Casey Roderick enters the “Night of Champions” at Five Flags Speedway with a chance to make history at the Pensacola, Florida oval. As the current points leader in both the Deep South Cranes Blizzard Series (Super Late Models) and the Allen Turner Pro Late Models, Roderick has an opportunity to become the first driver to win both Late Model crowns during the same season.
While the Georgia driver has already scored titles in both divisions, he has never claimed both championships in the same season; in fact, no driver has accomplished such a feat.
Despite being on the cusp of making history, Roderick is more concerned with being in a position to win both features with both of the Ronnie Sanders Racing No. 18 Late Models on Saturday, September 22. He knows that should they do just that, the titles will fall their way.
“It would be cool, but I’m not putting too much emphasis on that. We’re going to go down there, do our thing, execute the best we can and things will take care of themselves,” Roderick told Speed51.com. “The main thing first is that we need to focus on getting our cars good in practice and have a good qualifying round. Then we need to stay out of trouble in the races, that’s what we’re mostly focused on. If the championships follow, that’s great.”
The Roderick and Ronnie Sanders Racing combination are accustomed to running both cars on the same weekend from time to time, but it is rare when both feature races are on the exact same day. The 26-year-old admits that it presents quite a challenge for the small team.
“It does because one car is going to take away from the other. It’s hard to focus on both and without a lot of people it’s very challenging to get that done the best possible way,” Roderick admitted. “Also executing the weekend the way it needs to be executed is very difficult having two cars in two different classes because you’re spread so thin. Getting tires for both cars takes a guy or two away from the trailer where they would usually be working on the car to get it ready for the race.”
Despite their small numbers in terms of manpower, Roderick feels that the crew has close to everything that they need to give him two strong racecars.
“Our team has been great all year for everything we’ve done,” he stated confidently. “I feel like there’s work in certain areas that we need to improve on, being a little bit more organized. But that comes with having different people all of the time and it’s hard to get in a routine that way. But I’m very thankful for all of the people that help us out, and we couldn’t do it without them. We do the best we can and it is what it is at the end of the day.”
Even with a tank full of confidence, Roderick knows that the competition will be tight this deep into the year, especially on the Super Late Model side where one of his fellow statesmen has been the man to beat all over the continent during the last month.
“On the Super side, it’s going to be really tough to beat Bubba Pollard, but he can be beat. We just got to get our stuff good. We’ve been good, got a win and two seconds down there. Hopefully we can come out with a win for the last race and the championship; hopefully with both cars. We’ll just have to see how things play out. Kyle Plott is going to be really good down there with his new Senneker car, KBM is going to be there, Chandler Smith with Ricky Turner. We’ll see how it plays out.”
In the end, all Roderick can do is to go to the track, give it his all, and have a good time.
“I’m really looking forward to being in Pensacola and just doing the best we can with both our cars.”
Both portions of the Late Model doubleheader at Five Flags Speedway will be broadcast via a live pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.com. Live video tickets can be purchased today for $19.99 by clicking here.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com