Landon Cassill is set to race full-time for StarCom Racing for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
Cassill, who competed in 29 races last season for the team, will drive the team’s flagship No. 00 Chevrolet.
"Really excited for the 00 team and really appreciative to be able to work for Derrike Cope and his journey as a general manager of a Cup team," Cassill told MRN. "I think he’s doing a good job, it’s not an easy task. I’ve got a lot of faith in StarCom Fiber as a parent company to be involved in motorsports and do what they are doing. I appreciate their investment."
It’s been a busy off-season for StarCom Racing with a new 20,000 square foot race shop in Salisbury, N.C. The team also purchased a charter from Richard Childress Racing and upped its engine program with ECR Engines.
"We are making a lot of upgrades from 2018," Cassill said. "We’ve got better engines this year. We’ve got a little bit more of a consistent complete fleet of race cars than we had last year, but with the new package we’ve got a lot to learn. Hopefully we can take advantage of all the talent that we have in our shop."
Cassill posted an average finish of 29.7 in his 29 starts a year ago. His best run came when he wheeled home an 18th-place finish in September at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
He’s hoping to improve on those numbers in the coming year while keeping in mind the financial realities of the team.
"I would say we have some on-track goals like outperforming the people that we feel like are in our category of funding and resources because that’s where you kind of have to set your benchmark," Cassill said.
Getting off to a good start would provide a boost of confidence and momentum for the team. Cassill believes the season-opening Daytona 500 will provide an opportunity to accomplish that goal.
"Superspeedways are always an opportunity regardless if you think that you brought a car that is competitive enough to steal a win," Cassill said. "Just outlasting the field is always an opportunity at the superspeedways. I feel like we are in a position where that’s how our approach in Daytona will be is to see how many people we can outlast. If that opportunity presents itself maybe we can out race a few in the end and get ourselves a top 10 or even better."
While the start of the NASCAR season is still a couple of weeks away, Cassill has already been behind the wheel when he made his Chili Bowl debut earlier this month. The prestigious dirt race gave Cassill an appreciation and understanding of open wheel racing he thinks will be beneficial to his career.
"The whole reason for me to drive a dirt midget was for to see for myself what it is that those guys are learning," Cassill said. "I feel like there are skills that I have growing up as a late model, asphalt guy that I think our extremely valuable to my NASCAR career that I have that those guys don’t have.
"But there’s a lot of skills that I see – guys like Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell activating weekend and week out in our NASCAR-type cars that I don’t have and I know they learned it from driving those dirt midgets."