USAR: Myrtle Beach: Andrew Rogers race report

Andrew Rogers Gets New Crew Chief In Veteran Patrick Donahue New Help Pays Off Right Away For 19-Year-Old In Myrtle Beach KANNAPOLIS, NC (June 28, 2005) -- USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series Rookie of the Year contender Andrew Rogers has been ...

Andrew Rogers Gets New Crew Chief In Veteran Patrick Donahue
New Help Pays Off Right Away For 19-Year-Old In Myrtle Beach

KANNAPOLIS, NC (June 28, 2005) -- USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series Rookie of the Year contender Andrew Rogers has been searching for something over the last month. He's been searching for a little bit of veteran help. Not only is Rogers a rookie in the Pro Cup Series, but his team is full of rookies as well. And without a consistent Crew Chief in place, the young 19-year-old has been earning his lumps on the Pro Cup Series schedule.

However, Rogers is now heading in a different direction. That is because he's now got one of the best veteran crew chiefs in the business behind him. Late last week, Rogers welcomed veteran wrench Patrick Donahue into the 18 Termidor/Bombardier/SeaDoo team's home.

Donahue, the Maine-native, has served as crew chief in both the NASCAR Busch and Nextel Cup Series and has worked with drivers such as Jeff Gordon, Robby Gordon, Brian Vickers and Casey Atwood. Donahue started out as a protege to veteran Cup crew chief Ray Evernham. He led ARCA driver Joey Miller to victory in Miller's first-career start last year at Nashville Superspeedway (TN).

The new hand immediately paid off for Rogers, who ran as high as third in Sunday's rain-delayed USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series event at Myrtle Beach Speedway until alternator problems forced him behind the wall and eventually out of the event.

"(Patrick's) been a Cup crew chief and he's been around this racing deal a long time," said Rogers. "He's won a lot of races. We came into the year knowing we needed a guy like that. We had that at the beginning of the year and it just didn't work out. We then went to some races not having anyone in the pit that had been around the sport and that was tough on us.

"Patrick came in last week and knew right away what he was doing and he was pumped about it. We knew right away that he was going to be very beneficial to us because he was pointing out some stuff we needed to change. He is extremely smart and he's made a lot of good calls already. Every call he made in practice at Myrtle Beach made us faster and faster. He's going to be with us the rest of the year and I can hardly wait."

Rogers started 15th on Sunday after qualifying was rained out, but took little time in getting into the top 10 at the legendary track. Once there, Rogers raced his way into the top five, getting as high as third before various pit strategies put him back in the pack.

"I was really worried about this place coming in because everyone talks about how tough it is and how much everyone hates it. We came up here and tested and we were pretty good. We went back and got our new crew chief this week in Patrick and things just went well from there. He went through the cars and found a lot of things wrong and got a lot of things straightened out.

"The first few laps into the race, I knew we were going to have a decent car. We worked up to the top five and were up to third at one point. We were just riding until we got our four tires near the end of the event. We were good on old tires and we were on sequence with guys like Shane Huffman and others."

However, even Donahue's expertise couldn't control parts failure, which took the #18 Termidor team out of the running late.

"We ended up having an alternator go bad.  We had one go bad a few races
ago and it happened again.  We need to get something better put on
there.  So eventually, our battery went dead.

"It was a good weekend for the team, though. We had a really good run going. I'm just sad we fell out. It is one of those things that there is nothing you can do about it. We are going to go to Hickory now and do real well, I think.

"Everyone knew we were here this weekend. They all knew we were going to be right there at the end without those problems. We made a statement."

-AndrewRogersRacing.com.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Robby Gordon , Casey Atwood , Brian Vickers , Ray Evernham , Joey Miller