Two-time IndyCar winner and 2006 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, Marco Andretti, is making his third NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start tonight for Spire Motorsports, a race team that will expand to three Cup Series teams and increase its presence in the Truck Series in 2024. How likely is it that we could see Marco Andretti in a Truck full-time for 2024?
What Andretti Had to Say
Marco Andretti spoke to Anthony Damcott of Frontstretch back in July. In that article, Andretti did not close the door totally on running full-time in NASCAR.
You know, I would never say never (to a full-time NASCAR ride). I love this stock car stuff, so who knows what the future holds.Marco Andretti
Keep in mind, this was almost four months ago after Andretti made his first Truck Series start at Mid-Ohio. This also came before Spire bought out Kyle Busch Motorsports. A lot has happened since these comments were made, and the opportunity is now there for Andretti to potentially step in.
What is Available at Spire?
In the original report of Spire buying KBM, Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports reported that Spire was expected to field three full-time Truck Series teams for 2024. Only two drivers were under contract with KBM for 2024 heading into the buyout, Chase Purdy and Nick Sanchez
Sanchez has run for Rev Racing, which has a technical alliance with KBM. That potentially opens up two seats at Spire in the Truck Series. Andretti also has a relationship with Gainbridge as Gainbridge is a sponsor of Andretti Autosport. Gainbridge would likely have no problem at least helping to support Andretti.
What Could Hold Andretti Back?
The opportunity is definitely there for Andretti, but the question is whether or not he goes for it. Running a full-time Truck Series season is a big commitment, and is Andretti really ready for that? That may be the major thing that holds him back from potentially joining the team.
On top of that, who does Spire want to fill this team with? Would they rather fill the ranks with a young driver who could take over later on, or is there a place for someone like Andretti?
JR Motorsports is a four-car Xfinity Series team, and they have found a place for veteran Justin Allgaier. ThorSport has kept Truck Series lifer Matt Crafton with them, and they are a multi-car team. It has been done before, but does Spire really want that?
Maybe Spire wants to make one of their trucks an “All-Star Truck” like how Spire ran the 7 truck this season. If that is the case, this may be the most likely place for Andretti to race for the team. However, would either he or Spire want this for 2024?
Ultimately, it’s impossible to say definitively whether or not Andretti will run full-time in 2024. Maybe he could slot into an All-Star car, or maybe he does not race for the team at all. We will have. to see, but one thing is for sure. The opportunity for it to happen is there.