Life is good for Codie Rohrbaugh.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East rookie enters the final race of the season on the heels of a career-best finish this past weekend in the X-1R Pro Cup Series.
Now, the driver of the No. 05 Grant County Mulch Toyota Camry hopes he’s able to carry the momentum from last Saturday night’s race at Southern National (N.C.) Motorsports Park into Dover (Del) International Speedway.
“Our second place run at Southern National was awesome,” said Rohrbaugh. “If we had a couple more laps who knows what would have happened, but to get my career best finish is a great confidence booster heading into Dover this weekend.”
Indeed, Rohrbaugh, will meet Miles the Monster for the first time in his career, when the Drive Sober 150 accelerates towards the checkered flag for the final time in 2014, but first the two must get acquainted.
“You hear so much about Dover, but it will be a great moment to experience it for myself this week,” added Rohrbaugh. “It’s a tough place, I don’t think there’s any denying that, but I’m up and used to challenges, so I can’t wait to see what Dover brings.”
Rohrbaugh will attempt to make just his third NASCAR K&N Pro Series start and first since New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July. The nearly two month gap between races has allowed the Grant County Mulch to fine-tune their machine, while also utilize their resources to make sure they come to the track more prepared than ever.
The Petersburg West Virginia native made his K&N debut at Five Flags (Fla.) Speedway, where after qualifying 19th, Rohrbaugh drove more like a veteran and placed 13th in his debut on the lead lap.
A month later, Rohrbaugh headed to the “Magic Mile” of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where the rising star successful qualified for the Granite State 100, but near the end of the event, the team ran into battery issues. Down, but not out, the team made a nice recovery, keeping their driver on the lead lap and a respectful 21st place finish, given the circumstances.
“In retrospect, it hasn’t been that long since we’ve been in a K&N race, but it feels like forever,” added Rohrbaugh. The downtime has allowed us to focus on our Pro Cup program, as well as make sure our K&N program is prepared as it can be, because it’s Dover.
Dover is a big opportunity for us, but we know it’s not going to be easy. There’s a lot of good cars entered, so we have to be sure to utilize our time wisely and make sure that our No. 05 Grant County Mulch Toyota Camry is strong out of the box and we make progress forward and not backwards.”
Once Rohrbaugh qualifies for the 16th race of the season, his goals are feasible, but more important obtainable.
“I’ve learned from watching prior races and such that Dover can be a difficult place to pass,” sounded Rohrbaugh. “When we make our moves, it has to be right and most of all make sure we don’t put ourselves in a spot where we could get into trouble. Qualifying near the front will be important. Once the race starts, we’ll give it our best towards earning a top-10 finish.”
Following Dover, the Grant County Mulch Racing team will shift their focus back to the X-1R Pro Cup Series for their remaining races, before preparing during the off-season for a busy 2015 season, which will be announced in the coming weeks.
“We’re excited about what’s ahead,” Rohrbaugh mentioned. “We’re still ironing out all the details, but we’ll be back in 2015 and that’s the main thing.”
Codie Rohrbaugh PR