Casey Roderick has a chance to do something no other driver has ever done this weekend at Five Flags Speedway: win a fourth Blizzard Series championship and third in a row.
That shot at history looked to be in jeopardy after it was announced he and Ronnie Sanders had parted ways after three years, 40-plus wins and multiple championships. However, a fellow Blizzard Series competitor has stepped in to offer Roderick a familiar ride to chase after another championship at the Pensacola oval.
The Georgia driver will once again partner with Donnie Wilson to drive the Rowdy Manufacturing No. 22 at Saturday’s race as a teammate to last year’s Snowball Derby outside polesitter Cole Butcher. The opportunity to race with Wilson Motorsports once again has the defending Southern Super Series champion ready to get to Pensacola.
“I feel pretty good about it, I’m excited to get down there and finish it out,” Roderick told Speed51.com. “We should have a pretty good weekend with the runs we’ve been having.”
In three previous starts with Wilson Motorsports, Roderick has two top-fives and a sixth-place finish, having most recently finished second at the Speed51 Super Select at Lucas Oil Raceway. He is hoping to close the gap and pull off what would be his first Super Late Model victory of 2019.
“We have had some good runs, finishing second to Bubba at Indy,” he said. “We were close but not close enough and we’re looking to close that gap even more and try to pull off a win this Saturday. We’re going to focus really hard in practice, getting the car to where I need it to pull the win off. It’s what we’re all there to do, to try and win the race.”
Saturday’s 150-lapper serves as the final tune-up before December’s Snowball Derby With the drastic changes to the weather in the three months between the Blizzard Series finale and Snowball Derby week, Roderick says the Blizzard Series finale is still too early to get a good baseline for the biggest Super Late Model race in the country.
“It’s still hard to tune it for the Derby because the track temperature’s a lot cooler with it being cold,” he said. “I think the track goes through several different changes from right now until December, so the car’s usually a little different when you get down there for that weekend. This would give us a good idea of where we need to start and then fine tune it from there. Looking forward to that and just getting into a good routine with these guys and have a really good shot at some of these bigger races coming up.”
Roderick has one other race planned to date with Wilson Motorsports, with more potential races to be determined. His other planned start will be at the Southern Super Series finale at New Smyrna Speedway. He currently sits in the SSS points lead as he seeks to become the first-ever two-time Southern Super Series champion.
But before October’s Hart to Heart 100 rolls around, he is chasing more history this weekend at the Blizzard Series finale. Roderick is looking for a record third straight Blizzard Series title and fourth overall championship, which would pull him ahead of fellow Georgia driver Bubba Pollard for most all-time. That is the only thing on his mind as he heads into Saturday’s finale.
“I think that would mean more to me than going back-to-back with the Southern Super Series,” he said. “The Blizzard Series is a hard series to win and I’ve got three alongside Bubba, tied with him with three championships. I’d like to pull ahead of four if possible, I think we can do it. I’d be the only driver with four Blizzard Series championships. I’d like to get that fourth one here in 2019.”
Race fans unable to make it to Five Flags Speedway this Saturday night for the Blizzard Series finale will be able to watch all of the racing via a live pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.com. Live video tickets can be purchased today by clicking here.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo credit: Speed51.com