Spire Motorsports has revealed some plans for the No. 77 entry in the NASCAR Cup Series. The team has announced that Josh Bilicki will drive the entry for the majority of 2022 while becoming teammates with Corey LaJoie.
The two-car Cup Series team issued a press release on Monday, January 10, and confirmed that Bilicki will move from Rick Ware Racing to Spire Motorsports and take over the No. 77. The Wisconsin native will make his season debut at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, February 27. Spire Motorsports did not reveal the driver for the season-opening Daytona 500.
“Spire Motorsports is thrilled to add a young, talented and resourceful racer like Josh Bilicki to our stable,” said Spire Motorsports co-owner T.J. Puchyr in a statement. “Josh is cut from the same cloth as the people who make up our team. He’s a grinder. He finds a way, goes out and gets it done. He’s going to be a great compliment [sic] to Corey LaJoie in our No. 7 car. We’re proud to welcome Josh to the Spire family.”
Spire Announced the Addition of a Primary Partner
Part of the announcement from Spire Motorsports also highlighted the addition of a primary partner for the 2022 season. Zeigler Automotive Group will join Bilicki for “the bulk” of his races. The brand will also be on the No. 77 for the majority of the season.
Zeigler Automotive Group first joined Bilicki during the 2019 Cup Series season when he drove part-time for Rick Ware Racing. The company took over for the race at Michigan International Speedway — a 33rd-place finish. Zeigler Automotive Group returned to support Bilicki once again in 2021 for the race at Michigan.
“I couldn’t be more eager to start this new chapter of my career and join Spire Motorsports for the 2022 season,” said Bilicki. “I learned a great amount last year during my first full-time season in the NASCAR Cup Series, on and off the track and I feel that experience will help me make this transition to a new team. Spire Motorsports has taken big leaps over the last few years, and we feel the platform of the new NextGen car will improve our performance all around.
“Of course, none of this would be possible if it weren’t for all my great partners, family, and friends who believe in me and pushed me to achieve more. For 2022, Zeigler Auto Group stepped up and that organization is the core reason I am back in the Cup Series. This is something we are working to grow into a multi-year effort.”
Bilicki Posted His Career-Best Finish in 2021
A driver with 71 career Cup Series starts on his resume, Bilicki ran a full-time schedule for the first time in 2021. He drove for Rick Ware Racing and posted an average finish of 31.1. Though he turned in a career-best performance at Daytona International Speedway.
Bilicki drove the No. 52 Ford Mustang for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on August 28, 2021. He started 36th overall in the 40-car field, but he avoided multiple incidents over the course of 165 laps, including a crash on the last lap that collected Austin Dillon, Corey LaJoie, Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, and Chase Briscoe.
Bilicki actually finished the race in 11th place, but a late-night decision benefited him. NASCAR officials disqualified Chris Buescher after the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford failed inspection. This penalty moved Bilicki into 10th place for the first top-10 of his career.