La Joie Gives HT Motorsports a Much Needed Top Ten MADISON, IL (July 18, 2004) -- Randy La Joie wheeled the ...
La Joie Gives HT Motorsports a Much Needed Top Ten
MADISON, IL (July 18, 2004) -- Randy La Joie wheeled the #59 Harris Trucking Motorsports entry to a solid 8th place finish at Gateway International Speedway on Saturday night.
The team fared well in both practice sessions, but qualified a disappointing 23rd. During Friday night's happy hour, La Joie and Crew Chief Greg Conner collaborated on several changes. As the final one hour practice drew to a conclusion, La Joie declared that the team had a solid "piece" to work with for the race.
Team owner, Jim Harris, has been aggressively searching for the necessary components to push his team to the upper echelon in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He is one that is not hesitant to make changes or try different combinations to shift the momentum.
One such change was made following the event at Kentucky Speedway the week prior to Gateway. The team made the switch to Joey Arrington engines. Arrington is the engine supplier of choice for several of the top Dodge teams on the NCTS. Another factor in the switch involves a coordinated effort between the two organizations on the Virginia Motorsports Technical Center, which was announced at Martinsville during the Spring event.
La Joie, made steady progress throughout the event. The top ten finish was result of a combined effort between driver and team. The crew pulled off two very well orchestrated pit stops, making air pressure and wedge adjustments. The final laps of the race were, without a doubt, the most exciting. The infamous Green, White, Checkered, was implemented three times. Though the finish was marred by incidents involving lead trucks, it played to the benefit of the HT Motorsports team. La Joie, with the spotting eyes of co-driver Mark McFarland, steered clear of two of the crashes.
During one of the close calls, as La Joie cleared the smoke screen, he radioed in, "I swear I had no clue!" He credited his spotter with helping him on where to point the nose of his machine in order to miss the spinning trucks.
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series takes a week off before heading the Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, July 31st. Randy La Joie will once again be in the driver's seat.