DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – After a satisfying 2018 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season filled with career-bests, Codie Rohrbaugh and his Grant County Mulch Racing (CGMR) team head to Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway for Saturday afternoon’s season-opener hoping to keep their momentum rolling.
I’m glad to be back for another season of ARCA competition,” said Rohrbaugh who earned a career-best seventh place finish last July at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
“We’ll be splitting time this year between ARCA and (NASCAR) Trucks – but our goal in ARCA remains the same to come to the track prepared to win. Hopefully, we can make that happen on Saturday.”
While Rohrbaugh and his family-owned team have showcased the speed in their restrictor plate program over the last two years, the Petersburg, West Virginia native hasn’t been able to showcase a finish to complement their performance.
Rohrbaugh, a former competitor in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East hopes to change the tune in the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire.
“Our team has busted their tails to bring competitive superspeedway cars to the race track and really we don’t have much to show for it,” Rohrbaugh explained.
“From being at the wrong place at the wrong time or just other bad luck, we’ve been plagued. Whether it’s been Daytona or Talladega, we just can’t catch a break.
“Our finishes aren’t an indicator of our performance – but we keep going back to the plate races because we know one of these times our luck is going to change, and we’ll have something to boast about.”
Despite the finishing results, the 25-year-old says the drafting experience he has crafted has proven to be beneficial as his racing resume expands. On February 15, Rohrbaugh will attempt to qualify for the Truck Series race at Daytona and hopes to showcase his ability on another platform.
“We’ll get two chances this year,” Rohrbaugh chuckled. “Seriously, we have a lot of fun (restrictor) plate racing – but it can be nerve-racking and stressful at the same time. You just never know how it will pan out. For me though, I try to not let the “what ifs” bother me. I just climb in the car and get after it.
“Daytona is one of those places you dream of winning at. The place is that special. It’s a privilege to race there and it would mean a lot for me and my family to get my first ARCA win at Daytona. It’s happened to others before, why can’t it happen to us?
“We’ll try on Saturday and if we don’t. That’s OK. We’ll pick up the pieces and try again on Friday (Feb. 15).”
Rohrbaugh and his team led by veteran crew chief Mark Huff participated in a two-day test session at the “World Center of Racing” and while they were 15th quickest overall, the veteran driver said their speed wasn’t good enough.
“Our car was good – but you always want it to be better,” he said. “We spent a lot of time on the track by ourselves. I know it doesn’t mean much because you qualify in the draft, but we knew if we could get our No. 7 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet better by itself – it would be stronger in the draft.
“We’ve been thrashing over the past three weeks, but I think we’re in a good spot.”
In 18 career ARCA starts, Rohrbaugh has a best finish of seventh at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (July 2018). He has qualified a career-best fourth on four different occasions including his most recent ARCA race at Kansas Speedway (Oct. 2018).
Marketing partnership(s) opportunities are available for the No. 7 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet and No. 9 Grant County Mulch Ford for the 2019 ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series seasons and beyond. Interested inquiries are encouraged to contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304.257.8783.
The Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire (80 laps | 200 miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Thurs., Feb. 7 with a two-hour session from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. A final practice session has been etched in on Fri., Feb. 8 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 3:30 p.m. The season-opener for the 67th consecutive ARCA season is set to take the green flag on Sat., Feb. 9 shortly after 4:30 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.
Credit: Grant County Mulch