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Michael McDowell to Spire Motorsports in 2025 on Multi-Year Deal

Michael McDowell Spire Motorsports 2025 NASCAR Cup Series 71 car multiyear contract

Michael McDowell didn’t stay on the free agent market very long. Following a Wednesday morning announcement detailing that he would depart from Front Row Motorsports at the end of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, McDowell’s new team was announced on the same day.

Officially, McDowell will move to Spire Motorsports as the driver of the team’s No. 71 Chevrolet in 2025. While specific terms of the deal were not announced, the deal is described as a multi-year agreement. Spire Motorsports confirmed the heavily speculated move in a Wednesday afternoon announcement.

“Michael McDowell is a proven winner and brings a NASCAR Playoff pedigree,” said Spire Motorsports president Doug Duchardt in a team press release. “Michael has always been committed to elevate his teams. His experience and enthusiasm are a perfect fit for Spire Motorsports, and we are sure he will be a great teammate to both Corey LaJoie and Carson Hocevar. We’re thrilled to keep up the positive momentum by adding someone as accomplished as Michael to our driver lineup.”

For McDowell, it’s a new day in his racing career. The driver feels that Spire Motorsports is turning itself into a race team capable of winning, and contending for championships, and he’s proud to be there for the next step of the process.

“This is a new chapter for my family and me, and we’re incredibly thankful for the opportunity that’s in front of us,” said McDowell. “It’s going to take some hard work, but I feel like everything is in place for us to be successful as a race team — to win races and contend for championships. People are the greatest asset to any organization, and with Spire’s vision, ambition, knowledge, and dedication, we will achieve great things. Failure is not an option, and that’s the mindset that it will take to achieve our goals.”

Zane Smith, the current driver of the No. 71 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports, is on loan from Trackhouse Racing, which retains the rights to Smith’s driving contract. With McDowell moving into the seat of the No. 71 machine for 2025 and beyond, Smith will need to race elsewhere next season.

McDowell, 39, became a hot commodity after the performances shown by the driver in the No. 34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports. Over the past seven seasons, McDowell and Front Row Motorsports went from an underdog organization, which was lucky to snag a top-10 finish each year, to being a consistent contender near the front of the field.

The pairing collected the win in the 2021 Daytona 500, which secured the first career Playoff berth for McDowell. The following season, McDowell registered a career-best 12 top-10 finishes. And in 2023, McDowell once again landed in the Playoffs with a dominant win in the event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.

Incredibly, even without the win at Indianapolis, McDowell and Front Row Motorsports scored enough points to secure a place in the Playoff field. It was an eye-opening effort, and by season’s end, McDowell finished a career-best 15th in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings.

McDowell has continued to impress in 2024 as he scored the first two pole positions of his career, which came at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, and he has made it into the final round of qualifying seven times in the opening 12 races of the season.

Unfortunately, the finishes haven’t been there for McDowell and the No. 34 team so far this season. They do have three top-10 finishes so far, but two DNFs for mechanical issues at Circuit of the Americas and Dover Motor Speedway combined with two DNFs for crashes by McDowell while he was battling for the lead at Texas Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway have hampered their points ranking.

As it stands, McDowell is 26th in the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series championship standings.

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