EDITOR’S NOTE: Right this moment’s Spire Motorsports preview continues a countdown of workforce previews for the 2023 Cup season from NASCAR.com, ranked in reverse order of greatest end in final yr’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 brief historical past on the Cup Collection stage — consistency. LaJoie returns for one more season, mirrored by newly minted Ty Dillon within the No. 77, a journey beforehand rotated by a mixture of drivers yearly. Having two full-time drivers with 402 Collection Collection begins between them ought to get the workforce 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 capable of 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 will 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 almost grabbed his first win a yr in the past by placing in a stellar exhibiting on the summer season Atlanta Motor Speedway, and each drivers go into the season with rather a lot to show.
Corey LaJoie, no. 7 Chevrolet
experience: Six full-time seasons within the NASCAR Cup Collection.
Statistics for 2022: 31 within the last standings; 0 wins, 1 high 5, 1 high 10
2023 Championship Odds (BetMGM): 1000-1
prospects: LaJoie was one lap away from an enormous win final season in Atlanta, the place he received caught in a battle with eventual race winner Chase Elliott after ingenious technique had the No. 7 working 19 laps up entrance. However his day ended with a dented race automobile and one other missed alternative. One large second during which LaJoie and firm ought to be extra centered than ever within the 2023 season. In 200 races on the high stage, LaJoie has solely had one top-five and 5 top-10s – a stat he has the perfect 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 greatest profession ending common (24.3) earlier than a season. If they will keep away from DNFs, LaJoie is a darkish horse contender who wins at breakneck pace and probably earns his first look within the Cup Collection playoffs.
Ty Dillon, no. 77 Chevrolet
experience: 5 full-time seasons within the NASCAR Cup Collection.
Statistics for 2022: twenty ninth place within the last standings. 0 wins, 0 high 5, 1 high 10
2023 Championship Odds (BetMGM): 750-1
prospects: Having spent his final two full-time seasons on the Cup Collection stage with numerous groups (Germain Racing and Legacy MC), Dillon will likely be out proving he generally is a constructing block for organizations in search of wins and championships. Dillon’s youthful brother has by no means gained at a premier collection stage, however he is largely been a mainstay since his first full season in 2017. His expertise ought to be a constructive addition to a workforce headed in the fitting path. Dillon gives stability driving No. 77 and might type a reference to skilled crew chief Kevin Bellecourt. Dillon’s 22.6 ending common in 202 begins will likely be 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: School 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: observe racing
February 14: Penske Group