As part of Spire Motorsports’ long-term growth, the two-car Nascar Cup Series operation will have two full-time drivers for the first time in 2023.
The Chevrolet-backed team announced Tuesday that Corey LaJoie will return for his third season behind the wheel of the No. 7 Chevrolet. The organization is also adding Ty Dillon, grandson of Richard Childress, to drive the No. 77 car, which has been split by multiple drivers since 2021.
“The next step in our progress is to add an equally capable full-time driver to the No. 77 team and we have found just that person in Ty Dillon,” said co-owner Jeff Dickerson. “Obviously the road that TJ (Puchyr, co-owner) and I have traveled to get here today has been atypical. We have great respect for our contemporaries in the sport, and we feel humbled to belong to them. Collectively, over the past 20 years we have been fortunate enough to fulfill many functions and roles in racing. That allows us to have a great appreciation and perspective of what it takes to be successful in this super competitive environment. We are very proud of what each member of the organization has helped us build.”
Spire Motorsports added a second full-time entry in 2021, saying the team “cannot lose” ahead of its decision. The two Spire Motorsports cars are 32nd and 33rd in the owner’s standings, with three races remaining in the 2022 season.
Throughout LaJoie’s two full seasons with the team, he has had some brilliant moments, including nearly winning his first cup race in Atlanta earlier this year before crashing while in the lead.
Meanwhile, Dillon returned to the Cup Series circuit this year after completing just nine races in Nascar’s top three divisions in 2021. Dillon had entered the 2021 season unemployed after Germain Racing closed its doors, leaving the youngest of the Dillon brothers with little time to find a new full-time ride.
Dillon returned to Petty GMS Motorsports again this season, but was told in July that he would not be returning to the team next year. Dillon has only one top-10 result this year, at the Bristol dirt race in the spring.
However, Spire Motorsports believes that having two full-time drivers will improve the entire program and give the two drivers a chance to compete for a spot in the playoffs.
“I am grateful for this opportunity, a new beginning with a very hungry team that is excited for the future,” Dillon said in a statement. “Spire Motorsports is growing year after year when you look at the way Corey and the No. 7 team have evolved to be competitive. The organization is moving in the right direction and I’m excited to be a part of bringing the No. 77 to where Corey has been running. Hopefully together we will raise the entire competition level.”
As part of Tuesday’s announcement, Spire Motorsports said crew chief Ryan Sparks, who works with LaJoie, will also serve as the team’s league director in 2023.