Spire Motorsports‘ NASCAR Camping World Truck Series programme has basically become a playground for Hendrick Motorsports. After two of Hendrick’s four drivers have made starts in the #7 Chevrolet Silverado RST with Alex Bowman and William Byron, Chase Elliott is the next man up as he plans to run Saturday’s Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Race.
The 2020 Cup Series champion and current points leader has a fairly limited Truck résumé with just sixteen starts between 2013 and 2021, including seven in his first year ahead of moving up to the now-Xfinity Series a year later. He has three wins in the series. Elliott’s most recent Truck start came in 2021 at Texas where he finished second.
“Driving the #7 Chevy Silverado at Bristol this weekend is definitely something I’m looking forward to,” Elliott commented. “These trucks always look like a lot of fun to race on dirt, and this team has had some great runs this year and put together a solid programme in a short amount of time. I’m excited to see what we can go out there and do on Saturday night.”
Much like Bowman at COTA and Byron at Martinsville, the Truck start at Bristol is intended to give Elliott more track time ahead of the Cup event the next day. He finished tenth in the inaugural Cup Bristol Dirt Race in 2021. His team-mates saw strong runs in their one-offs, with Bowman contending for the lead before last-lap contact relegated him to twenty-sixth, while Byron won his race.
While Elliott is not too familiar with dirt track racing, especially compared to team-mate Kyle Larson whom many had predicted to be in the Spire #7, he has sought to refine his skills in such a discipline by competing in quarter midgets. In January, he ran the prestigious Chili Bowl Nationals where he won a heat race but flipped into the fence. The month prior, he dabbled in Nitro Rallycross at the Florida International Rally and Motorsports Park.
“The opportunity to have a talent the calibre of Chase Elliott, a NASCAR Cup Series champion, drive for Spire Motorsports at Bristol Motor Speedway, is an incredible opportunity for our NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team,” said team co-owner Jeff Dickerson. “Chase is a generational talent and someone who can win anytime he gets behind the wheel of a race car. He’s won at every level of the sport and we’re exceptionally fortunate and appreciative that he’s agreed to drive our truck.”
Xfinity rookie Austin Hill is the only other driver to race for Spire’s Truck stable, finishing fifteenth at Daytona.