One of Nascar’s most-anticipated moves finally happened today, as Hendrick Motorsports announced that Alex Bowman, who first ran in the Nascar Cup Series with BK Racing, would be taking over the #88 car currently driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2018. Current BK Racing driver Corey Lajoie, meanwhile, has begun preparations to drive the HMS #5 car in 2019.
|"All my years of waiting finally pays off"|
“First off, congratulations to Alex—he’s a heck of a guy and a darn good driver”, Lajoie said in a hastily-organized press conference outside his house. “Its great to see that Nascar teams such as Hendrick Motorsports are recognizing smaller teams like BK Racing as ‘launching pads’ for young Cup Series talent. With that being said, I am fully anticipating getting The Call to drive the 5 car in 2019.”
The #5 Hendrick car has been the subject of much speculation, fueled by a lack of performance by current driver Kasey Kahne and an unsteady sponsorship situation for 2018. This has caused many to wonder if Kahne would be replaced at the end of his current contract (at the conclusion of the 2018 season), if not sooner. Lajoie has said that he will gladly take over the ride when asked to.
“They say that luck is when anticipation meets preparation—well, I’m anticipating, and I’m prepared”, Lajoie said. “Wether its tomorrow, later this year, sometime in 2018, or at 2019 Speedweeks, I’m ready, willing, and able to step into the driver’s seat at HMS. I know I have some pretty big shoes to fill, but I’m ready to deal with the pressure that comes with driving the former car of Casey Mears.”
Lajoie has had a journeyman’s career so far, bouncing between the major touring series in mostly underfunded rides. However, he seemed to believe that such experience has prepared him for one of the most-coveted spots in the Cup Series garage.
“Nobody knows more than I do the difficulties of racing in the Cup Series”, said Lajoie. “I think I can help provide a unique perspective to the HMS crew, like how you can save money by getting your crew’s sandwich bread at the outlet store. And I won’t have to be issued a team smartphone—I’m not allowed to have mobile internet access since ‘The Incident’”.
Lajoie then ended the press conference by walking back into his house, sitting by his phone, and staring.