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2024 Cup Series Team Previews: Spire Motorsports

By Adam Carabine & Logan Morris

This year, in preparation for the 2024 NASCAR season, we present our Team Previews Series. Each day until the end of January, a new Team Preview will be live on our website. Check back every day to see what we have to say about your favourite team!

Adam Carabine: Welcome back, today we’re looking at Spire Motorsports.  Is it safe to call them the most interesting team of 2024? It’s been a hell of an offseason.

Logan Morris: You’re hitting the nail on the head there, they now have a legendary consultant in the midst of their Truck Series program and rumours persist that they have some mystery financial backing that will be making waves even more so in the future. What do you make of those rumours?

AC: The rumours are certainly interesting, but I’m more interested in if that will translate to better success on the track.  Strictly speaking Cup Series, they do have a new driver this year in the 77 with Carson Hocevar.  He certainly impressed in his limited Cup starts last season with Legacy Motor Club, will that continue in ‘24?

LM: I have a lot of belief in Hocevar, he got more out of Legacy’s 42 than the plethora of other drivers that got behind that wheel after Gragson’s injury and suspension. Carson has the perfect personality to build a long-term connection with fans, and has shown he isn’t afraid to give his opinions on what needs to change in the sport. He is a name we will be talking about for years to come. I feel like he has all the tools for success. If he gets the backing, the sky might be the limit. 

AC: He may have made a few enemies in the Truck Series finale last season, but he’s definitely an interesting character and one to watch for sure.  This is where that mystery financial backing comes into play. Is a personality like his going to be wasted in a backmarker Spire car? Do they take a step forward this year, or are there growing pains?

LM: I believe they will absolutely take a step forward this year. I think the 77 will give his teammate a run for his money in being one of the most consistent drivers in the field. Spire is clearly building something special and putting everyone on notice after making Kyle Busch an offer he couldn’t refuse, you don’t make moves like that unless you have long-term capital to capitalize, in my opinion. 

AC: I really do hope you’re right.  Teams being more competitive is good for the sport, and more fun for the fans.  Speaking of Hocevar’s teammate, let’s talk about Corey LaJoie. He put together a career-best year last season.  Can he continue to build on that?  I would think he’d have to, especially if his equipment is getting better.

LM: You’re right. He has to. I believe he will. The theme of LaJoie’s career thus far has been stacking pennies. However, with the buzz surrounding Spire I dare say it’s time to start stacking nickels and dimes. I don’t want to say he’s under pressure to win in 2024, but, a win would validate both his commitment to Spire and vice versa. 

AC: Yeah, I would agree there. I don’t think it’s a must-win for LaJoie like it is for some other drivers this season.  LaJoie has paid his dues with Spire, sticking with them as they’ve gone through some rough times.  They owe him a couple of years to find his groove with better equipment.  Here’s an interesting question - which driver has a better year?  LaJoie or Hocevar?

LM: I’m gonna go with the upset. Hocevar has a slightly better season than LaJoie. With the consistency Carson showed in the 42, imagine what he can do in a program built and geared towards him. Also, lets not forget Zane Smith will drive for Spire this season on loan from TrackHouse Racing. Resources will be heading to several different places. 

AC: A Loganity hot take! I love it.  I tend to want to agree with you about Hocevar.  He’s shown that he can adapt quickly to stressful situations.  In his limited Cup schedule last year, he had a better average finish than Harrison Burton and Ty Dillon.  LaJoie had a chance (mind you, just one) in premiere equipment, driving for a suspended Chase Elliott, and he finished a disappointing 21st place.  It’s a small sample size for both, but I’m hot on Hocevar this season too.  

Zane Smith is technically also driving for Spire, you’re right, but I still see him as a TrackHouse property. The battle I’m interested in at Spire is Hocevar vs. LaJoie.  Do any Spire cars make the playoffs this year?

LM: I don’t see it. I see them finishing just outside the top 20. It’s still a “win and you’re in” system so you never know. However, I think they need one more season before becoming a legitimate playoff contender. 

AC: Fair enough. They definitely are the team with the biggest question marks around them coming into this season.  I’m excited to see whether they live up to the hype.  Stay tuned as we continue our Team Preview series - next time we will check out Legacy Motor Club!


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