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A Defense of Corey LaJoie

by Sean Wrona

Ladies and gents, I present to you the worst driver in NASCAR.... Corey Lajoie!

— Aubrey 🇺🇸 (@Aubrey_2_Hotty) March 24, 2024

I honestly believe that Corey Lajoie should be arrested. This thug cannot be allowed to stay free while he continues to commit acts of domestic terrorism such as this. https://t.co/JxAXYMChTQ

— Brett (@22fan4ever) March 24, 2024

Corey Lajoie wrecks the ‘Cindric Wins Sunday’ vibes early. Might as well just pull a drunk fan out of the crowd and let them wheel the 7 https://t.co/2ci4wELhns

— Clyde (@Jim_Jilin) March 24, 2024

It’s Corey lajoie. Him spinning is pretty normal so we can’t be that mad

— Jarret Hornbaker (@jarrethornbaker) March 24, 2024

Too talented? Have you seen Corey Lajoie today?

— David Lerner (@davidpaullerner) March 24, 2024

Corey Lajoie is a prime example of drivers in the cup series not having cup talent.

Hell, I think he *might* have truck talent.

— Colton Cranmore (@CranmoreColton) March 24, 2024

Did they thoroughly examine his vagina?

— Jay Cooke (@jaycooke83) March 25, 2024

Should've just kept him in there

— Austin Fullerton (@afullerton95) March 24, 2024

It was impacted fecal matter folks

— Sledge Poteet (@265v8t) March 24, 2024

i do not care for the F1 superlicense system but at the same time NASCAR should’ve found a way to keep corey lajoie out of the cup series

— victoria zeller (@dirtbagqueer) March 24, 2024

On a scale from 1 to 10, Corey LaJoie’s self-awareness level is Kanye West.#NASCAR#EchoParkGP https://t.co/x1qR8YmHXH

— Son of a son of a Jeff (@mr4time) March 24, 2024

The fans have spoken! NASCAR fans do not agree on many things. Tradition is good, photo finishes are groovy, and Corey LaJoie is a bad race car driver. After LaJoie blended onto the racetrack after going off-course on the opening lap, wrecking Bubba Wallace and causing Martin Truex, Jr. to lose many positions, the fan base who once considered LaJoie one of the best underdogs and hottest prospects for future NASCAR Cup Series success if he ever got a good ride had completely turned on him and decided that not merely was LaJoie a bad driver and always had been, but that he was the worst driver in the field, completely unqualified to drive in the NASCAR Cup Series, indistinguishable from a drunk fan in driving talent, and legitimately comparable to a Nazi sympathizer. Yeah, sure, a lot of these comments were jokes but none of them basically got any pushback whatsoever. To defend Corey LaJoie right now is to set yourself up for a mass flame war, but I find the reactions to him this weekend to be such a wildly over-the-top overreaction that I'm going to do it anyway. I think Corey LaJoie does have talent and now that he seems to be regularly treated by the NASCAR fan public like he's the equivalent of Brent Sherman or Kevin Conway, I think it's time for an alternative perspective.

The first thing I will admit is that LaJoie does not help himself. In addition for his unwillingness to take the blame for a wreck he obviously caused, I think a large part of the resentment stems from the fact that he hosts a popular podcast Stacking Pennies that is regularly uploaded to NASCAR's YouTube channel and a lot of fans think because of his poor results that he has not earned the right to have such a large media profile. The haters likely view him as a pampered rich kid who had everything handed to him and the racing equivalent of an "industry plant" who the media is trying to make happen. Sure, he probably wouldn't have a career if he hadn't been related to a past driver, but he's not the only driver one could say that about. Would Chris Buescher be in the Cup Series right now if his cousin James hadn't paved the way with his truck title? I am not entirely sure. Is he a pampered rich kid? Yes. But they're ALL pampered rich kids! In an era where social mobility is becoming a thing of the past because neoliberalism has made it significantly harder for working class people to break through into the elite classes, you pretty much cannot make it in international racing anymore unless you have a lot of money to start with. It was always very difficult, but even more so in the years since the Great Recession. I'm not sure I can even think of a driver since the Jimmie Johnson/Tony Kanaan era who was genuinely working class who broke through in major league American racing. It's all rich kids competing against rich kids everywhere, because the poor kids will be filtered out before they reach that level, just like what has happened in the entertainment industry, the arts, and journalism. These fields are not lucrative for most people so the number of people who can dedicate sufficient time and money to harness their craft to reach such an elite level are the people who have resources to begin with. As much as many fans might get frustrated by the ascent of someone like Ty Gibbs, he has legitimately become a top driver in part because of all the resources that were poured into him. Could other drivers have had a similar ascent if they had those kind of resources? Probably. Does that take away from what Gibbs has done? Absolutely not (even though I don't personally like him). So don't call LaJoie out just for being a rich kid or a nepotism driver. Is he a talented rich kid/nepotism driver or a bad one? That is the question.

Most people have decided he's a bad nepotism driver, and it's not hard to see why. One thing I will agree with the haters about is that his ego does seem to be greater than his talent. He shoots his mouth off a lot and because he does not generally have cars strong enough to compete, people see him as a guy who's writing checks that his butt can't cash. As a rather self-loathing and extremely unconfident person, I can't really relate to LaJoie's braggadocio and pompous attitude, but I am not a professional race car driver. I do understand that a certain degree of confidence and cockiness is necessary to achieve peak performance. If you don't believe you can do well, that lack of confidence can often manifest itself in poor performance. Do drivers like LaJoie overcompensate sometimes and act insufferably cocky sometimes to the point of being harder to like? Sure. It can be hilarious listening to post-race interviews of drivers in 20th-30th place cars who crashed out talking about how they probably would have fought for the win otherwise. Maybe applying to be Jimmie Johnson's replacement in the #48 car was too egotistical, but I have to imagine every active Cup Series driver not under contract took a shot at it, and it's not like Hendrick didn't sign Alex Bowman who had a similar kind of trajectory to LaJoie prior to that point. He was probably wrong to assume that he'd be as good as Denny Hamlin in top equipment, although it was funny that he did manage to beat Hamlin in the Martinsville race at arguably his best track after he was talking trash. But his attitude may still be necessary to elevate and motivate himself especially when driving an uncompetitive car. He might need to be a pompous blowhard to overachieve in a car like that, and yes, he has overachieved. In all the hubbub of how LaJoie is a total incompetent who shouldn't even qualify for a NASCAR superlicense, am I the only one to notice that this same weekend he qualified 5th at COTA, giving Spire Motorsports its best qualifying run in history? Does that not matter at all?

Apparently it does not. A lot of fans seem to measure talent based on which drivers make the fewest mistakes, not who has the best performances, particularly if you're in a slow car. I can understand this from the team owner's perspective. If you're not going to win races anyway and you don't have much ambition to be better and you value just being there more than you value being competitive, it makes sense to hire a mediocre to bad conservative driver who doesn't take risks but also stays out of trouble to avoid the costs of crash damage. This is how drivers like J.J. Yeley, David Ragan, Casey Mears, and on the lower level drivers like Josh Bilicki have had such longevity. These guys are plodding and methodical and they'll save teams money by not crashing even though they don't actually do anything in the races, so they stay out of trouble, don't mess things up for the faster cars, and they are probably evaluated by most fans as better than a driver like LaJoie. To most fans, it seems like the drivers in backmarker cars should be seen and not heard. But Spire Motorsports in general and LaJoie in particular seem decidedly more ambitious. They clearly want to improve their operation and go for wins and are pushing above their weight and taking wild chances to maximize their results in their best races. And why shouldn't they? NASCAR through its win-and-in playoff format clearly rewards winning much more and consistency somewhat less than in all their previous championship formats. I realize most fans don't like the gimmickiness of this sort of playoff format, particularly those like me who became fans before the Chase was introduced. I'd still prefer a full-season championship format (with more points awarded to the top finishers and fewer points awarded to the finishers in the bottom half of the field than in the original so-called classic Latford points system), but people still seem to think on Latford terms as if this was the proper points system that God decreed so drivers should be evaluated based on who maximizes their average finish the most rather than who actually delivers the strongest performances. Mark Martin had the best average finish in the Cup Series three times (1990, 1997, and 2002) but did he actually outperform the respective champions Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and Tony Stewart in those years? Hahaha no. (And I'd take his 1993, 1998, and possibly 1995 over any of those seasons personally even though he did not lead the series in average finish in any of those.) Simon Pagenaud was maybe the least crash-prone driver in IndyCar history but was he even the best road racer of his generation, let alone best driver overall? (No.) Many people dispute that Kyle Larson is currently the best driver in the Cup series because he crashes too much, but if you're going to have a playoff format that incentivizes winning and dominance through stage points over raw consistency, he's just properly adjusting for that format. In the long run, people remember what a driver does in their best races more than what a driver does in their worst. Drivers gain more from over-the-top good performances in my opinion than they lose from over-the-top bad ones.

But you may object that LaJoie hasn't had the good performances to justify him crashing too much. That I would say is false. LaJoie has been performing strongly for years given the context of the cars he has. He's been rated as an above-average driver in my teammate model since I created it in 2021 and he has risen every year since. At last update, I had him rated at .095, which indicates that he would be expected to beat an average driver at the NASCAR Cup Series level 59.5% of the time, and his rating was essentially tied with Chris Buescher and Ross Chastain, two drivers who are conventionally much more highly-rated. You can quibble about the flaws of my model and I admit that the recent Penske drivers and Tyler Reddick are rated far too low, but I don't think my rating for LaJoie is spurious. Might I remind you that my model was consistently rating drivers like Buescher and Chastain highly even before they had their Cup Series breakouts once they finally had cars fast enough to win in recent years? Not to mention that my open wheel model also had Marcus Ericsson as an above-average driver before he had ever won a single IndyCar race and it also had Mitch Evans as the highest-rated Formula E driver the entire time even though he only had two wins at that point (shortly before he won the most races in back-to-back seasons in 2022 and 2023). My models have been successfully predictive of the future for the most part and I suspect that on that basis, LaJoie would be winning if he had the cars to win. Is he likely a little overrated by my model? Sure. He has had the good fortune that a lot of his Cup Series teammates were vastly inexperienced compared to him and my model removes DNFs, which probably in and of itself overrates drivers like LaJoie who crash too much. But I don't think it's that far out of line. In 2021, LaJoie beat Justin Haley 12-6 in the races both of them finished. In 2022, he beat both Landon Cassill and Josh Bilicki by a 9-1 margin. In 2023, he beat Ty Dillon 22-7. We can actually make some direct comparisons here since in the cases of Haley and Cassill, LaJoie was not their only teammate those years. In the Xfinity Series, A.J. Allmendinger happened to be teammates to both Haley and Cassill those same years, and he beat them by smaller margins both years, beating Haley 17-9 in Xfinity in 2021 and Cassill 21-6 in 2022. By those teammate head-to-heads, you can make a legitimate case that LaJoie was better than Allmendinger and nobody would say he's a bad driver (indeed, he has also consistently been above average and rising in my model but LaJoie has been consistently higher). Most people would argue on behalf of Allmendinger because he has wins and LaJoie doesn't, but do you really know that LaJoie would not have wins if he had the cars capable of them?

What about Gateway, you may ask? It seems most people agreed with me that LaJoie was a driver with potential prior to last year's Gateway Cup race where he finally got his first chance in top-caliber equipment when he filled in after Chase Elliott was suspended. However, he only finished 21st in the race and many people felt he blew his one good opportunity in good equipment and that as a result, he never deserves to have another such opportunity again. First off, Elliott himself finished in the exact same position in the previous year's Gateway race in 2022 as that is a track where the Hendrick cars tend to struggle. I do think Elliott had the stronger run as he had a driver rating of 60.9 in 2022 to LaJoie's 47.0, but let's not forget that Elliott was arguably the best driver that year and particularly that summer and that was one of his worst runs of the season almost immediately before his power run when he had five consecutive top two finishes. LaJoie should not be expected to do as well as Elliott in 2022 to begin with, so that isn't necessarily something to criticize. Furthermore, the #9 car in 2023 was significantly slower than it was in 2022, no matter who was driving it. Elliott failed to make the playoffs for the first time in his career and since the start of 2023, he's consistently been running worse than arguably he ever has before. Plenty of other drivers drove the #9 car and they underachieved too. Jordan Taylor qualified well in the #9 car at COTA much like LaJoie did this year and also plummeted to the back because he struggled on restarts. Sure, LaJoie has vastly more experience in stock cars than Taylor who was making his debut, but Taylor has vastly more experience on road courses and nobody would argue LaJoie is as good as Taylor there, but neither would they say that Spire is as good as Hendrick. Josh Berry also drove the #9 car and despite his second at Richmond, he was also slower than you might expect, particularly at the spring Las Vegas race where the three Hendrick regulars swept the top three positions and also ranked top three in speed while Berry finished 29th and ranked 27th in speed, much worse than LaJoie himself did in the #9 car yet Berry was apparently considered good enough to replace Kevin Harvick in the #4 car, although I found that and still find that rather dubious. Something is obviously up with the #9 car as it seems like basically everyone including Elliott himself is underachieving in it now and I think it has more to do with Alan Gustafson not knowing how to set up the NextGen car than it does with what any of the drivers are doing. Also, the sample size of what he has been doing overall for years matters more than underachieving in one race, and despite that Gateway race, LaJoie still went up in my model last year.

But Carson Hocevar outperformed him on his debut in his own car! I'm not denying that, and that does really look bad on the surface, but I think it's more that people were really underestimating Hocevar than that they were overestimating LaJoie. Hocevar was clearly without question the best minor-league NASCAR driver last year even though he lost out on the Craftsman Truck Series title due to his stupid feud with the similarly-initialed Corey Heim. Hocevar was pretty much already matching Ross Chastain blow-for-blow both in terms of consistency and in dominance in their mutual truck starts and he was actually the highest-rated driver overall in my model last year counting both his truck and his Cup starts. He swept Bayley Currey in his truck starts and Currey isn't terrible. He was way faster than Shane van Gisbergen at IRP even after the latter had already won in Cup with Hocevar finishing 4th and SVG 19th and he got lapped more than once in the race. Hocevar debuted in my model with a rating of .120, which is extremely high for a driver that young and he does indeed enter my model with a higher rating than LaJoie. I agree he is ultimately going to be the better driver: he probably has championship potential and LaJoie probably does not. But not being as good as Hocevar doesn't mean he's bad, and has LaJoie been worse than Hocevar this year so far? It's definitely debatable. My model projected that LaJoie would beat Hocevar 47.5% of the time and Zane Smith 72.0% of the time. At this moment, LaJoie has a 2-2 record vs. Hocevar and a 2-1 record vs. Smith in shared finishes, so that pretty much seems to be on target, right? Furthermore, LaJoie is leading both of his rookie teammates in points as LaJoie is 23rd, Hocevar is 25th, and Smith is 35th and he has given the team its only top ten and its best ever start. Hocevar has been slightly faster with a speed percentile of 41.97 to LaJoie's 40.60, while Smith sits in the doldrums at 19.01 right now. In Ryan McCafferty's model, he has LaJoie and Hocevar pretty much tied in 22nd and 23rd respectively. Clearly LaJoie and Hocevar have basically been equals while both of them have been way better than Smith. But it is not at all clear whether LaJoie or Hocevar has been better so far and in truth, they've run about the same, which is exactly what I expected based on my model. Obviously the fact that a veteran like LaJoie is running about the same as a 21-year-old rookie like Hocevar means Hocevar will be better in the long run, but Hocevar outperforming him at times is not enough evidence to argue that LaJoie is bad. Both LaJoie and Hocevar are right now giving Spire its best speed percentiles in team history and LaJoie had his best career average running position (a 13th) at Las Vegas. Everyone has been praising Justin Haley (a driver LaJoie utterly dominated before) for posting the Rick Ware team's best career ARPs in recent weeks, even though one of those was cheated. Why won't people do the same for LaJoie?

Now let's talk about the elephant in the room. I think the main reason for the LaJoie backlash besides his overexposure is his politics although most people won't admit it (I suspect this is part of why that one guy erroneously decided it would be a good idea to compare him to Kanye). Racism is the one unforgivable sin on the Platform Formerly Known as Twitter and the loudest contingent of liberals on social media platforms want to see anyone who has ever said anything racist to suffer for the rest of time. People on Twitter will forgive many things, but racism seems to be one of the main exceptions. I'm aware he joked about the Transportation Security Administration discriminating against people who wear turbans and I don't condone that or approve of it. Then in 2020, he famously drove a Trump 2020 car, although many observers thought he didn't approve of that and even left GoFas Racing for that reason. It seems the Trump sponsorship is something Archie St. Hilaire forced upon him more than something he actually wanted himself. But LaJoie did not make a public Trump endorsement, while a lot of other drivers did, and most of them didn't get the same kind of backlash. So too did many retired drivers: Richard Petty, Mark Martin, and Ernie Irvan all publicly endorsed Trump and few people seemed to care because I guess it wasn't as bad a symbol as a Trump-sponsored car was or because those three drivers were all retired.

But I've been around the block for quite a few years now since I've been a fan since the '90s. Even if LaJoie was a Trump supporter (and there doesn't seem to be sufficient proof of that), if you think he was the only one, you've got another think coming. I remember at the time in 2004 that nine of the ten inaugural Chasers publicly endorsed George W. Bush (all except Jeff Gordon). In my early years as a fan, NASCAR fans, drivers, and the industry at large looked down upon all liberals and there was significant peer pressure to not be one. At the time, I was a liberal and I was against the Iraq War at a time not many people were. NASCAR really rode the neocon bandwagon hard especially in the 2000s and hitched itself to Bush's wagon in a major way back then. In Bush's first term, especially after 9/11 he had sky-high approval ratings so courting this audience that was already adjacent to the established NASCAR base led to skyrocketing popularity and helped result in NASCAR getting its highest ratings ever in the mid-2000s, but when Bush's popularity collapsed, I am convinced that is one of the factors that led to NASCAR's decline and not one that people talk about a lot. In the '90s, NASCAR broadcasts (especially those of CBS and ESPN) pandered to everyone and wanted the largest possible audience for themselves while in the 2000s, if you didn't buy the neocon dogma hook, like, and sinker NASCAR didn't want you as a fan. It was very similar to the trajectory that country music (which was always kind of intertwined with NASCAR) made at the same time. Garth Brooks and Shania Twain pandered to everyone while Toby Keith pandered to one singular demographic only. I actually got so annoyed by the increasingly bombastic pre-race military displays prior to every NASCAR race gearing us up to bomb the Middle East to smithereens that that was one of the factors that led me to stop watching racing entirely in 2003 and 2004, especially as I was going off to Cornell at that time and I knew being an open NASCAR fan would be a liability there. Then, after I became a complete and total social reject in college likely due to my undiagnosed autism, I kind of rebelled by getting back into it.

Having said all that, the extent to which NASCAR fan demographics have shifted kind of baffles me. Because I grew up at a time when NASCAR fans were pretty much expected to be conservative Republicans and many of my millennial peers who didn't like those politics checked out for that reason, it seems NASCAR is making a comeback right now with a bunch of zoomer fans who are extremely liberal or leftist, many of whom seem somewhat unaware of that earlier baggage. Twenty years ago, you'd be looked down upon in online NASCAR circles if you were too liberal and now you're looked down upon if you're too conservative and it kind of shocks me that ever happened because for most of my youth NASCAR was seen as one of the pillars of American conservatism. Admitting to being a Trump supporter is now a liability online and also in the corporate world in a way admitting to be a Bush supporter wasn't twenty years ago (even though you could make the case and many people have that Bush was a worse president than Trump), but even though the fan base has largely changed and rejected conservatism, I'm not at all convinced the NASCAR industry itself has. I bet the majority of NASCAR drivers are still Trump voters, but you lose income by endorsing him now in a way you didn't lose income by endorsing Bush twenty years ago, so the current drivers keep their mouths shut (the drivers who no longer have to seek sponsorship often endorse(d) Trump). I suspect there are probably more racist drivers than we think too but now that racism is a liability to sponsors, you'll hear much less about it than you might have in the past. Do I think LaJoie is one of them? It depends on whether you think people can change. The Twitter attitude seems to be "once a racist, a racist forever" so it seems to me a lot of people are secretly unwilling to forgive LaJoie and are using any mistakes he makes to argue that he was never good anyway to try to run him off (even if it's unclear whether his views have changed from ten years ago or even if he supported Trump at all), much in the same way the same people want to make an effort to prove somebody's artwork that they previously liked was bad anyway once they were revealed later to become a bigot. If you want to not like him because of his past bigotry, be my guest. I don't like him that much myself to be honest. But arguing he's a bad driver on that basis is wrong.

A lot of people have been comparing LaJoie to Conor Daly in that both of them have had large media profiles despite arguably not having the results to back it up and Daly got widely criticized a few days ago for arguing that nobody who wanted to watch last Sunday's Thermal Club debacle was a "real fan". The difference is that Daly is a mediocre driver and I think LaJoie is something more than that, although I will admit he makes it hard to defend him because his ego is admittedly greater than his talent. It reminds me of the gone-but-not-forgotten racing-reference comments section (I used to post as Sean) where for a while in the late 2000s, many of the hardest-core posters there were trying to legitimately argue that Michael Waltrip was one of the worst drivers in NASCAR history simply because he was arguably the worst driver with the number of starts that he had. People were tired of his overexposure relative to his talent and that always leads to backlash. People in those days were even legitimately comparing Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to Casey Mears because admittedly Junior was in his 2009-2010 slump and people didn't really have the same understanding about the effects of concussions that they do today. People erroneously called Junior one of the most overrated drivers of all-time because he was the most famous driver of his era but was not the best driver of his era, and obviously this is even worse for drivers who also had media profiles like Waltrip and LaJoie that were greater than their results might indicate but didn't have Junior's record. But when you think of all the drivers in NASCAR history: the Eddie Bierschwales and Spencer Boyds and Brent Shermans and Kevin Conways and Quin Houffs and Gary Bradberrys and Billy Standridges and the like, for anyone to try to argue that an above average driver like LaJoie is one of the worst drivers in NASCAR history is quite frankly ridiculous.

Corey LaJoie isn't the Conor Daly of NASCAR. He is the Santino Ferrucci of NASCAR: a slightly above average driver in usually far-below average equipment who nobody wants to admit is a slightly above average driver because of their ego, past racism (although personally I do not think LaJoie's insensitive joke is on the same level as what Ferrucci did even though both were wrong), and greater exposure than a lot of fans think they have justifiably earned. Personally, I find LaJoie's personality much less loathsome than Ferrucci's although neither of them really help themselves, but they both on talent probably deserve better cars than they have. However, they are simultaneously probably also viewed as toxic to sponsors based on their past controversies, so I can understand why they haven't gotten those opportunities, but it isn't because of lack of talent. Neither of them obviously is the kind of transcendent talent that Kyle Larson is, who managed to overcome his gamer moment and bounced back into a top-tier Cup ride, but they do probably rank highly amongst the best drivers to never win a NASCAR Cup and IndyCar race at this point. I think if LaJoie had playoff-caliber cars (which I imagine at this point he's never going to get) he would be pretty indistinguishable from the likes of Chris Buescher, Alex Bowman, and Erik Jones. Some years one will be better than the others depending on who's a sigma above their usual performance and who's a sigma below. In 2020 and 2021, Bowman was the best, in 2022, Jones was, and in 2023 and this year, Buescher was. But I think all these drivers are roughly comparable even if LaJoie may never get the opportunity to prove it. Even though LaJoie is close to Ross Chastain in my model, I do not think he is close to Chastain: Chastain is clearly better. LaJoie does have the fastest cars he's ever had right now and he is on pace for his best speed percentile ever. As I said, he's also had the race with his best average running position and best start this year already.

So he caused a stupid road course wreck. Despite his qualifying run at COTA, I definitely would say road courses are one of his weaknesses, so this doesn't come as a surprise, although nobody cared that Christopher Bell sort of bulldozed through the field to a certain extent in the same race because he had a fast enough car to make it back to second. For a driver like LaJoie who has not often had opportunities to run up front, it makes sense that he would wildly overdrive when he finally has fast cars, and we've seen this before. Ernie Irvan was considered a menace because he wildly overdrove in his early Morgan-McClure years and people said similar stuff about him. After he caused the Big One in the 1991 Winston 500 (a wreck which broke Kyle Petty's leg), Felix Sabates said, "The biggest problem with Ernie Irvan is he's got a lot better equipment than he is a driver... Ray Charles could see that he caused both of those accidents." I think Irvan proved Sabates wrong, much like how the very similar Ross Chastain discourse seems to have cooled down recently, especially after his season-ending win at Phoenix last year. Now LaJoie is the current whipping boy. Do I think he'll ever be as good as Irvan or Chastain? No, but I do see something of a parallel here. When we get to the stretch of traditional intermediate tracks later this season and LaJoie likely stops overdriving as much and starts delivering many of the best runs of his career as I fully expect, some people are going to look really silly.

Sean Wrona is the Managing Editor of racermetrics.com, the Webmaster of race-database.com, and the winner of the 2010 Ultimate Typing Championship at the SXSW Interactive Conference in Austin. He earned a master's in applied statistics from Cornell University in 2008 and previously digitized several seasons of NBA box scores on basketball-reference.com. He released his first book, Nerds Per Minute: A History of Competitive Typing, in 2021. You may contact him at sean.wrona@gmail.com.