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NASCAR SPOTLIGHT: RANDY LAJOIE

AGE: 36.

HOMETOWN: Norwalk, Conn.

CAR: No. 74 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

NOTES: LaJoie recently clinched his second straight NASCAR Busch Grand National series championship. But unlike most BGN drivers, he does not have Winston Cup aspirations.

Q: What was your Winston Cup experience like in 1995?

A: I thought it was going to be roses, but it wasn't what it was cracked up to be, at least not to me. I came back to the Busch series, and I feel like this is where I belong. It just wasn't the way I want to race.

Q: How was it different?

A: My dad was in racing and I grew up around it where you'd go to a race, you'd race hard and then you'd party. Then you'd go home and you'd work on your equipment and you'd party some more. Back then, you'd go out and race two, three nights a week and have Sundays off. I consider Sunday a day for families, a day to go home and unload your equipment and a day to sober up. That's why Busch racing suits me. Most of the races are on Saturday.

Q: Some people would say that makes you an underachiever.

A: I'm making a good living, better than I ever hoped for, really. It's enough for me. I'm happy. I take my kids to school in the morning, then I go work out with a trainer a couple of days a week. I play golf with my friends, and I'm home for my kids in the afternoon. It's a great life.

People come up to me and say, "When are you going to go to NASCAR?" I tell them NASCAR isn't just Winston Cup. I'm driving in NASCAR, too. There are different ways of doing things for different people. I'm happy doing it my way.

_ JOANNE KORTH

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