five seven days of the 49th Annual Snowball Derby, many drivers and race teams faced adversity. It is how a team dealt with that adversity that ultimately helped determine their performance.
Once again Speed51.com powered by JEGS is proud to announce the winners of this year’s Five Star Race Car Bodies Tested Tough Awards. Handed out annually to teams who show toughness and perseverance despite hardships, this year’s awards go to Casey Roderick (Thursday and Tuesday), Raphael Lessard (Saturday) and Preston Peltier (Friday).
These three drivers didn’t let a little adversity slow them down and showed that they are “Tested Tough,” just like Five Star Race Car Bodies.
Roderick and his team showed toughness throughout the week, winning both Thursday's Tested Tough Award and Tuesday's Hal Goodson Memorial Award.
Roderick was tested early on in the week with an ill-handling race car during the first Snowball Derby practice. He quickly changed out of his driver's suit and into street clothes to begin working on his No. 7 Super Late Model. Roderick could be seen working under his car swapping parts and making adjustments while others took advantage of the remaining practice time.
His hard work paid off when Friday night's all-important qualifying took place. Roderick turned in a top 10 qualifying effort and locked himself into the big show.
When the green flag waved Tuesday evening for the 300-lap Super Late Model main event, Roderick didn't disappoint. He quickly charged to the front and took the lead for the first time on lap 43 and led the way until lap 80.
Roderick gave up the lead but continued to ride in the second position as he made his way to pit road for a schedule stop.
After restarting near the rear of the field, Roderick was collected in a multi-car crash that saw the entire passenger's side door fly off of his race car. He was able to spot the door panel on the race track and instructed his crew as to where it was located. They were able to pick up that body panel, put it back on the race car and make continuous improvements to the damage throughout the race.
At the end of the day, with a car that was battered and bruised, Roderick crossed the finish line in the sixth position. It was an effort that veteran racer Hal Goodson would be very proud of.
-By 51 Staff
-Photo credit: Speed51.com