AVONDALE, ARIZONA (November 13, 2016) – Coming off a rough but character building outing last week in Texas, Corey LaJoie had high hopes for his first career start at Phoenix International Raceway. Unfortunately, for the second week in a row LaJoie endured a rough outing as he was collected in a late race accident that relegated his No. 24 youtheory Toyota to a disappointing 33rd place finish in the running of the Ticket Galaxy 200.
“This was a very discouraging weekend,” said LaJoie. “I was excited to make my first start at Phoenix as I have had success at tracks similar to this. Our No. 24 youtheory Toyota wasn’t too bad during our practice sessions on Friday and that had me feeling good about the race. The car was good again in qualifying but I got into the wall during the second round and the guys had to make some repairs. That got us behind a little at the start of the race and we were never able to recover.”
With the issue in qualifying requiring repairs, Corey would forfeit his 18th place qualifying effort and start the 200-lap event from the rear of the field. When the green flag flew, it didn’t take the No. 24 youtheory Toyota long to move forward in the field and crack the top-25 by the time the first caution occurred on lap 48. While fighting a tight condition, LaJoie would continue to charge forward in the field and crack the top-20 just past the halfway mark of the race.
The second half of the race would prove disastrous for Corey and his No. 24 youtheory Toyota. A missing lugnut during a pit stop on lap 139 would force another trip down pit road and loss of valuable track position. The final disaster came on lap 148 as a big accident on the frontstretch would collect LaJoie ending his day early and relegate him to the disappointing finish.
“We had a lot of rough things happen to us today and then I had nowhere to go with that accident blocking the track and I got forced into the inside wall,” added Corey. “These last two weeks have been tough for all of us but we will keep our heads held high and head to Homestead with our No. 24 youtheory Toyota and focus on finishing the season on a high note.”
The NASCAR XFINITY Series will next head to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the running of the Ford EcoBoost 300. The final race of the NASCAR XFINITY Series season will be Saturday November 19th and can be seen LIVE on NBC Sports Network at 3:00 pm ET. It can also be heard on Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Channel 90.