Spire Motorsports Wright Brand 250 Race Advance

Spire Motorsports
  • The Wright Brand 250 will mark the second time Spire Motorsports will field a NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS) entry at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Last May, 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Larson led 138 laps and drove the team’s No. 7 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Silverado to the Winner’s Circle in the division’s first race at the legendary Wilkes County (N.C.) oval. 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 Wright Brand 250 will be televised live on FS1 Saturday, May 18, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 10th of 23 races on the 2024 NCTS schedule will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. NASCAR RaceDay’s pre-race coverage on FS1 will take the green flag at 1 p.m. EDT.
  • Sammy Smith will steer Spire Motorsports’ No. 7 Chevrolet in Saturday’s Wright Brand 250 at North Wilkesboro Speedway in his second of four NCTS starts this season. The Iowa native came from the 13th starting position to finish eighth earlier this season at Martinsville Speedway.
  • The talented teenager will be pulling double duty this weekend as he is also slated to drive the No. 88 for JR Motorsports in the zMAX Cars Tour Late Model Stock race Wednesday night. While it will be his first time in a truck at the 0.625-miile oval, Smith won the Racetrack Revival Super Late Model race there in 2022 and finished fourth in last year’s ASA Stars National Tour event.
  • Smith, 19, is the full-time driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS). He has logged six top-10 finishes in 11 races this season and earned a season-best seventh-place effort last month at Martinsville Speedway.
  • Smith will return to the cockpit of the No. 7 Chevy Silverado July 19 at Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP) and finish out his limited schedule August 25 at the Milwaukee Mile.
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  • Smith is a six-time ARCA Menards Series national tour race winner, who has won eight times in the ARCA Menards Series East and once in the ARCA Menards Series West. He earned a CARS Pro Late Model Tour victory in 2021 at Jennerstown (Pa.) Speedway and four pavement super late model wins that same season. A year later, he picked up another super late model victory in a combination ARCA CRA Super Series/Southern Super Series race at North Wilkesboro. He has also earned wins in some of the United States’ most notable late model races including the Winchester 400, Red Bud 400 and Florida Governor’s Cup.
  • After nine races, the No. 7 team ranks fifth in the 2024 NCTS owner point standings.The Brian Pattie-led program has notched one pole, two wins, led 268 laps and recorded four top-five and five top-10 finishes with five different drivers.

Sammy Smith Quotes
You’re running the Late Model race Wednesday night. How beneficial will that be heading into Saturday? 
“It’ll be very beneficial getting laps at a new track that a lot of people probably haven’t been to with the repave. That will be big and hopefully, we can go out and capitalize on that extra track time with our No. 7 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet Silverado.”
Is it easier to prepare for this weekend now that you have a race under your belt with Brian Pattie and the No. 7 team? 
“I feel really good heading into North Wilkesboro. I have a better understanding of what the truck needs balance-wise and how it drives. I also having a better feel of how the drivers in the Truck Series race. That helps a lot. I know that Brian Pattie and everyone on the No. 7 Pilot Flying J team will bring me a fast Silverado. With the repave, we’ll also be able to get a full practice, which will allow me to continue to get a better feel for the truck. I need all the practice I can get since this will only be my third time racing in the Truck Series and one of those races was on a superspeedway.”

  • Rajah Caruth will pilot Spire Motorsports’ No. 71 HendrickCars.com ChevroletSilverado in Saturday’s Wright Brand 250 at North Wilkesboro Speedway.
  • Caruth started 26th and finished 30th in last week’s Buckle Up South Carolina 200 at Darlington Raceway. It was his only DNF (did not finish) of the 2024 season.
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  • The Winston-Salem (N.C.) State University senior started 23rd and finished 34th in last May’s Tyson 250 NCTS race at North Wilkesboro Speedway.
  • Caruth is currently sixth in the NCTS championship point standings after nine races. He has logged one pole, one win, five top-10’s and eight top-15 finishes. He’s recorded a 11.8 average start, a 10.8 average finish and completed 96 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 season in NCTS in 2023, earning four top-10 finishes and coming home 16th in the division’s championship point standings.

North Wilkesboro has such a deep history within NASCAR, what does it mean to you to get to race here again?
“Honestly, it’s really special to go to North Wilkesboro because I know the history and I am a nerd about NASCAR as a whole. It’s been really cool to be part NASCAR’s return to a track with such a deep history. It shows that it’ll be there for hopefully, some years to come and can continue to foster racing in that region. It’s really special just because I’m a huge nerd about this stuff and it’s super important to remember the history within NASCAR in the years to come.”

How does the repave factor into your outlook for this weekend?
“So, that’s a really good question. It’s an unknown for everybody who didn’t get to be part of the tire test and, of course, the guys and gals who will run late models at North Wilkesboro will have a good feel, too. It’s exciting because we all have the same resources to kind of go off of, and lack thereof, because it’s a new element. I think it’ll be a good exercise for everybody. I do know I have a good set of tools to go to the racetrack with. We’ll adapt on the fly and look to be as competitive as I know we’re capable of.”  

You had a tough day at Darlington. How do you bounce back after a less-than-ideal weekend? 
“It’s not really hard for me to get over setbacks like that, because I’ve been through them before and it’s not something I did, you know, terribly wrong. There are obviously things I could have done better to not lose some spots on pit road or choose a different lane on the restart, but if you get wrecked out of the top 10 or better, there’s not much you can really do, especially when you didn’t cause it. It’s not super hard for me to reset just because there’s a lot of worse things that we could be struggling with. The thing is that we have speed every week and we’re competitive every week, so we just get back in our stride and keep doing what we’ve been doing to start the season. It’s time to go to a new race track, a new day, and finish out this five-race stretch with three solid races.”

  • Chase Purdy will pilot Spire Motorsports’ No.77 Bama Buggies Chevrolet Silverado in Saturday afternoon’s Wright Brand 250.
  • Purdy heads to North Wilkesboro Speedway 16th in the NCTS driver point standings. He started 19th and finished sixth last week at Darlington Raceway.
  • In his single start at North Wilkesboro, Purdy started 24th, finished eighth and completed all 252 laps in his Bama Buggies Chevrolet Silverado.
  • In the NCTS most recent race at a short track, Purdy drove his Bama Buggies Chevrolet to a third-place finish at Martinsville Speedway.
  • The Wright Brand 250 will mark Purdy’s 85th NCTS start and his 10th behind the wheel of  Spire Motorsports’ No.77 Bama Buggies Chevrolet.
  • Purdy’s Crew Chief Jason Trinchere will be making his North Wilkesboro debut in the Wright Brand 250. In 12 NASCAR Xfinity Series short-track races, the Penn State University alumnus has called one win, an average start of second, and an average finish of fifth. His one win was in 2021 with driver A.J. Allmendinger at Bristol Motor Speedway. 

Chase Purdy Quotes
Fresh surface, how do you think it’s going to affect your driving? 
“I think there’s a lot of unknowns going into the weekend, so I’m relying on the sim a lot for this week. But it’s a short track and it’s going have a lot of grip, so I don’t think there will be too many surprises.”
You had a solid finish at Darlington last weekend. How do you take that finish and build consistency?
“I think by just keeping the nose clean and having a mistake free race. We have the speed, just need to capitalize on our opportunities.”

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