Spire Motorsports Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube Race Advance

Spire Motorsports at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: In 16 NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS), Spire Motorsports has logged one top-15 and five top-25 finishes with seven different drivers. Corey LaJoie, driver of Spire Motorsports’ No. 7 USANA Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 earned the organization’s lone top 15 after finishing 15th on March 6, 2022 in the Pennzoil 400. The Mooresville, N.C., team fields the Nos. 7, 71 and 77 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1s in the NCS with LaJoie, and fellow drivers Zane Smith and Carson Hocevar, respectively.

Flag-to-Flag Coverage: The Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube from Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be televised live on FOX Sunday, March 3, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The third of 36 races on the 2024 NCS schedule will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

Corey LaJoie – Driver, No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

  • Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube will mark Corey LaJoie’s 13th NCS start at LVMS.
  • USANA, a leader in global nutrition, and the Official Supplement Provider for Spire Motorsports will serve as the primary sponsor for LaJoie’s No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube.
  • USANA (NYSE:USNA) prides itself on providing consumers the highest-quality nutritional products in the world. From its award-winning supplements to its innovative Celavive skincare and Active Nutrition lines, USANA has proven for more than 30 years why it’s a company you can trust. How about giving us a try? Shop at USANA.com or learn more about USANA’s sustainability efforts here.
  • In 12 previous starts at 1.5-mile Las Vegas oval, LaJoie has logged five top-20 finishes, including a series/venue-best 15th-place effort in March 2022. He’s completed 2,881 of 3,221 (89.4 percent) of the laps contested over that stretch and earned a 24.8 average finish. In the NCS most recent visit to LVMS, LaJoie started 28th and finished 19th.
  • Last season, the third-generation racer earned two top-20 finishes at LVMS. He came home 20th last March and 19th last October.
  • LaJoie heads into this weekend with his best-career start to a NCS season. The 2024 season marks the first year the 32-year-old has recorded back-to-back top-15 finishes. The Concord, N.C., native is currently 12th in the NCS championship point standings following the first two races of the season. LaJoie finished fourth in the Daytona 500 and overcame late-race damage last weekend to finish 13th at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Corey LaJoie Quotes:
Talk about your start to the year.
“I think it’s super-important to start the year out strong, especially to get through the west-coast swing in as good of a points position as possible. Jeff Dickerson’s favorite thing to say is ‘get out ahead of it early.’ We want to try and build ourselves a little bit of a points cushion between our team and the guys who might catch you throughout the course of the year. If you start the year strong, like we have, and we continue that, it’s going to be tough for some of those guys to catch us.”

“I’m always excited to go to Las Vegas. I’ve had some really good runs there the last couple years. That’s going to be a true barometer of where we stack up as a team with downforce and horsepower. I think we have a lot of the tools we need to bring a really good USANA Chevrolet Camaro to the race track this weekend. I’m excited to go out there and see how we stack up at the first true intermediate track of the season.”
Are you relieved to get Daytona and Atlanta out of the way? Those two tracks are variables and now you can focus on the bulk of the season.
“You’re much less in control of your own destiny at those places. You are, but you aren’t. Someone else’s mistake can take you out of the race. No different than Vegas, with the crazy restarts, but I feel like you’re in control of your destiny a little bit more at Vegas than the first two. The angst is the same no matter what racetrack you go to. You want to perform and you want to do the best you can for your partners, team and fans. I don’t know if I’m excited or happy to get those two out of the way, I just know there are 34 more races where we need to try and make a notch in the win column.”
Are you a fan of mile-and-a-half racing?
“Those tracks have become one of the strengths of our team, which is a little surprising because I’m more of a short-track guy at heart. We’ve had some really good runs at Vegas and Charlotte and some other places like that. Ryan Sparks has a pretty good knack for setting a car up at mile-and-a-halves so hopefully we’ll see that this weekend, as well.”

Zane Smith – Driver, No. 71 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

  • Zane Smith will make his first NCS and eighth (sixth NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series and one Xfinity Series) career start at LVMS on Sunday. Last year, Smith finished second in the NCTS race after starting seventh.
  • Sunday marks his third NCS start for Spire Motorsports and 12th NCS career start.
  • Smith ranks first in points (29) amongst the three NCS Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates.
  • Las Vegas Motor Speedway is 289 miles from Smith’s hometown of Huntington Beach, Calif. Smith spent many weekends during his childhood racing at the Bullring at LVMS.
  • Smith will carry the No. 71 primary sponsor, Focused Health, for 400 miles this Sunday. The blue and orange paint scheme represents a health insurance agency that assists consumers and employers in navigating the myriad of health insurance options in the government programs space.
  • Focused Health is a National Health Insurance agency founded by industry veterans with over 60 years combined industry experience. Primarily focused on the government programs space, Focused Health partners with payors and employers to deliver health insurance solutions for individuals and families. For more information visit AtFocusedHealth.com.
  • Smith will return for a part-time schedule in the NCTS, joining forces with McAnally-Hilgemann Racing to run a four-race campaign in the No. 91 Chevrolet Silverado, starting this Friday in the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 presented by Westgate.
  • Last weekend, Smith finished 35th in the Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Smith started the race 29th and charged to the front of the field in stage one. He raced his way to fourth by Lap 65. After hitting the wall on Lap 74, Smith came to pit road with a mechanical issue and his race came to an end.

Zane Smith Quotes
Are you excited to get back and race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway?
“I’m very eager to get back to Las Vegas and race there. I classify Las Vegas as my home track so it is always a special weekend. Especially because this will be my first start in the Cup Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, so it is bittersweet. I always dreamed of racing in the Cup Series at that track.”
How did you feel leaving Atlanta and what are you looking to capitalize on this weekend in Las Vegas?
“I was disappointed with how our race ended on Sunday at Atlanta. My City of Refuge Chevy Camaro was super-fast and unfortunately, I made some contact with the wall. This No. 71 Spire Motorsports team is special and I know we will have another fast Focused Health Chevy Camaro this weekend in Las Vegas. I’m looking forward to getting on the track and seeing what this team can accomplish together.”

Carson Hocevar – Driver, No.77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

  • Carson Hocevar will make his second career NCS start at LVMS in Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube where Premier Security Solutions will be featured as the No. 77 team’s primary sponsor for the second consecutive week. Premier Security will serve as the primary partner aboard Hocevar’s No. 77 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for 10 races in 2024.
  • Last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hocevar started 35th and finished 19th in the Ambetter Health 400. The NCS Sunoco Rookie-of-the-Year contender lost a lap early but raced his way inside the top 10 during the event’s third stage. Despite being involved in a Lap-250 incident, the 21-year-old driver soldiered home to top-20 finish.
  • From the famous bricks of Saginaw Street in Flint, Mich., to industrial, residential, and commercial sites across North America, Premier Security Solutions has built an unmatched standard of security. Today, Premier has taken steps to advance technology and utilize new tools to combat theft and become an anti-crime organization. Premier’s Global Security Operations Center is a state-of-the-art facility, working around the clock to protect assets, corporations, schools, and families.
  • Premier deploys more than 1,000 guards around the country and protects homes, families, executive-level leaders, and major corporations. Premier’s team of retired law enforcement professionals protects more than 50 school buildings and high net-worth families, delivering an unparalleled level of service. Premier prides itself on a standard of service ensuring its customers receive the protection and peace of mind they deserve.
  • Premier Security is a long-time supporter of Hocevar’s career. The Flint, Mich.-headquartered organization has been prominently featured alongside Hocevar dating to his time racing short tracks in the pavement late model ranks.
  • The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender has raced at LVMS four times in the NCTS. He’s complied a 16.5 average finish and completed 533 of 536 laps contested (99.4 percent).
  • The Portage, Mich., driver logged four NCTS wins in 2023 and finished fourth in the division’s championship point standings.
  • Hocevar will greet fans and participate in a question-and-answer session in the LVMS Midway at the NASCAR Fan Zone Stage Sunday at 9:45 a.m. local time.
  • Hocevar will be featured on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET following each race to discuss his NCS rookie season.

Carson Hocevar Quotes
You had to overcome a few obstacles while racing in Atlanta, how did you keep your composure and patience to finish with a top 20?
“My team helped and just being reminded that there’s so much race left where anything can happen.”
You’ve had two superspeedway races to begin the year, how do you feel heading into Vegas this week as a different track set up?
“I feel good heading to Vegas, excited to start working on our mile-and-a-half package and I’m excited to see where we stack up with all our off-season work and preparation.”
Do you have any personal goals for the weekend?
“I just want to have a solid, smooth day and be able to continue to work week by week with the 77 team.”

From the Top of the Box

Ryan Sparks – Crew Chief, No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

  • Ryan Sparks serves in a dual role as both Spire Motorsports competition director and crew chief for driver Corey LaJoie and the No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro in the NCS.
  • Sparks, a Winston-Salem, N.C., native, has been paired with LaJoie since 2020.
  • Combined, Sparks and LaJoie have earned four top-five and seven top-10 finishes, including a pair of top four in the 2024 Daytona 500.

Stephen Doran – Crew Chief, No. 71 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

  • Stephen Doran begins his first full season as a Cup Series crew chief leading Zane Smith and the No. 71 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet team during the 2024 season.
  • In 2006, Doran got his start in NASCAR at Petty Enterprises.
  • Prior to his arrival at Spire Motorsports, Doran worked at Stewart-Haas Racing as an engineer, most recently on the No. 4 car driven by Kevin Harvick.

Luke Lambert – Crew Chief, No. 77 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

  • Luke Lambert is the crew chief for Spire Motorsports’ No. 77 team with 2024 NCS Rookie of the Year candidate Carson Hocevar
  • The 2005 North Carolina State graduate has led the competition efforts for some of the sport’s most notable names including Jeff Burton, Ryan Newman, Elliott Sadler and Chris Buescher.
  • In 2014, Lambert led Newman to a berth in the Championship 4, and ultimately a runner-up finish in the NCS championship point standings.

About Spire Motorsports …
Spire Motorsports is a NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race team co-owned by long-time NASCAR industry executives Jeff Dickerson and Thaddeus “T.J.” Puchyr. In 2024, Spire Motorsports will campaign the Nos. 7, 71 and 77 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1s in the NASCAR Cup Series with drivers Corey LaJoie, Zane Smith and Carson Hocevar, respectively. The team will also field the Nos. 7, 71 and 77 Chevrolet Silverados full time in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series. An all-star driver lineup will rotate throughout the 2024 season in the No. 7 Chevy. Rajah Caruth will drive the No. 71 entry and Chase Purdy rounds out the team’s fleet of Chevrolets in the No. 77.

Spire Motorsports earned its inaugural NASCAR Cup Series victory in its first full season of competition when Justin Haley took the checkered flag in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 7, 2019. Less than three years later, William Byron drove Spire Motorsports’ No. 7 Chevrolet Silverado to its inaugural NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series win on April 7, 2022, at Martinsville Speedway. The team’s most recent win came on May 20, 2023, when Kyle Larson took the checkered flag in the Tyson 250 at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com


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