It was announced last week that Casey Roderick will be driving a Rowdy Manufacturing car for Donnie Wilson and Wilson Motorsports during Monday night’s Money in the Bank 150 at Berlin Raceway. Since that announcement, Roderick has added another race in the Rowdy car: the ARCA Midwest Tour Father’s Day 100 at the famed Milwaukee Mile.
Sunday’s race will be the defending Southern Super Series champion’s first career start in the ARCA Midwest Tour. He says the deal to run Berlin and Milwaukee came in quick order after talking to Rowdy Manufacturing General Manager Cody Glick and striking a deal with himself, Cody Glick and co-owner Justin Oertel, and a fellow former Southern Super Series champion.
“It all came together fairly quick. I was talking to Cody Glick and he and Justin Oertel were the ones that put the deal together for me. I really appreciate those guys doing that for me and it means a lot for someone of their caliber to work something out to where I could run. Working back and forth on the phone, we were able to put something together and Donnie’s got two brand new Rowdy cars and it’ll be real interesting to see how this weekend goes.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” he continued. “I’m looking forward to getting to the track and feeing things out a little bit and seeing how those cars react out on the race track.”
Sunday’s Father’s Day 100 at Milwaukee will be the culmination of a busy week for the former World Crown 300 and ARCA Menards Series winner. He has four races in four different states planned over a six-day period, starting with Monday night’s Money in the Bank 150 at Berlin Raceway in Michigan. He'll then have a few days off before competing in the Allen Turner Pro Late Model race at Five Flags Speedway Friday night and the Show Me the Money Series Pro Late Model race at Montgomery Motor Speedway Saturday night.
While he acknowledges that it will be a difficult stretch, he says it’s just another week in the life of a race car driver.
“It’s a really difficult weekend traveling-wise,” he said. “It’s going to be exhausting but fun at the same time and that’s what I live for. This is all I’ve done my whole life is race. It’s just another week for me, just added a couple races to it from what I normally do. I’m looking forward to it and it should be a lot of fun.”
Off the heels of nearly winning in his first start at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Short Track U.S. Nationals, Roderick says preparation for Milwaukee will not change from any other race he competes in. He is looking to redeem himself after the heartbreak at Bristol on June 1.
“We don’t do much different preparation-wise to go to those races like Bristol last weekend,” he said. “That was a bummer, I was three laps short of winning that race and that really sucks. We didn’t do anything different preparation-wise other than beefing up the car a little bit. As far as my stuff, it’s just another race.”
Former NASCAR Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil is scheduled to practice the Wilson Motorsports No. 22 for Roderick while he races at Montgomery Motor Speedway in his usual Pro Late Model ride with Ronnie Sanders. With the lack of practice time and sleep going into the Sunday’s ARCA Midwest Tour race, he says the Father’s Day 100 will be a challenging race. He plans to take Sunday in stride as he learns the track.
“The biggest challenge is not ever being there before and not having any practice hardly,” he stated. “I think there’s thirty minutes of practice on Sunday and I’ll be coming off of Saturday night, racing late at Montgomery and then flying up after the race with hardly any sleep going into the 9:30AM practice. That’s going to be the biggest challenge, just learning the track quick and go into the race and take things one at a time. Whatever comes first, you handle it and go from there.”
While Roderick may not be from the Midwest like most of his competition come Sunday, he does have memories from attending the Milwaukee Mile as a teenager. Ever since that trip north, he has always wanted to compete at the famous race track and it will be a dream come true come Sunday.
“When I was about fifteen, I was helping Mark Gibson’s ARCA team at the time in Statham, Georgia and they allowed me to go with them up to Milwaukee and help a little bit,” he said. “My dad and I drove up there and watched the ARCA race and it was pretty fun. I enjoyed it and have wanted to run that track ever since.”
Roderick is a driver that normally does not venture out of the Southeast for a race too often, having done so just once last season for the Money in the Bank 150 at Berlin Raceway. With two races in the Midwest scheduled six days apart, he was asked if there were more starts outside his region planned for 2019.
“Right now, we just have these two and I’m open to running some more of the bigger races if my schedule allows with Ronnie,” he answered. “We just have to wait and see how things play out.”
Race fans will be able to watch Roderick compete in all three races, as all three will be streamed live on Speed51.com. Friday and Saturday’s Pro Late Model doubleheader at Five Flags and Montgomery will be streamed live for premium subscribers to the Speed51 Network, while Sunday’s race will be available as a pay-per-view broadcast.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI)
-Photo credit: Speed51.com