Spire Motorsports will look to take another step towards its goal of becoming a championship-caliber team in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2023, announcing on Tuesday that the organization will house a pair of experienced veterans full-time.
Corey LaJoie, who first joined Spire Motorsports for the 2021 Cup Series season, will return to the No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro in 2023. Maintaining the status quo, Ryan Sparks will continue to serve as the crew chief for LaJoie’s entry.
“I’m excited to return to Spire Motorsports for the 2023 season,” said LaJoie, now in his fourth year in the Cup Series. “With another year under our belts and a notebook on the new car, I know we can have a solid season and get that first win. It’s cool my buddy Ty (Dillon) is joining us as well. It will be nice to have a full-time teammate in the No. 77 to work with. We’ll all be headed to the Daytona 500 with the same goal in mind, to ‘Stack Pennies’.”
LaJoie’s two-season tenure with Spire Motorsports has netted one top-five result – the first for the 31-year-old in NASCAR National Series competition – as well as two top-10 finishes.
Possibly more notable, was a 21st-place result this season at Atlanta, where the Spire Motorsports entry was leading the race approaching the white flag, before getting caught up in an accident on the final lap.
LaJoie currently sits 31st in NASCAR Cup Series point standings for Spire Motorsports.
“There’s little doubt that we raised some eyebrows when we entered the sport as race-team owners,” said Spire Motorsports co-owner Jeff Dickerson. “We knew that we needed to learn how to crawl before we attempted to walk and eventually run. We’ve been quite fortunate to build a strong foundation for Spire Motorsports over the past several years. That’s a testament to the people of Spire Motorsports, and Corey LaJoie, Ryan Sparks and Kevin Bellicourt have been the bedrock of this organization.
The newcomer to Spire Motorsports for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season will be Ty Dillon, who will solely take over the driving duties of the No. 77 Chevrolet Camaro, which since its inception in 2019, has yet to see a full-time pilot.
Dillon, the grandson of NASCAR Cup Series team owner Richard Childress, will be paired with Kevin Bellicourt for his full-season effort in 2023. Bellicourt has served as a crew chief for the organization in each of the last two seasons.
“The next step in our progression is to add an equally capable full-time driver for the No. 77 team and we’ve found just that individual in Ty Dillon. Clearly, the path that T.J. (fellow Spire Motorsports co-owner T.J. Puchyr) and I have taken to be here today has been atypical. We have great respect for our contemporaries in the sport, and we are humbled to be among them. Collectively, we’ve been fortunate to serve a lot of functions and roles in racing over the past 20 years. That allows us to have a great appreciation and perspective of what it takes to be successful in this super-competitive environment. We’re very proud of what every member of the organization has helped us build.”
The 30-year-old’s career in the NASCAR Cup Series has been a topsy-turvy one, having competed for multiple organizations including Petty GMS Motorsports, Germain Racing, Gaunt Brothers Racing, and Leavine Family Racing.
A native of Lewisville, North Carolina, Dillon has recorded a pair of top-five results at NASCAR’s top level, both for Germain Racing, as well as seven top-10 finishes.
Dillon currently sits 29th in NASCAR Cup Series points for Petty GMS. In July, Dillon was confirmed to be leaving the organization, with Noah Gragson taking over the No. 42 Chevrolet.
“I’m thankful for this opportunity, a new beginning with a very hungry team that is excited for the future,” said Dillon. “Spire Motorsports has been growing year after year, when you look at the way that Corey (LaJoie) and the No. 7 team has developed to be competitive. The organization is heading in the right direction and I’m excited to be a part of bringing the No. 77 up to where Corey has been running. Hopefully we raise the whole level of competition together.
“I’m excited to be a teammate. To me, as a team, high tides raise all ships and I want to be a part of all of us being successful. One person doesn’t have to fail for the other to be successful, and I’m looking forward to us, as Spire Motorsports, growing and bringing the program to new heights.”
This is a developing story. More details will be added as they become available.