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Son of former champ to make Nationwide debut

NASCAR.com

Richard Petty Motorsports development driver Corey LaJoie will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut this weekend when the 22-year-old attempts to qualify for Saturday's Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

RPM officials announced LaJoie, son of two-time Nationwide Series champion Randy LaJoie, will drive the No. 9 Victory Junction Ford with crew chief Mike Shiplett overseeing the effort. Shiplett is currently car chief of the No. 9 Sprint Cup team and driver Marcos Ambrose.

The organization's No. 43 Cup pit crew will handle race-day duties on pit road.

LaJoie is a five-time winner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East division. He has made only two starts in the series this year, however.

"I feel like I've been ready for this for a couple of years, but finally everything is falling into place," LaJoie said.

"I haven't been to Homestead, but it's a fast mile-and-a-half track like Kansas or Chicago. I know the competition will be tougher too. ? I'll be able to lean on my RPM teammates, on the Nationwide and Cup level. I'm going to soak it all in."

RPM currently fields one full-time entry in the Nationwide Series for driver Michael Annett, as well as Cup entries for Ambrose and teammate Aric Almirola.

"Everyone knows what the (Victory Junction) camp means to the Petty family," LaJoie said. "It's an honor for me to be supporting this special place this weekend."

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