Casey Roderick was hoping to debut his new Hamke Racecar at last year’s Rattler 250, but the car would not be ready for the event. Fast forward one year, and Roderick makes his way back to South Alabama Speedway just as, if not more confident than he’s ever been.
The Georgia driver already has a start under his belt this year, coming at the SRL Southwest Tour All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway. He finished second that night, though he was charging before curfew ended the race before the scheduled distance.
Roderck now returns to the Southeast for the Rattler 250, a race that holds special meaning to him.
“The Rattler’s a special deal to me, that was where my first big win was at with the Grahams back in 2014 getting back into Super Late Models after a couple year break,” Roderick told Speed51. “I’m really looking forward to it. I hate that I missed it last year, I was trying to get my car put together.
“I feel really good about our chances this year. We have a really good race car, we just came off of a big trip out to California. I hate how that race ended. I felt like we could’ve made a run for it there at the end with a few laps to go but it got cut short because of curfew. All in all, it was fast off the truck and I feel like we can do the same at the Rattler.”
The 2014 Rattler 250 was just his third race in a Super Late Model in a four-year span, and his first of a full schedule that year. He started shotgun on the field and worked his way to the front throughout the race, leading the final 27 laps and beating out Anderson Bowen for the win.
He looked back on his first major Super Late Model victory and the roller coaster of a ride it took to get it.
“That was interesting, I qualified dead last. We went out to qualify and it started raining when I went out on the racetrack and it just got really slick. I had no grip in the corners, I was just washing up the racetrack on both ends and I qualified in last. They ended up raining it out and we came back the following weekend. They gave us a little bit of practice and I started on the tail end and we ended up winning that thing.
“It was a cool experience for everyone. To have that rattler around your neck for the picture was a pretty cool experience as well.”
Roderick is not too far removed from another marquee win, this one coming in the All American 400 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. It was an emotional win for him, his first in his self-owned car after multiple near-misses in the event driving for other teams.
That win also helped him be able to attend last December’s Snowball Derby, as well as the All-Star Showdown back in January.
“That race, I’ve tried to win it for many years now and I’ve had really good chances to win, just that nothing has lined up correctly for me to do so. We finally pulled it off and it was really special because it was my own car. There’s a lot of people to thank to get to this point and to pull off what I’m doing right now. I don’t have the money to be doing what I’m doing but everyone that’s involved has made it possible for me.
“That goes down to PFC Brakes, Tilton, Hodge Sawdust and Shavings, Country Pleasin’ Sausage, there’s so many people. DeWaine McGunegill with McGunegill Engine Performance, Hightower Transmission, Buzze Racing, everyone that has contributed to this and made this possible for me. Also, Hamke Racecars and Brannon Earnest, he’s been a big help with my program. CJ’s Sign and Graphics, RPM Trailer Sales, JRI Shocks, all these guys have contributed to my program and I want to give them a big thanks for everything they’ve done for me. They don’t get the proper thank you every week that they deserve so we’ll give them a big shout out.”
While Roderick races to win like he always has, he now races to get to the next event with him owning his Super Late Model now. He hopes that a second Rattler 250 win will attract even more sponsors to help him attend more races in 2021.
“I think it would help me in the future to nail down some more sponsorship, honestly. I’m constantly trying to work on things and trying to raise more money and it’s tough out here for me to be able to do that. I’m just thankful for the people that have helped me so far. Phoenix Construction and Just-N-Nuff Motorsports came on board for the Snowball Derby and for the California trip. Hopefully a big win this weekend will help me out in the future to go to more races.”
Multiple viewing options will be available for the Rattler 250 on March 12-14. Premium subscribers can watch the event free with their subscription, while a PPV ticket will also be available. Click here for more information.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo