Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series season finale at Phoenix Raceway appears to be the last race for StarCom Racing. On Friday, the team announced the sale of its charter to a currently anonymous buyer.
“It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our StarCom Racing fans,” read a statement from the team. “After the championship this weekend, our #00 charter will take new ownership. Thank you so much to all our fans for the fun memories and loyal support over the years!”
While the news did not reveal if the team will continue in as an Open operation or on a part-time basis, the wording of the statement suggests a shutdown. Various StarCom personnel have also issued their farewells; in September, mechanical director Charlie Langenstein made a since-deleted Twitter post that revealed the team would fold at the end of the 2021 season.
StarCom débuted in late 2017 with 1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope, who also serves as general manager, in the #00. Acquiring a charter led to full-time competition in 2018 with multiple drivers, including the introduction of a part-time #99 car. Landon Cassill ran the full 2019 season and finished thirty-second in points before being replaced by Quin Houff. Cassill holds the team’s best finish of eleventh in the 2019 summer Daytona race.
Although the team generally finishes in the bottom half of the running order, all but two of their seven top-twenty finishes have come on superspeedways. The #00 has also finished in the top twenty in all four fall Talladega starts, with 2021’s being the team’s best finish of the year in nineteenth.
At the time of Langenstein’s post, StarCom had been seeking to sell its charter, with FOX’s Bob Pockrass reporting Spire Motorsports as the top suitor. Spire, who fields two cars, sold both charters to Kaulig Racing; the #77’s charter was previously that of the now defunct Furniture Row Racing, while another for the #7 came from JTG Daugherty Racing‘s #37. The #37 still competes weekly as a non-chartered team. Assuming Spire is indeed the buyer of StarCom’s charter (which likely goes to the #7 as Corey LaJoie is a full-time driver), the team would still need another to lock the multi-driver #77 into every race.