Spire Motorsports announced today that Ryan Sparks and Kevin Bellicourt will serve as NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) crew chiefs for the organization’s Nos. 7 and 77 Chevrolet Camaros in 2021.
Sparks, a native of Winston-Salem, N.C., joins Spire Motorsports for the new year and will reunite with driver Corey LaJoie after spending last season as LaJoie’s crew chief at Go Fas Racing. Bellicourt will embark on his first season leading a team on NASCAR’s senior circuit and carries a resume with a rich history of success in both NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series and K&N Pro Series East.
“Ryan Sparks and Kevin Bellicourt are talented young crew chiefs with the ability to innovate and lead by example,” said Spire Motorsports co-owner T.J. Puchyr. “Both Ryan and Kevin will play key roles in building Spire Motorsports and helping our organization reach its full potential. We don’t expect Rome to be built in a day, but we know those guys are going to surround themselves with people who can elevate our program and take the performance factor to the next level. Jeff (Dickerson) and I have a very high degree of confidence in both of these individuals, their work ethic and ability to lead.”
Prior to last season, Sparks was the race engineer on the No. 3 NCS team at Richard Childress Racing with driver Austin Dillon. Sparks was also Dillon’s race engineer during his 2011 Camping World Truck Series and 2013 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship-winning seasons. In addition to his championship pedigree, the 36-year-old celebrated a host of wins during his 13-year tenure at RCR, including victories in the 2017 Coca-Cola 600 and the 2018 Daytona 500.
“I’m ready for the challenge of building a new team with Spire Motorsports,” offered Sparks. “The leadership team is giving us all the tools we need to be successful. I’m also excited to continue working with Corey (LaJoie) and build on the foundation we created last season. We all have the same goal of positioning ourselves to compete for wins. I believe we’re headed in the right direction.”
“Ryan Sparks is the right guy to build this program,” stated LaJoie. “We had some great cars last year, so I’m excited to see what he can do at Spire Motorsports with even more tools at his fingertips.”
Bellicourt first found success as a crew chief in 2015 by leading William Byron to the K&N Pro Series East Championship. The following year, the Daytona Beach, Fla., native was paired with Ben Rhodes at Thorsport Racing before making the jump to GMS Racing for the 2017 season where he logged three wins with driver Justin Haley. Bellicourt spent the last two years with Bill McAnally Racing where he led Derek Kraus to a trio of top fives, 13 top 10s and a 10th-place finish in the season-ending 2020 Camping World Truck Series championship point standings.
“I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to lead the No. 77 team here at Spire Motorsports,” said Bellicourt. “We are building something exciting and to be part of it from the very beginning is going to be really rewarding. NASCAR Cup Series racing is some of the most difficult competition in the world but I’m confident in my abilities and ready for the challenge of competing at this level.”
The 2021 season rolls off in just over two months with the Great American Race at Daytona International Speedway. The 63rd running of the Daytona 500 will be televised live on FOX, Sunday, February 14, 2021. The first of 36 races on next season’s NCS schedule will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
— Spire Motorsports —