DISAPPOINTMENT AT KANSAS FOR BILL ELLIOTT'S DRIVER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM DAWSONVILLE, GA (October 1, 2010) - Rising racing star Casey Roderick and his race teams have had their share of bad luck in their racing endeavors this season, from broken...
DISAPPOINTMENT AT KANSAS FOR BILL ELLIOTT'S DRIVER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
DAWSONVILLE, GA (October 1, 2010) - Rising racing star Casey Roderick and his race teams have had their share of bad luck in their racing endeavors this season, from broken motors to mishaps on the race track. But what makes a successful team is being prepared and willing to turn that around. Bill Elliott's Driver Development team members have shown they have the tools and talent to be successful, often rising to meet challenges on short notice.
This weekend's Kansas Lottery 150 was one of those challenges, but it did not end well as the engine on Roderick's Dodge blew before he completed a lap in the race, leaving him with a disappointing 36th-place finish and his crew with nothing to show for two weeks of hard work.
Two weeks prior to the 150, officials from Phoenix Racing informed Elliott that they were not prepared to field another car for Roderick after his on-track incident at Chicagoland totaled the car they had hoped to run at Kansas as well.
So the "never give up, never surrender" attitude took hold in Elliott's Dawsonville shop, and Jim Barfield led shop members in preparing Roderick's Iowa car for the Kansas event. That was a tall order since the added work had to be done in the middle of an already hectic season of racing. But as usual they were up to the task, and left for Kansas with a mini-team consisting of four crew members, plus Roderick and Elliott.
But there would be no storybook ending to this tale.
Five laps into practice Roderick radioed that there was no oil pressure, and Elliott made the call to come in and change the engine.
"I just didn't want to take any chances after the motor blowing up in New Jersey," said Elliott. Crew members including Elliott went to work and completed the engine change in time for qualifying. Elliott told Roderick to take it easy and feel the car out as best as he could since he had no practice laps with the engine. Roderick did as he was told and qualified a respectable 16th.
The same strategy would apply to the beginning of the race until the crew could make necessary adjustments. But coming to the green flag something in the new motor broke, and Roderick would be relegated to the 36th finishing position.
"Despite the bad luck with the two motors I think we had a pretty decent car from what I could tell in three or four laps," Roderick said. "Nobody gave up on this Bill Elliott racing team. It just wasn't meant to be I guess.
"I want to thank Bill for taking me to Kansas, and also thank all the guys that came together as one and made it happen. I also would like to thank [Phoenix Racing owner] James Finch for his help and support." Roderick said that despite the setback at Kansas and the loss of his ride with Phoenix, he's still trying to look at the future in a positive manner.
"I would like to do some Nationwide racing or maybe a full ARCA deal....just something steady so I can get the seat time I need and show people I can do this as a driver," he said. "A steady Nationwide ride would be the ultimate goal, but the economy is not on our side right now which makes it even tougher."
-source: bill elliott driver development