Corey LaJoie’s Racer Mentality Leads to Extra NASCAR Starts

Corey LaJoie

Getty Corey LaJoie watches qualifying at Daytona International Speedway.

Spire Motorsports announced prior to the Daytona 500 that Corey LaJoie will take on a limited schedule in the Craftsman Truck Series. Now, the veteran driver has provided insight into this decision.

There are multiple reasons why LaJoie wants to join the list of drivers that have controlled the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado. The most important is that he’s a racer. If he can add more events to his schedule and compete for wins, he’s going to leap at the opportunity.

“I want to run as much as I can,” LaJoie told Heavy during the Daytona 500 Media Day. “Bono [crew chief Kevin Manion] is a lot of fun to work with… He’s a Daytona 500-winning crew chief, so why wouldn’t I want the opportunity to go drive that thing?

“I also have an opportunity to put Spire Motorsports in Victory Lane, which I know it’s not exactly the same shop. It’s Bono’s deal, but it’s still Spire’s stuff. It says Spire Motorsports on it, so I want to try to do what I can to take no prisoners and put it in Victory Lane.”

The No. 7 Entered Several Craftsman Truck Series Events in 2022

Rajah Caruth

GettyRajah Caruth races at World Wide Technology Raceway.

There are multiple drivers that have competed in the Craftsman Truck Series while driving for Spire Motorsports. This list includes Alex Bowman, William Byron, Dylan Lupton, Austin Hill, Chase Elliott, and Rajah Caruth.

These drivers combined to make 11 starts with the No. 7 Chevrolet Silverado. Byron turned in the best performance by winning at Martinsville Speedway after leading 94 of the 200 laps at the Virginia short track. Elliott and Hill both turned in top-10 finishes.

LaJoie will now join this list while continuing a deal with a key partner. Schluter-Systems will take over the No. 7 Chevrolet Silverado as the veteran attempts his first Truck Series races since the 2014 season.

LaJoie’s announced schedule includes two main races. He will make his return to the Truck Series at Daytona International Speedway on February 17. He will then compete at Darlington Raceway during Throwback Weekend in May.

LaJoie Will Primarily Focus on Another Important Goal

While LaJoie has the goal of delivering wins in the Craftsman Truck Series, they are secondary. His larger focus is his role as a full-time Cup Series driver at Spire Motorsports.

LaJoie has been with the two-car team since the 2021 season, and he has experienced several highs and lows while behind the wheel of the No. 7. This includes the fifth-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the spring of 2022 and an assortment of DNFs.

LaJoie believes that there will still be moments when the team struggles. He specifically mentioned the races at short tracks. He also expressed optimism about the intermediate tracks due to some ongoing work that Spire Motorsports is doing with GM, which includes simulator time.

“I want to be a team that doesn’t have any DNFs and to be just a solid team,” LaJoie said during the session. “We had nine DNFs last year — nine mechanical DNFs and then three driver DNFs — so if we can clean those up I think we should be substantially better.”

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