Event: GEICO 500
Venue: Talladega Superspeedway (Lincoln, Alabama)
Format: Three Stages – Stages End: Lap 60, 120, 188
Date/Broadcast: Sunday, June 21 at 3 p.m. ET on FOX
Since Talladega Superspeedway opened in 1969, it has hosted just over 100 NASCAR Cup Series races, with Sunday’s GEICO 500 being the 102nd premier series event at the Alabama track.
Go Fas Racing driver Corey LaJoie has only been a part of four of those events in the span of his relatively young NCS career, two of which he competed behind the wheel of the No. 32 GFR entry. In his first season driving for team owner Archie St. Hilaire last year, he finished in the top-11 in both events at the 2.66-mile superspeedway, finishing 11th in the spring race and seventh in the second visit to the track in the fall.
LaJoie is also on a streak of top-11 finishes at Talladega and Daytona combined, as the North Carolina native hasn’t finished worse than 11th in the last four events at those tracks. Included is LaJoie’s sixth-place finish at Daytona last summer, his best career finish in the NCS.
Sunday’s 188-lap race is the first superspeedway race since the resumption of the season after an interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the second NCS race to allow a limited number of spectators since NASCAR’s return.
RagingBull.com co-founder Jason Bond has returned to sponsor the No. 32 Ford to promote his newly released book, “Wall Street Bookie.” The book teaches traders what Bond calls the “casino trading strategy,” where he takes advantage of careless bets made by other traders.
RagingBull.com was a part of the No. 32 team throughout Daytona Speedweeks earlier this year, including LaJoie’s eighth-place finish in the Daytona 500. To look back at all the action with the RagingBull.com team at Daytona, check out “NASCAR ALL IN: Battle for Daytona” on the MotorTrend App.
With the unpredictability of superspeedway racing, it’s all about being in the right place at the right time to avoid being collected in the “Big One.” That’s just what LaJoie and the WallStBookie.com team will look to do on Sunday – be in the right place at the right time to bring home another impressive finish at Talladega. That would be the ultimate day for LaJoie on his first Father’s Day as a new dad!
Tune in to the GEICO 500 on Sunday, June 21 at 3 p.m. ET on FOX.
LaJoie on the upcoming race weekend:
“We’ve had a lot of success at Talladega and Daytona the last couple of years and I think with the strategy we run at these tracks, we expect the same level of success this Sunday. It’ll be a little bit different to fire off in the pack with the WallStBookie.com No.32 Ford Mustang without practice, but it’ll all be the same once the race gets going. The Raging Bull sponsorship we ran at Daytona took us to a great finish and we’re hoping that running this new scheme representing Jason Bond of Raging Bull’s new book WallStBookie.com brings us some good luck again on raceday.”
LaJoie’s Cup history at Talladega Superspeedway:
Best Finish: 7th (2019)
Average Start: 36.2
Average Finish: 19.2
Looking back on the Dixie Vodka 400:
The Storm Tight Windows team finished 29th at Homestead-Miami Speedway, a race that was paused multiple times due to lightning. The 28-year-old driver rolled off from the 26th position and early on reported a free condition just as the first caution was displayed for lightning on lap 4. After the extended break, drivers returned to their cars and the competition resumed.
LaJoie reported a lack of rear grip but continued to focus forward, taking over 22 just as the race was halted again for lightning in the area. As the red flag was lifted, Go Fas Racing crew chief Ryan Sparks made the call for LaJoie to pit for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment to finish out the first segment.
The No. 32 Ford took the green for stage two in 30th and remained in that spot for the entire segment. Sparks and the Storm Tight Windows pit crew made various adjustments during LaJoie’s pit stop in the stage to help gain rear-grip. A caution near the onset of stage three allowed LaJoie to be wave-around eligible to gain a lap back.
As the laps clicked away in the final segment, LaJoie reported improvements with the handling from the 30th position, but still needed assistance with the rear-end. He made his last stop of the night with 36 laps to go for four fresh tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment. The third-generation racer was able to gain a position within the final laps to finish 29th in the Dixie Vodka 400.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!