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New NASCAR Team Bound For Nashville?

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Wednesday, April 6 2011

Gary Baker's old Nationwide team could bring Canada to NASCAR. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR)

Nashville, Tenn. – A Canadian businessman has purchased some of the assets of Baker Curb Racing and reportedly plans to locate a new NASCAR team in Nashville, with aspirations to eventually compete in the Sprint Cup Series.

Sources say Go Canada Racing, owned by Toronto millionaire Steve Meehan, will make its debut in the April 23 Nationwide Series race at Nashville Superspeedway. The car will carry No. 67, with Canadian driver J.R Fitzpatrick behind the wheel.

Details will be announced at a press conference prior to the Superspeedway race.

Parts of the story broke last week in a story carried in a Canadian newspaper.

Baker Curb Racing co-owner Gary Baker confirmed that some of his team’s equipment has been sold to Meehan, but said the team has not folded. He said, however, that it will not race again until it secures sponsorship that will make its cars competitive on the track.

“We sold a transporter, two race cars and some pit road equipment,” Baker said, “but selling off some assets is not the same as selling the team. We have not sold the team.”

Fitzpatrick has driven Baker Curb Racing’s No. 27 in some races this year, and Baker said that Meehan has been “paying most of the costs.”

“It’s been a joint effort,” Baker said of his team’s association with Meehan. “But Mike Curb and I still own the team. If somebody forms another team here, it will be entirely separate from ours.”

A story titled “Canadian buys Baker Curb Racing” was posted on the national racing website Jayski last week. Excerpted from the Canadian newspaper, Globe and Mail, it said:

“Toronto businessman Steve Meehan bought the Baker Curb Racing team in a deal closed following the March 19 race at Bristol.”

Fitzpatrick is quoted as calling the deal “fantastic,” and added: “Steve is a really good guy … he is definitely going to push my career along and I am glad to be part of it.”

Meehan’s short-term goal, according to the story, is to run a partial Nationwide Series schedule this season with a long-term goal to be in Sprint Cup by 2013.

Meehan, 46, is founder of the Investment Planning Counsel which was acquired by IGM Financial in 2004 for $95 million in a cash and stock deal.

Why would a Canadian businessman place a race team in Nashville instead of in the Charlotte, N.C. area where the majority of NASCAR teams are located? A source said some key personnel who will be involved with the team live in the Nashville area and Meehan is willing to locate the team here as a concession to them.

– Larry Woody can be reached at lwoody@racintoday.com

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Wednesday, April 6 2011
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