Chat with NASCAR Now's Randy LaJoie
LaJoie owns a distinguished competitive driving record, including winning back-to-back Busch Series championships in 1996 and 1997. In his 19-year career in the Busch and Nationwide Series, LaJoie won 15 races with 118 top-10 finishes.
LaJoie has decided to hang up his helmet to concentrate more on his company Joie of Seating, which provides custom seats for NASCAR rides.
Send in your questions now and check back at 1:30 p.m. ET Monday to chat with Randy!
Buzzmaster (12:55 PM)
Randy LaJoie will be here at 1:30 p.m. ET to take your NASCAR questions!
Buzzmaster (1:30 PM)
Randy should be here in minutes!
Buzzmaster (1:32 PM)
Randy is here!
Who would you give the advantage to this week in Atlanta?
Randy LaJoie (1:33 PM)
Well, after as well as he ran in Daytona and this past week, how can you not give it to the 18 car and that team? They're running all all cylinders. They've got nitro in those things.
Ted (New Jersey)
Do you think NASCAR should move up the start time of their races? These late afernoon/evening times are killing me.
Randy LaJoie (1:34 PM)
I believe NASCAR works very hard with their partners, especially TV. They want the races to end and go right into their nightly news, so they play with the start times.
Junior apologized for the wreck at Daytona...was he correct in doing so?
Randy LaJoie (1:34 PM)
One thing that concerned me was that he said he did cause it. The 20% of the guys he didn't care about. Could 20% of those guys gotten hurt?
Do you think Matt Kenseth can bounce back in Atlanta after his engine issues this week?
Randy LaJoie (1:35 PM)
Matt and that race team will bounce back. How quickly? It's unforseen. The engine shop will have to bounce back quicker then the race team. They need the confidence back in the engine shop.
Do you think Hendrick regrets his move of getting rid of Kyle Busch to make room for Junior?
Randy LaJoie (1:36 PM)
I don't believe you can ever look back. There were other reasons to get rid of Busch and pick up Junior. From a marketing standpoint, there's nobody in Junior's bracket. But right now from a win standpoint, there's no one in Busch's bracket. Looks like he gave up wins to sell T-shirts.
JOHN NEVINS TITUSVILLE FLORIDA
I have a LaJoie seat in my 5-yr olds quarter midget and the padding seems to be somewhat thin. Are there more 'cushy' seat covers available? Thank you.
Randy LaJoie (1:37 PM)
We can add more padding. Call the office and we can ship you some newer padding. That padding can deteriorate with use and wash.
Do you think Jeff Gordon will win a race this year and if so what race?
Randy LaJoie (1:38 PM)
It's coming, absolutely. He's run too well. The fire is back in his eye. If it wasn't for his mistake yesterday and having a tire blow because of his mistake, he might have been there yesterday. He'll win, sooner rather then later.
I heard your sons are doing some racing. Is that true? How are they doing?
Randy LaJoie (1:38 PM)
Building a new car for my oldest, a new late model. We're going to try and get it ready for Bristol in a few weeks, then Rockingham. It's open for sponsorship.
Do you think the economic problems will continue to effect NASCAR?
Randy LaJoie (1:39 PM)
Well, when you have crowds at Daytona, which was a wonderful crowd, Vegas had a good crowd. As long as the track are keeping the prices down for drinks and tickets and keeping it more affordable. The short tracks have good car counts and a lot of people in the grandstands. Racing is still a good bang for the buck when it comes to entertainment.
How impressed were you with Matt Kenseth's winning the first two races of the eyar?
Randy LaJoie (1:40 PM)
I thought we were going to see history and see three in a row. But after looking at their qualifying effort, it seems like their motor wasn't 100% coming out of the truck. They qualified 40th and then had the engine blow, they had a dead bullet in the car.
After a 5th place finish by Bobby Labonte what are his chances next week at his best track and chances in making the chase?
Randy LaJoie (1:41 PM)
Bobby has run well in Atlanta. There's nothing better to confidence then to run well, which he did. To get back some of the luster he had in the past, he's looking forward to going to Atlanta for the first time in a long time.
What do you think of Shelby getting into sponsoring a Sprint Cup race?
Randy LaJoie (1:42 PM)
They have orders to sell cars. The Shelby name is synonymous with one of the coolest cars in America. Anytime you can have a car guy sponsoring a race, it's a cool thing.
Randy, if you werre going to start a cup team, who would you put behind the wheel? Brian Vickers, David Ragan, Jamie Mac or Elliott Sadler? Please rank them.
Randy LaJoie (1:43 PM)
I would take my son before I took any of them. I would say if anyone starts any racing team, why wouldn't you want Kyle Busch? He's a talent that we haven't seen come through this sport in a long time.
In your opinion, which care has looked the best overall so far?
Randy LaJoie (1:44 PM)
Seems to me they're pretty equal. Dodge is down. They haven't had a finish. Ford won the first two. Busch was a dominant car. Chevy, Ford and Toyota are very similar. You throw in the Kyle Busch factor and that car is just a little bit better.
Scott Riggs missed the show this week, and he said on Trackside it was the same car they used at California, it's seems like these guys will struggle with races that are away from Charlotte cause they don't have a lot of cars in the shop, how do you think they can make that work better next time?
Randy LaJoie (1:46 PM)
We also heard during the broadcast that Jeff Gordon ran the same car in California. One of the reasons they did this was so that the team owners didn't have to 30 cars per team, they can use 10. Teams have built cars these last few years and each one is a little bit better then the last one. With Scott Riggs, are their cars in the top 15? No, but they can be competitive from 15-43.
How impressed were you with Joey Logano yesterday?
Randy LaJoie (1:47 PM)
I'm a fan of Joey's. He finally got a finish. You look at the average finish of the 20 car last year, it was 12-15 on average. This was the first time this year that that car finished where it should have.
Nathan (Concord, NC) [via mobile]
Randy, who is the most dominate race team in Nascar history, in your opinion?
Randy LaJoie (1:48 PM)
That's a tough call. You go back to Pettys. The Wood Brothers. They would win a lot of their races, with a smaller schedule. You look at Hendrick, the Roush team, Gibbs. It's tough to say who's the best. Every era is different. I think through the years, we've had very dominant race teams with tons of character. You'd think Ganassi, DEI and others haven't had the success that others have.
Nathan (Concord, NC) [via mobile]
Hey Randy, how do you think Roush Fenway will respond after the engine problems faced this past week?
Randy LaJoie (1:50 PM)
Between Roush and Hendricks, they both lost engines the last two weeks. I'm sure they thought they had the engines fixed. As viewers we can't see everything. Are they tearing up the engines coming out of the pits? On restarts? There are a lot of things people can do to hurt these motors and it won't come back to bite you until later in the day.
Randy, what are your thoughts on the 1st and 2nd year drivers? Any of them jump out at you? I like Speed and I think Hornish will surprise some people this year.
Randy LaJoie (1:51 PM)
I don't believe Hornish will last another season. Scott Speed sat on a pole in the Nationwide race. Speed and Logano will be a great battle. The second year guys, sooner or later you have to do something. The time is now for a handful of guys. The owners are saying at the end of the day, show me the trophy, because they're already showing them the money.
What are your thoughts on Jack Roush blaming the car setups for engine woes at Vegas?
Randy LaJoie (1:52 PM)
It could be just a lack of testing. Every year you try to get more power. They're up 10% from where they were last year, but they haven't had any on track testing. The on track testing is on the race tracks at race time. They're messing with lightweight oils. But is that hurting a component? It's always a moving target, there is a lot of moving parts in these engines. They're on gasoline, not alcohol. They're asking these motors to do a lot. But it's not just Ford, it's Chevy and Toyota. They've all run into some trouble this year.
Robert (Miami FL)
How good can Kyle Busch be?
Randy LaJoie (1:53 PM)
Already is. I think his name is going to be splattered on the record book. Not only on the Sprint Cup and Nationwide levels. What he's doing on the short tracks as well. Earnhardt did a lot of racing outside of the Sunday venue.
ray gordon claxton georgia 30417
question to randy lajoie 1.40pm o,k randy who do see winning atlanta SUNDAY
Randy LaJoie (1:54 PM)
Well, everyone I picked this year hasn't done well. I might pick David Reutimann. He came from the back yesterday to the front. That's a momentum track. I might be a Reutimann fan.
devin bachman whitmore lake
do you see davbid ragan geting his frist cup win at his home track this weekend
Randy LaJoie (1:55 PM)
Talking to his dad a couple of weeks ago, it sounds like the gauntlet has been put down and that team and David has to win, either a Nationwide or Sprint cup race. Can he win? Absolutely. That team hasn't won in a couple of years. But at the end of the day, you have to outrun 10 guys that seem to be a little bit better.
Hasn't Mark Martins performance so far in 2009 proven that at 50 years old he is way too old to be competing with young studs like Kyle Busch?
Randy LaJoie (1:57 PM)
Mark who? With all the hype of him going to Hendricks, it's one thing that age doesn't effect you. I think Mark is still one of the talented guys. He still has the hand-eye coordination as anyone. But we haven't seen Mark have a chance to finish these races, because he's had motor troubles.
Do you think that Robby Gordon's excellent 15th place finish yesterday is a sign of better things to come for Robby?
Randy LaJoie (1:58 PM)
Robby and his team have so much to overcome, being a single car team. A 15th place finish for him, not on a road course, he would be elated. When you have these multi car teams, and you have to pierce those teams on the track. If you beat some of them, you have to look at it as a good day.
TJ (Austin, TX)
are you on NASCAR Now today?
Randy LaJoie (1:59 PM)
We're going to be going over the show here in the next hour. I'm sure we'll cover blown engines, pit road mistakes. We're going to look at how good Kyle Busch and the 18 team.
David (Jupiter, FL)
Ok so its only been three weeks into the season but so far Casey Mears has shown absolutely no signs of becoming the "new Casey Mears". Do you think he will ever prove himself or is this just another wasted attempt by a great team in trying to make something out of nothing. As a Clint Bowyer fan I am growing more impatient with Mears.
Randy LaJoie (2:00 PM)
You said it, I didn't. I listen to interviews with Casey and he's thinking this year with Childress will be his breakout year. He's been with Ganassi, Hendricks. Hendricks to RCR is a sidestep and his numbers are the same. I look at the 07 team and see where they are this year versus last year.
Randy LaJoie (2:01 PM)
Thanks to all the race fans. If you can't be in Atlanta, we'll during our shows!
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