Justin Haley to celebrate 20th birthday with Cup debut at Talladega

Jerry Bonkowski
NBC Sports

Justin Haley will likely never forget his NASCAR Cup debut, which comes in Sunday’s GEICO 500.

First, it will come at NASCAR’s largest race track, Talladega Superspeedway. And second, Haley will turn 20 years old that day, sitting behind the wheel of the No. 77 Fraternal Order of Eagles Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Spire Motorsports.

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This is a dream come true,” Haley said in a media release. “I couldn’t be prouder than to make my Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut with Spire Motorsports and the Fraternal Order of Eagles (F.O.E.).

The F.O.E. has supported my career since the beginning and it feels like our program will come full circle when I make my debut on NASCAR’s biggest stage this weekend at Talladega. I’m incredibly grateful to both Spire Motorsports and the F.O.E. for this opportunity. I’m excited to get on track and see what we can do.”

The Indiana native is racing full-time in the Xfinity Series this season for Kaulig Racing. He has earned top 10 finishes in six of the first eight races and is 11th in the Xfinity standings. He will also drive in Saturday’s Xfinity race at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.

Sunday’s Cup debut will mark Haley’s third career race in a car on a superspeedway.

Haley almost won his second career Xfinity start, last July at Daytona International Speedway. It appeared he won the race, but NASCAR ruled he illegally advanced his position by crossing the double yellow line at the bottom of the track late in the race, nullifying the win and leaving him with an 18th-place finish.

Haley has two prior starts at Talladega in a truck, including a fourth-place finish there during last year’s playoffs. He also has one prior start at Daytona in a truck, where he finished second in the 2018 season-opening race.

He would go on to finish third in the 2018 Truck Series standings, earning three wins, nine top-five and 18 top 10 finishes for GMS Racing.

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