FORMER NASCAR RACER RANDY LAJOIE TO BRING HIS SAFER RACER TOUR TO SHARON & PITTSBURGH'S SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL TOUR EVENTS SEPTEMBER 12-13
By Mike Leone
September 2, 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Pulaski, PA)…Two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion Randy LaJoie will bring his Safer Racer Tour to the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Late Model Touring Series events at Sharon Speedway and Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway on Friday and Saturday, September 12-13.
"I'm looking forward to bringing the Safer Racer Tour to RUSH- the Premier crate division in the USA," stated LaJoie, a Connecticut native and winner of 15 NASCAR Nationwide events. "This will allow many drivers in various divisions to be informed on current safety systems, answer questions and display better containment seats. Safer Racer will give recommendations to all drivers that would like one. With the addition of Sharon and Pittsburgh, the Tour will have been to 18 tracks this year and a total of 115 since its inception seven years ago! Driver safety is our goal and thanks to RUSH for caring about its racers."
LaJoie will have a display set up each night with various equipment from his The Joie of Seating. In addition, LaJoie will give a presentation that will be open to everyone before the nights' events as well as speaking to each RUSH racer individually.
At Sharon Speedway, it will be a RUSH doubleheader with the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds on the card as part of their traditional "Apple Festival Nationals" that will be highlighted by the "Gary Knollinger Memorial" for the Sweeney RUSH Late Model Touring Series, and will include several other divisions.
At Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway, the Sweeney RUSH Late Model Tour will be part of another traditional event in the "Pittsburgher 100". The night will include the rained out "Steel City Roulette" drawing in addition to a $5,000 to-win Super Late Model race and several other divisions on the card.
"We're honored that Randy LaJoie's Safer Racer Tour will be present during this big weekend," acknowledged RUSH Co-Director Vicki Emig. "LaJoie has been an advocate on racer safety for many years now and we're glad to be able to provide a platform for him to better educate the numerous racers in various classes that will competing during these two big nights."
In 1988, LaJoie had an idea that turned into a dream. LaJoie began manufacturing seats for race cars, and his company, The Joie of Seating - was started. LaJoie has come up with a stamped, molded aluminum seat that fits 95 percent of a driver’s body that he says, “has revolutionized the aluminum seat market.”
When LaJoie was driving there was no one in the racing seat business who would build a seat that suited him. He wanted a custom form fitted seat, like the Mark Donahue design that Don LaJoie, Randy’s father, purchased and retro fitted to a modified car and made out of fiberglass. NASCAR outlawed fiberglass in 1992. No one in the industry would build a custom fitted seat – NOT A SQUARE SEAT.
To me custom fitted didn’t mean sitting on a bench; that’s why I patented a “Sizing Fixture” to accurately measure a driver. Eastover Manufacturing does all of the forming via stampings for the only “really custom race seat” on the market.
“The energy absorption is better with my seat, if you do get in a crash,” stated LaJoie. “It’s not only more comfortable, but I’ve done stuff with my stampings to make it very strong. I’ve learned myself, because I’ve been a crash test dummy for quite a few years, and I know I feel a whole lot better on Monday mornings since I started stiffening my seats than when I would bounce all over the place.”
“Once you start looking at the videos from crashes, you can see how much movement you have in the car.” In 2001, NASCAR’s attention turned towards safety for the drivers, working with manufacturers to help improve the driver’s safety system. In 2007, Randy hit the road. A “Safer Racer Tour” was created; in which he’ll go around the country preaching the value of safety to competitors and track operators.
“I am going to go to these tracks and I am going to talk about all kinds of safety issues, such as properly mounted seats and belts” LaJoie has said. “I am going to stand there as these cars to through inspection. Some of these guys may not like me much. But, I’m going.” “When I read about somebody getting hurt or killed, it makes me sick.”
“We’ve got kid seats patterned after my kids when they were 11 years old,” said LaJoie, who has two teenagers racing. “We have a lease program, because one year I had to build my 11 year old three seats because he had outgrown them. According to Randy, “It’s not really fair for the parents when kids outgrow the seat, they have to buy another one. With our lease program, you can trade it in for a bigger seat with minimum costs.”
The Safer Racer Tour is a non-profit organization that was designed to help reach out to the auto racers many feel are most at risk; the numerous short track drivers around the country. For more information, check out www.safer-racer.com.
RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, The Brake Man, K&N Filters, Bilstein Shocks, Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Driven Racing Oil, Crate Innovations Inc., Moroso Performance Products, Velocita-USA, High Gear Speed Shop, CrateInsider.com, Utsinger’s Towing, B.R.A.K.E.S., RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at [email protected] and snail mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. Office phone is 724-964-9300 and fax is 724-964-0604. The RUSH Racing Series website is www.rushracingseries.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushlatemodels and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.