Sometimes it takes two teams to make something really cool happen in the world of motorsports. That's happened for Corey LaJoie who will cap off the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide series behind the wheel of the No. 98 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports and Biagi-DenBeste Racing.
The teams announced that the driver, son of veteran driver and former series Champion Randy LaJoie, will attempt to qualify in a handful or races as the season winds down.
According to the release LaJoie, who is currently a development driver for RPM, will attempt to make the field in four of the five remaining Nationwide Series races. The tracks on the list are Kansas for the Kansas Lottery 300, Charlotte for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Drive for the Cure 300, Texas for the O'Reilly Auto Parts race weekend, and at Homestead-Miami for the season ending Ford EcoBoost 300.
The No. 98 car has been on the track several times this season as LaJoie drove it at Kentucky. He piloted the ride to a top twenty run with a sixteenth place finish. There have also been four other drivers in the car for eleven different Nationwide Series races. David Ragan, Ryan Gifford, Jeb Burton, and Aric Almirola have all piloted the No. 98 machine. Ragan finished fourth-place at Talladega for the car's best run of the year.
A Good Car
The opportunity for an up-and-coming driver such as LaJoie to pilot a car for a series of races is a great way to build experience. The driver and team will have an opportunity to grow more than they would in a one race situation. LaJoie says that he’s happy to finish out the 2014 season as the driver for the team and sees it as a great way to gain more experience.
"This is a very good car with good people supporting it," LaJoie said. "They are a proven team that is capable of finishing in the top five. The selected races will be another great opportunity to advance my learning curve on the bigger tracks and with cars with more
LaJoie has not been sitting on the sidelines waiting for a ride to drop in his lap during the 2014 season. He’s been hard at work all year long in several types of race cars. So far in 2014 he’s started races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series, as well as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
His experience in the car and ability to learn are great traits that one of his team owners cites as a positive for LaJoie. That combination is something that should turn into positive results according to Fred Biagi, who is the co-owner of Biagi-DenBeste Racing.
"Corey has shown that he learns very quickly on the track," Biagi said. "We feel that we can compete in the top 10 and top five in these four races with Corey and that's our goal."
Biagi is right to have high hopes for his driver for the rest of the 2014 season. In 2013 LaJoie captured the checkered flag three times in the ARCA Racing Series at Chicago, Pocono, and Kentucky. Hopefully he can add a few more great finishes to his stats heading into the off-season.