Coming into the second night of the Gulf Coast weekend at Mobile International Speedway it seemed like Casey Roderick was going to snag another sweep of the Pro Late Model doubleheader. But at the end of the night, Roderick was left turning wrenches on a torn-up race car as a new face visited victory lane.
Cole Anderson snagged his first career win at Mobile International Speedway (AL) on a night where finishing second appeared to be the best outcome. Due to a combination of late-race restarts that took some heavy hitters out of contention, the door was opened for the Minnesota driver.
“I can’t believe I’m standing here right now, it’s pretty incredible,” said Anderson. “We just really got lucky.”
Though Anderson got the victory, he didn’t feel like he had the car to beat. Casey Roderick had shown the way for the majority of the race, but he got tangled up with Dustin Smith while battling for the lead.
“The 18 (Roderick) and the 33 (Smith) got together and that really helped us out,” Anderson admitted. “We snuck by there, I kept my head on my shoulders, and we got the win.”
The race came to a screeching halt on Lap 79 of the 96-lap race due to a passing rain shower. Once the action picked back up on the speedway, the idea of give-and-take went out the window.
Casey Roderick and Chris Davidson led the field back to the green flag with just 17 laps remaining. Out of turn two, Dustin Smith made it a three-car battle for the top spot and got around Roderick. The No. 18 machine battled back on the high side of Smith before they made contact that sent Roderick spinning.
“We went in the corner and he went in there hard, and so did I. We touched and we got tangled up,” Smith stated. “He came down and I wasn’t giving any.”
After the incident, both Roderick and Smith were sent to the tail of the field. On the following restart, the field got stacked up and Roderick’s front end caught the brunt of it, putting him out of the race while Smith was able to continue.
“It’s along the lines of what happened at [Fairgrounds Speedway] Nashville too,” Roderick said. “I got sent to the rear after being spun out by somebody and it got our car tore up.”
As the field stopped under red flag so that officials could clean up the speedway, Roderick set out on some unfinished business. The Georgia native ran out onto the track to Smith’s No. 33 car. The drivers exchanged words before Roderick was escorted back into the pits by a police officer.
“I didn’t really say anything,” Roderick said. “I just asked him what was that all about and what was he thinking on that deal. Then the cops came and got me.”
It’s unusual to see the Ronnie Sanders machine torn up while it rolls back into the hauler, and it’s even more unusual to see Casey Roderick lose his temper. In a sport filled with passion, Roderick felt that his actions were justified.
“I was a little irritated, so I expressed it. Sometimes you got to show a little emotion, that’s what this sport is all about.”
Texas driver Chris Davidson charged to a runner-up finish behind Anderson, while Justin South, Perry Patino and Brandon Herbert completed the top five.
Race fans can watch an on-demand replay of all the action on Summer Thunder TV presented by PFC Brakes.
- Story by Casey LaJoie, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @CaseyLaJoie
- Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Pro Late Model Unofficial Results
Mobile Int’l Speedway (AL) – July 7, 2018