Roderick changes plans for successful future

DAWSONVILLE -- Lawrenceville native Casey Roderick announced earlier this month that he is making changes to his 2010 driving schedule for Bill Elliott Racing.

The 17-year-old's plans include scrapping all late model racing events and adding the ARCA Series as his main focus.

"We had a model car and a sponsorship, which is a family owned business here in Dawsonville, and they decided to pull out because business wasn't doing the best the past few months, so that put us in a position to where we had to make a decision on what we wanted to do and what would further my career," Roderick said. "So we decided on focusing on these ARCA races and trying to give me the opportunity to race some Nationwide events at the end of the year. Bill (Elliott) thought this would be the best thing to do."

Roderick made his ARCA Series career debut in 2009 at Rockingham Speedway. He led three laps and placed second after starting in 41st position.

"That was awesome. We had a car to win with but I kind of started overdriving there for a little bit and started losing us some time," Roderick said. "It was a good run for us and I was real excited and I never expected that to happen. I was just looking for a good top-10 finish and just come home without a torn-up race car."

Roderick, who doesn't turn 18 until August, started from the pole in his 2010 ARCA Series debut, which was held at the Palm Beach International Speedway this past February. However, he finished 22nd after a blown transmission sent him to the garage.

Roderick is scheduled to make his second ARCA Series start of 2010 in July at Iowa Speedway, although he says that could change due to lack of sponsorship.

"That is the plan, to start on July 10. That could change in a couple of days or a couple of weeks," Roderick said. "There is no telling but as of right now that is the plan."

Roderick, who considers himself a moderately respectful and patient driver, also mentioned that he is hoping to make his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series start in November when the series visits Phoenix International Raceway.

Roderick will be supported throughout the process by Bill Elliott Racing and owner of Phoenix Racing, James Finch, who is known for the development of NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski. Roderick was added to the Bill Elliott Racing Driver Development program in August 2008 at the age of 15.

"I hope the experience Casey gains on the bigger tracks will garner him approval from NASCAR to race in the Nationwide Series at Phoenix this November," Finch said. "I am looking forward to racing with Casey."

If Roderick is able to make his NASCAR debut in 2010, it won't be the first time he will have mixed it up with NASCAR talent. This past January in the first event of the 2010 season at Lanier National Speedway, Roderick was bumped from first place after leading 43 laps, by NASCAR superstar Kyle Busch.

"That was a fun race. I ran behind him (Kyle Busch) pretty much the entire race," Roderick said. "They had a break at Lap 100 and we got the chance to come in and put some right-side tires on and make some adjustments to the car and we went back out there and we had a good car for the 50-lap shootout and I led 43 of those laps and then I got spun around by Kyle. We were just racing hard and he didn't mean to do it. It was fun racing someone of that caliber and hopefully I will get to do it again."