USAR: Rogers wins Southern Divison Rookie of the Year

Brad Rogers wins Southern Division Miller Lite Rookie of the Year Longs, SC -- After five races in the Southern Division regular season, Brad Rogers wasn't sure what the rest of the year would hold, or if there would be a rest of the ...

Brad Rogers wins Southern Division Miller Lite Rookie of the Year

Longs, SC -- After five races in the Southern Division regular season, Brad Rogers wasn't sure what the rest of the year would hold, or if there would be a rest of the year.

Rogers started the season with a third-place finish in the season opener at USA Int'l Speedway, but the 20-year-old driver averaged a 20th-place finish in the next four races and dropped to 14th in points.

"The first half of the season was a struggle," said Rogers. "There were three or four races that we just stayed down."

Instead of saving his rookie status for next year, Rogers' team decided to finish out the season. And it proved to be the right decision.

With the cancellation of the Jackaroo Sauces 250 earlier today, the younger Rogers became the Miller Lite Rookie of the Year in the Southern Division and added $10,000 to his season winnings for the award.

"It feels great to win the rookie award for the regular season," said Rogers, driver of the No. 29 KellyCo. Heavy Hauling Ford. "[Winning the Southern Division ROTY] was a goal that we had set for our season. After struggling at the beginning of the year, it was like a light switch came on in the second half of the year."

And Rogers' finishes reflected that as the first-year driver notched six top-five finishes in seven races, including his first win at Southern National Speedway on July 24.

"Everybody is going to have bad luck, and we got ours out of the way at the beginning of the year," said Rogers. "I'm extremely happy with the way the last half of the season has gone."

As well he should be.

Not only did Rogers' run of stout finishes vault him to the regular season ROTY award, the Moorseville, N.C., driver moved from 14th in points to fourth during the seven-race span. It also caught the eye of Blake Garrison, Vice President of Sports Marketing at All-Pro Sports, who will be working to promote and seek further sponsorship for Rogers. "With Brad's talent and desire to compete, he will be a top contender for years to come," said Garrison.

With one goal accomplished, Rogers will turn his focus to his second goal: winning the overall Miller Lite Rookie of the Year and the $25,000 check. But he knows that will be no easy task.

"Matt [Carter] had some bad luck at the end of the year and that made the difference, but he's going to be tough to beat for the overall rookie," said Rogers, who bested Carter for the Southern Division ROTY award by 129 points. "[Gary] St. Amant is going to be tough to beat as well. He's been doing this a long time, but I can't worry about them. I'm more concerned about winning races and being consistent."

If he can accomplish both of those goals in the Championship Series, there may be a sibling rivalry brewing for the overall title.

-usar-

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