At the end of June, Reaume Brothers Racing announced it would manage the No. 93 Chevrolet, formerly of RSS Racing. In just over three months, the team is seeing progress.
The stars aligned for RBR: In 2016, Josh Reaume was an engineer for Ryan Sieg‘s No. 39 car as the team aimed to make the postseason for the first time. Meanwhile, Myatt Snider announced in early June he would run the full 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule, splitting time between RSS’ No. 93 and Richard Childress Racing.
Reaume recalls getting a phone call from the Siegs on the Sunday prior to the Pocono Raceway weekend to see if he’d take the car over, as they wanted to focus solely on the No. 39 car. Two days later, Reaume was in Georgia working on the No. 93, preparing to bring it and some of the equipment up to his Mooresville, N.C. race shop.
Transferring all the equipment – five total chassis, plus carts full of spare parts – nearly five hours north was one of the biggest demands.
“I knew the transition was going to be challenging. There were going to be a lot of unknowns that popped up along the way,” Reaume recently told Frontstretch. “Just moving all the equipment to North Carolina in itself was a feat. To do that [and] race every week was challenging.”
Reaume has been a team owner in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series since the beginning of the 2018 season. So controlling a team – though he isn’t listed as the owner – isn’t foreign to the California native.
Rod Sieg is still listed as the car owner of the No. 93 team, but it’s Reaume making the tough decisions and assuring that car gets to the racetrack on a weekly basis. That can be a process with limited funding.
“Owning it, you have more financial responsibility, Managing it, you’re ultimately going to be held accountable for the fault when there is that, whether it be financial, performance based or whatever,” Reaume added. “Those are my problems to solve.
“There are things that we have to work together and collaborate on, but I’ve tried to wash their hands of trying to do as much as possible so [RSS Racing] can focus on the [No.] 39 because that’s what the desire was, to focus on the 39. That’s worked well for their standpoint. Less on their plate. The more I can take away from them, the better.”
Since the addition of the Xfinity car, Reaume hired two additional employees, as it still has two full-time truck efforts. But he says he probably runs his team different from most, as team members aren’t signed specifically to a vehicle, nor are they specific to a particular area of the vehicle.
Reaume’s first race in charge was on July 4 at the inaugural Xfinity event on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Snider, a respectable road-course racer, finished 16th, backing up that performance in the first race at Kentucky Speedway the following week rounding out the top 15.
In the 16 races since RBR took over, Snider has a pair of 10th-place efforts at the Daytona International Speedway road course and Darlington Raceway, where the team had a shock failure early in the race. However, the rookie driver’s average finish has plummeted to 23.1 since Indy with six DNFs, five of which came from crashes. Including the first 12 races of the season, when the rookie driver competed for RCR and RSS, he has a season-long average result of 20.6, ranked 17th in the championship standings.
Regardless of what the stat sheet looks like, Snider believes 2020 has been a learning process.
“I would say it’s gone pretty well,” Snider said of the transition. “The whole goal with me running the rest of the season in the [No.] 93 was to get experience. […] I just wanted to get in the car, get a feel for it, see how they drove differently versus the trucks, and see where I stacked up and what I needed to improve on. I honestly did better than I thought I would.
“Working with Siegs has been good, and working with the Reaume brothers has been good as well.”
Snider admits when he announced he would run the full season between RCR and the No. 93 car just two weeks prior to the RBR announcement, he had no idea it would be with Reaume managing it. But in order to be playoff eligible, he had to compete in every race, and the first-year driver came up just shy of making the playoffs.
“All I was focused on was to run full-time because at that point, we were trying to make sure that I was in a car for all of the races,” he said. “We got pretty close to making the playoffs, so that turned out to be a wise idea.
“I feel like, if we could have had some better luck in random areas, then we might have had a better shot at Bristol.”
Compared to running RCR’s No. 21 car, the 25-year-old has had to temper expectations when running the No. 93. The team is working with a far smaller budget, while RCR won the Xfinity championship with Tyler Reddick in 2019.
Again, it’s all about making laps and gaining much-needed experience. Anything more than that is a bonus.
“Really good days are top 10s. Anything close to top five is a perfect day for them,” Snider said of the No. 93. “I just try to go into the weekend with the mindset that I’m going to get the most out of the car, no matter what car it is.”
All the while, Snider is working with 2000 series champion Jeff Green as his crew chief. 2020 has been the first full season in which Green has been primarily sitting atop the pit box calling the shots, and he’s certainly having fun with it, though he’s not able to work on the car as much as he’d like with no practice and currently residing in Kentucky, away from the North Carolina shop.
“For the most part, I think it’s gone pretty smooth,” Green said. “We wrecked a few times, had opportunities to have better days and didn’t capitalize on them because of that. The [No.] 93 budget is quite a bit less than the cars we’re around trying to beat. We’re trying to race hard, get the best finishes we can with the budget we’re allowed to do with it.”
As for Reaume taking over the No. 93 Chevrolet, Green believes it was needed, especially for the No. 39 car to make a run at the playoffs after it fluttered over the summer months despite a strong start to the season pre-pandemic.
“I think it was the best case scenario for everybody,” he said. “I think the [No.] 39 got what they needed and the 93 is getting a lot more attention now. I think we’ve ran better because of it.
“[Reaume] has done a super job of getting these guys to prepare these cars. The cars come off the truck really, really good. Every race we go to, I think it gets a little better of getting the car prepared and getting the car right for what Myatt needs to start the race in.”
Green admits, however, that he didn’t know the team would begin being managed by RBR until the day of the announcement.
At the track, the Nos. 39 and 93 haulers still park adjacent to one another and interact with each other, hoping to improve both programs. Green says both teams start the race with similar setups, as Kevin Starland, Sieg’s crew chief, shares past notes.
Green hasn’t seen much of a change in the team since early July, as it still runs the same chassis and engines. The only difference is the people that put their hands on it during the week at the shop.
The end goal for Reaume is stability and making a good business decision. Thus why he took on the No. 93 effort.
“A lot of the expenses are the same between the Trucks and the Xfinity cars. The purse is substantially higher in Xfinity, but more so than not it’s the number of races that there are,” Reaume said. “We have so many fixed expenses, whether that’s our power, rent, insurance, payroll, all those things are fixed expenses.
“In the Truck Series, to only run 23 races, that means you have to distribute those fixed costs across 23 races and now the price point to go and compete in those races is somewhat high. If you go add another 10 races, another 33% to your season, you just decreased your overhead quite a bit.
“To move to the Xfinity Series and to have more races on the calendar, that’s more races we can sell, that’s more cash flow because we’re racing more often. We need to race as much as we can, because when you’re not racing you’re just bleeding money and there’s no income.”
Reaume revealed the intent is to acquire the No. 93 for the 2021 season and start his own Xfinity team that he owns.
“At the conclusion of 2020, we’ll be taking over pieces of it to be able to run Xfinity full-time,” Reaume said. “As far as the intention of motors, points, cars to some level are retained and that’s what catapults us into the Xfinity Series. That was the carrot that I chased. The transition into a new series is highly expensive, to go out and buy these cars that have been quite costly. To walk into the water instead of having to jump into it by getting to use some cars that we can retain next year makes everything easier.
“The plan is to absolutely run full-time in Xfinity.”
- The series heads to the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL this Saturday (Oct. 10) with 38 teams on the entry list. For the first time this season, Rick Ware Racing will field an Xfinity entry (though the team has helped SS Green Light Racing with the No. 07), with Cody Ware piloting the No. 17 car.
- By winning last Saturday (Oct. 3) at Talladega Superspeedway, Justin Haley won his third straight race on a superspeedway track. The Indiana native became just the third driver in series history to have that feat, joining Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- With wins in the first two races in the Round of 12, Haley and Chase Briscoe are locked into the Round of 8. Despite wrecking out at Talladega, Austin Cindric is third on the playoff board, 50 points above the cutline. Noah Gragson enters the race 47 points to the good, Brandon Jones +34, Ryan Sieg +27, Justin Allgaier +19 and Ross Chastain +7. Harrison Burton goes into the cutoff race ranked ninth, seven points pack. Brandon Brown enters -19, Riley Herbst -36 and Michael Annett -38, after failing post-race inspection last weekend.