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Rodney Childers Joins Spire Motorsports as Crew Chief of No. 7 in 2025

Photo Credit: Craig White,

Rodney Childers, one of the most respected crew chiefs in all of NASCAR, has been tapped to join Spire Motorsports as the crew chief of the No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro, beginning in 2025.

The 40-time NASCAR Cup Series race-winning crew chief will be partnered with veteran driver Corey LaJoie, who has been with the rapidly growing organization since 2021.

“We are beyond excited to announce Rodney Childers as the crew chief for Corey LaJoie and Spire Motorsports’ No. 7 team beginning in 2025,” said Spire Motorsports co-owner Jeff Dickerson. “There are decisions that professional racing teams make daily that take courage, require deep thought, and have some element of rolling the dice. To be clear, this wasn’t one of them. Rodney is a hall-of-fame-worthy, championship-winning crew chief with 40 wins. He is one of the best in the garage and when a guy like Rodney is available, it would be malpractice if we did anything but our absolute best to bring him into our growing organization. He will make us better the moment he walks into our shop, and we look forward to his contributions to our collective success.”

LaJoie’s current crew chief, Ryan Sparks, will dive into his role as Competition Director of Spire Motorsports on a full-time basis in 2025, after spending four seasons calling the shots for the No. 7.

“Ryan Sparks is an amazing leader and has been a huge part of our organization since the first moment he clocked in,” Dickerson continued. “As he transitions from managing two roles to focusing on Spire Motorsports as a whole, it’s important to point out that he was one of the first guys who talked to me about bringing Rodney in. Lots of guys say they’ll put the team first but there aren’t a lot of guys who follow through and that speaks to the type of competitor and human Ryan is. He has been balancing being a crew chief and the competition director the last couple seasons. This move will allow him to focus solely on the competition director role. As we continue to grow, his knowledge and leadership will become even more instrumental to our success.”

The 48-year-old crew chief led Kevin Harvick to the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series championship and is the winningest active crew chief in NASCAR’s top division. The Mooresville, North Carolina native worked with Harvick and Stewart-Haas Racing from 2014 to 2023, where he scored 37 victories.

Before his time at Stewart-Haas, where as of this season he remains crew chief of the No. 4, driven by Josh Berry, Childers also brought Michael Waltrip Racing drivers David Reutimann and Brian Vickers to Victory Lane.

“I think the biggest thing is seeing how Spire Motorsports has grown over the last couple of years,” said Childers. “They are investing in people, and that’s what makes a difference these days. We all buy the same chassis, bodies and parts. What makes a difference is the people. Spire continues to invest in the people within the team and they seek out good people to add depth to an already strong group. Corey (LaJoie) is a veteran of the sport and I think we have a tremendous opportunity in front of us.”

“Spire has been on my radar for the past year. I had quite a few guys from the No. 4 team go over there and they keep telling me how much they enjoy it, what the culture is like, and how well everybody gets along. That started it from my side. The rest was the way Jeff (Dickerson) and Doug Duchardt (Spire Motorsports President) handled my situation. They told me how much I was wanted and how I could make a difference. For anybody in this world, all you want is to feel wanted and loved, and I felt that through them. I also see it as a place that can be good for my family, the long term. My kids are three years from graduating high school. With the truck teams there, it’s somewhere they can grow, learn, and possibly work one day.”

Sparks had been calling the shots on the No. 7 since LaJoie joined the team in 2021. Together, the pairing have earned three top-five and six top-10 finishes, including a pair of top-fours in 2023 and a fourth in this year’s Daytona 500.

Previously, Sparks had worked at a race engineer in multiple capacities at Richard Childress Racing, playing a major role in the team’s 2011 NASCAR Truck Series and 2013 NASCAR Xfinity Series titles, as well as wins in the Coca-Cola 600 (2017) and Daytona 500 (2018).

“Our motto has been brick-by-brick for the last four years and this is another key component to building higher degrees of success,” said Sparks. “When you have the opportunity to bring in a championship-caliber crew chief like Rodney Childers, you have to capitalize. This is an incredible opportunity for the company and the bottom line is we’re all in this to put Spire Motorsports first. For me, this is an opportunity to be an asset across the board. There’s going to be a little bit of a transition but I’m excited to help all three teams and the company, as a whole. This move makes the whole group stronger.”

In 2025, Spire Motorsports will field three entries on a full-time basis, for Corey LaJoie (No. 7) and Carson Hocevar (No. 77), as well as newcomer Michael McDowell, who will take over the No. 71 from Zane Smith.

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