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New ‘Go Canada’ Nationwide Team Is On The Go

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, April 24 2011

The Go Canada car, with owner Steve Meehan and driver J.R. Fitzpatrick, made its debut at Nashville this weekend. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR)

Larry Woody | Senior Writer

Nashville, Tenn. – Go Canada Racing, a new NASCAR team owned by a Canadian businessman and based in Nashville, made its debut in Saturday’s Nationwide race at Nashville Superspeedway and announced big plans for the future.

Team owner Steve Meehan said his plan is to run “about’’ 10 Nationwide races and two Cup races this season, compete in the Nationwide Series next year, and go full-time Cup racing in 2013.

“I’m excited about it,” said driver J.R. Fitzpatrick. “It’s a great opportunity.”

Fitzpatrick resides in Toronto but plans to eventually move to Nashville once the team has established its permanent headquarters. Meehan financed several races that were run out of Nashville-based Baker Curb Racing complex earlier this season, and is currently using Day Enterprises in the Goodlettsville suburbs.

Team manager Matt Crews said the team is searching for a permanent location. There has been speculation that it will acquire the Baker Curb complex, although one of that team’s owners, Gary Baker, is adamant that the team will not fold.

Baker and partner Mike Curb bought the former Brewco Motorsports three years ago and moved it to Nashville. Since then it been winless on the Nationwide circuit, although it flirted with victory in a couple of races last season wit Greg Biffle at the wheel.

Baker has suspended operations – temporarily he said – and will not resume racing until a suitable sponsor is found.

Meehan, who joined Fitzpatrick in a press conference last Friday at the Superspeedway, was asked why a Canadian businessman would locate his race team in Nashville.

“The team was based here when he bought it,” he said, referring to two cars, a transformer and other equipment purchased from Baker Curb Racing. “We inherited a lot of good people, great people, who live in this area and logistically it makes more sense for the team to remain in Nashville.”

One of those people was Crews, who oversaw the Baker Curb operation and will serve in a similar capacity with Meehan’s team.

A sour economy has hit the sport hard, forcing even some big-time teams to make cuts. Meehan, who admitted that his racing knowledge is limited, was asked if he had reservations about plunging into such an expensive sport at this juncture.

“No,” he said, “the timing and the opportunity was right for us to get in.”

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

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, April 24 2011