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Handy: Corey LaJoie’s Ride to Success in NASCAR

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You may know him as the son of two-time NASCAR Busch Series Champion Randy LaJoie or maybe you simply know him as Corey LaJoie…race car driver. Either one is correct but the third-generation racer whose last name is well known is making a name for himself in NASCAR’s premiere series.

Long before his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut in the 2014 Sylvania 300 from New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire, LaJoie had been building his racing resume.

The 27-year old North Carolina native has quite the racing resume which includes; 3 ARCA Series wins in only 6 starts, 6 K&N East wins, a NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour win, 1 top-10 in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series, and 2-top 10 finishes in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series best finish of 11th in the 2017 July race from Daytona.

Something that sticks out on LaJoie’s resume is the fact that he has made starts in all of NASCAR’s top three series. That’s something that not every driver can say they’ve done and LaJoie has certainly learned plenty and gained valuable experience through-out the years.

LaJoie was a member of the 2012 NASCAR Next Class. The very class that featured drivers he competes against today such as Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott.

LaJoie has 57 MENCS starts over the last three years racing a part-time schedule for BK Racing and then last season he split seat-time in the No. 72 Chevrolet for Tri-Star Motorsports with fellow driver Cole Whitt.

His best finish in the Cup series came back when he was racing the No. 23 Dr. Pepper Toyota for BK Racing in 2017. LaJoie brought home an 11th place finish in the July race at Daytona International Speedway with Randy Cox atop the pit box.

In 2018 while driving the No. 72 Dragonchain Chevrolet for Tri-Star Motorsports, LaJoie brought home a season best finish of 16th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

One thing is for certain the struggles have made him stronger and he’s earned his way to the opportunity that was officially announced on December 20, 2018 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame from Charlotte, North Carolina.

At this point, it’s all over the Internet and social media and it was rumored for days before it became official but in case you somehow missed it, LaJoie will be behind the wheel of the No. 32 Ford Mustang for Go Fas Racing for the 2019 MENCS season.

LaJoie will replace Matt DiBenedetto who spent the last two seasons with the team but was signed in October to race the No. 95 for Leavine Family Racing, replacing Kasey Kahne.

LaJoie said the following on his new opportunity.

“I’ve always respected Archie, Mason and everyone at Go Fas Racing because they are constantly building their race team better every year. I’m glad to be part of that continued growth for 2019 and look forward to getting on track and being in a position to show more of my potential. The most success in my career has been behind the wheel of a Ford from the ARCA and K&N series so I’m ready to jump into that mean looking Ford Mustang this season. Also, some of my best results in the Cup series have been with Randy on the box. There couldn’t be a better guy to lead our team, said LaJoie.”

2019 marked the first time in his MENCS career that LaJoie will run the full schedule and he knew before Christmas that he’d have a definite job for the season ahead.

LaJoie will have a familiar race atop his pit box as well, Randy Cox whom he worked with at BK Racing will return to Go Fas Racing. LaJoie and Cox were also working together when he earned his best career cup finish of 11th.

Sponsor Schluter-Systems who has had a relationship with LaJoie since his days at BK Racing will continue their relationship with LaJoie at Go Fas Racing.

Go Fas Racing was happy to announce Keen Parts and ZAK Products will also be on board the No. 32 Ford Mustang as sponsors this season.

Archie St. Hilaire, team owner of Go Fas said LaJoie’s contract is a one-year deal which has been customary for the organization. There will be some technical alliance from Ford and LaJoie will have pit-crew service from Team Penske.

“We’re a blue-collar race team and Corey’s a blue-collar driver. He can build a car, he can fix a car, and he can drive a car. I think that’s exciting, said St. Hilaire.”

This week, LaJoie turns all his focus to Daytona speed weeks and the Great American Race, or as many know it the Daytona 500 which will take place this Sunday from Daytona International Speedway.

His paint scheme for the race already has many talking, and it should.

LaJoie will have primary sponsorship from Old Spice on his No. 32 Ford Mustang. The company who has been out of the sport for a number of years decided to go with a different paint scheme to promote their new dry shampoo.

LaJoie’s entire face will be on the front of the car with his hair taking up the rest of the scheme.

“It’s really cool to see Old Spice come back into the sport. Obviously, they’re such a big brand they always have some very innovative marketing and some really funny advertising out there. To be part of that going forward is really exciting. It’s a dream come true to carry their brand at our biggest race of the year, the Daytona 500, said LaJoie.”

Old Spice is equally as excited to be back in the sport after a six-year hiatus.

“We’re excited to be back on the track, especially with Corey LaJoie who was willing to drive a car with his face on the hood to help us launch our new Old Spice Dry Shampoo, said Old Spice Brand Director at Procter and Gamble, John Brownlee.”

LaJoie’s starting position for The Great American race will be determined after the Gander RV Duel races from Daytona which will take place Thursday at 7pm EST.

Single car qualifying took place last Sunday afternoon where the field was partially set with the two top cars positions being set.

LaJoie went out early in the qualifying session and ended the day qualifying 39th fastest out of 42 cars. LaJoie will compete in Duel #2 on Thursday evening where he will start from the 19th position.

LaJoie has two previous starts in the Daytona 500, and four starts overall at the famed race track in the MENCS.

LaJoie’s best career finish of 11th came at this same track in July of 2017. An accident in last years 500 and engine issues in July left him with finishes of 31st and 40th, therefore he’ll look for much better results come Sunday when everyone has not only an equal chance at capturing the checkered flag but it’s a clean slate to start the season.

LaJoie sat down with the media for Daytona 500 Media Day earlier today.

He said the following the about being with his new team.

“Switching from Tri-Star to Go Fas it’ll put me in my best position competitively that I’ve ever had on Sunday. Ultimately, we’re going to set realistic expectations, right, we’re going to try not to tear up cars, and position ourselves at the end of the race and see where that shakes out. Sometimes, that’s hopefully about 15th-18th, and sometimes it’s going to be 25th-28th but we’re going to make the most out of it from where we unload throughout the weekend and get it better, LaJoie said.”

Tune into the duels on Thursday evening to see where LaJoie will start Sunday’s Daytona 500.

The Daytona 500 is set for February 17, 2019 at 2:30pm EST on your local Fox station.

Follow Corey LaJoie and Go Fas Racing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates through out the week and upcoming weekend.

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About Sarah Handy

Sarah is going into her third year covering NASCAR for Rubbings Racing as well as helping run their Social Media platforms. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Sarah is an avid racing fan as well as a fan of the major New England sports teams. She is currently studying Public Relations and Marketing at SNHU with plans to move to North Carolina after graduation. Sarah also enjoys visiting her home track of NHMS each year, reading, running and photography.

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