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Spire Motorsports Toyota 200 Race Advance

  • The Toyota 200 will mark just the second time Spire Motorsports will field a NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS) entry at World Wide Technology Raceway. In June 2022, Rajah Caruth steered the team’s No. 7 Confluence Music Festival Chevrolet Silverado to an 11th-place finish. Spire Motorsports fields the Nos. 7, 71 and 77 Chevrolet Silverados full time in the NCTS. An all-star driver lineup will rotate throughout the 2024 season in the No. 7 Chevy. Rajah Caruth drives the No. 71 entry and Chase Purdy rounds out the team’s fleet of Chevrolets in the No. 77.
  • The Toyota 200 from World Wide Technology Raceway will be televised live on FOX Saturday, June 1 beginning at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 12th of 23 NCTS races on the 2024 schedule will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. NASCAR RaceDay’s pre-race coverage on FOX will take the green flag at 1 p.m. EDT.

Andrés Peréz – Driver, No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado

  • Andrés Peréz will make his NCTS debut behind the wheel of Spire Motorsports’ No. 7 Chevrolet Silverado in Saturday’s Toyota 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway.
  • Peréz is the full-time driver of Rev Racing’s No. 2 Chevrolet in the ARCA Menards Series and is part of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program. He has earned two top-five and four top-10 finishes in the division’s first six races of the 2024 campaign and has a six-point advantage heading into the next stop at Iowa Speedway.
  • The Mexico City, Mexico native started racing karts when he was 11-years-old before transitioning to L-A Formula 4 and NASCAR Mexico Trucks competition. Perez was crowned the 2022 NASCAR Mexico Challenge Series Champion.
  • The 19-year-old is coming off a successful rookie ARCA campaign in 2023 where he posted one pole,10 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes en-route to a runner-up finish in the division’s championship point standings.
  • In last week’s ARCA Menards Series General Tire 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Peréz sat on the pole, led eight laps and ultimately finished third.
  • Herdez Salsa, the No. 1 salsa brand in Mexico, will be the primary sponsor in Perez’s initial NCTS effort. Known for simple, quality ingredients, Herdez salsas represent the heart and soul of Mexican cuisine.
  • Telcel, an associate sponsor for this weekend’s race, is Mexico’s leading cellular phone company, committed to effectively meeting the wireless communication needs of its clients through use of the most sophisticated technology. Telcel is a subsidiary of America Movil, one of the largest providers of wireless communications in Latin America with operations in 18 countries in the Americas and serving more than 339 million customers.
  • After 11 races, the No. 7 team sits fifth in the 2024 NCTS owner point standings. The No. 7 team has compiled two wins with an average starting position of 7.5 and an average finish of 11.4 thus far this season. Kyle Busch led a race-high 33 laps en route the team’s first victory of 2024 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in February and a race-high 112 laps in the team’s most recent triumph in Texas. In its most recent outing, the team started seventh and finished eighth with Connor Mosack at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
  • In his first season at Spire Motorsports, crew chief Brian Pattie has led the No. 7 team to two victories across the first 11 events this season, both with Kyle Busch (Atlanta Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway). The duo also won twice across five races last year with Kyle Busch Motorsports.
  • Jack Wood finished 29th in Pattie’s lone race calling the shots in NCTS action at World Wide Technology Raceway last June. He was victorious in Xfinity Series competition at the Illinois track in July 2005 with Reed Sorenson behind the wheel.

How do you prepare for your Truck Series debut with limited practice time?
“I think the quick adaptation to everything that is going to go on will be important, both adapting to the truck and the track. I think we’ve been working hard, both me on my own and all the guys in the shop that are helping me out. I’m trying to cover everything before we get there. They’re just telling me to not make many mistakes, have a smooth practice and qualifying day, and we’ll go from there.”

World Wide Technology Raceway is very unique. Have you run at any tracks you can draw comparisons to in your career?
“I think it is very unique. The simulator has definitely been a help, especially in setting me up for success in the first few laps of practice and my ability to be more on it from the start. The closest I’ve ever ran on is something in Mexico in Puebla (Autódromo Internacional Miguel E. Abed). But at the end of the day, the cars here and the cars in Mexico are so different that I’m just going to have to adapt to something different. But, the simulator has been huge in terms of getting a grip on the track.”

Have you set any goals for your Truck Series debut?
“I think I just want everything to go smooth and have a very good result. I know that if we put everything together then it should be a really good day for us. If we get a top-10, I’d definitely take that for my Truck Series debut.”

Rajah Caruth – Driver, No. 71 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado

  • Rajah Caruth will pilot Spire Motorsports’ No. 71 HENDRICKCARS.COM Chevrolet Silverado in Saturday’s Toyota 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway.
  • Caruth started fourth and finished 16th in last week’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
  • HENDRICKCARS.COM is the online home for everything Hendrick Automotive Group. Visitors can shop thousands of new or pre-owned vehicles, locate centers for service and collision repair, receive a value to sell or trade their car, chat online with customer service, discover career opportunities, learn more about vehicle protections programs, and explore how the company gives back to the community.
  • The Winston-Salem (N.C.) State University senior has two prior NCTS starts at the 1.25-mile Illinois oval with a venue-best 11th-place finish.
  • The Washington, D.C. native made his NCTS debut and first of four starts behind the wheel of the No. 7 Silverado for Spire Motorsports in 2022 at WWTR. His 11th-place finish was the best of his four appearances that year.
  • The 21-year-old is currently sixth in the NCTS championship point standings after 11 races. He has logged one pole, one win, five top-10 and nine top-15 finishes. He’s recorded a 12.2 average start, an 11.5 average finish and completed 96.9 percent of the laps contested this season.
  • With his first career NCTS win and pole position earlier this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Caruth became the third African American driver, alongside NASCAR Hall of Famer, Wendell Scott and current NASCAR Cup Series regular Bubba Wallace, to win a NASCAR National Touring Series race.
  • Caruth raced his first full season in NCTS in 2023, earning four top-10 finishes and coming home 16th in the division’s championship point standings.

You are returning to the site of your first Truck Series start. Does that make the venue more special or meaningful to you, especially coming back with Spire Motorsports?
“It’s cool to go back to Gateway because I ran my first truck race there with Spire and Bono (Manion) and (Mike) Greci in the number seven truck. It is cool because it is hard to believe it’s been two years and to see my progression over that time. I think we have a chance to get there and run really well. I believe, in my first race there, we ran in the top 10 most of the race and I think we can be a top-five truck again this week. We honestly have the speed every week to do that. Hopefully, we can have a solid race to end the five-race stretch and get back to our winning ways.”

Last week’s result didn’t show how well you ran all night long. How do you flip the script and look forward to the next event?
“Stuff happens, you know? That’s just racing. You can do everything right, it’ll be great. You can do everything right, it won’t be great. You just have to go back to the drawing board and make little tweaks and go to the racetrack and do your best. That’s it. We don’t need to wholesale things, we are not in that place at all. I think we are one of the best trucks every week. I think if we could just execute a good race this weekend, we can be fighting for 50 grand and go into Nashville with a pep in our step.”

Chase Purdy – Driver, No.77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado

  • Chase Purdy will pilot the Spire Motorsports’ No.77 Bama Buggies Chevrolet Silverado in Saturday afternoons Toyota 200.
  • Purdy heads to WWTR 15th in the NCTS driver point standings. He started in seventh and finished 13th last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Over the first 11 races of the 2024 campaign, the Meridian, Miss., native has earned one pole, one top-five and a pair of top-10 finishes.
  • In his three starts at WWTR, Purdy has an average starting position of 16th and an average finish position of seventh. Purdy’s most recent finish at WWTR was a fourth-place finish.
  • The Toyota 200 will mark Purdy’s 87th NCTS start and his 12th behind the wheel of Spire Motorsports’ No.77 Bama Buggies Chevrolet.
  • Purdy’s younger brother, Zach Purdy starts as an engineer for the team this week at WWTR. Zach Purdy will be based out of Mooresville, N.C., for the summer months before he returns to the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) for his senior year.
  • Purdy’s Crew Chief Jason Trinchere will be making his WWTR debut in Saturday’s Toyota 200.

Chase Purdy Quotes
How does the shape of Gateway make it so special?
“WWTR is a unique place, different than most tracks. Both ends are so different and you have to shift in (turns) one and two. Turns three and four is more of a long and sweeping corner but one and two is a sharp tight turn.”

WWTR is one of your best tracks, what makes you so confident at this speedway?
“I think this place races like a big short track in many ways. That definitely falls into my wheelhouse. I’ve had a lot of really good runs and I’m looking for more of the same this weekend.”

From the Top of the Box

Brian Pattie – Crew Chief, No. 7 Chevrolet Silverado

  • In his first season at Spire Motorsports, Brian Pattie has led the No. 7 team to two victories, both with Kyle Busch. The duo also won twice across five races last year at KBM.
  • Pattie also collected a victory with Ron Fellows at Watkins Glen International in 1999 to give him five career NCTS wins.
  • Pattie was atop the pit box for six wins across 14 seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series and has 11 career victories as a crew chief in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Chad Walter – Crew Chief, No. 71 Chevrolet Silverado

  • Chad Walter has over two decades of experience and began his career with Hendrick Motorsports in 1996.
  • Walter guided Caruth to his first NCTS win March 1, 2024 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
  • Some of his most notable accomplishments include a pair of Daytona 500 victories (2001 & 2003) with Michael Waltrip, along with Cup Series wins with Steve Park and Terry Labonte.

Jason Trinchere – Crew Chief, No. 77 Chevrolet Silverado

  • Jason Trinchere earned his Bachelor of Science from Penn State University and began his professional career in 2005 as the race engineer for the iconic No. 75 Spears Manufacturing NCTS team, owned by series’ pioneers Wayne and Connie Spears.
  • Notable accomplishments include Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 wins with both Ganassi Racing and Penske Racing. He was a key member of the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Championship team with driver Joey Logano.

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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