StarCom Racing Will Field Two Cars for NASCAR Race at Dover

StarCom Racing will field a second car for the AAA Drive for Autism 400 to be driven by team manager Derrike Cope.

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Chris Trotman—NASCAR via Getty Images

StarCom Racing will field two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series entries for the AAA Drive for Autism 400 at Dover International Speedway in Delaware on Sunday. 

It will be the first two-car effort for the race team, which is in its first full season of NASCAR competition. The additional Dover entry, a No. 99 Chevrolet, will be driven by team manager Derrike Cope. Landon Cassill will return to the driver’s seat of StarCom’s No. 00 Chevrolet after being replaced by Joey Gase at the April 29 race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

"Hard to believe we are this far into the season already,” Cope said in a press release from the race team. "I am pleased with the progress that our team has made. I have been consumed with the team manager duties up to this point but am excited to get back into the StarCom Fiber 99 Chevrolet, and especially at Dover, one of my favorite tracks.”

Sunday’s race at Dover will be Cope’s first race of 2018 as a driver. Of 424 NASCAR premier-series starts between 1982 and 2017, Cope has two-career wins, the second of those coming at Dover in 1990. His other career win also came that year in the Daytona 500. Cope drove the No. 00 for two of his 15 starts in 2017, posting a best finish of 32nd at ISM Raceway, then named Phoenix International Raceway.

After Cope competed in the final races of the 2017 season as a driver, he originally was announced as the pilot of the No. 00 for StarCom Racing’s full-time foray into Cup Series racing this year. Plans changed, though, as Jeffrey Earnhardt was put in the car and was expected to be the car's full-time driver in 2018. Earnhardt and StarCom parted ways after the first five races of the season, and Cassill took over driving duties for all races since, with the exception of the Talladega race.

"I'm excited to be back in the car, especially at such a challenging place like Dover,” Cassill said, according to the same press release. "It will be a race for survival, like always, and I'm anxious to see what kind of progress we can make on the car in practice."

Cassill has StarCom Racing’s best finish to date, a 20th-place showing last month at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee.