Race Weekend Central

Corey LaJoie Replacing Chase Elliott at Gateway, Carson Hocevar Driving No. 7

Corey LaJoie will drive Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 9 in place of the suspended Chase Elliott in the NASCAR Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, Hendrick announced May 30.

Hendrick made the announcement shortly after news of Elliott’s one-race suspension broke.

“We are grateful to Corey for stepping in and to the team at Spire Motorsports for making him available,” a Hendrick spokesperson said in a release.

LaJoie moves to the No. 9 from Spire’s No. 7, which he races full time in the Cup Series.

See also
Chase Elliott Suspended 1 Race After Charlotte Denny Hamlin Crash

Replacing LaJoie in the No. 7, meanwhile, is Carson Hocevar, who will make his Cup debut.

Hocevar competes for Spire part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving its No. 77. In three Xfinity starts, all in 2023, he has two top 10s, both of which came with Spire.

He competes full time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for Niece Motorsports, earning one win, four top fives and five top 10s so far in 2023.

LaJoie has one top five and one top 10 in 2023, his best result a fourth-place run at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Elliott has made eight Cup starts in 2023 after missing multiple races at the start of the season due to injury. He has two top fives and four top 10s.

Elliott’s one-race suspension came after his No. 9 clipped the right rear of Denny Hamlin‘s No. 11 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, a move Hamlin deemed intentional. Both cars were wrecked in the ensuing accident.

About the author

Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.

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Pat S

Good deal..hopefully he can have a nice race and clean top 10.


Says a lot about how lightly regarded the feeder series are today if they have to get a sub from another Cup team. Twenty-five years ago there were several up and coming or not quite superstar level but competent competitors ready for a fill-in drive here and there.


Heck, half the cup drivers don’t deserve to be in cup now. There are NO extras


xfinity is in portland this weekend. i’m sure a travel and logistics proble so they went with lajoie.


It’s because the Xfinity race is in a different state this week and the driver would not be able to qualify the car


Genuinely curious why they aren’t going to Josh Berry again. He has been the Hendrick super sub this season so far


Because Xfinity is in Portland about 2500 miles away this weekend.


lol yep that would do it!


Would his signing with Ford and Stewart Hauss Racing contribute to this as well? I realize this weekend is probably the logistics, but curious about the rest of the year if anything else comes up with a Chevy team.

John S

What would happen if Corey were to win in the 9 car? Would that get him in the playoffs?

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