EDITOR’S NOTE: At the moment’s Spire Motorsports preview continues a countdown of crew previews for the 2023 Cup season from NASCAR.com, ranked in reverse order of finest end in final 12 months’s proprietor standings.
the creator: Chevrolet
engine: Hendrick Motorsports
Coupling between driver and crew chief: Corey Lajoie-Ryan Sparks (No. 7), Ty Dillon, Kevin Bellecourt (No. 77)
Group view: Chasing its first win since 2019 (Justin Haley), Spire Motorsports has an enormous benefit subsequent season that it hasn’t had in its quick historical past on the Cup Sequence degree — consistency. LaJoie returns for one more season, mirrored by newly minted Ty Dillon within the No. 77, a trip beforehand rotated by a mixture of drivers yearly. Having two full-time drivers with 402 Sequence Sequence begins between them ought to get the crew able to carry out even stronger this time round.
Every of a driver’s finishes within the last factors standings final season is not essentially indicative of the place he is been in a position to run most weeks. One weak spot was race finishes, 17 DNF’s mixed in 2022, with eight for LaJoie and 9 for Dillon whereas driving for the Legacy Motor Membership (previously Petty GMS).
If they’ll settle into next-generation Camaros a bit extra this season, one or two journeys to Victory Lane would not be out of the query. LaJoie practically grabbed his first win a 12 months in the past by placing in a stellar exhibiting on the summer season Atlanta Motor Speedway, and each drivers go into the season with loads to show.
Corey LaJoie, no. 7 Chevrolet
experience: Six full-time seasons within the NASCAR Cup Sequence.
Statistics for 2022: 31 within the last standings; 0 wins, 1 prime 5, 1 prime 10
2023 Championship Odds (BetMGM): 1000-1
prospects: LaJoie was one lap away from a large win final season in Atlanta, the place he acquired caught in a battle with eventual race winner Chase Elliott after ingenious technique had the No. 7 operating 19 laps up entrance. However his day ended with a dented race automotive and one other missed alternative. One large second by which LaJoie and firm ought to be extra targeted than ever within the 2023 season. In 200 races on the prime degree, LaJoie has solely had one top-five and 5 top-10s – a stat he has the most effective expertise in a single marketing campaign if The playing cards fell appropriately. Along with his particular person expertise, LaJoie and crew chief Ryan Sparks have made nice strides yearly collectively, posting LaJoie’s finest profession ending common (24.3) earlier than a season. If they’ll keep away from DNFs, LaJoie is a darkish horse contender who wins at breakneck pace and probably earns his first look within the Cup Sequence playoffs.
Ty Dillon, no. 77 Chevrolet
experience: 5 full-time seasons within the NASCAR Cup Sequence.
Statistics for 2022: twenty ninth place within the last standings. 0 wins, 0 prime 5, 1 prime 10
2023 Championship Odds (BetMGM): 750-1
prospects: Having spent his final two full-time seasons on the Cup Sequence degree with varied groups (Germain Racing and Legacy MC), Dillon will probably be out proving he generally is a constructing block for organizations looking for wins and championships. Dillon’s youthful brother has by no means received at a premier collection degree, however he is largely been a mainstay since his first full season in 2017. His expertise ought to be a constructive addition to a crew headed in the precise path. Dillon offers stability driving No. 77 and might kind a reference to skilled crew chief Kevin Bellecourt. Dillon’s 22.6 ending common in 202 begins will probably be an excellent measure of him this season. If he can hit the sub-20 mark, Dillon could possibly be contending for the highest 5 finishes and even wins in two races all season.
NASCAR.com 2023 Group Previews Schedule
January 23: Unchartered and groups outdoors the High 30
January 24: Spire Motorsports
25 January: Wooden Brothers Race
January 26: JTG Daugherty Racing
January 27: Entrance Row Motorsports
January 30: Faculty Racing
January 31: RFK Racing
February 1: Legacy Motor Membership
February 2: Richard Childress Racing
February 7: 23XI Racing
February 8: Stewart-Haas Racing
February 9: Joe Gibbs Racing
February 10: Hendrick Motorsports
February 13: monitor racing
February 14: Penske Group