Cup Rookie Zane Smith Warns Entire NASCAR Grid With 9-Word Spire Motorsports Declaration

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Spire Motorsports is preparing something special this season. In the latter stages of 2023, the team announced the acquisition of Live Fast Motorsports’ charter to expand its Cup Series operation. Spire’s ambitions were highlighted even more when it took over Kyle Busch Motorsports in a $14 million purchase and struck an alliance with Trackhouse Racing. The partnership has bolstered Spire’s firepower through the interim addition of 2022 Truck Series champion Zane Smith.
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Zane Smith will drive the No.71 Chevrolet in 2024, and owing to the same, his off-season has been filled with sponsorship announcements. The 24-year-old has gradually switched to Cup racing after running a part-time car for Front Row Motorsports in the last two seasons. Raring to go, the youngster has revealed his goals for the upcoming season as Spire plans to be a surprise package this year.
Zane Smith wants the Rookie of the Year award
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Spire Motorsports‘ driver roster for 2024 is a unique blend. Corey LaJoie in the #7 Chevy offers consistency and experience in the team. Having raced in the Cup Series for long, his input will be essential to nurture the promising talents in the team. Some of Truck Series‘ best performers forming the younger core are Zane Smith and Carson Hocevar.
With both of them gaining Cup Series experience with occasional outings in the top flight, one can expect good results from the duo in the long run. For Zane Smith, the Spire Motorsports seat is a platform to reach out for the coveted Rookie of the Year award. While he faces tough competition from his teammate Hocevar and Stewart-Haas Racing recruit Josh Berry, he has the talent and experience to triumph over them.
“For me, it’s just having a steady progression,” claimed Zane Smith in a conversation with Racing America. “I want my arrow to face upward instead of downward, and it is still making progress. But I guess, ultimately, I want to get the Rookie of the Year award, right?”
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Revealing his expectations from the Spire Motorsports project, Smith added, “I feel like Spire is going to surprise a lot of people this year, and hopefully, we are a part of it.”
However, Zane Smith’s development will eventually benefit Justin Marks and Trackhouse Racing. The Nashville-based team has been making waves in the community with its initiatives. Having added Shane van Gisbergen to the mix, the team could be a genuine title contender for the championship in the coming years. Smith’s signing is just a part of the plan.
Justin Marks’ vision with Spire Motorsports
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Last year, when Trackhouse announced the decision to field three-time Supercars champion SVG in the Project 91 car, no one expected it would turn out the way it has. SVG’s debut ended up in a victory at the inaugural Chicago street race and is a moment that will be remembered in the years to come. SVG even returned to Indianapolis later to make his debut on an oval with Trackhouse Racing.
Fast forward to 2024, with only three days left to the Busch Light Clash’s kickoff, Gisbergen has committed to Trackhouse as a full-time driver. For Justin Marks, the alliance with Spire Motorsports and Kaulig Racing gives his team a buffer period to accommodate three full-time cars gradually.
“Expansion is something that has been important to us since we first got on the racetrack, getting to a place where we felt like we could be the most competitive organization as possible,” said Justin Marks in a press conference last year. “Expansion can look a lot of different ways. Our alliance with Spire and the opportunity to have Zane drive over there next year gives us the ability to grow in 2024 to an organization where we can put three cars on the racetrack full-time in 2025 and beyond.”
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Marks’ idea has taken off well. Where Zane Smith lies in the grand scheme of things remains to be seen. Being one of the youngest drivers on the grid, he will have some things to learn. However, from what he has shown throughout his career, he won’t be having a problem with that.

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