Casey Roderick was the quickest Southern Super Series driver in practice Saturday at Gresham Motorsports Park for the 31st Annual World Crown 300 presented by Victory Junction. His lap of 16.893-seconds topped the chart in the second session of five through the early afternoon at GMP.
While Roderick's time topped laps of 25 other drivers that hit the Gresham half mile, the Lawrenceville, Georgia driver knows there's still work to be done if he's going to wear the crown, cape and scepter in victory lane at the end of the night.
"We're pretty good, but we're definitely looking for a little bit more," said Roderick. "My car, the last few races, I've been struggling with losing bite early on. It's a handful from about lap 10 on with a set of tires. My car is gone. We've made a lot of gains this weekend. We think we had some rear-end issues the last few races, so we put a brand new rear end for this weekend. I feel like it's a little better, but we're still losing grip as the run goes on."
Roderick is piloting a newly-built Grand American Racecar powered by a Progressive Racing engine.
"I'm still learning this new car and there's a lot to think about. Whether we did something right this weekend, I don't know. Augie and Frankie Grill have helped me out a lot this weekend. I think I'm getting on the right track here, but something's missing and we have to find that. I'm pretty happy with the car, but it still seems to be getting a little free the longer we run, but not as bad as it had been."
Roderick and his Graham Motorsports team dialed their car in to set a fast lap early in the practice, before the sun peeked out from the clouds and slowed the speeds down throughout the session. The contrast in temperature have thrown curveballs to Roderick and other teams in the pit area.
"The track's getting hot and slick," added Roderick. "Last night in practice, my car was really good. Now we've changed the setup completely today. I don't know if that was the right thing to do or not, but it seems like everyone's changing to keep up with the track today. You've got to keep up with the track here. Who knows what it's going to be tonight. The track's going to be cooler at night and the car felt really good last night, so hopefully it'll be back to where it was then."
Vermont's Brian Hoar, and Florida racers Jeff Choquette and Daniel Keene, Jr. and Stephen Nasse rounded out the top five.
Speed51.com continues live Trackside Now coverage of the World Crown 300 at Gresham Motorsports Park at this link: http://speed51.com/trackside-now-world-crown-300-race-day-at-gresham/. Full practice results can be found there, as well.
- By Matt Kentfield, Speed51.com Executive Director - Twitter: @mattkentfield. Photo credit: Speed51.com