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Go Green fulfills Andrews family's Cup dream

January 20, 2012, Dave Rodman,

Former championship-winning crew chief Paul to guide son Tim in series debut

For second-year Nationwide Series owner Archie St. Hilaire, business picking up is only part of the reason he's going Sprint Cup racing in 2012. The New England native's over-arching philosophy is his commitment to giving young drivers opportunities in NASCAR.

And that's a priceless opportunity for former Cup Series champion crew chief Paul Andrews and his son Tim, who'll be the key players when St. Hilaire's Go Green Racing makes its Sprint Cup Series debut at Bristol in March.

Tim Andrews shares a laugh with Kenny Wallace in 2011. (Getty)

"We had Timmy with us for five or six [2011 Nationwide] races and then Paul came along and we had a lot of fun with them -- they're great people," St. Hilaire said. "We thought about doing something with Roush [Fenway Racing] this year on the Cup side so we've got two cars and we thought we'd try probably 10-12 races."

Bristol will mark the first time in 25 years a father will crew chief his son's Cup Series race car. Darrell Bryant was the last to execute it, in 1987 when his son, Kirk, made one start and a second attempt for their family race team.

"It's pretty special, something I've dreamt of since I was growing up, doing late-model races, Busch North, ARCA -- everything we've done together -- heck, I've done Nationwide races [with his father]," Tim said. "It's pretty danged cool and gives me a lot more confidence than I would have, going in with someone else. I know the communication's there."

"Right now the biggest thought is what we have to do to get ready for it," Paul said. "I don't know about the emotional side of it, but it's huge on the personal side. It's really cool and I'm really excited about it, obviously. Right now, it's business as usual but it'll be bigger when I get there."

St. Hilaire is principal of BBI Waste Industries, based in Old Orchard Beach, Me., which sometimes appears as a car sponsor. He has a history in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and later this season plans to put a young Maine driver in a K&N race at New Hampshire through a "Young Guns" competition.

"I'm from Maine, not from down south so I kind of went down there with a different business model, of giving the young kids a shot at driving," St. Hilaire said. "It's hard to get some of these veteran drivers out of the seat, so we elected to give some of these young kids a shot at driving and finding sponsors.

"I kind of like working with the families and the young kids. How many 18-year-olds that come up through the ranks are really ready to go racing, and when they get there, there's no room? You just can't get in a race."

Go Green used 14 drivers in its lead Nationwide car in 2011 and ended up locked into the top 30 in Nationwide owners' standings in 26th. In the offseason St. Hilaire, who did a deal with Roush Fenway Racing for 2011 that made his Nationwide car a guaranteed starter for the first five races, bought the Cup car he has and another that'll be delivered next week, from Roush.

Tim Andrews has done 68 upper-division races between NASCAR and ARCA, and it puts him in a position to appreciate what St. Hilaire's doing.

"It's hard to find [that commitment to youth] nowadays," Tim said. "He's still out there trying to keep his team afloat and looking for guys with a little bit of money, but here and there he's still trying to give a guy a shot.

"Back when money was plentiful, everybody was doing it and now in this difficult time the sport's in, it's a nice little bright spot in the series."

Paul Andrews' primary role is running the Cunningham Racing ARCA team based in his own shop. He crew chiefs Go Green's Nationwide car when Tim, 29, drives one of the two Nationwide cars St. Hilaire will run this season. The elder Andrews isn't sure if he'll bring the Bristol Cup car over to his ARCA shop for a time to do the final preparation.

To debut at Bristol has one level of significance for Andrews, who was crew chief for owner/driver Alan Kulwicki's 1992 Cup Series title and engineered a Cup pole and race win there. But in reality, Bristol is the best fit for the hard-working veteran who'll be juggling three distinctly different programs when the 2012 season really gets up and running.

"Bristol is an off-weekend for ARCA, that's one of the reasons we chose Bristol," Andrews said. "I'm going to have to be pretty organized on my end of it."

St. Hilaire said his plan for Bristol is to do a full race.

"We'll start off with Timmy and hopefully it works out good," St. Hilaire said. "But it's all about getting in the show, as you know, so we gotta get in there. I'm willing to get him an opportunity. He's shown he can get a car in the show and he's actually pretty good.

"He's won at Dover in K&N and we're kinda hoping he can get in at Dover and give them a good show over there but we're gonna start at Bristol in March and probably do one a month right through the season. I'm confident Paul can get it done because he's a great guy with a lot of experience."