ROGERS CHECKS OUT IN WILD NSS SK RACE by Amy Hayes
Many Cautions, Two Red Flags and One Leader in North-South Shootout Support Event
The SK Modified event at the North-South Shootout was only supposed to be a 50-lap feature. It took a little bit longer to run than expected and with all of the yellows that flew, no one is quite sure exactly how many laps were run. It was because of all the wrecking and even a couple of red flags that occurred during the feature event.
Rogers' #03 runs in heavy traffic during the SK Modified feature. (Howie Hodge Photo)
One man didn’t mind too much. Tom Rogers Jr. took the pole position and lead every lap all the way to the checkered flag.
“It was a pretty good race,” said Rogers Jr. “I got a little bit worried out there with there being so many yellows. With the tires being cold and all. The track and the tires were cold.”
And it was cold. Temperatures began to close around the freezing mark just as the SK Modified Feature started and that had the potential to impact the race.
“I don’t know that I was worried about the cautions as
much as it was the red flags. I started worrying about the track going off and the tires going off. Yellows happen, but once we stop circulating around the race track that is when you worry because the tires get cold and then you really start worrying.”
Whether he was worried or not during the feature, he couldn’t stop smiling after he took home the victory.
“This is definitely cool to win,” added Rogers. “To beat all of the top guys from the Northeast is pretty awesome. I am just really proud of all of my guys. We will just have to see what is next for us.”
Saturday afternoon’s feature was full of driving doing the double between the SK feature and the Hoosier 100 for Tour-type Modifieds. Behind Rogers, two of those double dippers put on some of the most exciting, and controversial, racing of the night,
Or so it seemed.
Bobby Santos, III and Ronnie Silk, godson of NASCAR Grand National Busch Series Champion Randy LaJoie were racing hard for the second position. Santos looked poised to take it away from Silk out on the track, when contact was made between the two and it sent Silk spinning into the wall.
Rogers in victory lane. (Rick Ibsen Photo)
But after the feature both competitors attributed it to just a racing incident.
“I just went into turn one and the #81 (Santos) got into the back of us,” said Silk. “That’s just how it goes, I hit the fence when I got spun around and the left front was torn off. If we weren’t going to finish in the top-five, we didn’t want to finish 15th or something. That is just how it goes when you are racing hard. “
Santos went on to finish the SK Modified event in the second position, while Silk was out of the car and working on the Modified portion of the Shootout.
"That was crazy racing,” said Santos. “It's just SK racing."
Woody Pitkat, rounded out the top three of the SK Modified portion of the North-South Shootout.