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Pala Casino - Phoenix II

by GFR     on     Thursday, 05-Nov-2020

Events: Season Finale 500k 

Venue: Phoenix Raceway (Avondale, Arizona)

Date/Broadcast: Sunday, November 8 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC

Come Sunday, the 312-mile season finale at Phoenix Raceway will be a big, and likely emotional, day for many reasons. Not only will a 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion be determined, but Go Fas Racing will make its final start as a full-time team at NASCAR's premier level with its No. 32 entry. 

Team owner Archie St. Hilaire announced on October 22 his plans to scale back operations and compete on a part-time basis going forward in 2021, following seven seasons of full-time competition. 

"It definitely has been great working with Ford and all of our great marketing partners over the last 10 years and we look forward to continuing with them on a smaller scale going forward," said St. Hilaire. 

Since joining the ranks for its first full-time campaign in 2014, a multitude of drivers have etched their name in the GFR history books by piloting the No. 32 for the single-car, Mooresville, NC-based organization. That includes the likes of past champions like the Labonte brothers and some of the sport's most notable names. 

In 2016, Jeffrey Earnhardt primarily drove for the team, competing in 19 of the 36 races on the schedule, while six other drivers filled the remaining races. For the 2017 season, Matt DiBenedetto was tabbed as the first full-time driver of the No. 32 for GFR, and remained in the seat for the ensuing year. 

For the next two years in 2019 and 2020, the organization signed Corey LaJoie to wheel its Ford Mustang. The North Carolina native recorded the team's best-ever finish last year in July at Daytona by placing sixth. 

Despite some of the unexpected twists and turns presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic this year, LaJoie and his team have remained focused on putting together a strong 2020 campaign. And with Sunday's race marking the final race for LaJoie with GFR, the grouping has their sights set on finishing the season on a high note with the Pala Casino Spa & Resort Ford. 

Pala Casino Spa & Resort includes a Las Vegas-style casino with 2,000+ slot machines, 84 table games, eight poker tables and a 15,000-square-foot smoke-free casino area; a 507-room hotel; five swimming pools with two hot tubs and 14 luxury cabanas; a 10,000-square-foot, full-service spa and salon that features 17 treatment rooms, two cabanas and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

Pala Casino Spa & Resort also offers 10 restaurants and 40,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. Pala Casino Spa & Resort is an AAA Four-Diamond Award winner for 15 consecutive years.

LaJoie previously drove the Pala colors in the third race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in early March. 

So while GFR embarks on its closing race Sunday at Phoenix as a full-time team, the St. Hilaire family is already looking forward to returning in 2021 and adding a new chapter to the GFR history book as a part-time team. 

Tune in to the 36th and final race of the 2020 NCS season on Sunday, November 8, at 3 p.m. ET, live on NBC and MRN Radio.

LaJoie on the upcoming race:

"This year has really flown by. It's been great working with the Go Fas group over the last two years and we were able to do some really cool things together. We're going to do our best to wrap this season up with a great finish for everyone and finish off GFR's last full season in a strong way. We've got Pala Casino on board for another race and we were able to spend some time with them at their resort earlier this year. It's a phenomenal facility and I hope everyone looks at staying there when things calm down from Covid. We've been really fortunate to work with some great partners like Pala in our few years together and I'm really thankful for all of them. I'm really excited for this weekend and to see what the future brings for both myself and GFR."

LaJoie's Cup history at Phoenix Raceway:
Starts: 6
Best Finish: 26th (2019)
Average Start: 30th
Average Finish: 32.3

Looking back on the Xfinity 500:
Corey LaJoie started in the 26th position in the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway, after the lineup was set based on NASCAR's mathematical formula. LaJoie battled to 23rd in the opening 20 laps. LaJoie was thrown a penalty for speeding on the first stop, but quickly recovered as he reached 21st by lap 87. The No. 32 team continued to show muscle as the Keen Parts Ford finished stage one in the 17th position and headed to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. 

Under caution on lap 185, the North Carolina native radioed to crew chief Ryan Sparks that he was tighter than he was on previous runs. He pitted for a routine stop, as well as a track-bar adjustment. He returned to the pit stall under caution with just over 40 to go in stage two for a larger air pressure adjustment to go with a fresh set of tires and fuel and restarted 24th. With a fast CorvetteParts.net Ford, LaJoie charged to 18th when the green-and-white checkered flag waved to end stage two. 

Following a trip down pit road for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment, LaJoie took the green for the start of the final stage at "The Paperclip." Continuing his strong run, LaJoie was contesting in 15th with 200 laps to go. A caution on lap 400 allowed LaJoie to pit for service and a track-bar adjustment after relaying that the car needed to be freed up. Out of fresh tires at the next caution, Sparks opted to keep LaJoie on track. WIth the call, LaJoie lined up as the race leader for the restart. After suffering a restart violation, LaJoie cycled into 24th, one lap down. Over the remainder of the 500-lap event, the 28-year-old crossed the finish line in 25th, netting the team's 18th top-25 finish of the season.

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About Our Team

About Pala Casino: 
Pala Casino Spa & Resort includes a Las Vegas-style casino with 2,000+ slot machines, 84 table games, eight poker tables and a 15,000-square-foot smoke-free casino area; a 507-room hotel; five swimming pools with two hot tubs and 14 luxury cabanas; a 10,000-square-foot, full-service spa and salon that features 17 treatment rooms, two cabanas and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

Pala also offers 10 restaurants and 40,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. Pala Casino Spa & Resort is an AAA Four-Diamond Award winner for 15 consecutive years.

About Go Fas Racing: 
Go Fas Racing (GFR) currently fields Ford Mustangs in the NASCAR Cup Series for driver Corey LaJoie. Located in Mooresville, North Carolina, GFR has competed in the NASCAR's premier series since 2014; fielding cars for some of NASCAR's top drivers, including past champions. To find out more information about our team please visit www.GoFasRacing.com.

Stay up-to-date on Corey LaJoie:
To get live updates during the race weekends follow @coreylajoie on Instagram and Twitter. Make sure to give Corey a "like" on Facebook - "@CoreyLaJoieRacing". For a detailed bio and updated in-season statistics, please visit www.coreylajoieracing.com.

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