Saturday, April 14, 2012

LaJoie Wins Opening Event of Rockingham Weekend

NASCAR returns to Rockingham Speedway this weekend after an eight year absence and for many of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers competing in the inaugural Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 it's a walk down memory lane. 
Ty Dillon, who was ninth quickest in Friday's second practice session with a 140.625-mph lap, played in the infield when father Mike raced in the Nationwide Series. He later won the 2010 ARCA race at the one-mile track. 

Three-time Rockingham winner Corey LaJoie
Jeb Burton watched his father, Ward, and his uncle Jeff win two races each at The Rock. However, Rockingham is the largest track on which he's driven and his best lap - 138.016 mph - left him 24th quickest in Friday's first practice. He was 25th quickest in the second. 

Todd Bodine visited Rockingham's victory lane in 1995 and 2001 in the Nationwide Series car and noted in Friday's drivers' meeting "to go where you want" when it comes to the track's racing grooves. His quickest lap in two practices Friday was 141.143 mph, leaving him sixth in the second session.

Ron Hornaday Jr.'s best finish at Rockingham occurred in 2000 when he placed third in a Nationwide Series event. He was 10th quickest in the first practice session at 141.995 mph. 

NCWTS point leader John King, James Buescher, Parker Kilgerman, Justin Lofton, Caleb Holman, Jeff Agnew, Bryan Silas and Chad McCumbee have competed at Rockingham in ARCA, Pro Cup or UARA since NASCAR last visited the storied track in 2004. And those drivers who have raced on the tough surface believe they possess an advantage over those who are encountering it for the first time. 

"I know what to expect for Sunday, I know what I'm looking for and there are a lot of people out there that really don't know exactly what their truck should feel like and what they should expect on Sunday," said Lofton, who won the 2009 ARCA title at Rockingham. 

On track action is already underway today, with third-generation driver Corey LaJoie winning a wild, 75-lap UARA-Stars Late Model event. The win was Lajoie’s third at the one-mile oval, surpassing the three career Rockingham wins collected by his father, former NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Randy LaJoie. When kidded about losing his winning advantage, the elder LaJoie joked, “I don’t see it as three for him and two for me. I see it as five for the family.” 

Truck Series qualifying begins shortly at 3:35 p.m., followed by a 75-lap Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals race at approximately 4:45 p.m. Chuck Barnes Sr. starts from the pole with Frank Kimmel II alongside in the second starting position. The two finished one-two the last time the series raced at Rockingham last November.

For more information on the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 presented by Cheerwine, or to purchase tickets for any of the speedway's events, contact Rockingham Speedway at 910-205-8800 or visit online at

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