Bank of America 500 Pit Note #3
UNOH Southern Slam 150 Pole Winner George Brunnhoelzl III (No. 09 Phoenix Pre-owned / Triad Auto Sales Chevrolet) – “We’re here for the win and are going to go for the win and let the points fall where ever they fall. We’ve got a real good car under us tonight. We are real excited about our race trim. We were not sure about our qualifying trim, but the guys put it together great and it all worked out. I had an awesome qualifying run and look forward to doing even better in the race. I ran the Northern tour last year, so this is my first time here. I’m looking forward to it. We ran good right off the truck. I am kind of at a little disadvantage not knowing what the track is going to do once the sun goes down, but we are close enough we could float a little bit.”
Good Cars – A former Legend Car champion, Casey Roderick, is in the NASCAR Nationwide Series garage this weekend, hoping to qualify for Friday’s Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage in the No. 08 Ford owned by Randy Hill.
A 19-year-old from Lawrenceville, Ga., Roderick came up through the ranks racing Legend Cars Series, competing in both the Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Thursday Thunder at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He moved into the ARCA Series last year and won a race in his fourth start. He comes to Charlotte with two Nationwide Series races under his belt (Watkins Glen and Dover), eager for seat time and looking to earn the respect of his competitors.
Roderick has already earned the respect of several racing veterans, including Ken Ragan, himself a former NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, as well as the father of current Cup driver David Ragan. Ken Ragan watched Roderick grow up on the race track, and he said he noticed something extra about the driver from a very young age.
“He just had that something extra,” Ken Ragan said. “There are lots of kids that come out with average talent, and a very few with above-average talent. From the time he was eight years old in a Bandolero, he had that. And he comes from such a good family, is such a good kid … you just want to help him.”
And so help him he did. When Texas businessman Randy Hill mentioned an interest in getting into racing earlier this year, Ken Ragan introduced him to Jeff Spraker and Roderick. The rest, they hope, is history.
“Casey’s under fire a little bit, but he’ll be good,” Ken Ragan said. “He’s got what it takes.”
Roderick will be running cars purchased from Roush Racing; his powerhouse this weekend was, in a former life, the No. 60 car that finished third at New Hampshire. During the final Nationwide practice session, Roderick was 32nd fastest with a top speed of 175.165 mph.
Bet on the 60 – OK, so he’s not exactly a dark horse. But after ending the first NASCAR Nationwide practice session 12th, Carl Edwards didn’t seem like an obvious favorite for Friday’s Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage.
Looks can be deceiving. Edwards was so pleased with his car in the 16 race-trim laps he turned that he asked the crew not to touch it. Instead, the guys ate a leisurely dinner, talked with friends and held up a stack of Goodyears.
As the second session got under way, Edwards climbed on top of a hauler to watch before hopping in his No. 60 Fastenal Ford – the same chassis that took him to victory lane in Atlanta last month – and moving up to eighth on the speed chart.
Modified Note – Chris Dilbeck, a former Legends racer at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway, will not compete in tonight’s UNOH Southern Slam 150 after a blown motor in practice sent his team packing.