Randy LaJoie

Randy LaJoie

28/8/1961

Randy LaJoie won the 1985 NASCAR Busch North Series Championship. Then in 1996 and 1997 he took the Busch Series Title. He became the first Busch Series driver to win $1 million in a single season.

Randy LaJoie was born in Norwalk, Connecticut. The father of racers Casey and Corey LaJoie, LaJoie started racing go-karts when he was 12 years old. In 1980 he graduated to full size racing cars racecars and the following year was the track champion in the Modified Sportsman division at the Danbury Fair Racearena.

In 1983 he moved to the NASCAR Busch North Series and was the series Rookie of the Year. He made his first attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500, but unfortunately didn't make the grid. In 1985 he had 15 victories on his way to the NASCAR Busch North Series championship.

LaJoie made his major-league NASCAR debut in 1985 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Driving the #07 Snellman Construction Chevrolet owned by Bob Johnson, he started sixteenth and finished fourteenth. He ran his next race the following season at Pocono Raceway, where he finished 29th after suffering engine failure. He also made his Busch Series debut that season, running four races in his own #03 Pontiac, posting a tenth-place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He ran another race in 1987 at Dover International Speedway and finished tenth. After a third-place finish the following season, he joined Frank Cicci Racing mid-way through 1989 and had a career-best second-place run at Hickory Motor Speedway. He ended the season 26th in points.

He did not return to Cicci in 1990, and ran a handful of Busch Races in his own #71, his best finish 23rd at Richmond. He did not run another NASCAR-sanctioned race until 1993, when he ran seven races for Dick Moroso and one for BACE Motorsports in the Busch Series. His best finish was second, twice. In 1994, he drove for Moroso full-time in the #20 Fina Lube Chevy, posting seven top-tens and finishing sixteenth in points. He also ran three Cup races, finishing in the top-20 in all three of them that season.

In 1995, LaJoie was called up to Cup again, driving the #22 MBNA Pontiac Grand Prix for Bill Davis Racing. LaJoie ran 13 races for Davis in his rookie season before he was released midway through the year. Following his departure, he returned to Busch to drive the #64 for Dennis Shoemaker. He had three top-tens and a pole at Richmond in nine starts. The following season, he was hired by BACE Motorsports to drive its #74 entry. LaJoie won five races over the course of the season and clinched his first Busch Series championship. He followed that up with another five wins and his second striaght championship in 1997. After falling back to fourth in the standings in 1998, as well as dealing with internal feuds with team owner Bill Baumgardner, LaJoie left BACE at the end of the season. He returned to the Cup Series that season driving nine races for Hendrick Motorsports

He signed to drive the #1 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for James Finch in 1999, despite the fact his team lacked major sponsorship. After a season-opening victory at the NAPA Auto Parts 300, Bob Evans Restaurants came on board as the team's sponsor. Despite the added funding, LaJoie dropped to tenth in points. He moved up to seventh in the standings the next season with one win, but chose to depart the team at the end of the season for NEMCO Motorsports. Driving the #7 with sponsorship from Kleenex, LaJoie won two more races, but again fell to twelfth in points. He had fourteen top-ten finishes in 2002 and moved up one spot in the points.

LaJoie returned to the 7 team in 2003, and won two poles, but was dismissed from the ride midway through the season. He fillied out the year with one race apiece for Innovative Motorsports and FitzBradshaw Racing, as well as Craftsman Truck race for Kevin Harvick Incorporated. He began the 2004 season in FitzBradshaw's #82 car and ran five races with a best finish of 13th, before moving on, running one race each for Marsh Racing and Tommy Baldwin Racing. He also teamed with HT Motorsports in the Craftsman Truck Series for six races, finishing eighth at Gateway. In the Cup Series, he had a 43rd place finish for Hover Motorsports at Richmond, and also ran two races in the #98 Ford Taurus for Mach 1 Racing, his best finish 36th.

Mach 1 switched to tbe #34 Chevys in 2005, and he began the season with them before he was released. He reunited with Cicci in the Busch Series with Dollar General sponsorship and posted three top-ten finishes, finishing 19th in points. Dollar General left the team at season's end, leaving LaJoie without a full-time ride. He had signed to drive for Mach 1, which was under new management again in 2005, but was replaced early in the season by teammate Chad Chaffin. He drove one race apiece in the Busch Series for Davis Motorsports, Jay Robinson Racing, and Vision Racing. He also was a test driver for Richard Childress Racing, filling in for Kevin Harvick in the #21 United States Coast Guard Chevy during practice and qualifying sessions.

As of right now, LaJoie has not confirmed plans for 2007, but Randy owns The Joie of Seating, a racing seat company for race cars. Michael Waltrip Racing uses his seats, and David Reutimann was using one of his seats at his crash at California Speedway in February of 2007, that crash was one of the hardest ever recorded by NASCAR.

In addition to his racing seat business, Randy is also a part time co-host of The Driver's Seat with John Kernan on Sirius Satellite Radio's NASCAR channel 128. He also did Television Commentary for the ORP and Montreal Busch Series Races.

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