Clay Rogers dominated the Heritage Truck Centers 250 at Motor Mile Speedway, leading all but 10 laps Saturday night, which proved to be a race of attrition for most.
With his first win at the 0.416-mile track since November 7, 2004, Rogers, of Mooresville, N.C., claimed his victory with a 1.523-second lead over runner-up, Brandon Ward. A Winston-Salem native, Ward made a late race battle for the lead in his Heritage Truck Centers Chevrolet, but was unable to edge out Rogers for the win.
“We really felt like we had something, but then the car started dragging the racetrack real bad,” said Ward. “When that happened we just couldn’t make any ground. We held it, but couldn’t make it.”
Even though Ward wasn’t able to catch him tonight, Rogers knows the rest of the field has him in their crosshairs.
“Man, they are catching up,” says Rogers, driver of the No. 16 USG Sheetrock Ford. “I mean everybody is working hard and that’s the great thing about racing. When we were chasing Bobby Gill, man, we worked our tails off trying to catch him and we thought we’d done it a couple of times and then he would find something else.”
Given Rogers’ five wins and five poles in seven races, third-place finisher, A.J. Frank can relate to chasing the leader.
“Everyone is working hard to get him,” said Frank, driver of the No. 65 International Trucks Chevrolet. “I think they qualified 0.3 seconds ahead of us a few races back and tonight we got him within 0.1 seconds. We’re gaining on him.”
The only machine able to unseat Rogers tonight was piloted by Derrick Kelley in the No. 21 LuxuryCoach.com Ford, who inherited the lead on lap 184, when he chose not to pit during the fourth caution of the night. Kelley, an Auburndale, Fla. native, led for just 10 laps total, three of which were under caution.
For the rest of the field, the race was more about preservation rather than running down the leader. Only seven cars were still running when the checkered flag fell Saturday night.
Many of the fallen competitors suffered engine problems that sent them packing early. Among the casualties were the cars of J.P. Morgan, Matt Lofton, Tyler Young and both Henderson Motorsports cars, Caleb Holman and Dylan Presnell.
While defending race winner, Benny Gordon, looked like he might have something for Rogers, he didn’t quite hit the mark. A late race penalty for having a crewman over the wall without a helmet and failing to adhere to race control forced the Dubois, Penn. native to forfeit his top five spot on the track. Gordon came home seventh in his No. 66 Samuel Metals Ford.
Rounding out the top five with two Chevrolets was Mark McFarland, of Winchester, Va., in his Snow Kings Monte Carlo and rookie points leader, Logan Ruffin in the Turner Motorsports Impala.
After one of the most intense post-race inspections in series history, USARacing officials determined that Clay Rogers is credited with his fifth win on Saturday night at Motor Mile Speedway. All cars pulled for inspection were deemed legal and the race results will stand.
The USAR Pro Cup Series, formerly Hooters Pro Cup, is owned by Interstate Investment Group (IIG) and is based in Concord, N.C. For more information on USARacing, visit www.usarprocup.com.
BC-CAR—USAR Pro Cup-Motor Mile Results
Pro Cup-Heritage Truck Centers 250 at Motor Mile Speedway
At Motor Mile Speedway
Lap length: 0.416 miles
(Car number in parentheses), Name, Hometown, Make/Model
1. (16) Clay Rogers, Mooresville, N.C., Ford Fusion, 250 laps, 68.949 mph
2. (56) Brandon Ward, Winston-Salem, N.C., Chevrolet Impala, 250.
3. (65) A.J. Frank, Bluffton, S.C., Chevrolet Impala, 250.
4. (8) Mark McFarland, Winchester, Va., Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 250.
5. (31) Logan Ruffin, Memphis, Tenn., Chevrolet Impala, 250.
6. (21) Derrick Kelley, Auburndale, Fla., Ford Fusion, 249.
7. (66) Benny Gordon, DuBois, Penn., Ford Fusion, 247.
8. (9) Chase Elliott, Dawsonville, Ga., Ford Fusion, 198, mechanical.
9. (83) Dylan Presnell, Sevierville, Tenn., Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 196, engine.
10. (12) Michael Mohelski, Fredrick, Md., Chevrolet Impala, 194, suspension.
11. (02) Tyler Young, Midland, Texas, Chevrolet Impala, 182, engine.
12. (73) Jeff Agnew, Floyd, Va., Ford Fusion, 174, mechanical.
13. (14) Ryan Heavner, Lincolnton, N.C., Chevrolet Impala, 140, transmission.
14. (07) Matt Lofton, Roxboro, N.C., Chevrolet Impala, 140, mechanical.
15. (59) John Gibson, Springfield, Mo., Chevrolet Impala, 131, rear end.
16. (75) Caleb Holman, Abingdon, Va., Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 94, engine.
17. (04) Larry Barrett, Ringgold, Va., Chevrolet Impala, 77, mechanical.
18. (23) J.P. Morgan, Charlotte, N.C., Chevrolet Impala, 9, engine.
19. (86) Andrew Gordon, Columbia, S.C., Ford Fusion, 5, accident.
20. (89) Joseph Lewis, Hopeful, Ga., Ford Fusion, 3, mechanical.
21. (41) Richard Boswell, Friendship, Md., Ford Fusion, 2, mechanical.
Time of Race: 1:30:58.7
Margin of Victory: 1.523 seconds
Caution Flags: 5 caution flags for 37 laps.
Lead Changes: 3 among 2 drivers
Lap Leaders: Rogers 1-183, Kelley 184-193, Rogers 194-250.