Spire Motorsport’s Recent Addition Gets Kevin Harvick Insider’s Blessing for His New Endeavour

Published 12/07/2023, 11:13 AM EST

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Spire Motorsports’ path to redemption is in full swing. As the team continues adding strength to its cadre with the signing of drivers and crew members, its latest move has earned the recognition and praise of Rodney Childers. Spire Motorsports announced on December 6 that Stephen Doran and Luke Lambert will be the crew chiefs behind their No. 71 and No. 77 cars, respectively, in the 2024 season. The former was a key member of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team of Kevin Harvick and Rodney Childers for the last ten years.

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With Doran now moving to captain the car of Cup Series newcomer Zane Smith, Childers has provided him with a voice of faith and appreciation in his new role.

Rodney Childers parts ways with his crew member Stephen Doran after 10 years

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The crew of Kevin Harvick has been one of the most effective ones in the modern era of NASCAR. From winning the 2014 Cup Series championship to seeing the driver end his career as a racer, it has supported him through a tough road under the leadership of Rodney Childers. Shouldering Childers at this time was Stephen Doran, who first joined Stewart-Haas Racing in its lower crew ranks. Now that he has earned his way through to being the crew chief of his own team in Spire Motorsports, Childers has wished him well through his “X” handle.

Childers wrote, “Extremely happy and proud for Steve.. He’s be a key employee for myself and the 4 team the last 10 years. Full on racer that went from my setup plate guy to one of my engineers. And now the opportunity to crew chief. He will do great.”

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Doran’s stint as the crew chief of Zane Smith’s No. 71 Chevrolet Camaro will be his first time as a crew chief. Expressing his delight at the opportunity in the team’s press release, he voiced the chemistry that he has already found with the former Truck Series champion.

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The future of Rodney Childers and Stephen Doran as they travel different roads

Rodney Childers has already been preparing himself for life without Kevin Harvick. Taking the next seat to Josh Berry as they traveled to race in three late model races in the offseason, he has found great sync with the new No. 4 driver. The bond between Berry and Childers has grown so strong that the crew chief has kept a picture of them together as his profile picture on “X”. Following in his footsteps, Doran appears to be trying to bond with his driver as well.

Doran said in a team release, “Zane and I have talked a lot lately and I think this is going to be a great fit. Our personalities mesh well and I think communication will be great on and off the track. I knew right away in our first meeting that he was the guy I wanted to do this with.”

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Along with Corey LaJoie and Carson Hocevar, Zane Smith will complete the spearheaded trio of Spire Motorsports. Zane Smith’s contractual arrangement is such that he could be driving for Trackhouse Racing in 2025. Whether Stephen Doran might accompany him in such a move is a question for the future. For now, the newly appointed chief will aim to emulate his learnings as an engineer under the guidance of the iconic Rodney Childers.

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Written by:

Gowtham Ramalingam

365Articles

One take at a time

Hello, there! Though my affinity for racing originally stemmed from the European circuits of Formula 1 as a teen, I unexpectedly found myself drawn to NASCAR's unparalleled excitement growing up. This sport took hold of me and never let go, leading me to a career as a NASCAR writer. Over the last few months, I?ve had the chance to share my insights and observations through a myriad of articles on EssentiallySports.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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