Mainer to co-own full-time Sprint Cup team in 2014

Archie St. Hilaire of Old Orchard Beach  has entered into a partnership with former Sprint Cup crew chief Frank Stoddard of Haverhill, N.H., to filed a NASCAR Sprint Cup team in 2014.
Archie St. Hilaire of Old Orchard Beach has entered into a partnership with former Sprint Cup crew chief Frank Stoddard of Haverhill, N.H., to filed a NASCAR Sprint Cup team in 2014.
Posted Dec. 26, 2013, at 7:19 p.m.

Archie St. Hilaire has made it to the big time.

The Old Orchard Beach native, the president and chief executive officer of BBI Waste Industries, will realize his dream next year as the co-owner of a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup team.

St. Hilaire, who owns the Go Green Racing team in the Nationwide Series, has entered into a partnership with former Sprint Cup crew chief Frank Stoddard of Haverhill, N.H., who owns FAS Lane Racing.

St. Hilaire’s Go Green Racing team finished 27th in owner points in the Nationwide Series last season with six different drivers. Jeffrey Earnhardt ran 17 of the 33 races and had four top-20s, including a team-best 16th at Talladega (Ala.).

Stoddard’s FAS Lane Racing was 37th in owner points in the Sprint Cup Series with four different drivers.

As a crew chief, Stoddard teamed up with Jeff Burton and Roush Racing (now Roush/Fenway Racing) to win 14 races and notch 63 top-five finishes from 1998-2002. They had three top-five finishes in the points standings.

“It should be fun. We’ll see what happens,” said St. Hilaire on Thursday. “When we moved our race shop to Mooresville (N.C.) a couple of years ago, we wanted to get in the Cup series at some point. Frank had started his own Cup team and we hooked up and talked a little bit about it last fall.”

St. Hilaire would not disclose terms of the deal but said it was a “joint venture” and they will pool their resources.

St. Hilaire has some limited experience as a Sprint Cup owner. Kelly Bires, Mike Skinner and Scott Speed combined to drive in six Cup races in 2012 and had an average finish of 36th.

He said they have 10 Sprint Cup cars between them. He has three and Stoddard has seven.

They will run Fords with Roush/Yates engines.

They each have a race shop in North Carolina and St. Hilaire said they will eventually move all of their equipment into one of them.

St. Hilaire will sell his Nationwide cars and equipment, he said.

The personnel for each team will work together and they will hire a Roush/Fenway pit crew for race day.

They have already hired Dan Stillman as the crew chief and are in the process of hiring drivers.

“We’d like to hire someone with Sprint Cup experience,” said St. Hilaire.

Two-time Cup points champion Terry Labonte will drive the season-opening Daytona 500 for the FAS Lane/Go Green Racing team but he only wants to drive a limited schedule.

Stillman was the crew chief for 47 Sprint Cup races and 11 drivers between 1999-2010 including 15 with Regan Smith, eight with Paul Menard and three with Bobby Labonte. He had one top-10 finish with Menard.

He posted five wins, 37 top-fives and 72 top-10 finishes in 138 Nationwide Races. He teamed up with Carl Edwards for four wins in 2009 and he had the other with Menard. Menard ran 68 races in the Nationwide Series with Stoddard. Among the other six were Tony Stewart (8 races) and Kevin Harvick (8 races).

St. Hilaire said Stoddard had been handling a variety of chores, including being the crew chief, and “it spread him out too thin. This will give him a break and enable him to do the marketing and business end of things while (Stillman) can be the crew chief and run the team.”

St. Hilaire’s son, Mason, who has run his race shop in North Carolina, will also be heavily involved.

The 54-year-old St. Hilaire said they have realistic goals for the season.

“We’d like to move up three to four spots in the series. We’d like to be in the low 30s (in owner points),” said St. Hilaire. “We aren’t going to be in the top 10 any time soon. It take so much money (to run in the top 10).

“But we want to be competitive and I think we can be. We want the car to finish every weekend. That’s important, too,” said St. Hilaire, who expects to name the drivers within a few weeks.

In a press release, Stoddard said, “Archie coming on board is great for FAS Lane Racing. It’s going to allow us to both work at growing and improving the overall operation of our team. It also allows me and Archie to work more on the business side of the operation. I had spread myself too thin with my multiple roles. We will both be able to work harder with our existing sponsors as well as the many new ones we look forward to working with.”

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