By Cole Cusumano
Beginning with the 2021 season opener, Corey LaJoie showed the racing world the reasoning behind his outspoken excitement in making the transition from GoFas Racing to Spire Motorsports. Expressing optimism for opportunity in driving Chevrolets utilizing chassis from Chip Ganassi Racing and Hendrick Motorsports engines, he made many believers by earning the first top-10 for the team since 2019 when Justin Haley won.
Since the Daytona 500, LaJoie had a bit of a fall from grace, failing to finish four of the first eight races. However, coming off his most recent DNF at Martinsville Speedway, the No. 7 team seemingly found their groove at Richmond Raceway and secured three top-25s in the last four events.
Spire Motorsports signed LaJoie in hopes he’d take their organization to new heights, and the argument can be made he’s doing so by ‘stacking pennies.’ In addition to awarding his new team with their first top-10 in nearly two seasons, the 29-year-old has already led 12 laps. While this may not seem like much, the Chevrolet stable had only paced the field a collective eight times since its inception in 2019.
Now forming some consistent results, LaJoie is focusing on maintaining composure towards his physical and mental space to build positivity on the race track.
“You just try to stick to what you know and control the things you can control,” LaJoie told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “The results are circumstantial a lot of the time. Everyone wants to talk about momentum, but I think that it comes with a confidence.”
LaJoie partially knew what he was getting into at Spire when his crew chief at GoFas Racing, Ryan Sparks, followed. After developing a strong chemistry over the last year, he instilled trust into his process and car preparation. This sentiment was echoed heavily towards each crew member, as he feels believing in everyone’s ability is what breeds success.
“A little bit of it’s confidence in what we’re doing, where we’re going and how we’re doing it, and then that’s what kind of builds momentum,” LaJoie said. “I don’t think we have an abundance of momentum at the moment, but I think if we just keep doing what we’re doing, we’ve had a lot better runs as of late as we continue to learn these cars and I’m excited to see the back-end of the year when we can apply the notes from the the first-half to see if we can get better every week.”
Coming off a 22nd-place finish at Darlington Raceway, LaJoie hopes to continue stringing together consistent runs with his eyes set on Dover International Speedway. He scored his career-best of 23rd in his last start at the Monster Mile and will need another strong run to begin his long climb from 30th in the standings.