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Spire signs Childers to multiyear deal

Spire Motorsports announced Tuesday morning that crew chief Rodney Childers will be atop the pit box for Corey LaJoie and the No. 7 Chevrolet in a multiyear deal starting in 2025.

This transition is a significant move for Spire Motorsports as Childers became a coveted free agent after the announcement earlier this year that Stewart-Haas Racing would close at the end of the season.  The 40-time NASCAR Cup Series race-winning crew chief is one of the sport’s most respected shot-callers in the garage, leading Kevin Harvick to the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series championship. He’s the winningest active crew chief in the Cup Series.

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“We are beyond excited to announce Rodney Childers as the crew chief for Corey LaJoie and Spire Motorsports‘ No. 7 team beginning in 2025,” said Spire Motorsports co-owner Jeff Dickerson. “There are decisions that professional racing teams make daily that take courage, require deep thought and have some element of rolling the dice. To be clear, this wasn‘t one of them. Rodney is a Hall-of-Fame worthy, championship-winning crew chief with 40 wins. He is one of the best in the garage, and when a guy like Rodney is available, it would be malpractice if we did anything but our absolute best to bring him into our growing organization. He will make us better the moment he walks into our shop, and we look forward to his contributions to our collective success.”

Ryan Sparks, currently crew chief of the No. 7 while also serving as the team’s competition director this season, will transition to a singular role as Spire’s official Competition Director at the conclusion of the 2024 season.

“Ryan Sparks is an amazing leader and has been a huge part of our organization since the first moment he clocked in,” Dickerson continued. “As he transitions from managing two roles to focusing on Spire Motorsports as a whole, it‘s important to point out that he was one of the first guys who talked to me about bringing Rodney in. Lots of guys say they‘ll put the team first, but there aren‘t a lot of guys who follow through, and that speaks to the type of competitor and human Ryan is. He has been balancing being a crew chief and the competition director the last couple seasons. This move will allow him to focus solely on the competition director role. As we continue to grow, his knowledge and leadership will become even more instrumental to our success.”

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Childers led Harvick to eight postseason appearances in their decade together, including five Championship 4 appearances between 2014-19. His drivers have collected 34 poles, 178 top-five and 298 top-10 finishes in 660 races with him atop the box.

For Childers, this move represents a new chapter in his illustrious career. He will bring a new level of professionalism and precision to Spire. Childers has called 660 races in his career, tallying 40 wins, and won a championship in 2014 with Kevin Harvick.

“I think the biggest thing is seeing how Spire Motorsports has grown over the last couple of years,” said Childers in a team release. “They are investing in people, and that‘s what makes a difference these days. We all buy the same chassis, bodies and parts. What makes a difference is the people. Spire continues to invest in the people within the team, and they seek out good people to add depth to an already strong group. Corey is a veteran of the sport, and I think we have a tremendous opportunity in front of us.”

“Spire has been on my radar for the past year. I had quite a few guys from the No. 4 team go over there, and they keep telling me how much they enjoy it, what the culture is like and how well everybody gets along. That started it from my side. The rest was the way Jeff and Doug Duchardt (Spire Motorsports President) handled my situation. They told me how much I was wanted and how I could make a difference. For anybody in this world, all you want is to feel wanted and loved, and I felt that through them. I also see it as a place that can be good for my family, long term. My kids are three years from graduating high school. With the truck teams there, it‘s somewhere they can grow, learn and possibly work one day.”