Bakersfield, CA — Two-time Southern Super Series champion and three-time Blizzard Series champion Casey Roderick will make the cross-country trip from Lawrenceville, GA to Irwindale Speedway (CA) to participate in the “Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame” on February 6.
The season opener, for the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series will pay a record $30,000 to the winner of the 200-lap event. It is a West Coast journey that Roderick has been looking forward to for numerous seasons. With his recently formed self-owned program, it is an excursion that has finally become a reality.
“I’ve been trying to make it out there for the last six years, but we weren’t really able to make it happen,” Roderick explained. “What I have set out to do with my own program is to hit all these marque events that mean a lot to me as a short track racer. I want to expand beyond all the tracks out here in the Southeast, that I’ve won a lot at. I have a lot of Pro (Late Model) wins and a decent amount of Super (Late Model) wins as well, but I want to branch out, go out on a limb, and go to some of these bigger races that mean a lot. Racing for $30,000 is a lot better than for racing for $5,000. Even though we are going across the country, the racing is the same. We just have a little more travel expense.”
Roderick continued, “With the way our program is, with the car I have, and the guys I have helping me, I feel like we have a really good shot at doing it. It is one of the goals I set out to do when I built this racecar, and we are finally able to make it out there. I see all these competitors that I race against travel all over the place and do all these big races, I just wanted to set out and make it happen, and it finally did.”
Roderick is very excited that the opportunity to compete at Irwindale has finally come to fruition. He feels that he has a great opportunity to win against a formidable group of competitors.
“I am really excited to get out there,” Roderick expressed. “I feel like we have a really good racecar. We’ve got what we need to win, it just needs to all line up right. All the local guys are gonna be really tough, and I’m excited to race against all of them. I’ve got a lot of respect for the other drivers out there, and I want to go out there and earn their respect.”
Roderick has had success in both Pro Late Models and Super Late Models. He was best known for his Pro Late Model success, early in his career, but he has expanded his Super Late Model prowess over the last half-dozen years. He has Pro Late Model championships at the tough Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, Montgomery Motor Speedway, and a pair at Five Flags Speedway. He is a two-time champion of the Show Me the Money Pro Late Model Series. He has Pro Late Model wins in events like the “Baby Rattler 125” at South Alabama Speedway, “Red Eye 125” at New Smyrna Speedway, and two at “CRA SpeedFest” at Watermelon Capital Speedway, just to name a few.
In his Super Late Model, Roderick is a three-time Blizzard Series Champion at 5 Flags Speedway. His last championship was in 2018, finishing just ahead of fellow All-Star Showdown entrant Chris Davidson. He has two Southern Super Series Championships, having scored nine career wins in the premiere Super Late Model Series in the Southeast. In 2020, Roderick scored a huge Crown Jewel victory, taking the checkered first in the “All American 400” at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. He is a “Rattler 250” winner at South Alabama Speedway and a “World Crown 300” winner at Gresham Motorsports Park.
To put another big win on his resume, Roderick will bring his Rowdy Manufacturing Super Late Model that debuted at Five Flags Speedway in June. It is the same car that brought him the All American 400 win and a car that he is very impressed with.
“We have six races on the car, including the Snowball Derby,” Roderick stated. “This will be the seventh, and hopefully it’s the lucky number seven. It’s really a Hamke car, but they go by Rowdy Manufacturing in name. It is a really good racecar, and I would recommend it to anyone thinking of getting one. The thing I like about the car is that it is very tunable, and you can feel every minute changes. It is very well-built, and it is just a very clean racecar.”
The former NASCAR Xfinity racer will be making his first trip to Irwindale, but it is not the first time he has been on the track. However, it will be the first time he has been on the track in a physical racecar.
“My only knowledge of Irwindale is through a simulator on iRacing. I used to play a NASCAR Game, when I was younger, on PlayStation a lot, but that is all the experience I have at Irwindale.”
In addition to his lack of experience on the track, he will face another challenge. A majority of the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series competitors will be new to the two-time CARS Super Late Model Series winner. He will be looking to bring home a victory in the event, but at the same time, he is looking to gain the respect of the drivers in the SRL.
“I’m excited to race against them,” Roderick said about the competition out west. “I want to earn their respect and race them the way they expect to get raced. I race clean and race other people like they race me. I’m not going out there thinking I’m gonna wax you guys. The guys are good, and I want to earn their respect. I’m coming to their playground. Of course, I want to win and do well, but I don’t want to do anything to bring attention to myself by doing the wrong thing. You gotta have give and take in racing. Some days you are gonna have good days and somedays are not your day.”
As can be expected, Roderick is unfamiliar with the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series. He has heard opinions of the series, but has no direct knowledge of how the series is run, or what to expect in many aspects. But there is one aspect that the Georgia driver is familiar with, and that is the gentleman in charge of the “Room of Doom.”
“I haven’t really heard much about the series, but what I have heard is that everyone seems to like it out there,” Roderick explained. “They have the same tech guy that I am used to, in Ricky Brooks. In that aspect, I am used to that already. So far everyone has been really supportive about me coming out, and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone.”
Making the trip out to California, competing in a new series, and at a new facility is a challenging proposition. Roderick is thankful to a great number of companies and individuals, whom he has become friends over his years behind the wheel, for making this trip possible.
“First off I’d like to thank everyone at Rowdy Manufacturing and Hamke Race Cars”, Roderick began. “The first race I took it to was the first Blizzard (Series) race of the season, and we almost pulled the plug and didn’t go. The guys over at Rowdy really jumped in and helped me get it done. Every time I have raced, they have been very supportive and helpful. We just spent a week over there getting this car ready to make this trip. I want to thank PFC Brakes and Dwayne McGunegill with MEP Performance, as they have given me a great motor. I want to thank Tilton for their help and support over the last several years, as well as Earnest Performance. He has been a very crucial part of my shock program, as a truly knowledgeable guy, who has become a very good friend.”
Roderick continued, “Thank you to JRI Shocks, Racing Radios, KRC, FAST-Fuel Air Spark Technology, and Five Star Bodies. They have all been very supportive of me wanting to do this on my own. Without them all, I wouldn’t be able to do this. I really gotta thank Hodge Sawdust and Shavings. Toby has been a real good person to me and a huge supporter. Also, Brad Sellers with RPM Trailer Sales, he is the man when it comes to trailer customization. Just-N-Uff Motorsports came on with us for the Snowball Deby and he is helping us come out to California as well. I want to thank Country Pleasin’ and CJ’s Signs & Graphics, who does a good job on all my letting. Also, James Finch with Phoenix Construction, who has been a big supporter of our program over the years.”
With all the help Roderick has received, the talent of the driver, and the quality of the equipment, it would not be surprising to see the No. 25 in Victory Lane. If he brings home the $30,000 winner’s share, it could pave the way for future cross-country trips. Will that be the case? Forty-five other Super Late Model drivers will try to prevent that.
With the help of Bob Bruncati and the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, the 2021 “Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown 200” will pay $30,000 to the winner of the 200-lap feature event at Irwindale Speedway. The Spears Pro Late Models presented by Sigma Performance Services, as well as the SPEARS Modified Series will join the action, racing for $15,000 and $5,000, respectively. An optional Test Day is slated for Thursday, with the official Practice Day getting underway on Friday.
Saturday will see the Super Late Models practice from 11:45 AM to 12:30 PM, with Qualifying for all divisions beginning at 2:30 PM. The Modifieds will go first followed by the Pro Late Models and Super Late Models. Opening Ceremonies are slated for 4:30 PM, with “B”-Main Events set for 5:00 PM. The “Pro Late Model Showdown 150”, “Modified All-Star Showdown 100”, and the “Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown 200” will follow. The Modifieds and Pro Late Models are scheduled for the inner 1/3-mile oval, while the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series will see action on the ½-mile.
For those unable to attend, the event will be shown live at www.SpearsRacing.TV and on a delayed basis on MAVTV.
Celebrating its 21st season in 2021, the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series is a regional stock car series competing on paved ovals in the southwestern portion of the U.S. “The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series…Where the Champions Race”.
Story by: Kevin Peter, SRL
PC: Casey Roderick Motorsports