Spire Motorsports has filled out its NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) crew chief lineup as preparations for the 2024 season continue to accelerate.
Stephen Doran and Luke Lambert have been named as the crew chiefs for the team’s Nos. 71 and 77 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1s, respectively.
Doran will guide the effort for 2022 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS) Champion Zane Smith while Lambert will serve as crew chief for standout Carson Hocevar.
“Stephen Doran and Luke Lambert are veterans of the sport, exemplary individuals and we’re thrilled to welcome them both to Spire Motorsports,” said Spire Motorsports co-owner Jeff Dickerson. “Stephen is an accomplished racer who earned this position through practical knowledge, hard work and success. He’s been part of championship-caliber teams in the past and we’re confident that he’ll play a significant role in helping Spire Motorsports continue to raise our competitive bar. Luke Lambert is a complete professional and highly regarded competitor who has worked with Carson in the past. His demeanor and ability to connect with his drivers is what makes him a perfect fit. He has worked directly with Ryan Sparks previously, so that points directly to the synergy we’re looking for amongst our competition group.”
This marks Doran’s first opportunity as a Cup Series crew chief and said he is already impressed with the 24-year-old Smith.
“I didn’t know Zane personally, but when I started to go through his career, I noticed he’s consistently won in everything he’s raced and made the most of every opportunity he’s had along the way,” said Doran. “Zane and I have talked a lot lately and I think this is going to be a great fit. Our personalities mesh well and I think communication will be great on and off the track. I knew right away in our first meeting that he was the guy I wanted to do this with. He has all the intangibles that make an elite driver in the Cup Series. I am grateful for this opportunity and think Zane and this No. 71 team will create a lot of excitement and turn some heads in 2024.”
Smith is a nine-time NCTS race winner who completed his fourth full-time season this year. He has also run nine NCS races over the last two seasons, highlighted by a 10th-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May.
Doran made the move from Butler, Pa., to Level Cross, N.C., in 2006 to start his NASCAR career at Petty Enterprises. Since 2012, the 38-year-old Doran has worked at Stewart-Haas Racing and has been on the No. 4 car driven by Kevin Harvick since 2014.
The No. 71 team is a collaboration between Spire Motorsports and Trackhouse Racing for the 2024 campaign. In September, Trackhouse announced a multi-year driving agreement with Smith and its aim to run three full-time NCS entries in 2025.
Lambert, a native of Mount Airy, N.C., comes to Spire Motorsports from Legacy Motor Club where he guided the team’s No. 42 NCS effort, connecting with Hocevar when he drove for the team in eight of the final 10 races of 2023.
Prior to his time at Legacy M.C., Lambert made his mark in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, leading Noah Gragson and JR Motorsports’ No 9 team to three poles, eight wins, 21 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes in 2022.
Lambert, 41, has also spent time a top the pit box at Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Childress Racing.
The 2005 North Carolina State graduate has led the competition efforts for some of the sport’s most notable names including Jeff Burton, Ryan Newman, Elliott Sadler and Chris Buescher. In 2014, Lambert led Newman to a berth in the Championship 4, and ultimately a runner-up finish in the NCS championship point standings.
Hocevar, 20, made his NCS debut for Spire Motorsports June 4 at World Wide Technology Raceway and has made eight more starts in NASCAR’s premier division. He earned an impressive career/series best 11th-place finish at the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in just his fourth start.
He is a four-time NCTS race winner and a standout at every level in which he’s competed.
“I’m thrilled to join the men and women at Spire Motorsports and be part of everything they’re building,” said Lambert. “Carson Hocevar has shown tremendous potential and that was apparent during our time together last year. He knows how to get the most out of his race car and how to communicate effectively with his team. I’m looking forward to working with him again in this new capacity and building on our experience with one another.”
— Spire Motorsports —