Andrew Rogers Eyes Two Shootout Titles
Andrew Rogers, an 18-year-old Charlotte resident, is attempting to follow in Sorenson¿s tire tracks, but Rogers is gunning for his two championships in the same season.
Rogers has won races in the Quaker Steak & Lube Thunder Roadster and Raceape.com Legends Car Semi-Pro divisions this season and is in contention for both championships as the 10-week series of Tuesday night races heads into the homestretch.
¿Racing is basically a full-time job,¿ said Rogers who graduated from Sun Valley High School in May. ¿We work late nights in the shop to run up front like we do.¿
Rogers¿ father was racing go-karts before his son was born and the youngster grew up at the race track.
¿My dad really got me into racing,¿ Rogers explained. ¿He¿s been racing for as long as I can remember and even has plaques on our walls at home from before I was born.¿
The younger Rogers started racing go-karts at age 12, but then decided to take some time away from the sport. However, by 2000, he was back behind the wheel and has been going full throttle ever since.
Bouncing back and forth between a Legends Car and a Thunder Roadster is an added challenge for Rogers as the two cars require different driving techniques. A Thunder Roadster weighs 1,500 pounds and has a 96-inch wheelbase while a Legends Cars tips the scales at just 1,080 pounds and has a much shorter 73-inch wheelbase.
¿It¿s a little bit easier to drive the Legends Car first and then the Thunder Roadster,¿ Rogers noted. ¿With the Legends Car, you have to use a whole lot more brake. But I like which ever car we are winning in the best.¿
In addition to his Legends Car and Thunder Roadster, Rogers and his team have built a late model stock car that is ready to hit the track when the Hardee¿s Summer Shootout concludes.
¿We are going to try and run our late model a lot at some area short tracks this fall,¿ Rogers said. ¿But now I¿m just really trying to focus on the Hardee¿s Summer Shootout and winning a couple championships.¿
Rogers has strong support both on and off the track with notable sponsors and good connections. Premise Termite Elimination and TopChoice for Fire Ants, products of Bayer Environmental Science Corp., are the primary sponsors of his Legends Car and Thunder Roadster.
¿Both of our sponsors are chemicals my dad uses because he owns a pest control company based in Florida,¿ said Rogers. ¿They have been with us since we raced go-karts and we just keep asking them for more money each year, and we are lucky they give it to us.¿
A native of Atlanta, Rogers also has a very famous associate sponsor in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup veteran Mark Martin.
¿We helped Mark out a little bit when his son, Matt, was getting into Bandolero racing,¿ said Rogers. ¿He is a great guy and a very good name to have on our race cars.¿
Rogers is determined to prove himself as a race car driver and is focused on advancing to the top of the sport.
¿I guess every racer¿s dream is to be in NASCAR one day,¿ Rogers said. ¿My goal is to race in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup division.¿
The 11th annual Hardee¿s Summer Shootout features three classes of Bandolero racing, three divisions of Legends Cars, Thunder Roadsters and a novelty event. Nearly 160 race cars will jam the pit area each Tuesday night through Aug. 17.
Admission is just $5 for adults. Children 6-12 are admitted for $3 and kids under 6 are free. Tickets are available in advance at the speedway ticket office and at Gates 4 and 5 the night of the event. Parking is free. Contact the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS for information or to purchase tickets.