Earlier this season, NASCAR Cup Series driver Ty Dillon announced that he would be leaving Petty GMS Racing and the number 42 car at the end of the season. At the time Dillon had no idea of what his future as a driver would be.
On October 18, he found out…
Shire Motorsports held a press conference on Tuesday morning at their race shop in Concord, North Carolina where they announced that Ty Dillon would be joining the team to drive the number 77 car. This year the number 77 car was fielded using a number of part time drivers.
Spire Motorsports also announced that Corey LaJoie would return for his third season to continue in the number seven car.
Corey LaJoie spoke on the news via a team release saying, “I’m excited to return to Spire Motorsports for the 2023 season. With another year under our belts and a notebook on the new car, I know we can have a solid season and get that first win.” LoJoie had his best year in his career with a top five finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway and leading 19 laps in the race. An on track incident with Chase Elliott prevented LaJoie from earning his first win.
In addition, Spire announced that Ryan Sparks will be the crew chief for the number seven car and serve a the director of competition. Kevin Bellicourt will serve as the crew chief for the number 77 car.
Spire Motorsports co-owner Jeff Dickerson spoke on the organization saying, “we’ve been quite fortunate to build a strong foundation for Spire Motorsports over the past several years. That’s a testament to the people of Spire Motorsports, and Corey LaJoie, Ryan Sparks and Kevin Bellicourt have been the bedrock of this organization. The next step in our progression is to add an equally capable full-time driver for the No. 77 team and we’ve found just that individual in Ty Dillon.”
In other driver news, JR Motorsports has signed the winner of the Xfinity Series race Josh Berry to a contract extension. In his first full time season of driving the number eight car for JRM, Berry has won three times this season and has five wins overall at JRM. And he has not only earned a spot in the playoffs in his first full time year, but has also earned his way into the final four for a run at the championship.
Team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr spoke on his driver saying, “we’ve been lucky to have Josh spend so much of his career with JR Motorsports. He’s been successful at every level for us. He’s performed well and won races in our cars, and now he’s contending for NASCAR championships. He established our Late Model team as a championship-caliber program and is now contributing to our Xfinity program. And I couldn’t be more proud to have him back at JRM in 2023.”
Berry has been a part of JRM since 2010 when he signed to drive the late model cars where he went on to notch 94 wins and three championships. His next win with JRM will be his 100th win as a JRM driver.
Josh Berry also spoke on his driving with JRM saying, “JR Motorsports has always been my home as a racer, and I’m proud to return to JRM and the number eight team for 2023. When I came here, it was as a Late Model driver and mechanic, and when I got the opportunity to race full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, it was a dream come true. We’ll race for a series championship next month, and that’s nearly full circle for me with the team. I can’t thank Dale, Kelley, LW and Mr. Hendrick enough for this opportunity.” Berry is the only JRM driver to win multiple championships with them.