DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 16: NASCAR driver Carson Hocevar poses for a photo during NASCAR Production Days at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2023 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
An intriguing prospect in the NASCAR Truck Series will run a limited Xfinity Series schedule this season.
Carson Hocevar has emerged as one of the more exciting prospects coming up through the ranks of the NASCAR Truck Series.
The 20-year-old began driving full-time in the series in 2021 and while he has yet to win any races, he recorded 10 top-five finishes and 20 top-10 finishes across the first two years of his full-time career for Niece Motorsports.
To begin 2023, he has a 12th place finish at Daytona and a seventh place finish at Las Vegas in last weekend’s race.
Per an announcement made on Tuesday, Hocevar has been tabbed by Spire Motorsports to pilot the No. 77 for them in six races in the Xfinity Series later this year.
NASCAR: Carson Hocevar to run six races for Spire in the Xfinity Series
This is a huge deal for someone like Hocevar who is looking to progress his career in the industry. At such a young age, it’s highly encouraging to see him getting opportunities at the next level above the Truck Series.
At Spire, he will be the lone driver in NASCAR’s middle series. His addition to the field will make Spire the only team in the sport to be active in each of the Truck, Xfinity and Cup series.
While Spire is not typically a race team that competes for wins, this will be an important audition for Hocevar to show what he’s made of and many close to the industry agree.
RJ Starcevic, a writer for Tobie Christie, credentialed NASCAR media member and runner of the “nascarreport” account on Instagram, took the time to speak with us and said that he believes that while the transition from Trucks to Xfinity may be difficult for the young driver, he’ll quickly find his groove.
“I think it will definitely be a challenge for that team to find their footing balancing all three series, especially with how strong the Xfinity field looks. I believe they have the resources to succeed. They’ll have technical support from JR Motorsports in these efforts, so the speed will be there. Hocevar, to me, is a driver that excels in shorter, more abrasive type tracks. Seeing as how he will be competing at Darlington, Bristol, Nashville, Michigan and Dover, I fully believe he will find success.”
In addition to the five races Starcevic mentions, Hocevar will also be competing at the Charlotte race for Spire.
Colby Evans, another credentialed media member who runs the ARCA Racing Podcast and writes for The Racing Experts, echoed Starcevic’s statement, going as far as to say that he thinks top-15 or top-10 finishes are in order.
“The adjustment will be tough in the first race. The aero differences and horsepower differences will cause Hocevar to change his braking points and be forced to adjust to making calls on how to fix his car. My expectation is no less than a top-15 finish every week. For a part-time car with help from JR Motorsports, top-15 should be the goal.
Success has been plentiful for the young driver out of Portage, Michigan so far. His career trajectory is on the right path and his adjustment to the Xfinity Series will be one to follow closely in the near future.