Towards the end of April, it was announced that Maconi Setup Shop would be joining eNASCAR and iRacing as an official partner. For 2023 and 2024, viewers of the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series and eNASCAR College Series will see MSS branding through the event. Maconi is also taking on the naming rights of NASCAR C-Fixed.
Founded by Jeff Maconi, Maconi Setup Shop is an operation that offers competitive setups to iRacing members that race in the open setup oval series. Since the company was founded in 2020, MSS has gone from just Jeff making the sets to now more than 15 members providing setups for multiple areas of the iRacing service.
The partnership announced in April entails sponsorship activation during broadcasted events as well as activation at select real-world race tracks that will have the eNASCAR Arcade fan area for fans to enjoy at track midways.
As for C-Fixed, which is arguably the most-popular oval racing series on the iRacing platform for those with a C-Class license or higher, Maconi does not intend to have the iRacing fixed setups for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series vehicles changed, but says it could be something looked at in the future.
Those naming rights will last through 2025 iRacing Season 1, and when the Maconi Setup Shop logo is loaded into the iRacing Paint Booth, Jeff says there will be giveaways for drivers utilizing the logo on the platform.
HOW THE SETUP SHOP BUSINESS STARTED
“I started Maconi Setup Shop in March of 2020,” said Jeff Maconi to Traxion.GG. “Originally, I was building all of the setups that we sold myself. Pretty soon, I found that there were others who were better than me at certain cars, like the Late Models, so I brought on people like Bill Gros to help ease some of the load.”
Of course, March 2020 is right when the world began to shut down for the pandemic, so Maconi was looking to capitalize on the increased focus on simulation racing. “This was also while I was studying Mechanical Engineering Technology at Purdue, and I coupled building the company alongside earning my degree,” Maconi said.
“When I graduated from Purdue in 2021, (Maconi Setup Shop) had announced a deal with Richmond Raceway Esports.” Now known as Rise Esports, Maconi has had his name in the top level series for a few years now, just last year putting a wrap on an entire car driven by Briar LaPradd at JR Motorsports.
Last year is when things really took off for Jeff and the brand. After working as a Hankook Tire engineer for a year, Jeff sold a portion of his company to investors, allowing him to take the setup shop full-time.
“I was approached in May of 2022 about selling a portion of the company to investors,” said Maconi. He did just that, and that deal “was signed and finalized in September 2022.” Since then, Maconi also started up a broadcasting deal through Maconi Entertainment and runs special events there through Maconi Competizone.
“Ever since I took the company full time, it has been moving at a pretty breakneck speed,” said Maconi. “When I left my job, we were operating with enough income to sustain the company as it was, with the goal of growing it further. From there, though, sales are up over 50 percent, and that growth was sustaining. This was before the eNASCAR and iRacing deal as well.”
HOW THE eNASCAR AND iRACING DEAL CAME ABOUT
Still partnered with Rise Esports, Maconi and his name-sake brands took that a step further, and now has his name on the biggest iRacing esports series currently.
“We’ve always had an open dialogue with the eNASCAR and iRacing teams and have worked to collaborate on smaller projects in the past, but this deal takes it to an entirely new level,” said Maconi. “The talks on a potential deal started with just sponsoring a single Coke race… we finally decided to go all-in on a two-year deal across the board, which is what was signed and announced a few weeks back.”
“There was, obviously, a safer route to go, a smaller deal with less moving parts, but the eNASCAR and iRacing teams have both been phenomenal to work with, and proven over the past years that they are at the top of their game and able to make big things happen.”
WHAT DOES MACONI SETUP SHOP GET OUT OF IT?
As the official partner of eNASCAR, the most popular oval iRacing esports series out there, Maconi Setup Shop is getting their name out there to more potential open setup drivers looking to either get their start in open oval racing or to possibly find a new competitive edge there.
“It’s been a crazy journey getting to this point, but it has all been well worth it,” Maconi said. “I get to spend my days working on something I am passionate about while surrounded by an incredible team of people, like William Hale and Joey Masiewicz, who are both crucial in running the company.”
“Getting to talk to all of the customers that we have, and hear about them having more confidence and success on the platform is incredible.”
Not only is Jeff and the Maconi brand supporting the sim, but they’ve also been able to support real-world racing efforts as well. Most notably, Maconi has been a partner of Frankie Muniz, former star of the sitcom ‘Malcolm in the Middle’, who has been competing in the ARCA Menard’s Series this season.
At Las Vegas, the first race of the new partnership, the No. 36 Letarte Esports Chevrolet, driven by Brandon McKissic, had the Maconi Setup Shop logos all over it. In the same race, the broadcast had commercials during breaks of the company.
Overall, the partnership helps support both eNASCAR and iRacing, and in return, the exposure helps more customers find their way to the Maconi fold. In an iRacing environment filled with many different setup shops to choose from, Maconi has positioned his brand to stand out among the crowd.
Now that it’s gotten this far, Jeff says there’s still more to do from here. “There is so much more coming down the pipeline, with different projects I want to do, and projects already in the works. I think iRacers will really like what is coming up soon.”