As the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series season winds down to the conclusion, Corey LaJoie and the JGL Racing team have their sights on solid performances to finish out the season. Unfortunately, the Concord, North Carolina native would deal with various issues throughout the event with his No. 24 youtheory Toyota on his way to a disappointing 22nd place finish in the running of the Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix Raceway.
“We struggled with some brake issues as well as the overall handling on our No. 24 youtheory Toyota,” said LaJoie. “The handling issues are somewhat of a puzzle as we were pretty good in practice on Friday as well as qualifying on Saturday morning. Once we got in the race it just seemed to be so much different for some reason. Then towards the end of the first stage we started to get a soft brake pedal and it just got worse from there. I think we would have been OK if we didn’t have the brake issue as we could have dealt with the handling situation.”
After a positive practice day on Friday, Corey would start the 200-lap event from the 17th position as a result of his qualifying effort on Saturday morning. LaJoie would encounter trouble on lap one when a spin in the field in front of the No. 24 youtheory Toyota would result in Corey spinning as well. With flat-spotted tires, the No. 24 youtheory Toyota would come down pit road for four fresh tires and rejoin the track at the rear of the field. Corey would work his way back through traffic and sit in the 23rd spot at the end of the stage.
A trip down pit road for much needed adjustments in between stages didn’t seem to improve the No. 24 youtheory Toyota as the second stage got underway. While Corey battled a loose in and tight in the center condition – he also continued to deal with the brake issue. The combination of issues would plaque LaJoie’s charge forward and he would sit in the 22nd position at the end of the second stage.
The remaining 80 laps of the event would find the same issues at hand. Corey would battle for all he could get before settling for the disappointing 22nd place finish when the checkered flag flew.
“Overall just a very disappointing day for all of us,” added Corey. “I want to thank youtheory for their support and everyone at JGL Racing for their hard work. We will re-group and set our sights on a strong performance in the season ending event at Homestead.”
LaJoie and the JGL Racing team 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 18th and can be seen LIVE on NBC at 3:00 pm ET. It can also be heard on Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Channel 90.