Rodney Childers to be Corey LaJoie's crew chief beginning in 2025 (2024)

Cup champion Rodney Childers will move to Spire Motorsports next season and serve as Corey LaJoie’s crew chief on the No. 7 car, the team announced Tuesday.

Childers has been at Stewart-Haas Racing since 2014, moving to that organization to form the No. 4 team for Kevin Harvick. They won a championship together. Childers is serving as crew chief for Cup rookie Josh Berry this season.

With Stewart-Haas Racing ceasing operations after this season, Childers was available. Spire Motorsports stated it has signed Childers to a multi-year agreement.

“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 Spire Motorsports co-owner Jeff Dickerson in a statement Tuesday. “There are decisions that professional racing teams make daily that take courage, require deep thought, and have some element of rolling the dice.

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“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.  

“Ryan Sparks is an amazing leader and has been a huge part of our organization since the first moment he clocked in. 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 that 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 that 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 has won 40 Cup races as a crew chief and 34 poles.

He explained what he sees out of Spire Motorsports:

“I think the biggest thing is seeing how Spire Motorsports has grown over the last couple of years. 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 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. I also see it as a place that can be good for my family, long term. My kids are three years from graduating high school. With the truck teams there, it’s somewhere they can grow, learn and possibly work one day.”

Said Sparks: “Our motto has been brick-by-brick for the last four years and this is another key component to building higher degrees of success. When you have the opportunity to bring in a championship- caliber crew chief like Rodney Childers, you have to capitalize. This is an incredible opportunity for the company and the bottom line is we’re all in this to put Spire Motorsports first.

“For me, this is an opportunity to be an asset across the board. There’s going to be a little bit of a transition, but I’m excited to help all three teams and the company, as a whole. This move makes the whole group stronger.”

Rodney Childers to be Corey LaJoie's crew chief beginning in 2025 (2024)
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