Against the best drivers and teams in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, Corey LaJoie rose to the top at Iowa Speedway, winning the Pork Be Inspired 150.
Corey LaJoie does a burnout to celebrate his Pork Be Inspired 150 win at Iowa Speedway.
In a field that included the top drivers from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and East, LaJoie battled through a red-flag caution period on lap 137 and led the final 10 laps of the race.
LaJoie won his third race of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series season, the most of any driver from the East Series. He won the first race of his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East career at Bowman Gray Stadium in North Carolina in June and followed with a win at Langley Speedway in Virginia later that month.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Iowa Speedway pole winner Brennan Newberry.
"We've had a couple rough weeks," LaJoie said. "Luckily we were able to bounce back in a pretty big way and set a statement here against the best of the best. It's one thing to win at a Bowman Gray or a Langley, a real short track, but whenever you come to Iowa, a superspeedway more or less, to come out on top is incredible."
LaJoie led a race-high 134 laps at Iowa Speedway. He took the lead from pole winner Cale Conley on lap 5 and was out front for the next 72 laps.
"The bottom is the shortest way around the track," LaJoie said. "I go off that philosophy. If you get your car working on the bottom, nobody's going to beat you - no matter if they're up against the fence or on the apron. That's just what I've been taught by my dad and everybody throughout my career. Tonight, I was living by it and I was going to die by it, too."
Brett Moffitt took over the lead on lap 78, but LaJoie regained it on lap 81 and was out front for another 49 laps.
"He was definitely the class of the field," said rookie driver Kyle Larson, who finished second. "I don't think I could have beat him unless I got another caution maybe and got my tires cooled down. Second place is pretty good for us."
Corey LaJoie stays ahead of combined field of NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West racers.
Larson took the lead on lap 131 and held it through the red flag caution period when five cars collided in turn 2 on lap 134. LaJoie and Larson jostled for the lead on the ensuing restart until LaJoie finally pulled ahead on lap 140.
"I knew it was going to be tough," Larson said. "Had about 12 or so to go and my car would fall off after about six or seven laps. I was hoping I could stay out in front of him and get another caution. It didn't go that way and we ended up second. I'm not complaining at all. Second is not too bad for how we were at Columbus."
Larson posted his fifth top-five finish at Iowa Speedway in 10 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races. Sergio Pena was third.
"I was thinking Kyle and Corey were going to battle out pretty hard and I was going to be able to drive by them," Pena said. "That's what I was hoping for at least. They raced each other pretty clean and really hard, so it's a great night of fun racing there. Just glad to finish third here."
Moffitt, who leads the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East standings after 10 races, was fifth. Conley was seventh.
Drivers from the East Series, including Travis Pastrana, took the top-eight spots in the race. Pastrana was sixth, his third top 10 in seven NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races.
An excited Corey LaJoie celebrates in victory lane after NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Iowa Speedway.
Michael Self was the highest-finishing driver from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in ninth place. He was the only driver from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in the top 10.
Greg Pursley, the leader in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West standings, was 20th. He has a seven-point lead over Gene Price Motorsports teammate Dylan Kwasniewski after 11 races.
Larson was able to cut into Moffitt's lead a little in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East standings. Moffitt has a 20-point lead over Larson.
The Pork Be Inspired 150 will be televised on Speed on Aug. 16 at noon PDT.
The next NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race is at Portland International Raceway in Oregon on Aug. 26. The next NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race is the Greenville 140 at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina on Sept. 3.
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