Spire Motorsports All-Star Race Race Advance

  • The 2024 NASCAR All-Star Open will mark Spire Motorsports’ fifth attempt to qualify for the NASCAR All-Star Race. Justin Haley earned a bid in the 2020 NASCAR All-Star Race, and finished 14th, by virtue of his win in the 2019 Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Corey LaJoie posted the team’s best finish in the NASCAR All-Star Open when he raced to a fourth-place finish in the 2022 edition at Texas Motor Speedway. Last year, in the division’s celebrated return to North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway, former teammate Ty Dillon and LaJoie finished eighth and ninth, respectively. 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.
  • Live Coverage of NASCAR’s annual All-Star Race festivities will be televised live on FS1 Sunday, May 19, beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). Both the NASCAR All-Star Open and the NASCAR All-Star Race will broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

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

  • Corey LaJoie heads to North Wilkesboro Speedway behind the wheel of the No. 7 Gainbridge Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
  • Lajoie started 24th and finished 16th last weekend at Darlington Raceway.
  • In his lone NCS starts at North Wilkesboro Speedway, LaJoie started third and finished ninth in last year’s NASCAR All-Star Open.
  • Gainbridge Insurance Agency, LLC (“Gainbridge”), a Group 1001 company, is an insurtech which strives to offer products that are simple, intuitive, and backed by smart technology with no complexity or hidden fees. Gainbridge empowers consumers to take control of their financial future with solutions that are accessible to everyone no matter their budget or financial knowledge. Gainbridge’s digital-first distribution model underpins its mission to reach all communities, including those that have been historically underserved by the national financial system.
  • Sunday’s NASCAR All-Star Open will mark LaJoie’s seventh attempt to race his way into the All-Star Race. His best finish came in 2022 when the event was held at Texas Motor Speedway where he finished fourth.

Corey LaJoie Quotes
There are no points on the line this weekend and you’re looking to race for a big pay at one of NASCAR’s most storied race tracks. What’s your plan to get into the All-Star Race?
“North Wilkesboro is going to be fun. I haven’t made a big push for the fan vote this year because I want to drive my way in there through the All-Star Open and earn our spot. The new asphalt will change how it races and how we approach our set up. No points on the table this weekend, so it’ll be elbows up with our Gainbridge Chevrolet.”

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

  • No. 71 Focused Health Chevrolet driver Zane Smith hopes to race for $1 million Sunday night in the 40th-annual NASCAR All-Star Race held for the second consecutive year at the 0.625-mile North Wilkesboro Speedway.
  • Before the Spire Motorsports’ driver joins the 17-driver All-Star field, Smith must finish first or second in the 100-lap Open race Sunday that precedes the All-Star Race.
  • The All-Star Open will have a caution at lap 50, at which teams must perform a four-tire pit stop. Drivers and teams will choose from three types of Goodyear tires on hand — a baseline “prime” tire, a softer “option” tire, and wet-weather tires should conditions warrant.
  • At the end, three Open drivers will advance to the All-Star Race – the top two race finishers and the Fan Vote Winner.
  • While the rookie driver has never appeared in an All-Star event, he raced at North Wilkesboro last year in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series logging track time he hopes to use this weekend.
  • Cast your Zane Smith All-Star vote at www.nascar.com/fanvote. Vote up to five times per day! Voting ends Sunday, May 20.
  • Smith will carry the No. 71 primary sponsor, Focused Health, for at least 62.5 miles this Sunday at North Wilkesboro. 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.

Zane Smith Quotes
What do you think about being able to run any tire at North Wilkesboro this weekend and how that combination might work, plus having to race your way in?
“I think it’s awesome! I mean obviously the elephant in the room is that the short tracks have been a struggle and I think anything is great to try to learn and make it better and I think this is the perfect opportunity to do that. There has been some conversation with the softer tire being made from the rain tire rubber and I’ve heard how much faster it is and obviously, the fall off. What we want is tire fall off. So, I’m excited to see how that is but just having options is going to be great. It’s going to be an exciting weekend!”

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

  • Carson Hocevar will make his NCS debut at North Wilkesboro Speedway in the No. 77 Gainbridge Chevrolet ZL1 in Sunday’s NASCAR All-Star Open. Hocevar has yet to win a race on NASCAR’s senior circuit and will have to either race his way into Sunday night’s 200-lap feature by either finishing first or second in the All-Star Open or by winning the All-Star fan vote.
  • Hocevar started 21st and finished 26th in last Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway.
  • In his lone NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series start at North Wilkesboro, Hocevar started second, led 16 laps, and finished fourth in last May’s Tyson 250.
  • Gainbridge Insurance Agency, LLC (“Gainbridge”), a Group 1001 company, is an insurtech which strives to offer products that are simple, intuitive, and backed by smart technology with no complexity or hidden fees. Gainbridge empowers consumers to take control of their financial future with solutions that are accessible to everyone no matter their budget or financial knowledge. Gainbridge’s digital-first distribution model underpins its mission to reach all communities, including those that have been historically underserved by the national financial system.
  • Hocevar’s All-Star Race scheme will feature the NASCAR Day Giveathon Logo as well as the names of the 350 charities that will benefit from participating in the NASCAR Day Giveathon.
  • The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender is currently 25th in the division’s championship points. Over the course of the season’s first 13 races, Hocevar has notched one top-10 and three top-15 finishes.
  • Hocevar will serve as a driver during Sunday morning’s All-Star Weekend Hot Laps program. All proceeds help Speedway Children’s Charities provide support for critical programs for children facing medical challenges, educational hurdles, and critical needs.
  • Race fans can join Hocevar for a 15-minute Trackside Live Q&A with Kenny Wallace and John Roberts at the Fan Zone stage in the speedway’s midway, Sunday at 12:15 p.m.
  • Fans can also meet Hocevar at the NASCAR Classics merchandise trailer for an autograph on Sunday at 12:45 p.m.
  • Following his visit to the NASCAR Classics merchandise trailer, Hocevar will stop at the Chevrolet activation for a Q&A at 1:30 p.m.
  • Crew Chief Luke Lambert is no rookie to the All-Star races, calling Jeff Burton’s third-place finish in the 2013 Sprint Showdown as well as Noah Gragson’s All-Star berth in 2023.

Carson Hocevar Quotes
What do you think the keys are this weekend with all the different tire options and the unknowns with the repave?
“Qualifying is the biggest thing, being able to be out front early will be huge. Everybody is going to get super close once everyone figures it out, so its’ just the guys who unload really good, really early, will have the edge.”
Would it mean more if you raced your way in this weekend or won the Fan Vote?
“Probably more so to race my way in but if you get in with the fan vote, it shows you still did a lot, and I would be extremely proud of that. I look at this weekend as more of a practice. We still want to work on our race package and we’re still building and still learning. We’re still pretty new, especially me, in that shop. If we get in, I am almost looking at it like a free race to learn and grow which would be huge for everyone involved.”

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 fourth-place finish 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 April 12, 2024, when Kyle Busch took the took the checkered flag in the SpeedyCash.com 250 at Texas Motor 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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