Tyler Roahrig has proven himself to be one of the most versatile drivers in all of short track racing, picking up marquee wins in both Outlaw Super Late Models and Sprint Cars. That versatility will be put to the test starting this weekend at Showtime Speedway.
The Plymouth, Indiana driver will be pulling double-duty Saturday in a Super Late Model and Sprint Car, taking part in the SLM Triple Crown Race #2 and the Dave Steele World Non Wing Championship 125.
He will join forces with Bobby Blount for the two remaining Showtime Triple Crown events, with the Rattler 250 also a possibility. This won’t be the first time the two have paired up, as Roahrig took the “Sweet 16” Outlaw Super Late Model to victory at Jukasa Motor Speedway’s reopening in 2017.
“I’ve drove for Bob Blount in the past a little bit. He’s talked about putting me in a template car a little bit and we just made it happen this weekend,” Roahrig told Speed51. “We’re taking my Sprint Car and his Late Model, we can fit both into one trailer so that’s kind of how it works. We can split the travel costs.”
While this will be his first trip to Showtime, Roahrig feels as prepared as he can be to compete at a track he’s never been to. After talking to a fellow Northern Indiana racer that has made the trip south, he says Showtime is similar to New Paris Speedway, a track where Roahrig has seen massive success with five Summer Sizzler wins and a Winged Sprint Car victory.
“My buddy Austin Maynard raced down there back in January and he said it was a little bit like New Paris, which is good. I actually tested my Sprint Car at New Paris last fall just to work on my short, flat track, slippery track setups. I can take what I learned there and apply it to the Sprint Car. I’ve watched a ton of videos for both the Late Model and Sprint Car so I can be as prepared as I can be.”
Roahrig’s worst finish in a Non-Wing Sprint Car last year was fourth, with both instances coming at Lucas Oil Raceway. He won two races at Anderson Speedway and finished third in the Little 500, while claiming the Auto Value Super Sprint Series overall championship.
On the Late Model side, he kept his stronghold on Outlaw Super Late Model racing with wins in the Summer Sizzler and Jim Blount Memorial. Roahrig also won his first-career template SLM race, winning the season finale at Berlin Raceway in a car owned by Lee VanDyk.
While Sprint Cars and Late Models have next to no similarity in terms of how they drive, the overall goal remains the same.
“It’s a completely different feel and driving style in the Sprint Car than in any Late Model for that matter. You have so much more horsepower, the car’s much more lighter, you have more tire. It never feels like they handle great so sometimes it’s harder to decipher whether you’re very good or not.”
“The goal is the same in all of them right, just drive the thing as hard as you can. That’s just how I go about it, you just have to be open-minded when you’re switching around a lot.”
Roahrig will have two chances for wins this weekend when he competes for 225 laps Saturday night between the Super Late Model and Sprint Car. He says the key to Saturday’s success will stem off of how they unload for practice.
“I don’t really like to play the what-if game but it would definitely be big for me and my team. Racing two cars on the same night is extremely difficult, it takes a lot of focus and a lot of determination. Hopefully when we get there, both cars are fast and we don’t have to make a whole lot of changes, but when we do that’s when things get difficult going back and forth between two completely different race cars.”
Saturday’s event at Showtime Speedway will be streamed live on Speed51.TV, including both the Super Late Model Triple Crown Race #2 and the Dave Steele World Non Wing Championship 125. Click here to watch Saturday’s event.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo