Childers To Work With LaJoie At Spire In 2025


Rodney Childers (Rusty Jarrett/NKP photo)

MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Rodney Childers, a champion NASCAR Cup Series crew chief with 40 premier series wins atop the pit box, will shift to Spire Motorsports next year to lead Corey LaJoie’s No. 7 team.

Childers, who won the 2014 Cup Series title with now-FOX NASCAR analyst Kevin Harvick at Stewart-Haas Racing, will depart the four-car SHR operation at the end of the season as it transitions to a single-car team under the rebranded Haas Factory Team banner.

He’ll join Spire Motorsports, co-owned by Jeff Dickerson and T.J. Puchyr, and take over for current crew chief Ryan Sparks to allow Sparks to turn his full focus to his duties as the organization’s competition director.

The 48-year-old Childers is the winningest active crew chief in the Cup Series and is in the midst of his 20th season calling races from atop the pit box in NASCAR’s premier division. His drivers have earned 34 poles, 178 top-five and 298 top-10 finishes since Childers’ Cup Series crew chief debut in 2005.

He’s led David Reutimann, Brian Vickers, and Harvick to victory lane during his lengthy career.

“We are beyond excited to announce Rodney Childers as the crew chief for Corey LaJoie and Spire Motorsports’ No. 7 team beginning in 2025,” said Jeff Dickerson. “There are decisions that professional racing teams make daily that take courage, require deep thought, and have some element of rolling the dice. To be clear, this wasn’t one of them. Rodney is a hall-of-fame worthy, championship-winning crew chief with 40 wins. He is one of the best in the garage and when a guy like Rodney is available, it would be malpractice if we did anything but our absolute best to bring him into our growing organization.

“He will make us better the moment he walks into our shop, and we look forward to his contributions to our collective success.”

Sparks will close out the season as LaJoie’s crew chief before transitioning solely to the competition director role, allowing him to take some work off his busy plate and continue working to improve Spire Motorsports’ three Cup Series entries.

“Ryan Sparks is an amazing leader and has been a huge part of our organization since the first moment he clocked in,” Dickerson continued. “As he transitions from managing two roles to focusing on Spire Motorsports as a whole, it’s important to point out that he was one of the first guys who talked to me about bringing Rodney in. Lots of guys say they’ll put the team first, but there aren’t a lot of guys who follow through, and that speaks to the type of competitor and human Ryan is.

“He has been balancing being a crew chief and the competition director the last couple seasons. This move will allow him to focus solely on the competition director role. As we continue to grow, his knowledge and leadership will become even more instrumental to our success.”

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Childers’ agreement for next season was finalized Monday night in private at the team’s Mooresville headquarters, with Childers’ wife Katrina and twin sons Brody and Gavin in attendance.

He’s made eight Cup Series playoff appearances, including reaching five Championship 4s with Harvick between 2014 and 2019, and is eager to be a part of Spire Motorsports’ continued growth.

“I think the biggest thing is seeing how Spire Motorsports has grown over the last couple of years,” said Childers. “They are investing in people, and that’s what makes a difference these days. We all buy the same chassis, bodies and parts. What makes a difference is the people. Spire continues to invest in the people within the team and they seek out good people to add depth to an already strong group. Corey (LaJoie) is a veteran of the sport and I think we have a tremendous opportunity in front of us.”

“Spire has been on my radar for the past year. I had quite a few guys from the No. 4 team go over there and they keep telling me how much they enjoy it, what the culture is like and how well everybody gets along. That started it from my side. The rest was the way Jeff (Dickerson) and Doug Duchardt (Spire Motorsports President) handled my situation. They told me how much I was wanted and how I could make a difference. For anybody in this world, all you want is to feel wanted and loved, and I felt that through them.”

Childers and LaJoie will begin working together next February, when the 2025 NASCAR Cup Series season kicks off with the 67th annual Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) Int’l Speedway on Feb. 16.

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About Jacob Seelman

Jacob Seelman is Motorsports Hotspot’s News Editor and Race Face Digital’s Director of Content, as well as a veteran of more than a decade in the racing industry as a professional, though he’s spent his entire life in the garage and pit area.