In his first XFINITY race in over a year, Corey LaJoie drove his JGL Racing Young Guns No. 24 Toyota to a 23rd place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
By Lap 18, LaJoie had advanced to the top-10 in the Heads Up Georgia 250. The team made adjustments on the car during the race while LaJoie took advantage of the valuable seat time as he reacclimated to being back in a racecar again.
“It was great to be back in the driver’s seat,” he said. “I needed to knock off the rust a little bit right from the beginning of the weekend and the guys on this JGL Racing team were patient and made the process great. Our No. 24 Toyota wasn’t too bad out there today. We needed to turn a little better through the center of the corner and we continued to adjust on that throughout the race. In the end, it was just great to be back behind the wheel in NASCAR.”
This was LaJoie’s seventh start in the XFINITY Series and his first race in the series since Nov. 2014 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He is probably most well-known as a driver in the K&N Pro Series East Series where in 2012 he captured five wins and was runner-up in the championship standings. LaJoie also had two Sprint Cup Series starts in 2014.
The 24-year old is the son of two-time Nationwide Series (now XFINITY) champion Randy LaJoie and grandson of New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame member Don LaJoie. He began racing go-karts on a track behind his father’s shop when he was four years old and has never stopped pursuing his dream.
Being Randy LaJoie’s son puts him under a microscope when he’s on the racetrack. Every accomplishment might be magnified but so is every mistake. In LaJoie’s mind, the pluses have always outweighed the negatives. Being under the spotlight gives him an added incentive to do well and he thrives under the pressure. His father’s experience and advice have been invaluable and LaJoie gives credit to his Grandfather too.
“I’ve always said having my Dad in my corner is a big advantage,” he told me, “because he’s been there, done that before. Without my Dad and Grandfather Don LaJoie, none of this would be possible.”
After being away from the track, LaJoie realizes, now more than ever, that he has to make the most of each opportunity.
“I really appreciate the opportunity that has been given to me with this JGL Racing organization. My time away from NASCAR made me realize how important racing is to me,” LaJoie shared. “And it makes me appreciate even more opportunities like this when they come along. I look forward to getting behind the wheel of this No. 24 Toyota again and improving on this performance.”
LaJoie heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway next weekend for the Boyd Gaming 300 as part of JGL Racing’s Young Guns program.