Andrew Rogers Makes Most of Night, Finishes Sixth at Lakeland Knight's Racing Team Does Not Give up in Pro Cup Opener INDIAN TRAIL, NC- Things did not go according to plan for Andrew Rogers and the No. 81 Termidor/Aaron's team in the USAR Pro...
Andrew Rogers Makes Most of Night, Finishes Sixth at Lakeland
Knight's Racing Team Does Not Give up in Pro Cup Opener
INDIAN TRAIL, NC- Things did not go according to plan for Andrew Rogers and the No. 81 Termidor/Aaron's team in the USAR Pro Cup Season opener at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Florida, on Saturday night. But instead of leaving the track with a finish of 30th, 25th or even 20th, Rogers started 19th, but made it all the way into the top 10 when the race concluded.
What was the secret of turning things around to finish sixth on a night when they probably should have been much further back? The answer is easy, but doing it wasn't.
"Perseverance," said Rogers when asked about his secret weapon. "I'd have to say that was my word of the day. I was down on myself after qualifying. It didn't show our potential. I knew we had a good car. We had a good car in practice and I knew we'd be good on long runs. I was just trying to be patient. I wasn't worried about going a lap down because I knew we had a good car. It was easy to stay patient."
Staying out of trouble during a race when most drivers didn't also helped.
"They wrecked around me and I would just get by them. I would sit there and watch them come off the corner. I would just concentrate on keeping my foot easy in the gas. Then they would just start sliding on me and I'd watch two little drift marks come off the corner and I'd run them right back down.
That left Rogers in a good position as the race winded down.
"At the end, I think we just had better stuff than the rest of them." said Rogers. "With 50 to go, Barry (Elvis) told me to just go for it. I said alright. I couldn't have driven any harder than I did at the end there. We had a really good run. I couldn't ask for a better racecar. It was a good night. We had a bad pit stop that set us back a little bit. We might have had a top-five car. We came back and got back to the front. It was all about perseverance."
Rogers had a lot of pressure on himself heading into the race. Last season, the No. 81 Knight's Racing team won three out of four events at Lakeland with veteran driver Shane Huffman. This season, Huffman has moved on to a team owned by NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Rogers begins his sophomore season in Pro Cup playing the role of an up-and-coming driver with a hot team. He showed this weekend that he is worthy of the ride.
"I was worried coming in here. I had some big shoes to fill with replacing Shane Huffman. I was worried about running bad. We didn't run that well here in November. To come halfway through the field to the front and halfway through the field to the front again said something about our team. It will make going into the next race that much better.
"I felt like I had something to prove. We didn't come away with the win, but we had a car that was in position to win. We had a car that was good enough. I think that we are going to be really good the next couple of times we come down here and I'm really excited about going to Valdosta."