Jones Falters, LaJoie Scores At Pocono
LONG POND, Pa. – Corey LaJoie is definitely on a roll.
The Richard Petty Motorsports development driver came from the back of the 36-field Friday to win the ModSpace 125 at Pocono Raceway. It was his first-ever visit to the track. He took the lead with two laps to go when the leader, Erik Jones, scrapped the wall and went to pit road.
“It just all worked out again,” he said. “Either way, we’re here in victory lane.”
Driving a Roulo Brothers Racing Ford, LaJoie also won at Chicagoland Speedway in July when the leader ran out of gas coming to the white flag. His second ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards win was just as dramatic. He was in the lead when he pitted on lap 34. He came out and eventually had a battle with Chase Elliott for the second position, but was about five seconds behind Jones.
“I don’t know what happened to him,” LaJoie said. “I was digging for all it was worth. We were catching him. His car was getting bigger in my windshield, but he was too far ahead.”
However, with two laps to go, Jones, in the No. 15 Venturini Motorsports Toyota, went to pit road. LaJoie grabbed the lead, saw the white flag and finished 17.013 seconds ahead of runner-up Frank Kimmel. Justin Boston, in the ZLOOP Computer & Electronics Recycling Toyota, finished third and Brennan Newberry in the Qore 24 Chevrolet fourth.
“People might say we got lucky twice, but if we weren’t in that position, we wouldn’t have been here,” LaJoie said.
It was a lightning-fast, 50-lap race with zero cautions and an average speed of 162.221 mph. It was over in a race-record 46 minutes and 14 seconds.
The top seven cars finished on the lead lap. Spencer Gallagher, in the Allegiant Travel Chevrolet, finished fifth, Mason Mingus in the 811 Call Before You Dig Toyota sixth, Will Kimmel in a Cunningham Motorsports Dodge seventh and Mason Mitchell in the Happy Cheeks-Mason Mitchell Motorsports-Empire Ford eighth.
Elliott, who became the youngest superspeedway winner in series history when he won at Pocono Raceway June 8, finished ninth after a tire issue with nine laps to go sent him to pit road in his Aaron’s-Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet.
Kyle Martel in the Hanover Cold Storage-Finish Line Transport Chevy was 10th in the final race standings.