[media-credit name=”Gary Buchanan” align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]With wrecks aplenty, a torn off bumper, and a green, white checkered finish, Corey LaJoie survived to score the win in the K&N Pro Series East race, the American Real TV 150, at Dover International Speedway.
And in one of the more unique victory celebrations, LaJoie removed his driving shoe, autographed it and handed it to a young race fan in the stands.
This was LaJoie’s fourth career K&N Pro Series East victory, with all four wins in the 2012 season. It was his first win at the Monster Mile, where he finished
“First I just want to start by saying how blessed I am to be in this situation,” the driver of the No. 07 Sims Metal Management Ford, said. “There are a million and a half kids who’d like to be in my spot right here so I’m just lucky enough to have the opportunity.”
“It doesn’t matter how many races I win in my career, I’ll always be second to the Lord.”
LaJoie was also effusive in his praise for third place finisher and good friend Brandon McReynolds.
“Brandon’s my best buddy since we came out of the womb,” LaJoie said. “To get to race for Miles the Monster in one of his one-off races, man it’s something you couldn’t ask for more.”
“I also need to thank Brand Gdovic for pulling that bumper off or we’d be sitting her in tenth place half tore up.”
“All in all, that was an awesome race.”
LaJoie admitted that the car he was driving and won the race in just happened to be borrowed.
“Miguel Paludo drove it last year and we pulled it out of the barn to get it out,” LaJoie said. “We got it a month ago, stripped it, painted it and the first time it hit the track was yesterday.”
LaJoie is also focused on the biggest prize in the series, the championship. And what does he have to do in his opinion to achieve that goal?
“Win the next two races,” LaJoie said simply. “If we win the next two races, no matter what anybody else does, we’re going to win the championship.”
LaJoie also came into the media center shoeless, thanks to his unique victory celebration.
“I give both of my shoes away,” LaJoie said. “I started that at Iowa.”
“I gave one away in the stands and one away in Victory Lane and my socks are soaking wet with Budweiser.”
Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, Jr. had an incredible comeback to finish second, his second top-2 finish at Dover having won the race last year, but he was none too happy in the media center after the race.
“It’s not even that I’m disappointed that we lost,” the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, said. “We lost the wrong way.”
“If you have to cheat to win and get somebody else to take your rear bumper off, I don’t understand that.”
“I’m frustrated over that but great day for us and a great weekend overall,” Wallace said. “We’ve been struggling all year and to be able to finish second, I’ll take it.”
“That’s how it is,” Wallace continued. “Maybe that will come around to us when our bumper gets ripped off and we get someone else to take it off for us.”
“It is complete awesomeness – sarcasm there – but we’ll take it.”
Brandon McReynolds, son of broadcaster Larry McReynolds, came in third in his No. 28 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet. This was McReynolds best finish in his eighth K&N Pro Series East start and his first race of the season.
“I really believe the 18 or us had the best car to beat,” McReynolds said. “I just didn’t get the pickup full of fuel so our restart was pretty terrible.”
“But it all started when I got a good run on the top and got on the outside of the 07,” McReynolds continued. “He just stuck me in the fence and tore up his bumper.”
“But that’s fine,” McReynolds said. “He’s one of our buddies and we’ll get over it and talk about it sometime.”
“He’ll realize pretty quick when you move up, you ain’t going to go far doing stuff like that,” McReynolds continued. “There’s only so many guys who will cut you breaks.”
“I shouldn’t have cut him a break,” McReynolds said. “I should have put him in the fence.”
“But we’ll move on to the next one,” McReynolds continued. “We were here to spoil the party and everyone knows we were a force to be reckoned with.”
“We made our statement and hopefully Mr. Turner sees that we have a really good thing going here and we can get some more races.”
The rest of the top five finishers were Ben Kennedy in fourth and Kyle Larson in fifth place.