ROCKINGHAM, N.C. — Corey Lajoie surged past Paddy Rodenbeck on lap 71 and withstood a furious charge during a green-white-checkered finish to take the UARA-Stars portion of the American 200 at Rockingham Speedway.
This marks the second time that Lajoie has won in UARA action at Rockingham and the second time that he passed Rodenbeck late in the running to seal the victory.
“That’s twice he’s beat us late here,” said Rodenbeck, who led 67 of the 78 laps on the day. “This place owes us one.”
While Rodenbeck had a dominant car, Lajoie picked his spot to get around the No. 82.
“Rodenbeck was a lot better than I was in three and four but I was really good in one and two,” said Lajoie. “He was really going and I thought it was going to go green the rest of the way, so I decided it was time to go and pressed the throttle down a little harder. I could tell he was getting loose. I ended up catching him when he missed a corner and I drove right around him. After the last caution, he caught up to me in three and four, we both drove up the hill, but I was able to hold him off and get the win.
“I just drove it in there until I saw Elvis.”
Rounding out the top five behind Lajoie and Rodenbeck were Kyle Grissom, George Miedecke (2011 UARA Rookie of the Year) and Ryan Heavner.
Despite a blown engine on the race’s seventh lap and a 16th-place finish, Brennan Poole, who won the Carolina 200 in May, was crowned the 2011 series champion.
“It’s a shame we couldn’t race 75 laps today; this place is so much fun to run,” said Poole. “Our engine had been down on power all weekend. Having that happen, I’m glad we locked the championship up last week at Concord.”