If you’re having trouble finding Victory Lane at an Outlaw Super Late Model race in Michigan or Indiana this year, Tyler Roahrig can probably point you in the right direction. The Mishawaka, Indiana driver is on track for a record-setting year. He’s tallied six wins at five different tracks across the two states and is just getting started.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting to win this much this quickly,” Roahrig told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “The most I’ve ever won in a year has been five and I’ve done that twice, but I’m already over that number and there are still quite a few races left this season.”
Roahrig’s Outlaw Super Late Model wins include the Intimidator 100 and Gary Terry Follow Your Dreams 125 at Kalamazoo Speedway, Stan Perry Memorial at Angola Speedway, Wally Holcomb Memorial at New Paris Speedway and the Freedom 100 at Galesburg Speedway. While the twenty-five year old driver shares the point lead at New Paris Speedway, he says he’s ‘never been one to race for points’ and is enjoying his success across the Midwest.
“Winning at different tracks is a lot of fun, but it’s also challenging at times,” said Roahrig. “I’ve always respected drivers that had good versatility in different cars and at different tracks, so that’s always been a goal of mine and so far this year it’s been working out pretty well. I have a lot of laps at most of the tracks I’ve won at this season, so I have a pretty good idea of what needs to happen to run good at each one. Except Galesburg, that was my first time there and I had fast time and ended up winning, so that was really neat.”
Not only has Roahrig showed diversity at different tracks, but he also picked up a win last weekend at Bear Field in the Auto Value Bumper to Bumper Super Sprints. He worked out a deal with Speed Chasers Inc and plans to get behind the wheel with them at least a half a dozen more times this year.
“I was pretty proud to win my second career sprint car race last weekend,” said Roahrig. “The coolest thing for me is winning in both Late Models and Sprint Cars. You don’t really see drivers doing that anymore, it seems like everyone is just content racing one discipline. But I love sprint car racing and open wheel racing in general, it’s a lot different than what I grew up doing, the way the cars drive and the way you race others is so much more exaggerated than late models because the speeds are so much faster.”
Roahrig welcomes the challenge of racing both Late Models and Sprint Cars this season. And with jumping between cars and traveling between tracks, there’s no doubt Roahrig is showing the reach of his versatility in 2016.
“The biggest challenge in driving different cars is just knowing what you’re looking for in each one,” said Roahrig. “A sprint car is way lighter, has a wing, and has way more horsepower than a late model, so the result is they each have different handling and driving characteristics, especially throughout the course of a race. So being mindful of that and realizing that is pretty important.”
While Roahrig’s win list might start to fill the page this year, there is still one race out there that eludes him, the Kalamazoo Klash. The Michigan native has led laps, but only bested a second-place performance so a win in the ‘big one’ at Kalamazoo would mean a lot.
“It’s the most prestigious Outlaw race in the country,” said Roahrig. “I’ve lead a lot of laps in that race only to finish second twice to Terry Senneker Jr, so a win in that race would be pretty cool. The list of previous winners is a who’s who of outlaw racing and it would rank right up there with the biggest wins of my career.”
-By Jana Wimmer, Speed51.com Midwest Editor – Twitter: @JWimm22
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo