NASCAR: Long-awaited driver change confirmed for 2024

Ty Dillon, Spire Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, Spire Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

Carson Hocevar has been formally announced as Spire Motorsports’ third driver for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, replacing Ty Dillon.

Spire Motorsports confirmed what was one of the worst kept secrets remaining in this year’s NASCAR Cup Series silly season on Tuesday, announcing that Carson Hocevar is set to replace Ty Dillon behind the wheel of the No. 77 Chevrolet in 2024.

The Jeff Dickerson and T.J. Puchyr-owned team plan to expand from two cars to three next year after purchasing a third charter from Live Fast Motorsports, and the addition of the 20-year-old Portage, Michigan native solidifies their lineup.

Corey LaJoie has signed a multi-year contract extension to return to the No. 7 Chevrolet, while Zane Smith has been loaned out by Trackhouse Racing Team after signing a multi-year contract with the Justin Marks and Pitbull-organization to drive the third car.

Carson Hocevar has long been viewed as one of the most promising drivers in NASCAR’s lower ranks.

His three-win Truck Series season with Niece Motorsports this year has solidified that status. Sitting in second place in the standings, he remains in championship contention with just two races remaining on the schedule.

But what has further solidified his status as a budding star is his ongoing stint with the Legacy Motor Club Cup Series team as the replacement for the suspended — and ultimately released — Noah Gragson behind the wheel of the No. 42 Chevrolet.

Hocevar spent considerable time in the top 10 at Bristol Motor Speedway, and while he finished in 11th place, that result was still better than any result Gragson posted in the 21 starts he made before his suspension. In five starts, Hocevar has recorded four top 20 finishes, twice as many as Gragson posted in 21.

His only finish outside of the top 20 came at Talladega Superspeedway, where he was taken out in a wreck — as many drivers usually are. His average finish in his other four starts is 16.00, nearly five positions better than that of experienced teammate Erik Jones.

All-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. dark. Next

Hocevar is set to finish out the 2023 season (four more races) behind the wheel of the No. 42 Chevrolet before Legacy Motor Club switch to Toyota and John Hunter Nemechek takes over next year. As for Dillon, after losing his ride for the fourth straight season, his plans for 2024 have not yet been announced.