NORWALK, Conn. -- Happy birthday to Norwalk’s Randall LaJoie!
LaJoie, who has owned a home in Norwalk, turns 53 on Thursday. The driver in the NASCAR Busch Series was born Aug. 28, 1961, in Norwalk.
LaJoie started racing go-karts when he was 12 years old. In 1980, he began racing in full-bodied racecars. He was the 1981 track champion in the Sportsmen division at the Danbury Fair Racearena. He moved on to the Waterford Speedbowl, where he won Modified Rookie of the Year honors in 1982.
In 1983, he moved to the NASCAR North Tour, and he was the series Rookie of the Year. That season, LaJoie made his first attempt at making the Daytona 500, but did not qualify.
LaJoie made his NASCAR Winston Cup debut in 1985 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Driving the #07 Snellman Construction Chevrolet owned by Bob Johnson, he started 16th and finished 14th.
In 1995, LaJoie was called up to Cup again, driving the #22 MBNA Pontiac Grand Prix for Bill Davis Racing.
He signed to drive the #1 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for James Finch in 1999,
He had 14 Top 10 finishes in 2002 and moved up one spot in the points.
In the Cup Series, he had a 43rd place finish for Hover Motorsports at Richmond, and also ran two races in the #98 Ford Taurus for Mach 1 Racing, his best finish 36th.
In addition to his racing seat business, LaJoie was also a part-time co-host of "The Driver's Seat" with John Kernan on Sirius Satellite Radio's NASCAR Channel 128. He also did television commentary for the ORP and Montreal Busch Series races.