LaJoie Holds off Brown to grab Atlanta 150 victory

HAMPTON, Ga. (March 5, 2010) Corey LaJoie drove like a veteran in his first career NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour start. Using lapped traffic to get by Tim Brown, the 18-year-old third-generation driver then held off a furious challenge from Brown over the closing laps to capture the Atlanta 150 Friday.

The race was the first for the Tour held on the track's flat, quarter-mile front stretch oval. The setup is similar to Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., where Brown is an eight-time champion in the track's NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified division.

But under the lights at Atlanta, it was LaJoie who came out on top.

He battled back from an early mistake that put him in the back of the field. While battling for the fifth-place position on the backstretch of the tight oval, LaJoie wound up driving into the infield. He was able to keep his momentum, cutting through the grass, and re-enter the track in Turn 4. But the miscue put him near the back of the running order. He slowly picked his way back through, moving past Fleming for the No. 2 spot with 30 to go.

LaJoie used lapped traffic to take the lead from Brown on Lap 131. Brown took the top spot back with eight to go with a move inside going into Turn 2, but LaJoie again took advantage of lapped traffic a lap later to reclaim the lead. Over the final five laps, Brown was all over LaJoie's bumper but was unable to rattle the rookie.

LaJoie's father, Randy, was a two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion and he got his start running Modifieds in the Northeast. It was a popular win for LaJoie, who was congratulated by Kevin Harvick, Todd Bodine, and Joey Logano among others in Victory Lane.

Frank Fleming finished third, followed by David Brigati and Brandon Hire. James Civali, Jason Myers, Zach Brewer, John Smith and Buddy Emory rounded out the top 10.

The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will next race Sunday, March 14 at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C.

For more information, contact: Tim Southers, NASCAR Public Relations, (386) 235-3634 or tsouthers@nascar.com

Whelen Southern Modified Tour-Atlanta 150 Results

Friday

At Atlanta Motor Speedway Quarter-Mile

Hampton, Ga.

Lap length: 0.25 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (9) #19 Corey LaJoie, Concord, NC, Pontiac, 150 laps, 46.520 mph, $3,300.

2. (8) #83 Tim Brown, Cana, VA, Chevrolet, 150, $2,000.

3. (7) #40 Frank Fleming, Mt. Airy, NC, Ford, 150, $2,000.

4. (11) #98 David Brigati, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $1,500.

5. (2) #44 Brandon Hire, Winston-Salem, NC, Chevrolet, 150, $1,400.

6. (6) #79 James Civali, Meriden, CT, Pontiac, 150, $1,650.

7. (15) #4 Jason Myers, Walnut Cove, NC, Ford, 150, $1,200.

8. (14) #11 Zach Brewer, Winston-Salem, NC, Chevrolet, 150, $1,100.

9. (17) #25 John Smith, Mount Airy, NC, Chevrolet, 150, $1,050.

10. (13) #02 Buddy Emory, Petersburg, VA, Chevrolet, 150, $1,000.

11. (1) #15 Adam Gay, Dublin, NC, Pontiac, 150, $800.

12. (12) #47 Andy Seuss, Hampstead, NH, Dodge, 149, $750.

13. (19) #81 Lee Jeffreys, Winston-Salem, NC, Chevrolet, 149, $700.

14. (20) #36 L.W. MIller, Dushore, PA, Pontiac, 149, $675.

15. (5) #48 Brad Robbins, Winston-Salem, NC, Chevrolet, 148, $665.

16. (10) #23 Brian Loftin, Lexington, NC, Chevrolet, 147, $640.

17. (3) #1 Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, NC, Ford, 144, $630.

18. (23) #12 Mike Norman, Lewisville, NC, Ford, 142, $725.

19. (4) #7 Gary Putnam, Concord, NC, Chevrolet, 141, $610.

20. (21) #97 Bryan Dauzat, Alexandria, LA, Chevrolet, 113, $600.

21. (16) #31 Gene Pack, North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Chevrolet, 23, accident, $575.

22. (18) #18 Jonathan Kievman, Deerfield Beach, FL, Chevrolet, 22, accident, $550.

23. (22) #0 Greg Butcher, Mocksville, NC, Chevrolet, 12, suspension, $550.

Race Statistics

Time of Race: 0 hours 48 minutes 22 seconds

Margin of Victory: 0.061 seconds

Fastest Qualifier: J.Civali (62.379 mph, 14.428 seconds)

Caution Flags: 5 for 25 laps.

Lead Changes: 6 among 4 drivers.

Lap Leaders: B. Hire 1-29; T. Brown 30-58; F. Fleming 59; T. Brown 60-130; C. LaJoie 131-143; T. Brown 144; C. LaJoie 145-150.

Standings: 1. C. LaJoie, 185; 2. T. Brown, 180; 3. F. Fleming, 170; 4. D. Brigati, 160; 5. B. Hire, 160; 6. J. Civali, 150; 7. J. Myers, 146; 8. Z. Brewer, 142; 9. J. Smith, 138; 10. B. Emory, 134.

POINTS STANDINGS / RACE PHOTOS

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