As one of the smallest organizations in the NASCAR Cup Series, just 17 people work in the 11,000-square foot shop in Mooresville. The 2019 season will be the fourth full year in the Cup Series for the No. 32 and the first time Corey LaJoie, its new driver, has competed every weekend. Together, the group isn’t looking to set the world on fire, but there’s hope of improvement and success from their side of the garage.
Among the positives going into the new year is sponsorship. Between the partners returning to Go Fas and those who have joined with LaJoie, there are about ten races left the team needs to sell. St. Hilaire says this is one of the best spots they’ve been in going into January.
Here is more of what St. Hilaire had to say about his operation following the introduction of LaJoie to the group.
Q: Is this a one-year deal or multi-year?
St. Hilaire: “Whether it’s crew chief, everybody in our business we have a one-year deal. I always say, let’s make sure we like each other. I do it in my regular businesses because after one year if he doesn’t like me or I don’t like him, or somebody doesn’t like somebody, I don’t want to drag anybody through a two or three-year deal. Hopefully, it’s many years but at this point let’s try it and make sure we like each other and move forward from there.”
Q: On using a Team Penske pit crew
St. Hilaire: “They’re not development guys, they are actually [Penske’s] fifth group. They’re going to have the three for them, one for the Wood Brothers and we’ll be their fifth team. But they’re not development guys, they’re full Cup guys.
Q: You guys go it alone. There is no alliance with another team?
St. Hilaire: “We get a little help from Ford and do it on our own.”
St. Hilaire: “We had talked to two or three drivers, we’d like to do something on a part-time basis in ’19 if it all works out. The charter thing is up in the air. There’s a couple charters that changed hands, so if we could work a deal with some of them [because] I really don’t like taking open cars, I’m kind of against that open concept really. So, if we could work with somebody that has another charter to maybe fill in some of their races and get some other drivers a shot, maybe we’d do that. But that would not be in this shop; I’d do it on my own on the side. Mason runs this operation, and I don’t want to take away from anything we’re doing. But if we do that, it might be six to eight races.”