The two major additions to the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series team lineup were the Justin Marks and Pitbull-owned Trackhouse Racing Team and the Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan-owned 23XI Racing organization. Another less spoken about team, Live Fast Motorsports, was also a part of that group.
B.J. McLeod and Matt Tifft joined forces as co-owners of the new team, with the latter becoming the sport's youngest ever team owner at 24 years old after being sidelined from his former role as a driver due to medical reasons.
McLeod was the primary driver of the No. 78 Ford/No. 78 Chevrolet, though the entry was shared every season from 2021 to 2023. But after three seasons of competing full-time in the sport, Live Fast Motorsports will no longer be doing so in 2024.
In 2021, the team finished in 32nd place in the NASCAR Cup Series owner standings, but more importantly, 31st among the 36 chartered teams
NASCAR has the right to repossess a team's charter if that team finishes in the bottom three in the owner standings for three consecutive seasons, so Live Fast Motorsports appeared to be safe. But in 2022, the No. 78 team finished in 36th (last) place, and the same was true in 2023. On both occasions, the team unfortunately finished well below 35th.
All things considered, there was very little reason for optimism entering the 2024 season. While NASCAR isn't guaranteed to repossess a charter of an underperforming team if they believe that that team has demonstrated a significant investment in becoming more competitive, it's hard to imagine that that would have been the case for this particular team amid their ongoing struggles.
Live Fast Motorsports haven't shuttered operations, but instead of leaving anything to chance, they got ahead of the game and sold their charter for a record amount to Spire Motorsports. The price was said to be for around $40 million.
Spire Motorsports now own three charters. Corey LaJoie is set to return for a fourth season behind the wheel of the No. 7 Chevrolet while former Niece Motorsports Truck Series driver Carson Hocevar has been hired to replace Ty Dillon, who is believed to be on his way to Kaulig Racing, behind the wheel of the No. 77 Chevrolet.
The third entry, recently confirmed to be running a number which the Cup Series hasn't seen since 2011, is set to be driven by former Front Row Motorsports Truck Series champion Zane Smith. Smith signed a multi-year contract with Trackhouse Racing Team, but with no room at the two-car team, they loaned him out to Spire Motorsports for the 2024 season.
Live Fast Motorsports have not ruled out making select starts throughout the 2024 season. In fact, they have confirmed that they plan to run all six superspeedway races, with McLeod slated to drive the No. 78 Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway for the season-opening Daytona 500, and they are currently in the process of looking for potential road course drivers to give them more reason to add to their schedule.
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