Cory LaJoie Goes Three-for-Three at Rockingham Speedway
Rockingham, NC (4/15/12) –With less than ten laps to go Cory LaJoie charges leaders Travis Swaim and Clay Rogers for the lead and wins the North Carolina Education Lottery 75 at Rockingham Speedway on Saturday, April 14th.
The last three events that LaJoie has run with the UARA at Rockingham, he has won. The most recent win of the two prior to Saturday, was last November during the series’ season finale. During that race, LaJoie passed Paddy Rodenbeck with only a couple laps to go. It’s safe to say that LaJoie is known for coming through the field to grab the win at the end.
The current points leader, Ronnie Bassett Jr., won the Holley Performer Award for working his way from a 27th starting position to finishing second. During the qualifying session, Bassett Jr. spun coming out of turn four of his first lap and barely missed the inside barrels. Luckily there was no physical damage to his car and Bassett Jr. started at the rear. Once the green flag dropped, it seemed to be smooth sailing for Bassett Jr.
The Sunoco Pole winner, Travis Swaim, set a new UARA record at Rockingham with a lap of 24.564 seconds shattering the previous record set by Paddy Rodenbeck of 24.967 in the previous November race fort the UARA at Rockingham. Not only did Swaim set a record beating time, eight other drivers surpassed that record. The field is set and it's going to be fast.
When flagman Danny Willard let the green fly it was Clay Rogers who grabbed the lead early in the race. Swaim challenged back and regained the lead only a few laps later. The two drives maintained the top two positions for the majority of the race. With Swaim in the lead caution one flew on lap 21 as the car of Jimmy Simmons spun coming down in turn two. The field took the green again and the battle was on with action all thru the field. Things got pretty hot for Andy Mercer on lap 54 as his motor let loose with a blaze of fire under it and the second caution of the race would be displayed. Mercer said his foot got pretty hot but was out of the car and doing fine.
Ten laps are remaing on the board with Swaim in the lead, Rogers takes the point on lap 66 but got loose coming off of turn four on lap70 and slid down the front stretch. Blending back into the field after the spin, Rogers became the misfortune of Brandon Jones’ tight race car on the backstretch. The two made contact causing a ripple effect that sent William Gallaher and Randy Benson hard into to the wall near the third turn.
This third and final caution brings the field down to a green white checker and Swaim knows it is going to be tough and a restart would not be his favorite thing of the day at this point. "We found out during qualifying we didn't have a clutch and that obviously cost us at the end of the race," Swaim said. "That's why we tried to stay out front all day."
The flag files and Corey LaJoie,who just happens to be at the right place at the right time makes his move and will lead the final two circuits of the race and capture the checker. Swaim slid back to third behind Bassett, Jr. with Tim George Jr. and Jake Morris rounding out the final five. Tim George Jr. started fifteenth and played it low key while other drivers fell back.
"I knew I had to give Travis a little because I couldn't jump him on the restart," LaJoie said. "He had a good jump, but he grabbed fourth gear and his clutch slipped. That gave me the space I needed. I don't even know what happened behind me. I was just digging for all I was worth those last 2 laps."
Tim George Jr. had double duty this weekend as he ran in Saturday’s UARA 75 and will be competing in the NASCAR Camping World race. Jake Morris finished the best out of all the rookies, giving him the title Xtreme Trophies and More Rookie of the Race.
Three drivers fell victim to problems during Fridays practice and failed to qualify. Lee Pullium looking to make his first UARA event fell victim to engine troubles, Brad Cox had transmission woes and young Quinn Fowler fell victim to the speedway with a spin during practice and contact with the backstretch wall. Fowler iced his knee down but was good after this but his car wasn't quite as lucky and suffered quite a bit of damage.
The next stop for the STARS will be May 4th at Kingsport Motor Speedway.
For more information on the UARA-STARS, visit them online at www.uara-stars.com or call (828) 692-3833. Fans are also encouraged to “like” them on Facebook under the United Auto Racing Association and follow them on Twitter @uarastars.
Press Release by: Kassie Hughes
Corrected Official Results
PlaceNo.NameLapsLast TimeFast TimeFast Lap 134Corey LaJoie7626.54726.14469 24Ronnie Bassett Jr.7626.35526.26567 328Travis Swaim7626.3625.6632 42Tim George Jr.7626.97826.3963 599Jake Morris7627.10926.2483 60Scott Bishop7627.73526.5243 797Jesse Little7627.79526.3833 816Tyler Laing7629.69326.744 982Paddy Rodenbeck7630.42726.3616 1044Dillon Bassett7629.12626.1097 1188Josh Wright7631.98926.2733 1213Camden Murphy7632.93427.5826 1354Clay Rogers7639.75425.713 1433Brandon Jones7528.39326.4242 152Randy Benson7529.40326.5064 166William Gallaher7529.40126.8383 1758Scott Turlington6539.79725.8033 1810Andy Mercer5331.36626.3475 199Ben Rhodes5343.46225.8162 2094Sean Rayhall4641.63427.3627 2118Sammy Jasper4251.26925.9344 228Enrique Contreras4242.48427.1997 2320Cory Joyce3442.62226.5373 2435Devin Jones3042.88426.784 2526Joey Herques1943.67626.6693 2648Jimmy Simmons1932.43227.3177 273Allen Carter40.880.884