Strong NASCAR prospects join Petty development program

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The brother of Sprint Cup driver Martin Truex Jr. and the son of former multi-time Nationwide Series champion Randy LaJoie have now aligned themselves with one of the biggest names in racing.

21-year-old Ryan Truex (pictured) and 21-year-old Corey LaJoie have been signed to a developmental program run by Richard Petty Motorsports, which will decide where the two will race depending on the sponsorship it can gain for them.

Truex has been a part-time Nationwide Series driver over the last three seasons, but has only made one start in a NASCAR national series in 2013 (Camping World Truck Series at Daytona). He had been slated to make his Sprint Cup debut at Richmond earlier this year for Phoenix Racing, but he sustained a collarbone injury on Easter and was unable to drive.

LaJoie has only run a handful of races this season, but finished runner-up in NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series East category last year after winning five events.

RPM competition director Sammy Johns is upbeat about the future potential for the pair, who have competed against each other in the past.

“They’re both really good talents,” Johns told the Motor Racing Network’s Dustin Long. “Any time they’ve gotten the opportunity to show it, they’ve run really well.”

In another piece by FoxSports.com’s Lee Spencer, Johns indicated that Truex and LaJoie may be steered toward the Nationwide Series because of RPM’s current single-car presence there alongside its two-car operation in the premier Cup series.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.