Casey Roderick has won more than a dozen races at Montgomery Motor Speedway, but Sunday’s Alabama 200 triumph was just a little more meaningful.
As Roderick rode shotgun in the Ronnie Sanders Racing hauler en route to Montgomery on Thursday, he scanned the names of the men who has won the prestigious Deep South showdown. The list is basically a who’s who of asphalt racing both past and present: Richard Petty, the Allison Brothers, Red Farmer, Ronnie Sanders, Dave Mader, Chase Elliott, Augie Grill and a host of others.
Now Roderick has etched his name alongside many of his heroes.
“It is so cool to be in the same sentence with all of those guys,” Roderick told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “They are the best of the best of racing. I didn’t really know who all had one this race until I read the sheet on the way down here. Anytime you can put your name on the same list as Petty, the Allisons and Ronnie; things are good.”
Roderick led 113 of the event’s 200 circuits and took the lead for good with 52 to go after wrestling it away from Christopher Tullis. Over the final 50 laps, Roderick weathered multiple restarts as calamity ensued behind him.
He also fended off a hard-charging Willie Allen and Chris Dilbeck to take home his first Alabama 200, and second overall Black Bear Trophy.
The race featured controlled cautions, which allowed teams to choose when to come down pit road and bolt two fresh sticker tires on the car. The new wrinkle in the race added drama for the fans, and decisions for the teams.
“We couldn’t do our initial plan because of how things played out,” Roderick explained. “I was worried if the race stayed green that we would go a lap down to the guys with fresher tires. Luckily it worked out for us, but it was a risky deal there for a while. It put a lot of interesting strategy in the race and that was fun.”
The Alabama 200 gives Roderick three handfuls of wins in 2017. The 15 wins in a year is by far his most ever in a single racing season, and gets him excited to go back the track nearly every weekend.
As the calendar shifts to September and the air turns noticeably cooler, Roderick has his eyes planted firmly on two places: Nashville and Pensacola.
“It’s definitely great to head to those big races with momentum,” Roderick said with a smile. “Having the success, we have had, we are pumped to go to the race track every weekend. We are having the time of our life.”
An on-demand Trackside Now replay of Sunday’s Alabama 200 can be seen by clicking here.
-By Ryan McCollough, Speed51.com Deep South Correspondent – Twitter: @RyanLMcCollough
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Alabama 200 Results
Montgomery Motor Speedway (AL) – September 10, 2017
|8||11||Jo Lynn Wilkinson|
|15||30||Bobby Knox, Jr.|