DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Even though he hasn’t competed in an ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race at Daytona International Speedway, Codie Rohrbaugh has turned enough laps around the “World Center of Racing” to make him feel like a veteran.
Rohrbaugh, the avid Late Model racer tested the 2.5-mile superspeedway in January 2016 for Win-Tron Racing. Last month, his Grant County Mulch Racing (GCMR) team spent two days testing preparing their young driver for his superspeedway ARCA debut in Saturday afternoon’s Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 driven by General Tire.
His family-owned team led by industry veteran Mark Huff acquired a car from Allgaier Motorsports and will pilot that No. 7 Grant County Mulch Dodge in Rohrbaugh’s third career ARCA start.
“Can’t wait to get to Daytona,” said Rohrbaugh. “It’s a bucket list item for our team. Though, it’s more than just going down there and getting into the field. We’d like to have a good shot at a good finish and I think we have an opportunity to do that.”
Last month Rohrbaugh turned over 50 laps around the Motorsports stadium putting his car inside the top-20 in overall speeds when the session concluded on Saturday afternoon. Huff and his rookie driver worked hard on single-car runs, then sent their 23-year-old protégé into the draft allowing the Petersburg, West Virginia native to experience the fundamentals of superspeedway racing.
“We really took advantage of the test,” added Rohrbaugh. “While this car has experience on the track in ARCA competition, it was still new to us. I wanted to get comfortable with the car. We made adjustments throughout the day that the car really responded too. In the draft, the car was pretty good. It’s all about having the right drafting partner. I need to remember that for practice and the race this week.”
Following Daytona, the team’s ARCA plans are still flux, but Rohrbaugh says the team does plan to compete in several events this season.
“The more we’re able to run good, the more I think you’ll see us around,” sounded Rohrbaugh. “We know we have Daytona on the docket, then I’m sure we’ll pick a couple short tracks. If we come out of Daytona unscathed, we’ll probably go to Talladega. Don’t count out us for some of the bigger track races too. We’re working hard on nailing down a more firmer schedule, but we plan to be around a good bit this season.”
Before turning most of their competition towards ARCA, Rohrbaugh and his Mooresville, N.C.-based team maintained a healthy presence in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Rohrbaugh, the former Pro Cup Series competitor said they’ll still compete in NASCAR’s touring series this year, but choose select races.
“As far as K&N, we’ve got a few picked out,” he said. “I think our first race is Bristol – then more later in the year, but it’s very hit and miss. We want to grow our program and we feel like we have a good opportunity to do that in ARCA this season.”
In 13 previous NKNPSE starts, the 22-year-old has a best finish of ninth at Stafford (CT.) Motor Speedway in August 2015. A ninth-place qualifying effort at Bristol Motor Speedway in April 2015 is his best time trials effort to date.
Marketing partnership opportunities are available for the No. 7 Grant County Mulch Dodge for the 2017 ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East seasons and beyond. Interested inquiries are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 driven by General Tire (80 laps / 200 miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2017 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Thurs., Feb. 16 with a two-hour session from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. A final practice session has been etched in on Fri., Feb. 17 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 3:30 p.m. The preamble for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ “Clash” is set to take the green flag on Sat., Feb. 18 shortly after 4:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.