Spire Motorsports Coca-Cola 600 Race Advance

Spire Motorsports
  • In nine NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Spire Motorsports has logged two top-20 finishes. Corey LaJoie, driver of the No. 7 Chili’s Grill & Bar Chevy Camaro earned a team-best 17th-place finish in the 2023 Coca-Cola 600. 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.
  • The Coca-Cola 600 from Charlotte Motor Speedway will be televised live on FOX Sunday, May 26, beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. NASCAR’s annual Memorial Day Weekend 600-mile classic will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. NASCAR RaceDay’s pre-race coverage on FS1 will take the green flag at 4:30 p.m. EDT and shift to FOX at 5:30 p.m.

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

  • Corey LaJoie heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway behind the wheel of the No. 7 Chili’s® Grill & Bar, Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. 
  • Sunday’s annual Memorial Day Weekend 600-mile classic will mark LaJoie’s 11th NCS start at Charlotte Motor Speedway and 250th career NCS start.
  • This week, Spire Motorsports and Chili’s announced a partnership extension for three additional NCS races in 2024 aboard LaJoie’s No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 beginning with this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
  • In addition to this weekend’s annual 600-miler, Chili’s will also be showcased as LaJoie’s primary sponsor at World Wide Technology Raceway on June 2 and again at Darlington Raceway Labor Day Weekend. The extended partnership includes associate sponsorship on LaJoie’s No. 7 machine for the rest of the 2024 season.
  • In keeping with the tradition of honoring fallen service members during NASCAR’s annual Memorial Day Weekend festivities, LaJoie will be racing in honor of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jeremie S. Border, of Mesquite, Texas, who died September 1, 2012, by small arms fire while conducting combat operations in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. 
  • Border’s name will be displayed on the windshield of LaJoie’s Chevy Camarothroughout the race weekend. Border is the brother of long-tenured Chili’s team member DeLaynie Peek, who will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway as NASCAR and its teams honor Gold Star Families for the seventh consecutive year.
  • LaJoie has logged 10 previous NCS starts at the legendary 1.5-mile Concord, N.C. oval and earned a venue/race-best 12th-place finish in the 2019 running of NASCAR’s longest race. Last May, the third-generation racer started 25th and finished 17th.
  • Lajoie started 13th and finished 12th in last weekend’s NASCAR All-Star Open at North Wilkesboro Speedway.
  • In addition to his extensive experience in the NCS at Charlotte, LaJoie has also made two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Concord, N.C., native recorded his venue-best Xfinity Series effort October 7, 2017 in the Race for the Cure 300 where he finished 17th.

Corey LaJoie Quotes
NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway put on an incredible event every Memorial Day Weekend and for the seventh year in a row, teams honor a fallen service member. Who will you honor aboard your Chili’s Chevy Camaro?
“Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway is an event I look forward to each year. Honoring those that served our country and hosting Gold Star families is a privilege that I take seriously. I will have United States Army Staff Sgt. Jeremie S. Border, who sacrificed his life for our great country, riding along with me for 600 miles. My Spire Motorsports team is ready to have a good night in Staff Sgt. Border’s memory.”

The Coca-Cola 600 will mark your 250th-career NASCAR Cup Series start. What does that journey look like for you?
“Hard to believe this week will be 250 Cup series starts. It’s definitely been a journey of persistence and overcoming challenges. I’m very thankful for the partners, friends, fans and teammates that have supported me along the way. We’ve stacked a lot of pennies over 250 starts and we’ll continue to stack ‘em for however many more there are ahead.”

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

  • Sunday will mark Zane Smith’s third NASCAR Cup Series start at Charlotte Motor Speedway but his first driving the No. 71 Focused Health Chevrolet Camaro for Spire Motorsports.
  • Last year, Smith made his first Cup Series start at the 1.5-mile oval, in the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports entry.  He started 29th and finished 10th, recording his first top-10 finish in NASCAR’s premier division
  • Smith owns four NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS) career starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He’s led 80 laps and posted three top-10’s in NCTS competition.
  • Smith’s car will carry the name of Marine Staff Sgt. Chris Diaz, 26, of Albuquerque, New Mexico on Sunday. Diaz followed in his older brother’s footsteps and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2003. During his eight years of service, he did tours in Iraq, Israel, and Afghanistan. In 2011, Diaz was serving as a military-working dog handler with 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion conducting a combat control patrol in the Upper Gereshk Valley of the Helmand Province in Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. As he was clearing a reported improvised explosive device from inside a checkpoint, a team member was severely injured by an explosion. Diaz immediately began to treat and evacuate the teammate when a second explosion killed him and two others.
  • The No. 71’s Coke 600 grey and orange paint scheme will also pay tribute to the United States Air Force. Focused Health CEO, Shawn Holt, is a retired Air Force Veteran.
  • Focused Health is a national health insurance agency that assists consumers and employers in navigating the myriad health insurance options in the government programs space. The company partners with payors and employers to deliver health insurance solutions for individuals and families. For more information visit AtFocusedHealth.com.
  • Race fans can meet Smith at the Trackhouse Racing merchandise trailer for an autograph on Sunday, May 26th at 2:15 p.m. ET.
  • Fans can also join Smith at Spire Motorsports Fan Day, Thursday, May 23 starting at 11a.m. ET.

The Coke 600 is a huge weekend for everyone. How are you feeling going into such a long race, but a race where you had success last year?
“It’s a privilege to have Staff Sargent Chris Diaz’ name on my car this weekend. One of the coolest things about the weekend is hearing the families talk about the soldiers who have died for our country. The pre-race ceremony gives me chills with all the military presence and standing next to family members during the national anthem is really moving. Their sacrifices have allowed us to live our lives the way we want to live them whether it’s driving a race car, working on a crew or doing anything else in life. I can’t say thank you enough.

“Charlotte is also a home race for all of us, so you see a lot of friends and family and you always want to do well in front of them. Last year I raced a Cup car at Charlotte for the first time and got a top-10. That was a great feeling and of course we want to do that again on Sunday.”

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

  • Carson Hocevar will pilot Spire Motorsports’ No. 77 Zeigler Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  
  • Hocevar started and finished 10th in last Sunday’s All-Star Open at North Wilkesboro Speedway.
  • In three NCTS starts at the 1.5-mile oval, Hocevar has logged an 8.3 average start and a 7.3 average finish. He led 105 laps and completed all 411 laps contested.
  • In his lone NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Hocevar started 15th and raced his way to an eighth-place finish in last May’s Alsco Uniforms 300.
  • Zeigler Automotive Group is one of the largest privately-owned dealer groups in the U.S. with 84 franchises across 41 locations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. Vehicle brands represented include all the domestic and the majority of the imported manufacturers. Founded in 1975, the organization employs over 2,500 people, ranking among the top one percent of automotive dealers in the nation with estimated annual sales of $2.2 billion for 2023. The family-owned and -operated company is well known for its commitment to both customer service and employee satisfaction. Zeigler is regularly recognized as one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in the Nation, also earning similar accolades in Wisconsin, Chicago, and Michigan. Besides these prestigious accolades, Zeigler is also one of Glassdoor’s 100 Best Places to Work in the U.S. for 2024, and among Glassdoor’s top 10 U.S. companies for work-life balance.
  • Hocevar’s car will carry the name of United States Navy Commander Robert “Bobby” Ramirez, of San Diego, Calif., on Sunday. Ramirez, a highly decorated SEAL Team One Commander, received five Bronze Stars, including two with “V” for Valor, during his 12 deployments, nine of which were combat-related. He enlisted in the Navy and later rose through the ranks to become an officer through the Seaman to Admiral program. He served his country in the Navy for 26 years first as enlisted, then being accepted for the Seaman to Admiral program and becoming an Officer. He sustained multiple traumatic brain injuries (TBI) from explosions during training and combat. Despite these injuries, Ramirez remained a successful and respected Naval Commander. The invisible wounds of war ultimately led Ramirez to take his own life. A Department of Defense brain study later confirmed physical damage consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and astroglial scarring related to the blasts he experienced. Ramirez was married for 23 years to his high school sweetheart and is survived by his wife, four children, and a large extended family.
  • 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 join Adam Alexander, Michael Waltrip and Phil Parsons on FS1 for Friday night’s NC Education Lottery 200 NCTS broadcast.
  • Hocevar will be featured as a pit reporter in Fox Sport’s Annual Drivers Only broadcast for Saturday’s Xfinity Series BetMGM 300 at 12:30 p.m.
  • Race fans can meet Hocevar for an autograph session at the Camping World in Concord, N.C., Friday at 10 a.m.

Carson Hocevar Quotes
Charlotte Motor Speedway is a track you’ve done well at in both NCTS and NXS, does this give you some confidence for the Coca-Cola 600? 
“Charlotte is my favorite racetrack on the schedule. I feel like I’ve had a shot or two at winning a race each time I’ve been there. I was fast in the Xfinity race last year and was running third before we ran out of fuel. I am really excited to run here in a Cup car for the first time and hope we can mimic my past performance and speed.”
What does it mean to you to have Robert Ramirez riding with you as the fallen service member on your windshield? 
“It means a lot, even if this is something big or small, we can do for them, they deserve so much for their sacrifice to this country. I want to be able to do him and his family justice for the sacrifice he’s made protecting us and our country for as long as he did. The connection my crew chief Luke Lambert has to Commander Ramirez and his family, this just makes a lot of sense to us to honor him this way.”

Luke Lambert Quotes 
What does it mean to you to have Commander Ramirez on the No. 77 this weekend?
“I’m honored. Bobby Ramirez is a true American hero, and he was close to a very good friend of mine, who’s also a hero who served in the Navy Seals. Having the opportunity to show our respect and gratitude to the service that Bobby provided us, to his family and to the world, is truly an honor for me. I’m thankful for NASCAR and Spire Motorsports for getting on board to honor him during this spectacular event.
“The Coke-Cola 600 has always been a special event for me. There is so much symbolism behind this event. It’s the longest race on the Cup schedule and also being Memorial Day weekend, it gives us an opportunity to pay respect to so many who lost their lives and sacrificed as individuals and also sacrificed loved ones for the freedoms we get to enjoy here in the United States. I’m thankful for all those that serve and certainly honored to be able to carry a name during this race. Commander Ramirez is a very worthy person to be honored for this event.”

Spire Motorsports PR

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