CONCORD, N.C. – Spire Motorsports announced Monday that Corey LaJoie will drive the team’s No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE in the NASCAR Cup Series beginning next year.
It was also revealed LaJoie has inked a multi-year agreement to drive for the Concord, N.C., organization beginning with the Daytona 500 at Daytona Int’l Speedway on February 14.
LaJoie, 29, is a third-generation racer whose father and grandfather are members of the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame. He spent the last two seasons at the wheel of Go Fas Racing’s No. 32 NASCAR Cup Series entry where he earned three top-10 finishes and a team/career best sixth-place finish at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
LaJoie earned wins in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (six victories) and the ARCA Menards Series (three wins) on his way to the NASCAR Cup Series. Brief stops in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series led LaJoie into the NASCAR Cup Series full time the past two seasons.
“The next chapter of my racing career provides me with a unique opportunity to play a key role in working with a motivated leadership group to build a competitive NASCAR Cup Series team from the ground up,” said LaJoie. “I’m thankful to work directly with Spire Motorsports co-owners Jeff Dickerson and T.J. Puchyr and all of our partners as we build on the proud and competitive tradition associated with the No. 7. We expect to be a force in the garage for years to come.”
Spire Motorsports announced an agreement to purchase the assets of Leavine Family Racing in August and completed the sale Monday. The team is expanding to a two-car operation and will compete with the Nos. 7 and 77.
Crew chiefs for both programs and a driver announcement for the No. 77 will be released at a later date.
“Corey LaJoie is a talented young driver and has proven that he wants to get better every time he sits in the race car,” said Puchyr. “He wants to better himself and is willing to go to great lengths to make it happen. That’s the same philosophy Jeff (Dickerson) and I subscribe to in all of our business ventures. He fits very well with our group and will obviously play a critical role in the success of our team as we continue to grow and develop. We’re going to build this together and Corey will be the anchor.”
Following completion of the LFR acquisition, Spire Motorsports will relocate from its current facility in Mooresville, N.C., and make its home in Concord, N.C., at the former shop of 1992 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Alan Kulwicki. The team chose the No. 7 with permission from NASCAR and Tommy Baldwin Jr., with a nod to Kulwicki and later Geoff Bodine who purchased the team from Kulwicki’s family following his death in 1993.
“I’ve been an Alan Kulwicki fan my entire life,” stated LaJoie. “To compete with the No. 7 on the roof and door is an honor for any driver at any level, but to have it here on our car in the NASCAR Cup Series is taken very seriously.”
“We’re thrilled to pay tribute to Alan Kulwicki and Geoff Bodine by running the No. 7 and racing out of that shop,” added Puchyr. “Alan had a unique way about him and took a very unconventional route to winning a championship. Everyone knows the story. He didn’t have a ton of money and did more with so much less than many of the most well-heeled teams of that day. We see a lot of parallels between Spire Motorsports and Alan’s approach. At the same time, I grew up in the northeast and the No. 7 was synonymous with the Baldwin family so, it’s a proud moment to tie all that history together and compliment the No. 77 we’ve run the last two years.”