CORONA, California – Blake Rogers is having mixed emotions about his family’s trip to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, this weekend.
“I’m excited,” he said, “and kind of nervous. I’m still getting used to a big car. It’s a little bit different than a Legend.”
The car Rogers is getting used to is a Chevrolet-powered Lefthander chassis that he will be driving when the Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by LoanMart begins its 10th anniversary season Saturday afternoon (March 14) at Havasu 95 Speedway.
The E3 Spark Plugs 100 presented by GEICO will be the 16-year-old Roger’s third race in the car and his first in a 10-race season he hopes will conclude with the DJ Safety Rookie of the Year Award in his trophy case.
“My goal this year is just getting laps, staying in the top 24 (in the Hoosier Tire West point standings) and eventually winning rookie of the year.”
Rogers, a junior at Gila Ridge High School in Yuma, has had success in his seven years of racing, winning championships in Mini-Dwarfs, Bandoleros and Legends Cars. The MGM Design/Firm Inc. Modified is the first full-sized car he has driven, though, so he, father Jimmy and mother Sharalee entered two races last season to begin the transition – finishing fifth in the B main at Las Vegas in May and 22nd at Havasu 95 Speedway in October.
“I think it was a little bit easier than I thought it was going to be,” Rogers said. “I thought it would be a lot harder to get it to turn, but it was easier when I realized you have to use the brakes a lot more. And I’m going from 135 horsepower to 600, so it’s hard to get used to getting on the throttle without spinning the tires.”
Rogers is taking a giant step in his nascent career but there is precedent for it. Dylan Cappello, another Arizona teenager, made the transition look easy by winning the 2014 series championship. He showed that he’s ready to make it two in row, too, by winning the recent General Tire 75 special event at Kern County Raceway.
Fourteen of the top 15 in the standings are back, as well, for what is shaping up as a great anniversary celebration.
-Lucas Oil Modifieds Press Release & Photo