LOUDON, Tenn. – Cory Hedgecock Racing has announced that NASCAR Cup Series drivers Austin Dillon and Corey LaJoie will be competing for the team during the inaugural Bristol Dirt Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Dillon and LaJoie will be tackling the half-mile oval March 15–20 in crate late models fielded by Cory Hedgecock Racing.
They join fellow NASCAR Cup Series drivers Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson and Joey Logano as Cup Series regulars who have announced plans to compete in the Bristol Dirt Nationals.
“Excited doesn’t begin to describe how our team feels about being able to have two drivers of the caliber of Austin Dillon and Corey LaJoie in our cars,” team owner Cory Hedgecock said. “For my team and I, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of something of this magnitude. Again, I’m just super excited to work with these guys.”
Dillon, a champion in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series who also has victories in the 2018 Daytona 500 and 2017 Coca-Cola 600, is no stranger to dirt racing.
Prior to his time in NASCAR, Dillon honed his driving skills by racing at dirt tracks across the country. His former crew chief and mentor, Shane McDowell, helped connect Dillon to Cory Hedgecock Racing.
“I raced at dirt tracks across the country during my early years in motorsports, so I’ve really been looking forward to the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway,” said Dillon. “It’s even more exciting that I will be able to try out the track a week before the Cup race thanks to this opportunity with Cory Hedgecock Racing. I’m passionate about Dirt Late Model racing, so I’m looking forward to experiencing Bristol on dirt. This will be a unique experience, for sure, so I’m very grateful to Shane McDowell, Cory Hedgecock and all of the partners who were able to work together to make this happen.”
“Our No. 3 Crate Late Model will carry primary sponsorship from K&L Ready Mix and E-Z-Go. K&L has been a long-time supporter of mine, and we’ve all been racing with heavy hearts since Ron Kahle [company founder] passed away last year. We’d love to win this one for him and his family, who continue to go out of their way to support my racing program. Additionally, E-Z-GO is and always has been a big supporter, so it’s an honor to have them as a part of our team.”
LaJoie, who drives the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Camaro in the NASCAR Cup Series, is looking forward to playing in the dirt in advance of the upcoming Cup event at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“It’s kind of cool how this whole deal came together. Austin Dillon’s team reached out to my crew chief (Ryan Sparks) and told him about their plans to race for Cory Hedgecock Racing. From there it progressed into me piloting a team car at the Bristol Dirt Nationals,” LaJoie said. “I have zero dirt experience, so racing at the Bristol Dirt Nationals will be good to get me some seat time in advance of the NASCAR race there at the end of the month.
“I want to thank Danny Sanford with S&S Express Trucking out of Mississippi for his support of my team at this event. Danny has always been a great supporter of my asphalt late model program, and it means a lot to also have him involved with my dirt racing debut.”