TJ Puchyr, Spire Motorsports co-owner comments on the team and the future of NASCAR
Spire Sports + Entertainment (SS+E) is a sports management agency. They do work for drivers like Kyle Larson. Team lik Hendrick Motorsports, Chip Ganassi Racing, GMS Racing, ThorSport Racing, Larson Marks Racing. In addition to tracks and companies like Knoxville Raceway, 5-hour Energy, Eneos, DC Solar and more.
In December 2018, Jeff Dickerson and TJ Puchyr took out a loan from the bank. Spire Motorsports LLC is a team of their own and they purchased the charter from the now defunct Furniture Row Racing. With the charter, they were guaranteed a spot in every race of the 2019 MENCS schedule.
They now have less than a handful of race cars and made their debut at Daytona earlier this year. Thus far, the single car team has seen six different drivers over 18 races. Their second best finish was 22nd in the Daytona 500 with Jamie McMurray.
July Daytona Win
For Sunday, on the Daytona International Speedway, the team and driver Justin Haley decided to gamble on the race track.
A big crash involving half the field brought out a lengthy red flag with weather surrounding the track. Spire Motorsports went with a strategy of staying out and hoping for rain to end the race.
Other drivers like Kurt Busch were on the same strategy. However, NASCAR turned off the caution lights and stated the were going green on the next lap. All the other cars ahead of Haley hit the pit lane, they bailed on the plan and thought their gamble was now a loss.
Haley stayed out anyway in hopes that the green flag run would be short. But, it would be better than that. Coming to the green, lightning struck again.
If lightning strikes anywhere within 8 miles of the track, NASCAR is forced to sit under red flag for 30 minutes. The caution lights were put back out.
Under the red, the 30 minute lightning clock would all but expire. However, a new bolt of lightning would restart it. After a lengthy delay, rain rolled into the area and washed out the race track. The race was never restarted.
Spire Motorsports just claimed a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory. A rain shortened race at Daytona International Speedway left the team at the top of the scoring sheets.
TJ Puchyr talks the future of Spire Motorsports
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“We want to compete with the big dogs. That’s why we’re here,” TJ Puchyr, co-owner of Spire Motorsports said from the Daytona media center.
“The messaging from the France family, in my opinion, for the last 18 months, is a good one. They’re trying to rebuild this thing. They’ve taken a ton of hits.”
“But, I’m also smart enough to know that this is their sandbox. And we want to play in it but we made that choice.”
“Jeff Dickerson and I are not wealthy people. We went and got a loan for $6 million from the bank. So, you could have done it too. To sit there and say, ‘I don’t know what these guys are doing.’ “
That was a bold decision. Other teams have been setup and kept afloat by bank loans. BK Racing no longer exists as a result. But unlike BK Racing, Spire Motorsports now has a race win.
Spire Motorsports: Passion
“This is NASCAR. A lot of us grew up in this. To finish first, you first must finish. You gotta be in the field.”
“I mean, back in the day, all these guys are from short tracks. We’re all just trying to fight and claw every day to try and make it. But, it’s our passion and we love it. Just trying to build something here that we can have, that we can go compete with the Lions of the sport.”
“We’re not there today. This isn’t new for us. This stage and this win is new for us but this sport and this garage , we get up and we breathe it every day.”
“I’m going to enjoy this a little bit. But, tomorrow’s Monday and we gotta get to work.”