Corey LaJoie admitted just seconds into his interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that he shouldn’t be doing it. But he did it anyway. In the six-minute interview, the NASCAR Cup Series driver addressed why he’s in COVID protocols and will miss this weekend’s race at Michigan, where he got exposed to it, and how, despite being “plenty healthy,” he wishes there was some way he could prove to officials that he’s not carrying the disease and do his job.
Corey LaJoie goes off in interview about missing Cup race at Michigan
Just hours after Corey LaJoie was ruled out from racing this weekend’s Cup Series race at Michigan due to NASCAR’s COVID protocols, the driver visited with Dave Moody on SiriusXM Radio to talk about his situation. After Moody said he had explained to his audience how LaJoie didn’t necessarily test positive but was around someone else who had, the driver took the mic.
“I feel like you have the risk of exposure anytime you walk out your door but I’m not going to be scared to stay in my house all of the time,” LaJoie said. “Against everybody’s better judgment, and including myself, I probably shouldn’t be on here. I also wanted to address it a little bit to lay it out.
“It came from when we were doing the podcast on Monday afternoon. One of the people that was in the studio he tested a couple of days later, he was positive and contact tracing, regardless of if I had symptoms or a negative test, it’s an automatic seven-day quarantine which, is frustrating. It stinks and it sucks and it stinks because I feel like we had a pretty good car prepared.”
“I’m not a scientist. I’m not a politician. I’m a race car driver. I was in unfortunate circumstances, and I don’t get to do my job this weekend. Do I agree with? I wish I had the opportunity to prove that I’m not carrying, I’m not transmitting, or whatever, but I don’t even get the opportunity to do that for what we’re working with. That’s what really has me irritated because I want to be behind the wheel of that 7 car regardless. On the other hand, I know NASCAR’s doing what they got to do, and they don’t show bias.”
Corey LaJoie’s unvaccinated status is why he’s out of race
While LaJoie never acknowledged that he wasn’t vaccinated during the interview, his explanation of how long he’s out of action answered that question for him. According to Fox’s Bob Pockrass, NASCAR’s policy is the same as CDC guidelines.
Those who are not vaccinated and in close contact with someone who tests positive are required to quarantine for at least seven days and then can return if they have a negative test and no symptoms. Those who are vaccinated are not required to quarantine but must get tested 3-5 days after exposure.
“It’s the kind of world we live in,” LaJoie said. “Do I agree with it all the time? Probably not, but I feel like NASCAR from start to finish were the first professional sport to get back on the race track. We all know how it went last year, how NASCAR continues to navigate this topic of COVID.”
Josh Berry serving as replacement
Josh Berry has had a pretty amazing week. On Monday, JR Motorsports announced that the 30-year-old driver would be driving a full-time Xfinity Series schedule in 2022. On Thursday, Spire Motorsports announced that Berry would serve as LaJoie’s replacement in Michigan.
Interestingly, this isn’t unfamiliar territory for Berry or Spire Motorsports. The short track specialist made his Cup Series debut in May at Dover, where he substituted for another Spire driver, Justin Haley, who was out due to COVID protocols.
While he’s out, LaJoie said he plans on spending some time with his family. The affable driver also admitted it will be tough to watch Berry drive his car on Sunday.
“Anytime you see somebody else, we’re going to see Josh Berry dancing with my chick on the dance floor on Sunday, which always stings a little bit,” he said.
If things go as planned, LaJoie could return to action at Daytona next Sunday. He’ll be happy to return at that specific track because that’s where he got his best finish of the season, a ninth spot in the season-opening Daytona 500.