Codie Rohrbaugh eyes success in Daytona Truck debut
Fresh off his career-best ARCA Menards Series finish this past Saturday afternoon at the historic Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Codie Rohrbaugh and his Grant County Mulch Racing (GCMR) team eye that same type of success in Friday night’s NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) NextEra Energy Resources 250.
Using patience and luck to his advantage, Rohrbaugh was able to dodge several late-race incidents in the ARCA season-opener to earn his seventh career top-10 finish but first on a superspeedway.
“So glad we finally had some luck on our side at Daytona and on these bigger superspeedways to be exact,” said Rohrbaugh. “You know, I’m really proud of our team. We really just fly under the radar and go out there and give it our all.
“We’re making huge strides and now I’m looking forward to continuing our strong Speedweeks going from ARCA to Trucks.
Success or not, Rohrbaugh and his family-own team are looking to turn heads and stir up the competition at the front in the Truck Series opener on Feb. 15.
With the guidance of crew chief Mark Huff and the thoroughbred effort of his team, the Petersburg, West Virginia native isn’t ruling out the opportunity for his team to steal some of the thunder in their first race of a limited Truck Series schedule in 2019.
“We don’t come to the race track unless we honestly feel like we can contend to win races,” offered Rohrbaugh who will attempt to make his third Truck Series start on Friday. “We’ve made the decision to concentrate a little more on Trucks this year over our ARCA program, so it’s important for us to go out there and be as noticeable as we can.”
Without out any secure points to guarantee themselves into the starting lineup on Friday afternoon, Rohrbaugh knows how crucial practice will be on Thursday – but says his team will have a strategy heading into race day which includes qualifying just four hours before race time.
“There’s a lot of factors to consider when you enter such a big race like on a national platform,” added Rohrbaugh. “For us, to go home would be devastating, especially considering the resources we put into our No. 9 Grant County Mulch Racing Chevrolet.
“While I think it’s important to draft at a place like Daytona and Talladega – for us, I wouldn’t be surprised if we focused on single-truck qualifying runs since we will qualify that way on Friday. It’s different from what I’m used to in ARCA – but that’s OK.
“Mark and the guys are bringing a good truck where we should have the speed whether we’re bunched up in a pack or riding solo around Daytona by ourselves. Once we’re in the race, we’ll focus on what we look to accomplish during the race. Honestly, I would be disappointed with anything less than a top-10 finish. I think we’re capable of that.”
Following Daytona, Rohrbaugh plans to compete in the NGOTS event at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway on Fri., Mar. 1.
In 19 career ARCA starts, Rohrbaugh has a best finish of seventh twice at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (July 2018 and Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (February 2019). He has qualified a career-best fourth on four different occasions including at Kansas Speedway (Oct. 2018).
The NextEra Energy Resources 250 (100 laps | 250 miles) is the first of 23 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races on the 2019 schedule. Practice begins on Thurs, Feb. 14 from 2:35 p.m. – 3:25 p.m. A final practice session is set for 4:35 p.m. – 5:25 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Fri., Feb. 15 beginning at 4:40 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 7:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90).
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