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The rundown of the Charter musical chairs between Wood Brothers Racing, Joe Falk and GO FAS Racing

Image Source: ZippaOMati

The Charter transfer system can be quite confusing & weird for us every year in which we may not know how these decisions makers can affect mainly small independent teams that compete in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series.

There are rules according to the NASCAR Playbook where you can buy and own a Charter but you must use this Charter for the next 5 years before you can lease it to any team after that period.

This week we will look at the latest Charter rundown between Wood Brothers Racing and GO FAS Racing.

Off-Season 2016-2017

We have first heard about this charter partnership between Wood Brothers Racing and GO FAS Racing back in December 2016 when Ryan Blaney has just concluded his first full-time Cup season at the time.

In an idea to accelerate Ryan Blaney’s development, Wood Brothers desperately needed a charter in 2017.

So what Wood Brothers Racing has came up is that they’ve undergone a lease agreement with GO FAS Racing where Wood Brothers were allowed to borrow the No.32 charter from GO FAS & use it on the No.21 Ford Fusion full-time in 2017.

The No.32 charter has been used on its own over the last five years (2012-2016), after that five year period ended, GO FAS can choose to lease that charter to any team they like after the five year period which it turned to be Wood Brothers Racing.

On the other hand, GO FAS has went on to borrow a charter from Richard Petty Motorsports to use it on the No.32 Ford Fusion for Matt DiBenedetto where the No.44 Charter is not in use anymore since Brian Scott’s retirement at Cup level at the end of the 2016 season.

We also know that the No.44 charter has been in use by RPM for over several years where Bill Elliott (2001-2004), Kasey Kahne (2004-2010), Marcos Ambrose (2011-2014) and Sam Hornish Jr. (2015) were driving the 2nd RPM car at the time.

So that period was enough for RPM to lease their No.44 charter to GO FAS Racing last season.

Results throughout 2017 season

Wood Brothers Racing/Ryan Blaney

Since Wood Brothers has leased a charter, the results were so positive where Ryan Blaney snatched up two pole awards at Kansas in May and Phoenix in November.

He also won his first-ever Cup series win & gifted Wood Brothers’s 99th Cup win at Pocono in June.

In the end, Wood Brothers enjoyed their most successful Cup season in years as single car organization where Ryan Blaney advanced into the Playoffs based on his regular season win at Pocono, he also advanced to the Round of 8 Playoffs.

Overall, Ryan Blaney finished 9th in the points standings where this is the first time since 1994 that Wood Brothers have experienced a Top 10 finish in drivers’ points throughout their time at in the Monster Energy Cup Series.

According to Racing Reference, Ryan Blaney has recorded 4 Top 5s (11.1%) and 14 Top 10s (38.9%) as well as an average start of 10.3 and an average finish of 17.2.

GO FAS Racing/Matt DiBenedetto

If you look at GO FAS Racing, Matt DiBenedetto has posted two Top 10 placings (5.6%) where he finished 9th at the Daytona 500 in February followed by 8that the Brickyard 400 in July.

Don’t forget that he also finished 3 times within the Top 20 where he was placed 19that Bristol in April, 18th at Talladega in May and 13th at Daytona in July.

Although Matt DiBenedetto finished 32nd in the 2017 points standings, it’s not that easy for a smaller team where most of the races he competed have been below the Top 20/25 mark.

However, you have to give credit to DiBenedetto and GO FAS Racing crew based on the hard work they’ve done when it comes to finishing inside the Top 10 & 20.

According to Racing Reference, Matt DiBenedetto’s average start is 28.9 & average finish is 27.1.

Overall, both Charter lease transfers between GO FAS Racing and Wood Brothers Racing has paid off when it comes to the performances on the race track.

Off-Season 2017-2018

Driver Changes

Matt DiBenedetto has signed a contract extension to remain at GO FAS Racing for another season along with his crew chief Gene Nead while Ryan Blaney has since moved to Team Penske as their 3rd Cup driver in the No.12 Ford Fusion joining Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.

Paul Menard has since defected from Richard Childress Racing to Wood Brothers Racing where he will drive the No.21 Ford Fusion. Menard will also drive a limited number of races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Team Penske.

Charter Ownership

Wood Brothers Racing/Archie St. Hilaire

Wood Brothers will be able to use the No.32 GO FAS Racing Charter again this season & beyond in a new partnership with Archie St. Hilaire. This agreement will allow the No.21 Wood Brothers Ford Fusion to automatically start all 36 Cup races this season.
from what I’ve been told, the charter is now co-owned by Archie (personally, not Go Fas) and the Wood Brothers.

— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) January 16, 2018

If you’re unsure what this means, the No.32 charter that Wood Brothers borrowed from GO FAS last season has now been owned in a 50/50 shared charter agreement between Wood Brothers and Archie St. Hilaire.

GO FAS Racing Charter

On the other hand, since GO FAS has handed the charter to Wood Brothers it does not mean that they will compete as an open-car team this season.

Although we don’t know what Richard Petty Motorsports would do with the No.44 Charter just yet but GO FAS Racing has confirmed via Twitter that they will be racing with Matt DiBenedetto in 2018 with a un-named Charter with a full press release will be made on their website in the next few days.

They will not reveal which organization they’ve purchased the charter from but I have heard a reliable source from’s NASCAR editor Kelly Crandall that GO FAS Racing has secured an ownership stake in Joe Falk’s charter, which will go to the No.32 of Matt DiBendetto this season.
Hearing that Go Fas Racing now has an ownership stake in Joe Falk’s charter, which will go toward the No. 32 of Matt DiBendetto this year. Go Fas is also hoping to get to a two-car team with Joey Gase in 2019 #NASCAR

— Kelly Crandall (@KellyCrandall) January 16, 2018

She also said that GO FAS Racing may expand into a two car team in the next Monster Energy Cup Series campaign so they can accommodate Joey Gase by driving the 2ndcar alongside DiBenedetto. 

We don’t have information just yet on whether the 2ndGO FAS car will race as a charter or an open-driver.

Final Thoughts

Overall, It’s not official as of yet but this is the type of source we are receiving right now regarding the charter ownership between GO FAS Racing and Joe Falk.

ESPN NASCAR Reporter Bob Pockrass did tell us via Twitter yesterday that GO FAS will run DiBenedetto with a charter this season and that turned out to be true via the organization’s twitter account.
Go Fas Racing says it will have a charter but has not confirmed which one it will have.

— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) January 16, 2018

All we have to do now is to wait and see what GO FAS Racing have to say in a press release regarding the use of Charter in the next few days.

Yes, the Charter ownership musical chairs between some of the Cup teams can be quite confusing but this is how the part and parcel of dealing with business works these days.
If you’re not a fan of these type of charter ownership rules then why not write a letter to the NASCAR Executives and have your say about this situation.

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