Leavine Family Racing‘s buyer has been confirmed. On Tuesday, Spire Motorsports announced it had purchased the charters and assets of the Texas-based team set to close at the end of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. As a result, the team will field two cars beginning in 2021.
“This is an exciting moment for Spire as we take the natural next step in our long-term plan to build our race team and prepare for the Next Gen car in 2022,” Spire co-owner Jeff Dickerson stated. “Bob Leavine invested more than money into LFR and this industry. He built a team brick by brick and we have long admired how he took his own steps in the garage. He also did it with his family at his side. We won’t let that be lost in this transaction. When you build something with your family, it always means a little bit more. His ability to connect with fans was genuine and we are thankful he chose us to carry this team forward.”
The previous Tuesday, Leavine announced he has sold his team, which has been in operation since 2011, to an unknown client. Although the charter and other team assets like the shop in Concord, North Carolina will go to Spire, LFR’s Toyota Camrys will return to Joe Gibbs Racing, with whom the team is allied. The team currently fields the #95 for rookie and JGR member Christopher Bell, who is due to take over JGR’s #20 in 2021.
The purchase continues a trend of Spire’s expansion by acquiring the remnants of a JGR ally. In 2019, the team was created after buying the charter from Furniture Row Racing, allowing them to field the #77.
Despite the JGR partner pattern, Spire fields the #77 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE and has ties to Rick Ware Racing and Premium Motorsports, with the three organisations regularly shuffling their drivers between their cars during the 2020 season. Spire has also partnered with Chip Ganassi Racing to run the #77 for Ross Chastain. Chastain’s Xfinity Series team-mate Justin Haley won his and Spire’s first Cup race at the 2019 Coke Zero Sugar 400.
After twenty-two races in 2020, the car has been driven by seven drivers: Chastain, Reed Sorenson, J.J. Yeley, B.J. McLeod, James Davison, and Josh Bilicki. Chastain holds the team’s best finish of the year with a seventeenth at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July, while the #77 is currently thirty-third in the owners’ standings.
A number for the new car was not immediately revealed. The team’s latest weekend at Michigan International Speedway saw them switch to the #74 to help film the Netflix series The Crew. Spire’s inaugural race, the 2019 Daytona 500, was run with the #40 as part of Jamie McMurray‘s final NASCAR race. The #40 is currently unused at the Cup level, as is the #76 if the team chooses to use adjacent numbering (#78 is held by B.J. McLeod Motorsports).