NASCAR: Corey LaJoie Earns First Top 5 Cup Series Finish at Atlanta

by Chase Thomas
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

It was a wild one at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon. Indeed, it was another great day for Hendrick Motorsports, but it was also a great day for NASCAR driver Corey LaJoie who earned his first top-5 Cup Series finish at Atlanta. It was also his first top-5 finish since he began competing in the NASCAR Cup Series.

LaJoie said after the race, “I’ve never been here with my car in the Cup Series.” He concluded, “They only took the top-five cars. Today was a good day.” It was a big moment in LaJoie’s career, as he has always had this mantra of “stacking pennies.” It’s all about not trying to get where you want to be in the blink of an eye. Instead, it’s about celebrating the little victories that all add up in the end. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. That sort of thing. Well, that mantra finally paid off for LaJoie in Atlanta on Sunday.

Competition at the highest level is not an accident. For NASCAR drivers and their team, so much goes into each race that fans everywhere do not have the opportunity to see. Preparation is key in the sport. Well, that’s partly why folks saw LaJoie of Spire Motorsports has such a big day on the track in Atlanta. Spire Motorsports owner Jeff Dickeson told Frontstretch after the race, “We had a plan; we didn’t always execute it today.” He continued, “You always talk about like you do at Daytona and Talladega and try to get a plan, and it actually unfolded exactly how we wanted it to.”

How it All Happened for Spire Motorsports

There is always some sort of plan in place. As the season has gone along, teams are learning and adapting. Like Spire Motorsports to the track and the Next Gen cars and all that. Still, every driver and their team needs a plan on Sundays in NASCAR. Spire Motorsports is no different. There isn’t a better feeling for a racing team than realizing on race day that their car has the speed to really do well. It’s invigorating to know you have a shot. Dickerson continued, “We were just trying to keep everybody calm. We already knew we had a fast race car.” He added, “You get the feeling of, ‘Ok, now! Let’s go! Let’s pounce!’ And that’s not where we were at. We knew they weren’t going to be done wrecking.”

There were all sorts of lead changes and fun drama at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon. However, it was a great day for Spire Motorsports and Corey Lajoie. It was also a great day for William Byron and Hendrick Motorsports who took home another checkered flag this NASCAR Cup Series season.