Despite a subpar showing in the Southern Super Series’ penultimate race of the season at Five Flags Speedway (FL), Casey Roderick is eager to get to New Smyrna Speedway (FL) this weekend and prove that race was a fluke en route to a series title.
The Georgia driver is excited for the chance to return to New Smyrna, where he hasn’t raced since winning the 2017 Zack Donatti Memorial 125.
“I’m ready to get down there,” Roderick told Speed51. “I really like that race track. It has been a couple of years since I’ve been there. I’m looking forward to going back.”
Roderick enters the race with a 15-point advantage over Connor Okrzesik as he looks to defend his 2018 Southern Super Series championship. Much of his advantage was erased with a 14thplace finish in Pensacola in September.
“We’ve got to qualify well and get as many points as possible there. I lost a good bit of points at Pensacola in the last Blizzard race. It was a bummer we weren’t able to capitalize on the Blizzard championship. We lost a good bit of points to Connor there. We’ve got to be on top of our game and execute with perfection to come out with the championship here. We’ve still got a little bit of a lead, but it’s not as much as it was.”
However, Roderick firmly believes his Donnie Wilson-prepared car could compete for the win that evening.
“Our stagger opened up a lot and it changed the handle of the race car tremendously. That’s the only thing that killed us in that race. I felt like we had a winning race car, I was just riding for the first half of that race. I was able to get the car driving the way I wanted to and I was really excited.”
Roderick joined forces with Wilson in a mid-season ride swap after departing from Ronnie Sanders Racing. Roderick says the transition has been smooth thus far, with the biggest adjustment coming from simply meeting new faces.
“The biggest thing is getting used to working with all the new guys that I haven’t been around. When you change in the middle of the season, the biggest thing is getting used to working with different people, but the first couple of races have gone really well. Donnie has been great to work with. He’s been a really good person to me and I’m very thankful for the opportunity he’s providing.”
Now, Roderick hopes to celebrate a Southern Super Series championship with those new faces at a new track for the series. While New Smyrna Speedway is a very familiar track to Deep South racers thanks to the annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing each February, it will mark the first time the series has visited the high-banked half-mile.
“The last couple of years it’s been mostly the same schedule,” said Roderick. “It’s always cool to go to a different place, especially to finish out the season down there. I think it’ll be a good change-up for the Southern Super Series. I think everyone is going to enjoy it.”
Stay tuned to Speed51.com for more information regarding coverage plans of the Hart to Heart at New Smyrna Speedway to close out the 2019 Southern Super Series season.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51photos.com