LaJoie motors to second season win

Published 7:49 pm Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In a spirited slugfest, Corey LaJoie topped Brett Moffitt to claim his second victory of the season in the Visit Hampton VA 175 for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, the featured event of Saturday evening’s racing program at Langley Speedway.

Chase Elliott nabbed the pole position, at 86.927 mph (a new record for the division) and led the first 19 circuits with LaJoie in tow. LaJoie moved out front for the first time on lap 20 and showed the way until lap 48.

On a restart at lap 49, Moffitt pulled off an outside pass to swipe the top spot from LaJoie.

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Moffitt remained out front until lap 135. In the interim, LaJoie jousted with 2011 event winner Sergio Pena for the runner-up spot.

Pena actually got a good run on Moffitt in a bid for the lead on lap 94. He bobbled off Turn 4, though, and was forced back in line. LaJoie took second from Pena following a restart at lap 122, then closed in on Moffitt, who had opened a four-length advantage.

On lap 134, LaJoie poked a fender underneath Moffitt off Turn 4. The two raced side-by-side for a lap, with LaJoie edging ahead on lap 135.

Moffitt returned the favor on lap 136, retaking the lead. LaJoie tried to rally on lap 137, but Moffitt held him off.

Moffitt and LaJoie remained 1-2 until the restart following the seventh caution flag, at lap 165. As the race resumed, LaJoie powered underneath Moffitt in Turn 2 and gained the clear-cut advantage at the start/finish line.

Adam Florian of Suffolk celebrates his second win in the 25-lap SavitaPets.com UCAR event with crew member Mason Sawyer, left, and crew chief Earl Sawyer, right, of Sawyer Automotive in Suffolk.

The yellow flag reappeared quickly, but LaJoie retained the lead as the field bunched for a three-lap dash to the finish. Under green for the last time, LaJoie easily cleared Moffitt and dashed away to a three-length victory, becoming the series’ first repeat winner this year.Elliott rebounded from a spin on lap 56 to take third, passing Brandon Gdovic on lap 174.

Gdovic, a local favorite, posted his third top-five finish of the season, coming home in fourth, while Pena completed the top five. Adam Florian led from pole to checkers for his second straight convincing victory in the 25-lap SavitaPets.com UCAR race.

Bill Eaker was second to the line, a straightaway behind the race winner. Tim Wilson was third, followed by Sammy Gaita. Richard Ellis outdueled Jon Largena for fifth.