LONG POND, Pa. – For ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver Codie Rohrbaugh, he’s anxious for his return to Pocono (Pa.) Raceway for Friday’s ModSpace 150.
Last month, Rohrbaugh and his Grant County Mulch Racing (GCMR) team seemed poised to win their first career series pole, but a technicality axed time trials and left them fourth on the starting grid based on their practice results.
Hoping to contend for the win, an ill-handling car during the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 left them instead with a respectable 12th place finish.
Nearly a month and a half later, Rohrbaugh is back and still gleaming on the momentum of his first career top-10 finish the following week after Pocono where he earned an eighth-place finish in the Corrigan Oil 200 at Michigan International Speedway.
With time to digest their Michigan performance, the former Pro Cup Series veteran and crew chief Mark Huff return to the “Tricky Triangle” hoping for another strong effort.
“Michigan was a great boost for our team,” said Rohrbaugh who plans to make his fifth start of the season Friday afternoon. “We qualified and raced in the top-10 all afternoon at Michigan and I think we’ve made some solid gains with our No. 7 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet since then and I believe we have what it takes to have another strong run at Pocono.”
Running a limited schedule with his family-owned team, Rohrbaugh says it’s been important for them to take advantage of every opportunity on the race track. Shifting through their race results this year, the Petersburg, Va. native is proud.
“We’ve finished inside the top-15 in every race we’ve competed this year,” added Rohrbaugh. “I’m pretty happy with that. We’ve had to build our composite cars from the ground up and then we bought an old superspeedway car from Allgaier Motorsports and really got the most out of it.
“Everything hasn’t exactly gone our way, but we’ve been in a position to score good finishes. To me, that’s all you can ask for.”
While contending for a top-10 finish in his superspeedway debut at Daytona, Rohrbaugh found himself a victim in the race-ending crash, finishing 14th. Running inside the top-five at Talladega Superspeedway in the waning laps, he had to pit for fuel in overtime and only had time to recover to finish 14th.
From there, it was a 12th at Pocono and a career-high eighth at Michigan.
Looking back and focusing ahead, Rohrbaugh says every race has been a positive experience for his team.
“We have a lot to be thankful for,” sounded Rohrbaugh. “Not only do we get to drive race cars on the weekend, but we’re learning from every race we run. Sometimes good things happen, sometimes something else happens. It’s just the nature of the beast. I would love to be out there every week, but that takes a lot of funding. “We’re working on that though.
“For now, we’ll take the races we have circled on our calendar and hope to make the best of them.”
As for Pocono, it’s almost like Christmas in July for the second-generation driver.
“Pocono is just one of those places I connected with – just after a couple laps,” he recalled. “It’s a neat place that requires a unique driving style – but most of all, it’s super-fast. Hopefully, we can have a good day on Friday and go onto to the next one.”
Flux with a presence in the ARCA Racing Series, Rohrbaugh still hopes to compete in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race or two in 2017.
“Yeah, that’s still being tossed around,” he said. “We have the cars. Just must make sure it makes sense for us and everyone at Grant County Mulch. Without them, I would not be here. I’m just grateful to be racing.”
In 13 previous NKNPSE starts, the 23-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.
In five ARCA starts, he has a best finish of eighth at Michigan International Speedway (June 2017) after starting a career-best eighth at the same 2.0-mile speedway.
Marketing partnership opportunities are available for the No. 7 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet for the 2017 and 2018 ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East seasons and beyond. Interested inquiries are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ModSpace 150 (60 laps / 150 miles) is the 12th of 20 races on the 2017 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Fri., July 28 with an hour and a half practice session planned from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 1:00 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later shortly after 4:00 p.m. The event will be broadcasted live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the week’s activities. All times are local (ET).