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Corey LaJoie
Logan Riely | Getty Images

Football toss helps Corey LaJoie connect with fans

SONOMA, Calif. — Corey LaJoie knows he’s still putting the pieces together and building a foundation at Go Fas Racing before he and his No. 32 team are in the mix for wins on a weekly basis.

As such, it’s not the simplest task to work up a strong fan base with an average finish of 25.7. Sometimes a driver has to get creative and take things into his own hands – literally.

LaJoie and buddy Bubba Wallace were the darlings of social media and the rain-soaked fans at Michigan International Speedway a few weeks ago, entertaining the crowd during the rain delay by tossing the football around on pit road – and over the catch fence to a delighted group of lucky race attendees.

RELATED: Full schedule for Sonoma | Go on a 10-Minute Tour with LaJoie

“I don’t quite have the opportunity to win any of these Cup races yet, we just try to do the things that we can control. A little bit behind on up-to-date cars and the motors aren’t quite as good so we’re relegated to somewhere in that 25th to 30th range on speed but anytime we can do better than that is the goal,” LaJoie said Friday at Sonoma Raceway, site of Sunday’s Toyota/SaveMart 350 (3 p.m. ET, FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

“So any time I can get out there and mix it up with the fans, they were loving it. What was awesome was it just started as a natural thing just throwing the football, then we’d launch it up into the stands and they just loved it.

“That was huge. I was talking with FOX and the video of me and Bubba throwing the football got almost double the views that Joey Logano winning the race did. That solidified my theory that I got more attention throwing the football than I would have if I’d won the race the next day. Whatever it takes, right?”

The dynamic duo was back at it on Friday, tossing the ball around in the garage area with fans during practice.

Luckily for LaJoie, there was a two-week break in between pigskin practice sessions to parse over game film, fine-tune their skills and, most importantly, rest up.

“My abs and my arms were pretty sore for the next 48 hours, but it was worth it.”