Casey Roderick, the up-and coming driver from Lawrenceville, Ga., who is part of Bill Elliott's Driver Development program, is leaving his Late Model racing behind and putting all his focus on big track racing. His change of plans means his next outing will be in the ARCA race at Iowa Speedway July 10.
Elliott and Roderick made the decision to concentrate on what Elliott believes it will take to move Roderick into the next level of his career.
"We need to focus all of our energy right now on ARCA," said Elliott. "Casey will be 18 in August, and we will be taking another big step, moving on to bigger race tracks to gain the necessary experience for approval to compete in NASCAR's Nationwide Series."
Elliott said he'll also continue working to find a sponsor to back Roderick.
"We will continue to work to find him additional sponsorship throughout the season," Elliott said. "All we need is a few ARCA races to showcase the talent that he has. Casey is a very likable young man and will be a great spokesman as well as a great driver."
The summertime stretch of superspeedway racing will take Roderick from the 7/8-mile oval in Iowa to the mile-and-a-half tracks of Chicagoland and Kansas speedways.
"This is the biggest opportunity I have ever had and the most exciting," said Roderick. "I am going to do anything and everything to make the most of it. I will work 24/7 or longer if there were more hours in a day -
whatever it takes."
James Finch, owner of Phoenix Racing, also will support Roderick's rise through the ranks.
Finch, who has played a key role in developing young drivers including current Nationwide Series points leader Brad Keselowski, said he too is committed to helping Roderick.
"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."
The changes to Roderick's schedule will mean that he will not be competing in any of the previously scheduled late model races.
The ARCA series offers televised events and national media coverage. The first of the televised races that Roderick will run is on June 10 at Iowa Speedway.