USAR: Valdosta: Andrew Rogers preview

One Race Under His Belt, Andrew Rogers Is Still a True "Rookie" Team Didn't Get a Chance to Test at New Pro Cup Track after Lakeland KANNAPOLIS, NC (March 8, 2005) -- It's an old racing cliche, but at USA International Speedway a couple of ...

One Race Under His Belt, Andrew Rogers Is Still a True "Rookie"
Team Didn't Get a Chance to Test at New Pro Cup Track after Lakeland

KANNAPOLIS, NC (March 8, 2005) -- It's an old racing cliche, but at USA International Speedway a couple of weeks ago, Hooters Pro Cup Series Rookie of the Year candidate Andrew Rogers "went to school." Now, two weeks later, Rogers is getting ready to head into the second race of the year (at Georgia Motorsports Park) and is still taking things he learned from that first race and applying them to himself, his team and his preparation.

"I'm still nervous going into this weekend because I get a little nervous before every race, but I'm a lot more confident in myself and a lot more confident in my team now," said Rogers. "After Lakeland, I know now that we can run up front and be competitive. Our main goal for this week, though, is to not tear the car up in the race. I learned a lot about patience at Lakeland. The fact is that these are not 25- or 35-lap sprints like I'm used to; these are 250-lap races where you've got plenty of time to make your way up through the field and not get in any stupid positions."

Rogers' Lakeland experience was a decent one. He qualified seventh and raced in the top-15 much of the night. However, a tap from another competitor ultimately sent Rogers into the wall and to an eventual 24th-palce finish.

"I think I learned a lot about just finishing these races and that if you do, running up front will take care of itself. I was pretty happy with the weekend but, of course, I wish we would have finished better. I think we could have been a top-five car. I was right behind Matt Carter and I was running all over him and he finished fourth. I think we really learned how unorganized we were and that is one thing we have worked on and will get better at, as far as pit stops and having everything prepared and having everything we need."

Since then, Rogers and his team have been hard at work fixing things from Lakeland and getting prepared for this weekend's event at the brand new South Georgia Motorsports Park, a track that will host its first Hooters Pro Cup Series event this coming Saturday.

"We have been working on the car from Lakeland. We had to get a new rear clip put on it. We had to repaint the whole car after Chuck put a new body on that part of it. So, we are thrashing, trying to get it all done so we can get out of here this week.

"Since we crashed at Lakeland, we didn't get to go to the track (in Valdosta, GA) and test during the open session the series had there after Lakeland. Thankfully, though, we have (defending Pro Cup Series champion) Clay Rogers helping us. He's told me a lot about the track as far as set up goes and stuff, so we should be pretty good going into it. We might be a little bit behind everyone else, but after practice, we should be caught up.

"It will be pretty tough. There are a lot of tracks that I've never been to before. I feel like we are a little behind since a lot of people I've talked to have already tested there. Hopefully, though, with the help I've got, we will be able to catch up with them pretty quick."

The Hooters Pro Cup 250 at South Georgia Motorsports Park will take place Saturday, March 12th. The race can be seen on SPEED Channel the following Saturday, March 26th, at 10pm.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Clay Rogers