By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
The perfect birthday gift has been given five days early to Justin Haley as Spire Motorsports announced Tuesday the 19-year-old will make his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut at Talladega Superspeedway.
Sunday’s GEICO 500 will not only mark Haley’s debut, it’ll also be his 20th birthday as he’ll be strapping in the No. 77 Fraternal Order of Eagles (F.O.E.) Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. F.O.E. was Haley’s sponsor during his Gander Outdoors Truck Series career and earned all three of his wins with last season with that sponsorship before joining Kaulig Racing’s Xfinity Series program.
Tuesday’s announcement marked a dream come true for the Indiana native, more so that F.O.E. will be a part of his Cup debut.
“This is a dream come true,” said Haley. “I couldn’t be prouder than to make my Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut with Spire Motorsports and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. The F.O.E. has supported my career since the beginning and it feels like our program will come full circle when I make my debut on NASCAR’s biggest stage this weekend at Talladega.
“I’m incredibly grateful to both Spire Motorsports and the F.O.E. for this opportunity. I’m excited to get on track and see what we can do.”
Carl Burnett, Grand Worthy President of F.O.E., said the non-profit organization is excited continuing their partnership with Haley in the sport’s highest level.
“Our members are incredibly excited to take the next step with Justin in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series,” said Burnett. “Justin and the Eagles have been together for many of his career firsts and we can’t wait to experience yet another this weekend in Talladega. This is our third year together and we’re proud to continue to break new ground as a team.”
T.J. Puchyr, co-owner of Spire Motorsports, said that Haley is a competitor that’ll become a super star in the future as his current stint in the Xfinity Series has been successful, scoring six top-10s and sits 11th in points after eight races.
“Justin Haley is a proven winner and a future super star,” said Puchyr. “Justin has won at several levels and knows what it takes to compete with the best in the business. He’s a very talented, smart racer so we’re confident he’ll do a good job this weekend.”
In nine Cup starts, Spire Motorsports has had five different drivers with their debut in the Daytona 500 being their best race to date when Jamie McMurray finished 22nd in his final Cup start. Outside of Daytona, a 30th by Quinn Houff at ISM Raceway in March, is their best non-superspeedway result to date.