Cassill, 30, has spent more than a decade clawing for opportunities in NASCAR. At Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2018, he joined Shepherd Racing Ventures, just so Shepherd could see how much speed was in his No. 89 car. By posting the 24th quickest time, it was the team’s best qualifying effort in more than two seasons, and best on a non-superspeedway since 2011.
In 2019, Cassill competed in 10 races for Shepherd, recording a ninth-place qualifying effort at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in mid-September (the team’s best outing in over 24 years). In the season finale at Homestead, the team had enough funds to run the full race, starting 13th and finishing 15th (the team’s best finish since Las Vegas in 2009, 238 starts prior).
While the team currently only has one Chevrolet — which is a 2013 model or older — and one full-time employee (Kase Kallenbach), Shepherd plans on running Cassill full time in 2020 — contingent on funds, of course.
“Yeah, we’ve got to raise the money because you can’t do this without money,” Shepherd tells Frontstretch. “Money buys people and buys cars and equipment. Those are the things you’ve got to have first of all.
“We’re building a resume to show them that we can get in races if we have the backing. You’ve got to have backing so you can hire people.”
Shepherd confirms the Homestead sponsor — Racing with Jesus/Dale & Sandra Dietrich — are family friends of the Shepherds. He also says the team is having discussions with two potential sponsors to nail down the 2020 season.
Cassill says the plan is to run the full season in the No. 89 car, should funding come around.
“That’s what we’re trying to do,” Cassill says. “Ultimately, he’s got a lot of sponsorship stuff that he’s working on. There’s a lot of things that have to come together.
“I’ve told Morgan, ‘Look, if you can find sponsorship and if you can put together a full season, I definitely want to try and help you however I can.’ If I’m clear to be able to drive the car, I’ll do it. Or if I can be a part of the program, however it is, I’ll do it.
“As of right now, he’s in as good of a position as he’s ever been to put together a full-season effort. I’m definitely there for him if he needs it.”
Though Shepherd has been a car owner in the Xfinity Series for 24 years, just once has he been able to pull off the full schedule. In 2011, he ran all 34 races, finishing a career-best 21st in points.
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