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Michael McDowell signs new NASCAR contract with Spire Motorsports

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It was made official very quickly.

Within an hour of announcing that he would be leaving Front Row Motorsports at the end of the season, Michael McDowell and Spire Motorsports immediately announced that they would compete together next season in the No. 71 Chevrolet.

“This is a new chapter for my family and I and we are incredibly grateful for the opportunity presented to us,” McDowell said in a press release. “It will take some hard work, but I feel like I have everything in place to be successful as a racing team – win races and compete for championships.” People are the greatest asset for any organization, and with vision , Spire's ambition, knowledge and commitment, we will achieve great things. Failure is not an option and that is the attitude we need to achieve our goals.”

He will team with veterans Corey LaJoie and Carson Hocevar.

“Michael McDowell is a proven winner and brings a NASCAR playoff pedigree,” said Doug Duchardt, president of Spire Motorsports. “Michael was always keen to develop his teams. His experience and enthusiasm are a perfect fit for Spire Motorsports and we are confident he will be a great teammate for both Carey LaJoie and Carson Hocevar. We're excited to keep the positive momentum going by adding someone as accomplished as Michael to our driver lineup. ”

Spire has spent a lot of money in recent years acquiring both charter companies, the former Kyle Busch Motorsports shop and some high-profile executives and crew types.

In McDowell they gain a proven leader and a rider who has a long history of maximizing his equipment and fighting for victories. He earned two Cup victories at the 2021 Daytona 500 and the Indy Road Course last summer.

On road courses, especially with the NextGen car, McDowell has one of the better chances of keeping up if a team can get the setup right.

The No. 71 is currently driven by rookie driver Zane Smith, who is contracted to Trackhouse Racing and on loan to Spire.

“Our plan for the No. 71 team for 2024 remains unchanged,” Duchardt added. “Spire Motorsports fully supports Zane Smith and Stephan Doran. We remain committed to the success of our collaboration with Trackhouse. This team is just beginning to realize its potential. We look forward to seeing how the battle for Rookie of the Year between Zane and Carson unfolds.”

In other words, Trackhouse needs a charter to run Smith or a new place to loan him out next season. Not to mention what this organization plans to do with Shane Van Gisbergen after a full Xfinity Series season this year.

Van Gisbergen himself is currently on loan to Kaulig Racing, both for his full-time Xfinity participation and part-time Cup racing.

Again, this all points to Stewart-Haas Racing, which has provided charter flights and possibly even a shop in Kannapolis, North Carolina.

While not confirmed, the consensus in the garage is that a charter has already been sold and a deal may even have been struck for the building.

The general consensus among SHR staff is that they don't know whether it will be a two-car team or no car team in 2025.

Stewart-Haas Racing's No. 4 team principal Rodney Childers attended a media call Wednesday morning and said everyone tries to avoid the distractions that come with every headline and internal conversation.

“I think no matter what happens, when there are rumors, there will always be a distraction,” Childers said. “Everyone on this team of four came here to build something special. We came here to win races. We came here to win a championship, to sit on poles, to do a lot of cool things, and we all did that.

“The only thing we can focus on right now is going out there and doing our best every week, being someone the team looks up to and thinks about a lot.”

“I told my boys that the only thing that really matters to us is if we keep going like this.” All the things in the background are going to happen whether we want them to or not, or they won't happen whether we want them to or not . So for me it’s just about staying focused, staying positive and continuing to move forward.”

This comes a week after Ricky Stenhouse Jr. signed a contract extension with what is now JTG Daugherty Racing, but it's no big secret that the No. 47 team will look different next year as it is co-owned by Tad Tad Geschickters marketing and Activation company Brand Activation Maximizer is He has been doing contract work for Joe Gibbs Racing for the past two years.

Stenhouse expressed confidence that the team was solidly positioned, but acknowledged that things would look different next year.