Gray Gaulding, Corey LaJoie to run for BK Racing in 2017

Joe Robbins/NASCAR/NASCAR via Getty Images

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

With the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season approaching, BK Racing (BKR) has begun to solidify their driver lineup.

BKR confirmed on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, that former NASCAR Next members Gray Gaulding (2013-14) and Corey LaJoie (2012) will compete for the organization in 2017.

Gaulding will compete in the team’s No. 23 Toyota for multiple races beginning at Atlanta Motor Speedway. LaJoie will drive the No. 83 for multiple races beginning with the season-opening Daytona 500.

Gaulding, 18, made his Cup Series debut in 2016, competing in two races for The Motorsports Group with a best finish of 37th at Phoenix International Raceway. The Colonial Heights, Va., native’s sponsors will be announced at a later date.

“When I first walked into the BK Racing shop I felt at home, it has the perfect mixture of corporate America and the old-school race shop feeling” Gaulding said in a release. “Everyone was elbows deep preparing for Daytona, Atlanta, Las Vegas and the entire season. Ron Devine has invested a lot of time, effort, and equity into BK Racing and it shows as you walk the shop floor. To be back with Toyota is great, I’ve kept a great relationship with them and they’re a great technical partner. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel and represent everyone at BK Racing and our partners that allow us to be at the track.”

LaJoie, son of two-time XFINITY Series champion Randy LaJoie, comes to BKR with a resume that includes victories in the K&N Pro Series East, Whelen Southern Modified Tour and ARCA Racing Series. The 25-year-old, whose Cup Series debut came in 2014, most recently made 10 Xfinity Starts in 2016, earning two top 10s for JGL Racing.

LaJoie will compete with sponsorship from Dustless Blasting in the Daytona 500.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to have the chance to race on Sundays with BK Racing,” LaJoie said. “For Ron Devine to take a chance on a hungry kid means the world. I’m going to work hard to be the best driver I can be and get the No. 83 Dustless Blasting Toyota a great finish at Daytona.”

The two announcements fill one of the final vacancies left in the Cup Series paddock. BK Racing’s former drivers, Matt DiBenedetto and David Ragan, have moved to Go FAS Racing and Front Row Motorsports, respectively, since the end of the 2016 season.

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