By David Morgan, Associate Editor
The newly formed Spire Motorsports team, which took over the charter formerly held by Furniture Row Racing, is hitting the ground running in 2019, signing 21-year old Quin Houff to take the reins of its No. 77 entry starting with the fourth race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season at ISM Raceway.
Though Jamie McMurray will race for the team in the Daytona 500, Houff is scheduled for “roughly half” of the 36-race schedule, according to a team release. The exact races in which Houff will compete were not unveiled in Tuesday’s announcement, with the team electing to release them at a later date.
“I’m so excited to be able to make my Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut at ISM Raceway in March,” Houff said. “I cannot thank Jeff Dickerson and T.J. Puchyr from Spire Motorsports enough for the opportunity to make my dream a reality. There are thousands of drivers who make racing on Sundays their goal. To be one of the few drivers who get to realize that goal is a true blessing. It’s humbling for me to compete at the pinnacle of the sport, but it’s also a testament to all those who stood behind me to this point and those who will continue to do so in the future.”
Houff has just 10 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts under his belt, running five races apiece in 2017 and 2018, with a 12th place result at Iowa Speedway marking his best career finish. The Weyers Cave, Virginia native has also run a handful of ARCA Racing Series events with two top-10 finishes and 19 CARS Super Late Model Tour races, scoring two wins, 10 top-five finishes, and 15 top-10 finishes.
Despite the steep learning curve ahead of him as he makes the jump to NASCAR’s top level, Houff noted that he is ready for the challenge to come during the 2019 campaign.
“As a rookie, I’m hoping to learn as much as I can about the cars and how they handle and react,” Houff added. “I’m looking forward to learning some new tracks as well as revisiting some others. I’m also anxious to see how these long, 400- and 500-mile races play out.
“I just want to go out there and put the car where it needs to be because this is the top of the sport and I have to learn how these guys race in order to become a better driver myself.”