Spire Motorsports Adds Dirt Race Ace for Bristol Weekend

Getty Spire Motorsports has added a new driver for Bristol Motor Speedway.

The lineup keeps expanding for the Craftsman Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The latest announcement features a dirt ace joining forces with Spire Motorsports.

According to a press release, Jonathan Davenport will take over the No. 7 Chevrolet Silverado during the April 8 Truck Series dirt race. He will make his debut in the series at a track where he has two previous wins in dirt Late Model competition.

“I’m really excited to run for Spire Motorsports in the truck race and make one of the biggest weekends of my racing career even bigger,” Davenport said in a press release.

“Being able to get in a truck for a team that has proven they can get it done will only boost my confidence for the weekend. With the added track time in the Nutrien Ag Solutions No. 7 Silverado, hopefully, it’ll shorten my learning curve for both races.”

“Superman” is the latest driver to take over the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet during the 2023 season. He follows Corey LaJoie, who competed at Daytona International Speedway. Alex Bowman also attempted to qualify for the Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas, but a flat tire led to him failing to secure a spot on the grid.

Davenport Will Work With a Veteran Crew Chief

GettyKevin Manion will guide Jonathan Davenport at Bristol Motor Speedway.

When Davenport heads to Bristol Motor Speedway to make his Truck Series debut, he will join forces with a veteran crew chief. He will work alongside Kevin “Bono” Manion, who has worked with some of the biggest names in NASCAR.

Manion has celebrated 17 total wins in the Xfinity Series with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. He also helped Truex win one Cup Series race and Jamie McMurray win four.

Manion has similar accomplishments in the Truck Series. He has celebrated eight total wins with Daniel Suarez, Kyle Busch, Tyler Ankrum, Zane Smith, and William Byron. Now, he will try to add to this total while working with one of the most accomplished dirt racers.

“We’re thrilled to have Jonathan Davenport in our truck at Bristol,” said crew chief Kevin “Bono” Manion. “To be able to prepare our truck and work with someone as accomplished as JD is a tremendous opportunity for Spire Motorsports.

“We expect to race for wins every time we unload and having JD in the seat Saturday night at Bristol raises the bar a little bit higher.”

Davenport Will Pull Double Duty at Bristol Motor Speedway

Spire Motorsports

GettyThe Spire Motorsports Truck has featured multiple drivers.

Easter weekend will be packed for Davenport as he makes his NASCAR debut in two separate series. He will kick off the weekend with the Truck Series race under the lights and then he will make his Cup Series debut.

Davenport will join a different team as he attempts to secure a spot in the weekend’s main event. He will drive the No. 13 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro with Nutrien AG Solutions as his primary partner.

Kaulig Racing confirmed that Davenport would attempt to make his Cup Series debut on March 9, but the team did not provide further details other than the entry number and primary partner.

According to the NASCAR Roster Portal, Davenport will have veteran crew chief Eddie Pardue atop the pit box for the Bristol dirt race. The Virginia native most recently worked with Chandler Smith at Richmond Raceway, but he has also guided Jeffrey Earnhardt, Greg Biffle, Ryan Preece, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. during select Cup Series races.

The majority of Pardue’s crew chief experience has been in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He has been atop the pit box for 338 races, and he has celebrated three wins split between Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth.

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