LOUDON, NEW HAMPSHIRE - AUGUST 02: Christopher Bell, driver of the #95 Rheem/Watts Toyota, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on August 02, 2020 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) | Getty Images
LOUDON, NEW HAMPSHIRE - AUGUST 02: Christopher Bell, driver of the #95 Rheem/Watts Toyota, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on August 02, 2020 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Leavine Family Racing sold; purchased by Spire Motorsports

UPDATE 3: Spire Motorsports has completed an agreement to purchase the assets of Leavine Family Racing (LFR) following the NASCAR Cup Series season finale at Phoenix International Raceway.

As part of the purchase, Spire Motorsports will acquire LFR’s NASCAR charter, the team’s race shop and all owned inventory. As a technical partner of Joe Gibbs Racing, LFR’s current fleet of vehicles and chassis will be returned to Joe Gibbs Racing upon completion of the 2020 season.

Spire Motorsports will expand to a two-car operation in 2021 and relocate to LFR’s existing race shop in Concord, N.C.

“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,” said Spire Motorsports co-owner Jeff Dickerson. “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.

“These are no doubt trying times, but I have never been prouder to be part of this sport. NASCAR has managed several difficult situations this spring and into the summer. We believe in the ownership model that NASCAR has built and where this sport is going now more than ever.”

Spire Motorsports was established in 2018 and is co-owned by longtime NASCAR industry executives Jeff Dickerson and Thaddeus “T.J.” Puchyr. In just the team’s first season, Spire Motorsports earned an upset victory for the ages last July when Justin Haley took the checkered flag in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

Over the 2019-2020 seasons, Spire Motorsports has logged 58 starts on NASCAR’s senior circuit and provided an entry for over a dozen drivers. Details surrounding drivers and manufacturers for the 2021 season will be shared as additional information becomes available.

— Spire Motorsports —


UPDATE 2: Statement from Bob Leavine, Team Owner, Leavine Family Racing: “It’s with great sadness today that I announce the sale of the Leavine Family Racing team, assets and charter. Since 2011, Sharon and our entire family have enjoyed being a part of the NASCAR community with Matt DiLiberto joining the family as a co-owner in 2016. We will say goodbye at the conclusion of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.

This decision has not been made lightly. Family has always been a part of the team’s name and this is how we view every member of our race team — as our family. There is no good time to make this announcement, but doing it earlier allows our people to explore employment opportunities, for next season, to provide for their families. There will be opportunities with the new owners which was important to our decision.

This year has been challenging for not only our race team, but our industry, our country and the entire world. The pandemic has impacted our economy and unfortunately that’s just not something we are able to overcome in order to continue racing beyond this season.

Leavine Family Racing will continue to compete through the end of 2020, and we want to leave on a positive note – contending for top-finishes with Christopher Bell, Toyota, TRD, and all of our partners. Thank you to everyone for your support through this journey. Thank you to our partners and fans and most of all, thank you to everyone who has been part of the Leavine Family Racing family over the last decade.”

— Leavine Family Racing —

AND: Toyota Racing Statement from Paul Doleshal, Group Manager for Motorsports, Toyota Motor North America (TMNA)

“We want to thank Bob and Sharon Leavine, Matt DiLiberto, Jeremy Lange and everyone at Leavine Family Racing (LFR) for a successful partnership. We entered this 2020 racing season with high hopes for LFR and the team has not disappointed. While the season may not have started out as everyone wanted, after returning from the shutdown due to COVID-19, LFR rebounded with some very strong on-track performances. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world and more closely, the entire NASCAR family in so many ways and for LFR, that has forced the sale of the race team. We’re certainly disappointed and saddened by the news, but most importantly, we want to wish Bob, Sharon, Matt, Jeremy and everyone impacted the best of luck in their future endeavors.”

— Toyota Racing —

UPDATE: Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern reports that Bob Leavine is in advanced negotiations to sell the team and a leading candidate for the purchase is The Spire Agency, owners of the #77 Spire Motorsports team.

ORIGINAL POST 7-23-2020: Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern reports that Leavine Family Racing owner Bob Leavine has solicited bids for the team recently.

Leavine has said over the past few months that he was “walking a tightrope” to keep the team afloat past 2020.