As NASCAR fans get excited for the Daytona 500, the iconic race is more than just precision driving at high rates of speed. It is an opportunity for drivers, brands, and fans to interact. Chili’s Grill and Bar joined with Spire Motorsports and Corey LaJoie to reveal the No 7 car’s new paint scheme. The design is definitely shaking up a new concept on the track.
After announcing its partnership, Chili’s and Spire Motorsports have revealed the unique, innovative paint design for the No 7 car at the 2024 Daytona 500. Celebrating the Chili’s Presidente Margarita and National Margarita Day, the car design, as well as LaJoie’s fire suit, features various QR codes that enable fans to “Catch A ‘Rita” during all the festivities.
Ahead of the reveal, Corey LaJoie spoke to FoodSided about his partnership with Chili’s, how he thinks fans will react to the new design, and what he expects from the upcoming NASCAR season.
When asked about this reaction to first seeing the new paint design, LaJoie shared, “when you’re 12 years old and thinking about what your ideal race car looks like or what brands you can represent, a brand like Chili’s comes to mind. It is really cool that I get to be the guy that they chose and I am super proud that they want to partner with me. Our team is growing and we have a lot of pride. We are going to execute and make sure that we get the Chili’s car out in front and we get people the opportunity to scan those QR codes.”
Although more people have become familiar with the QR codes and how to use them to potentially get their chance to enjoy one of those Presidente Margaritas, LaJoie is ready to help any NASCAR fans who might not be as familiar with the technology.
As he said, “some of our fans that still have Dale Junior, Nextel walkie-talkie phones might have to get a little bit of education to make sure they understand what a QR code is. That's where I come in.”
In some ways, that honesty and slightly humorous take is why NASCAR fans respond to LaJoie. His podcast, Chasing Pennies, is highly rated and his social media account is quite popular. Bringing his personality to this Chili’s partnership is a win for both parties.
Whether it is the social media savvy fan or the person who might long for the days of the bag phone, LaJoie appreciates that this collaboration will get people talking. More importantly, it might even bring some new NASCAR fans into the mix. It might turn the person who only knows the movie line “rubbing is racing,” into the person who learns to appreciate the nuance well-executed, precision pit crews.
Since this collaboration is about Chili’s and its iconic margaritas, the conversation turned to LaJoie preferred libation. He shared, “my general drink of choice is similar to a ranch water, with tequila, soda water, and lime juice. I might go with a skinny margarita so I can keep this slender figure so that I can fit through the window.”
“As seen in our podcast, that big Presidente Margarita shaker makes it so that I’m always thinking about getting that Presidente Margarita. But, you really cannot go wrong with any of the Chili’s beverages.” Since LaJoie admits that he can be a little salty sometimes, he sometimes adds a little salt on the rim, too.
With excitement building for the NASCAR season, LaJoie and the Spire Motorsports team have built momentum going into the Daytona 500. When asked about what his team is hoping to accomplish this year, LaJoie offered some poignant insight.
“It is not always talked about when someone is just consistently getting better. When I signed up with Spire Motorsports, when they had zero employees, I know that the grind was going to be real for several years, but I understood the long-term vision. I wanted to be part of building something. We have legitimately gotten several places better in point standings and in finishes every year. We’ve made big strides. With all the advancements and additions to our team, we are going to make another step. I do think that we are capable of contending for wins on the right day.”
Whether or not the Daytona 500 is the right day to make a big move on the race track remains to be seen, but Corey LaJoie and Chili’s will make a splash with its “Catch A ‘Rita” paint scheme. Even if the Presidente Margarita might not be the beverage poured in the Daytona 500 victory lane, it is the cocktail that is a winner every time guests enjoy a meal at Chili’s.