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NASCAR Cup: Corey LaJoie joins TriStar Motorsports as Cole Whitt scales back

Corey LaJoie (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Corey LaJoie (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

TriStar Motorsports plans to field one full-time entry, the No. 72 Chevrolet, in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with Cole Whitt and Corey LaJoie sharing driving duties.

“We are taking a different approach with our competitive platform for 2018 by utilizing two drivers”, TriStar owner Bryan Smith said. “It is an opportunity we feel is the best direction for this season and accommodates the goals of both drivers, as well as the team. We are more than pleased with Cole’s efforts in 2017 and are extremely glad to have him back this season. He has been an integral part of our return to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and we appreciate his contributions to our team. We are equally as pleased to add Corey to our driver roster. His attitude, desire and ability are a welcomed addition, and we feel he will be a great fit. We feel both drivers embody the core elements of who we are as a team and are confident each will contribute to the betterment of our program.”

Whitt raced full-time behind the wheel of the No. 72 in 2017 but has decided to scale back his racing efforts to focus on other things. LaJoie will drive the No. 72 for the bulk of the races in 2018, including the Feb. 18 season-opening Daytona 500.

“I want to thank TriStar and the Smith family for allowing me to do something I feel is the right decision for me and my family,” Whitt said. “I am excited and a little nervous to say that I will be racing a limited schedule this year. I am looking forward to taking the next step in my life and trying to spend most of my time with my family. Stepping back from racing is a hard choice, but I strongly believe this is the right path. TriStar has been an amazing blessing to  me and my family and I look forward to what the future holds for both of us.”

LaJoie raced for BK Racing in his 2017 rookie season in the Cup Series, posting a career-best finish, to date, of 11th in the July race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. He has three top-10 finishes in NASCAR national-level competition — two in the Xfinity Series and another in the Camping World Truck Series.

“It’s such a great opportunity to work with TriStar Motorsports,” LaJoie said. “I hope to use the learning experiences from my 2017 rookie season and work hard for some great finishes this year. It’s my goal to continue building a successful team with Bryan, while honoring the legacy his dad, Mark, left behind.”

Whitt raced full-time at the Cup level three of the last four seasons and ran most of the races the other season. In all, he has 148-career Cup Series starts to his credit.

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Posted by on February 10, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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