Spire Motorsports announced today two-time 24 Hours of LeMans race winner Mike “Rocky” Rockenfeller will steer the team’s No. 77 NationsGuard Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in NASCAR Cup Series Competition in the August 21 Go Bowling at the Glen at Watkins Glen International and the October 9 Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Considered to be one of the most talented German racing drivers of the modern era, Rockenfeller has enjoyed a hugely successful career spanning almost two decades and is eager to try his hand in a Spire Motorsports-prepared, full-bodied stock car.
A former DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) champion, “Rocky” has also been a key fixture on the US motorsports scene since the early years of his professional career. As a Porsche Junior competitor, he made his stateside debut with Flying Lizard Racing at the 2004 24 Hours of Daytona where he finished third overall. Six seasons later, Rockenfeller collected his first American win in the Daytona Prototype (DP) Class in the 2010 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“Since starting my professional racing career back in the early 2000s, I’ve always kept a close eye on NASCAR,” said Rockenfeller. “What’s more, after teaming up with Jimmie Johnson – one of the heroes of the sport – my respect and appreciation for NASCAR has grown. It’s an immensely competitive series with some of the world’s greatest drivers racing wheel-to-wheel, merely centimeters apart. Room for error is minimal, at best. Watkins Glen is a difficult track in any car but given how sensitive and big a NASCAR Cup Series car is, I think this will be an even bigger challenge.
“I’ve been fortunate to race LMP prototypes, DTM, and GTs, but now I’m ready to get my name out there in NASCAR. This is a huge honor for me to be racing the No. 77 NationsGuard Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and I want to say thank you to Spire Motorsports for giving me this opportunity to start a new chapter in my career.”
Rockenfeller underscored his versatility by recording consecutive top-three finishes for Chevrolet at the Rolex 24 of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring from 2015 to 2019 in IMSA Sportscar Championship competition. In 2017, he scored the GTLM class victory with Corvette Racing at Sebring aboard a legendary C7.R.
While Rockenfeller has yet to make laps at the ROVAL, his accomplishments at Watkins Glen include a third-place overall effort in the 2006 Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen and a sixth-place finish in 2022 for Ally/Action Express Racing where he shared the cockpit with Johnson and Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi.
“Attracting world-class talent like Mike Rockenfeller is such an honor for Spire Motorsports,” said Spire Motorsports President Bill Anthony. “Mike is a talented, globally-accomplished driver and we’re thrilled to introduce him to NASCAR. We’ve invested in getting Mike up to speed quickly through the Driver Familiarization Test and our partners at Chevrolet have generously offered simulation time for him. Everyone at Spire Motorsports is motivated and committed to providing Mike with a great effort for Watkins Glen and the Charlotte ROVAL.”
The Go Bowling at the Glen from Watkins Glen International will be televised live on USA Sunday, August 21 beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 25th of 36 races on the 2022 NCS schedule will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.