Justin Haley making Cup début at Talladega

by Justin Nguyen

Justin Haley will make his Monster Energy Cup Series début at the series’ largest track. On Tuesday, Spire Motorsports announced he would drive the team’s #77 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. The car will be sponsored by Haley’s longtime partner Fraternal Order of Eagles.

“This is a dream come true,” Haley stated in a team release. “I couldn’t be prouder than to make my Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut with Spire Motorsports and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. The F.O.E. has supported my career since the beginning and it feels like our program will come full circle when I make my debut on NASCAR’s biggest stage this weekend at Talladega. I’m incredibly grateful to both Spire Motorsports and the F.O.E. for this opportunity. I’m excited to get on track and see what we can do.”

Haley is currently in his first full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series season, driving the #11 Camaro for Kaulig Racing. With top-ten finishes in all but two races (the two exceptions were top-twenty runs), he is currently eleventh in points. During his three-race Xfinity schedule in 2018, Haley nearly won at Talladega’s sister restrictor plate track Daytona International Speedway on a last-second pass before it was controversially reverted under NASCAR’s double-yellow line rules.

Credit: Spire Motorsports

Prior to moving up to the Xfinity Series, Haley competed in what is now the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series with GMS Racing, running the full 2017 and 2018 schedules. In 2018, he enjoyed a three-win season that saw him finish third in points.

“Justin Haley is a proven winner and a future super star,” Spire Motorsports co-owner T.J. Puchyr said. “Justin has won at several levels and knows what it takes to compete with the best in the business. He’s a very talented, smart racer so we’re confident he’ll do a good job this weekend.”

In their first season as a team, Spire is currently thirty-fifth in the owners’ points. The team has fielded the #77 for a variety of drivers, including Jamie McMurrayGarrett SmithleyReed SorensonQuin Houff, and D.J. Kennington. Of the five, McMurray holds the team’s best finish to date with a twenty-second at the season-opening Daytona 500.

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