Emotional Corey LaJoie speaks from the heart about parenthood

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Corey LaJoie spoke through tears Wednesday as he reflected upon the school shooting Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas, and raising a family. 

LaJoie has one son, Levi, who was born in March 2020 and another due soon.

The 30-year-old LaJoie, who has 177 Cup starts, spoke with reporters Wednesday during a Zoom session. He was asked about being a parent in these times.

“I can go a lot of different ways with the answer, but I land on this, the world we live in is a broken place,” LaJoie said. “This isn’t our intended home anyways, and when it comes to raising our kids to respect themself, respect their adults, to be able to think for themself, that’s what I’m excited for — the challenge of how to raise a child to positively impact the community. 

“Now, I’m still working on that. It comes from being intentional. It comes from being there with your kids and teaching them about the things that really matter truly in life. When you see the Uvalde stuff, I couldn’t imagine dropping my kid off to day care …” 

LaJoie stopped. His voice quivered.

Moments later, he continued: “We are called as Christians and just people who have some influence in society to make positive impacts with the platforms that we have. 

“It’s easy to lose sight of that, thinking that you’re not being successful enough behind the wheel of a race car when there is going to be 100,000 people watching you on a Sunday afternoon, Memorial Day, and millions of people watching you on TV. 

“It’s easy to put the blinders on and forget about how much outside impact you have, as well as the impact you have right in your own home. I’m going to raise Levi and this next son I’m going to have to be, like, men. We don’t have enough men in the world nowadays.”

LaJoie is an ambassador for Speedway Children’s Charities, which has raised more than $60 million since its inception in 1982 to local communities that are home to Speedway Motorsports tracks, including Charlotte Motor Speedway. 

He hosted a celebrity kickball event last October that raised funds for the Kannapolis, North Carolina, YMCA and Samaritan’s Feet, an organization that provides shoes to children and individuals in need. 

In 2019, LaJoie raised more than $100,000 for Samaritan’s Feet by putting the names of donors on his car at Watkins Glen. 

LaJoie noted the impact his grandfather and father had with him. He acknowledged not everyone had such structure in their lives. 

“Broken families lead to broken kids,” LaJoie said. “You can talk about all the legislation you want to and beat that horse until it’s dead, which it has been beat over and over. That’s not the root of it. 

“The root is just broken families raising broken people and broken people hurt people. There’s nothing that rings truer. That’s what we see more often than not. 

“As these hurt kids grow into hurt adolescents, then they are able to get their hands on guns (and) to think about certain things that could cause death or harm to anybody they want to. … We’re focused on the wrong things. We need to be focused on raising kids to think for themselves, to have self-confidence and … to not be assholes.”