Corey LaJoie Grabs First Modified Tour Victory in Chaotic Season-Finale at Martinsville

Corey LaJoie, who runs full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series for Spire Motorsports, will leave Martinsville Speedway with a grandfather clock, after capturing his first career victory in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour on Thursday.

By Joseph Srigley

The victory is a big one for LaJoie, who doesn’t get the opportunity to compete for victories on a regular basis when racing on Sunday’s, and even bigger considering his racing background.

LaJoie, making his fifth career start in the series, was able to hold off Matt Hirschman and Ryan Newman on a green-white-checkered restart at the half-mile paperclip, in a race that saw lots of beating and banging, as well as some angry observers.

Just prior to the restart, LaJoie, driving the No. 53 entry, had some involvement in a multi-car accident inside the race’s final 10 circuits, which collected championship leader Jon McKennedy, amongst several others.

The accident also collected the No. 7 Tommy Baldwin Racing entry, driven in this instance by Jimmy Blewett. The entry, owned by former NASCAR Cup Series team owner Tommy Baldwin, was in contention for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Owner’s Title entering the season-finale.

That led Baldwin to have some fairly unkind words for the NASCAR Cup Series full-timer which included the word “hack” – a term coined by Denny Hamlin last Fall at this same facility in the direction of Alex Bowman.

The drama of the event – not atypical for a race at Martinsville Speedway – coupled with the intense racing on-track, led to a wonderful conclusion to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season.

Matt Hirschman finished in the runner-up position, with Ryan Newman rounding out the top-three in the event. Bobby Santos III and Anthony Nocella completed the top-five. Andrew Krause, Eric Goodale, Austin Beers, Tommy Catalano, and JB Fortin completed the top-10 in the tour’s 200-lap finale from Martinsville Speedway.

Jon McKennedy was able to capture the 2022 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s driver championship, while Tommy Baldwin Racing picked up the series’ Owner’s Title for the season.

Note: Corey LaJoie is the son of two time Xfinity Champion Randy LaJoie  who grew up in Norwalk, CT

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