Although Stewart-Haas Racing is in its inaugural season of NASCAR XFINITY Series racing, the team is expanding its operation for years to come.
SHR announced Monday that it will partnering with Biagi-DenBeste Racing for the XFINITY Series beginning in the 2018 season.
“We’re always looking to improve our performance and find ways to make our teams more efficient,” Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, said in a press release. “While we’ve been in NASCAR for nine years, this was our first year in the XFINITY Series. Partnering with Biagi-DenBeste Racing gives our XFINITY Series program added depth as we prepare for next season.”
The team will continue to field the No. 00 entry, driven by Rookie of the Year contender Cole Custer this season, as well as its second entry of the No. 41. However, next season, the No. 41 car will change to the Biagi-DenBeste No. 98, and it will be driven by 2014 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick on a limited basis.
Hunt Brothers Pizza and FIELDS will remain with Harvick and the No. 98 next season.
Biagi-DenBeste Racing’s last victory came in May at Talladega Superspeedway with Aric Almirola behind the wheel. The organization has two other wins (Mike Wallace, Daytona 2004 and Almirola, Daytona 2016).
“Racing is our passion and to ensure our presence in this sport for years to come, it made sense to partner with an established team that also fields entries in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series,” Fred Biagi, co-owner of Biagi-DenBeste Racing with Bill and Lori DenBeste, said a statement. “We look forward to competing for wins and defending our victory at Talladega.”
The company name will now be known as Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste beginning with the 2018 season. The name change only applies to the company’s XFINITY Series program. The Stewart-Haas Racing name in the Cup Series will remain unchanged.
This season, Custer and the No. 00 team have amassed five top fives and 16 top-10 finishes through 30 races. The No. 41 team with Harvick has earned five top fives an six top 10s in six races as well.
The schedule for the 2018 season of the No. 98 team will be announced at a later date.