Corey Lajoie got the biggest opportunity he ever had in his Cup career to score a race win this Sunday at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, Madison. He is given the opportunity to race in the No:9 Chevy Camaro ZL1 of Hendrick Motorsports, replacing suspended 2021 Cup champion, Chase Elliott.
Elliott was suspended by NASCAR for deliberately right-hooking Denny Hamlinmidway through the last weekend’s Coco-Cola 600. The 2022 Regular season champion snapped and made a move on the Joe Gibbs Racing veteran following a back-and-forth among them on previous laps. It’s 7th race Elliott will be missing this year. He was sidelined due to a snowboarding injury for six races earlier this year.
With Corey Lajoie having a strong car at Gateway, a question arises, will he get a playoff spot if he wins the race, as he is a full-time Cup driver for a different team? The answer is yes; Lajoie will be given a spot in the chase if he wins on Sunday. This is because the spots are awarded to drivers, not certain teams or cars. The ownership championship playoff spot will go to HMS.
If he wins the race and gets the opportunity in the chase, he will probably drive his full-time Spire Motorsports No:7 Chevy. From the 14 races this season, one Top 10 finish, a p4 in Atlanta. He also has secured 7 top 20s. A good indicator that Lajoie is having a good season is that he hasn’t finished outside the Top 30 once, and his worst finish is a p30. He is driving a very slow car compared to the front runners.
Corey Lajoie feels his racing career is like a NASCAR video game where you start from the bottom team and slowly progress to the top. He hopes to make this wild ride of career count and one day come close to the legendary status his two times Xfinity Series winning father, Randy LaJoie, has.
“In NASCAR (2004), you would start your career mode in the bottom team. Then you’d get the call up for the next team and the next team. And then you’d get a notification on your phone from Rick Hendrick to drive that car,” Lajoie said.
“That’s what I felt like laying in bed on Wednesday morning talking to the wife. I was like, ‘My life is a video game right now. It’s just non-stop progression and failure. Just falling short time-and-time again, but (I) keep taking steps forward toward the goal of getting to the position that I am (in) right now. It’s been wild,” Lajoie added.
Justin P Joy is a NASCAR and Formula 1 writer at FirstSportz. He has been a content writer for more than a year and has written over 1200 articles for the organization. Justin is a sports enthusiast who loves every sport where body and mind matter. A huge motorsports fan, his love for racing started when he discovered Moto GP at the age of 10. That love later guided him into the world of Formula 1. He fell in love with NASCAR after seeing Tom Cruise’s “Days of Thunder” and has been an avid follower of the sport since. Now 22, He has the same passion for the sport and aims to share the love with the masses.
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