What was a heartbreaking finish for Corey LaJoie was a euphoric finish for NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver Chase Elliott.
On the final lap of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Elliott made a block in turns 1 and 2 on Corey LaJoie, who was challenging for the lead and the race win.
As Elliott made the block, LaJoie’s car skidded into the outside wall. As LaJoie grazed the wall, the No. 7 car finally turned around and got collected by several cars including Daniel Suarez, Kurt Busch and Cole Custer.
Here is video of the last lap move, which brought out the caution and sealed the Elliott his first-career win at his hometrack:
RETWEET to congratulate @chaseelliott!
The Georgia boy joins his dad @BillElliott9 as a WINNER at @amsupdates! #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/2JfwjjiDBy
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) July 10, 2022
Elliott hated having to make a block that led to a big crash behind him, but he had to do what he had to do to win the race.
“I tried to give it one real aggressive block, felt like I had enough room to give it a second one,” Elliott explained. “And he was just right there on the right side of my back bumper, so, it was far enough to the backside of the bumper to launch me forward. I hate it tore up some cars, but I don’t know what to do. Either go for the win, or don’t. I’m going to choose option A every day of the week.”
As LaJoie, who led 19 laps on the day, climbed from his wrecked No. 7 Raze Energy Chevrolet Camaro, you could sense the sadness and disappointment in a first-career win evaporating. But LaJoie stayed classy, did not place blame and vowed that his time in victory lane will come.
“I made my move and it didn’t work out,” LaJoie said of the finish. “He made a good block and the siren is ringing in Dawsonville, unfortunately. I wish that granny in the front row over there wouldn’t have been clapping so much, I wish that 7 car was in victory lane. But if we keep running like this more consistently, that time will come.”