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LaJoie, McMurray Give Spire Motorsports Impressive Speedweeks Performance

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 14: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Discount Tire Ford, Corey LaJoie, driver of the #7 Youtheory Chevrolet, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Toyota, race during the NASCAR Cup Series 63rd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2021 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

2021 could become be the year that Spire Motorsports becomes a serious contender in the NASCAR Cup Series if their performance in Sunday’s Daytona 500 is any indication.

Both the No. 7 of Corey LaJoie, and the No. 77 of Jamie McMurray finished Sunday’s season opener in the Top 10. This marks the first time in the team’s history that two entries would finish in the top-10 in a Cup Series race.

In Spire’s history, the team has never had one full-time driver behind one of their cars. That will change in 2021 as LaJoie will stay behind the wheel of the No. 7 in a multi-year deal.

“Great way to start the year with our Spire Motorsports team,” LaJoie told TobyChristie.com. “You always want to be in a position to contend for a win but to finish 9th in my first race with the team is exactly what we set out to do. A good start in points and we’ll continue to get stronger over the course of the year.”

With the new engine package for Chevrolet, as well as multiple partners joining from LaJoie’s career such as Schluter Systems, Spire is checking all the boxes off for a successful season ahead.

2010 Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray was the highest finishing Spire entry between the two, finishing eight while LaJoie finished ninth. McMurray and LaJoie also recorded the fastest lap of the Daytona 500 in a one-two fashion.

“What a great finish for our AdventHealth team,” McMurray said. “We were able to get the damage fixed after being involved in the first caution and the guys worked hard to keep us in the lead pack all night. I’m really proud of the effort from everyone to not only make this race possible for me but to put together such a strong effort with a top-10 finish.”

However, the accomplishments for the Spire duo didn’t stop there. One could have seen the impressive weekend coming from when the Spire team rolled into Daytona.

Starting with the Daytona 500 Practice 1 on Wednesday, McMurray and LaJoie were the fastest Chevrolets of the session, finishing sixth and seventh respectively. The closest Chevrolet in the finishing order was Erik Jones in eleventh.

Both Camaros did not perform too well in qualifying, with McMurray slotting in at 34th and LaJoie qualifying 35th. However due to both cars having charters, neither were in danger of missing the 63rd-annual Daytona 500. With each entry taking a duel race, both had the chance to improve their position for Sunday. McMurray would finish 10th in Duel 1 while LaJoie finished his Daytona Duel in seventh. Thanks to their finishes, McMurray was able to roll off 19th and LaJoie put his No. 7 Camaro in the 16th position.

Smart driving for the two, and working with their fellow Chevrolet drivers capped off a successful Daytona introduction for 2021, and one of the best performance weekends for not only the drivers but for Spire as an organization.

As far as the rest of the season, the Spire No. 77 does not have a full-time driver behind the wheel. Justin Haley is expected to start a few races in the car, starting this weekend for the Daytona road course with backing from AirMedCare Network.

Fans can tune into the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 on Sunday, February 21st at 3 PM EST on FOX and the FOX Sports App.

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