Spire Motorsports has rounded out its crew chief lineup for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, with the announcement Wednesday that the organization has hired Stephen Doran and veteran crew chief Luke Lambert.
Lambert will join forces with rookie driver Carson Hocevar and the No. 77 Chevrolet Camaro team in 2024 after the pair found success at the tail-end of last season in the No. 42 entry for LEGACY MOTOR CLUB.
With more than a decade of experience working as a NASCAR Cup Series crew chief for organizations like Richard Childress Racing and Roush Fenway Racing, Lambert will look to significantly elevate the performance of the team’s second entry.
“I’m thrilled to join the men and women at Spire Motorsports and be part of everything they’re building,” said Lambert. “Carson Hocevar has shown tremendous potential and that was apparent during our time together last year. He knows how to get the most out of his race car and how to communicate effectively with his team. I’m looking forward to working with him again in this new capacity and building on our experience with one another.”
At 20 years old, Hocevar stormed onto the scene as one of the NASCAR Cup Series’ top prospects after making nine starts at NASCAR’s top level in 2023, one of which was in the No. 7 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports at WWT Raceway. The four-time NASCAR Truck Series winner turned heads with his stint alongside Lambert at LEGACY MOTOR CLUB, recording a career-best 11th-place result at Bristol after running inside the top five.
Joining Lambert at Spire Motorsports in 2024 will be Stephen Doran, who has been tapped to serve as crew chief of the No. 71 Chevrolet Camaro, which will be driven by 2022 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Zane Smith.
When the season ramps up in February, Doran will get his first-ever opportunity at being a crew chief in the NASCAR Cup Series, despite having spent the last decade as a member of the No. 4 team for Stewart-Haas Racing, one of the most successful teams in the series.
Despite a lack of experience in his newfound role, Doran says he’s already been impressed with the 24-year-old native of Huntington Beach, California, who scored a top-10 finish in the Coca-Cola 600 last season while driving for Front Row Motorsports.
“I didn’t know Zane personally, but when I started to go through his career, I noticed he’s consistently won in everything he’s raced and made the most of every opportunity he’s had along the way,” said Doran. “Zane and I have talked a lot lately and I think this is going to be a great fit. Our personalities mesh well and I think communication will be great on and off the track. I knew right away in our first meeting that he was the guy I wanted to do this with. He has all the intangibles that make an elite driver in the Cup Series. I am grateful for this opportunity and think Zane and this No. 71 team will create a lot of excitement and turn some heads in 2024.”
Smith is a nine-time winner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series who just completed his fourth and final full-season run in the series, while driving the No. 38 for Front Row Motorsports.
The No. 71 Chevrolet team is a collaboration between Spire Motorsports and Trackhouse Racing for the 2024 season. In September, Trackhouse announced a multi-year driving agreement for Smith and its am to field three full-time entries in 2025.
“Stephen Doran and Luke Lambert are veterans of the sport, exemplary individuals and we’re thrilled to welcome them both to Spire Motorsports,” said Spire Motorsports co-owner Jeff Dickerson. “Stephen is an accomplished racer who earned this position through practical knowledge, hard work and success. He’s been part of championship-caliber teams in the past and we’re confident that he’ll play a significant role in helping Spire Motorsports continue to raise our competitive bar. Luke Lambert is a complete professional and highly regarded competitor who has worked with Carson in the past. His demeanor and ability to connect with his drivers is what makes him a perfect fit. He has worked directly with Ryan Sparks previously, so that points directly to the synergy we’re looking for amongst our competition group.”
Doran and Lambert will join Ryan Sparks, the long-time crew chief of the No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro driven by Corey LaJoie, as the team’s three shot-callers for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, which begins with the Busch Light Clash on February 4th.