under the hood for both Cassill and teammate Derrike Cope.
Also, Tony Furr, who served as crew chief for both Cassill and Jeffrey Earnhardt last season with StarCom, has accepted a similar position with Mullins Racing in the ARCA Racing Series, the team announced Tuesday.
Furr will serve as crew chief for the No. 3 Mullins Racing Ford driven by team owner and 2018 Daytona ARCA runner-up Willie Mullins in the ARCA Racing Series season-opening Lucas Oil 200 on Feb. 9 at Daytona International Speedway.
Furr has spent much of his career in the Cup Series, working with numerous stars including Bill Elliott, Joe Nemechek, John Andretti, Ward Burton, Jerry Nadeau and others.
Furr has two Cup Series wins as a crew chief, one with Andretti in the summer race at Daytona in 1997 and one with Nadeau at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2000.
It’s finally here! The 69th running of the Southern 500 will be held at 6 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN.
The night will be a blast from the past with paint schemes representing NASCAR’s history as the track celebrates NASCAR’s seven decades.
Here’s a roundup of the paint schemes:
No. 00 – Landon Cassill: The StarCom Racing driver will pilot a car with Bobby Allison’s 1988 Miller High Life paint scheme. Derrike Cope, StarCom’s team manager, drove for Allison from 1994-96. Matt DiBenedetto drove the scheme in last year’s Southern 500.
No. 1 – Jamie McMurray: The Chip Ganassi Racing driver will have a paint scheme based on one Bill Elliott drove in 1998. Instead of being dedicated to the 50th anniversary of NASCAR, it’s dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac.
No. 10 – Aric Almirola: The Stewart-Haas Racing driver will have Helping Hungry Homes, Smithfield’s initiative focused on alleviating hunger & helping Americans become more food secure.
No. 11 – Denny Hamlin: The Joe Gibbs Racing driver will throwback to his his short track days with the paint scheme he competed in mini-stocks with in 1997.
No. 12 – Ryan Blaney: Will drive a scheme based on the car his father, Dave Blaney, raced in the 2003 Cup season.
No. 13 – Ty Dillon: Germain Racing will have its original GEICO paint scheme from the 2009 season when the car was driven by Max Papis.
No. 14 – Clint Bowyer: Bowyer will driver a paint scheme based on the car NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett drove to a win in the 1965 Southern 500.
No. 17 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr: The Roush Fenway Racing driver will have the John Deere paint scheme driven by Chad Little from 1997-2000.
No. 18 – Kyle Busch: The Joe Gibbs Racing driver will pilot the original Skittles paint scheme first driven by Ernie Irvan in 1997.
No. 20 – Erik Jones: The Joe Gibbs Racing driver will pay tribute to the Camping World Truck Series career of his spotter, Rick Carelli.
No. 21 – Paul Menard: Wood Brothers Racing will pay tribute to Cale Yarborough’s win in the 1968 Southern 500, which was the first for the team and Yarborough.
No. 22 – Joey Logano: The Team Penske driver will pay tribute to Steve Park with the Pennzoil scheme Park drove for Dale Earnhardt Inc. in the early 2000s and won two races with.
No. 23 – Joey Gase: His car duplicates the paint scheme his father, Bob, had when he won the 2003 championship in his modified at Hawkeye Downs Speedway.
No. 24 – William Byron: Will drive Jeff Gordon‘s iconic DuPont “Rainbow Warriors” scheme he raced full-time from 1993 -2000.
No. 31 – Ryan Newman: The Richard Childress Racing driver will honor the late Neil Bonnett with his scheme. The car will be painted like the Mom & Pop’s sponsored car Bonnett drove in two Cup races in 1993. He was the first RCR driver to drive the No. 31.
No. 32 – Matt DiBenedetto: Will drive Jeff Burton‘s paint scheme from the 2000 Cup season.
No. 34 – Michael McDowell: This look replicates the color scheme for the first Love’s Travel Stop in 1981 in Amarillo, Texas.
No. 37 – Chris Buescher: The JTG Daugherty Racing driver’s car will have a scheme dedicated to the 110th anniversary of Busch’s Best Beans.
No. 38 – David Ragan: Will drive a paint scheme reminiscent of Dale Jarrett’s victory in the 1991 Champion Spark Plug 400 over Davey Allison.
No. 41 – Kurt Busch: Will drive his own paint scheme from the 2003 season when he was part of one of the closest finishes in NASCAR history at Darlington Raceway, losing to Ricky Craven by 0.002 seconds. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the race.
No. 42 – Kyle Larson: The Chip Ganassi Racing car will have a scheme based on Davey Allison’s 1988 rookie paint scheme.
No. 43 – Bubba Wallace: Richard Petty Motorsports changed its throwback scheme Sunday morning to include more of STP Day-Glo red on the car.
No. 47 – AJ Allmendinger: JTG Daugherty Racing will pay tribute to one of their early entries. Allmendinger’s No. 47 boasts the colors from Robert Pressley’s 1998 car in what was then the Busch Series (Xfinity today).
No. 48 – Jimmie Johnson: The three-time Darlington winner will drive the scheme he used in 2012 when he won the Southern 500 and gave Hendrick Motorsports its 200th victory.
No. 66: Timmy Hill: Hill’s car will be a tribute to Darrell Waltrip’s farewell scheme from his final Cup campaign in 2000.
No. 72 – Corey LaJoie: He pays tribute to his father, Randy, a two-time Xfinity Series champion. The No. 72 will paint scheme mirrors the paint scheme on Randy’s cars when he had FINA has a sponsor.
No. 88 – Alex Bowman: The Hendrick Motorsports driver is sponsored by Llumar, but does not have a throwback scheme.
No. 95 – Kasey Kahne: The Leavine Family Racing driver will boast the paint scheme from his 2006 Cup season, when he won a career-best six races and claimed six poles.
No. 96 – Jeffrey Earnhardt – The grandson of Dale Earnhardt Sr. will drive a scheme that the seven-time champion drove in 1978.
No. 99 – Derrike Cope: Cope will be sponsored by Bojangles and will have the paint scheme Cope drove in the Cup Series in 1993 when sponsored by the company.
NASCAR also stated that the No. 7 car will be penalized 15 minutes of practice time for failing inspection twice at Bristol. That car is not entered at Darlington and will serve its penalty the next time it enters a Cup event.
In the Xfinity Series, three cars will be penalized practice time Friday .
Ryan Reed, Carl Long and Mike Harmon each will be docked 15 minutes for being out of the garage late. NASCAR also announced that the No. 13 car will be penalized 15 minutes for failing inspection two times at Road America. That car is not at Darlington. It will serve its penalty the next time it enters an Xfinity race.