After rally in his honor, Lagasse finishes eighth at Daytona
By Devon Jeffreys
Supported by a throng of fans sporting Prosperity Bank Scott Lagasse, Jr. No. 4 shirts in the grandstands, Lagasse did not disappoint at the ARCA 200 at Daytona.
For Lagasse, the race was a culmination of sorts. A St. Augustine native and Flagler grad, he said he considers Daytona his home track.
“It’s a cool place, especially being so close to home for me,” Lagasse said. “It’s completely different than any other style of racing I’ve done.”
Though he had run there in 2006, finishing 29th, it wasn’t quite like this.
The Tuesday before the race, Flagler honored its 2004 alumnus with a pep rally on the West Lawn. The buzz continued in Daytona where Lagasse joined a race day pep-rally on Feb. 10 at a Prosperity Bank branch in Daytona.
There, Lagasse greeted fans and well-wishers, who received the T-shirts compliments of Flagler College and Prosperity Bank, before heading to the race.
Lagasse capped the week with a strong eighth place finish after getting as high as fifth.
Lagasse’s racing career is centered around St. Augustine where he began racing as a teenager. “He had the racing blood in him,” his grandfather Paul Lagasse said.
Scott said that he didn’t make a 100 percent commitment to racing until he came to Flagler.
“For a while I got away from it and didn’t have it around any time I wanted,” Lagasse said. “I realized that it was really what I wanted to do. I decided to come back here so I could race and get a better education.”
Lagasse raced at St. Augustine speedway in the Late Model Championship, which he won in 2001 while attending Flagler. He also raced other dirt and asphalt series.
In 2003, Lagasse competed in the American Speed Association, where in six races, he finished with four top 10s, two of those in the top five. In 2004, Lagasse won the ASA race at Kentucky International Speedway.
“That really gave me my break,” Lagasse said.
It was in the ASA that Lagasse was noticed by Chip Ganassi racing, where he has since signed.
Lagasse has run a limited number of races on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Busch Series. This season he will run a full slate of ARCA races, but his overall goal is to make it to the NASCAR Nextel Cup series.
“My goal is to go to the top and not even just go there, but make a big splash when I do,” Lagasse said. “That’s what I’m going to accomplish. It’s going to happen. I don’t know how yet, but it will.”