LaJoie Conquers Bowman Gray Stadium

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A huge crowd turned out to see the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at North Carolina's Bowman Gray Stadium. (NASCAR photo)
A huge crowd turned out to see the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at North Carolina's Bowman Gray Stadium. (NASCAR photo)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Third-generation racer Corey LaJoie captured his much-anticipated first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory Saturday night in the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 at historic Bowman Gray Stadium.

LaJoie powered the No. 07 Thermal Control Products/Sims Metal Ford to the lead on the event’s first lap, but pole-sitter Kyle Larson wrestled it away the next circuit and LaJoie ran second through the first quarter of the race. The 20-year-old regained the lead on Lap 37 and held on through eight race restarts for his first trip to Victory Lane.

The second trip for NASCAR’s top development series to the famed quarter-mile saw Darrell Wallace Jr. hold on for a runner-up effort following an action-packed green-white-checkered finish. Rookie Bryan Ortiz recorded his first podium finish in third.

A first-time series participant, Harrison Rhodes finished fourth with Larson in fifth. Chase Elliott, Brandon Gdovic, Ben Kennedy, Brett Moffitt and Eddie MacDonald brought home the top 10.

Elliott retained the season points lead by 16 tallies on LaJoie, who jumped from fifth to second in the standings with Saturday night’s performance. Larson is in third, 20 points out.

With the victory, LaJoie has also earned a secured starting position for the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach on the short track at Daytona International Speedway during 2013 Speedweeks.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 was slowed by 10 cautions and one red flag.

The finish:

Corey LaJoie, Darrell Wallace Jr., Bryan Ortiz, Harrison Rhodes, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Brandon Gdovic, Ben Kennedy, Brett Moffitt, Eddie MacDonald, Jorge Arteaga, Carlos Iaconelli, Jimmy Weller, Travis Pastrana, Sam Hunt, Jorge Contreras Jr., Sean Caisse, Ryan Gifford, Sergio Pena, Dale Quarterley, Dylan Presnell, Daniel Suarez.

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