Spire Motorsports announced today Corey LaJoie will return to the seat of the No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and veteran Ty Dillon will join the team’s two-car effort, taking over full-time driving duties of the No. 77 Chevy for the NASCAR Cup Series 2023 season.
The team also announced Ryan Sparks will return as LaJoie’s crew chief while Kevin Bellicourt will lead Dillon’s No. 77 team as crew chief next season. Sparks has also been elevated to the organization’s Director of Competition and will oversee all aspects of Spire Motorsports on-track efforts.
“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 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.”
Spire Motorsports was founded in 2018 and quickly earned its inaugural victory when Justin Haley took the checkered flag on July 7, 2019 in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
The Concord, N.C. based organization has logged 210 Cup Series starts, posting one win along with three top-five and seven top-10 finishes.
Meanwhile, LaJoie has become a Cup Series mainstay logging 197 starts over seven seasons. His career totals include five top-10 finishes with a career-best fifth-place effort coming this season in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
In 33 NASCAR Cup Series events this year, LaJoie has scored one top-five, one top-10, seven top-15 and 14 top-20 finishes. LaJoie is currently 31st in the season championship standings heading into this weekend’s Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead Miami Speedway.
A third-generation racer whose father and grandfather are members of the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame, LaJoie won his way to the NASCAR Cup Series ranks through top developmental series like the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (six victories) and the ARCA Menards Series (three wins). The 31-year-old driver also competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (two top 10s) and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (one top 10) enroute to his full-time seat in NASCAR Cup Series.
“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’.”
Dillon, 30, made his NASCAR Cup Series debut August 31, 2014, for Richard Childress Racing. The Lewisville, N.C. native comes to Spire Motorsports after spending 2022 at the wheel of the No. 42 Chevrolet for Petty GMS. In 199 NASCAR Cup Series starts, Dillion has recorded two top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He notched a career-best third-place finish October 4, 2020, in the Yellawood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
In NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, Dillon is a veteran of 161 starts, including four poles, one win, 34 top fives and 92 top 10s. He is a veteran of 58 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts scoring five pole positions, three victories, 20 top-five and 36 top-10 finishes. Dillon is a nine-time ARCA Menards Series race winner and the division’s 2011 champion.
“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.”
— Spire Motorsports —