|DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.: Returning to Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway this weekend is certainly going to bring back flashbacks of Codie Rohrbaugh and his CR7 Motorsports team performance in the season-opening race at the “World Center of Racing.”|
|But this weekend, the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series won’t be putting on a hold your breath type superspeedway spectacle. Instead, Rohrbaugh and his Doug George-led team will make left and right turns and join the series’ in the inaugural running of the Sunoco 159 on the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway Road Course.|
The 14-turn, 3.56-mile course is certainly bringing a lot of unknowns for the teams and drivers but Rohrbaugh and his Statesville, N.C.-based team are approaching the race much like they do with a superspeedway race – with an open mind and a positive attitude.
“I’ve never been on a road course, so I have no idea what to expect,” offered Rohrbaugh. “I mean this is going to be first laps of doing any type of road course racing or turning left and right. I’m not sure what to expect other than to expect the unexpected and try to have a positive attitude and approach.”
Thankfully for Rohrbaugh and his family-owned team, they’ll be in the same boat as almost all of their competitors who approach the Daytona International Speedway Road Course with a blank sheet of paper.
No practice or qualifying will send the drivers right into battle with 44 laps to master the course and step into the spotlight with the opportunity to steal one of the coveted Playoff positions as the end of the regular season nears.
“While I have zero laps on any type of road course, much of the drivers in the field won’t have any laps on the Daytona Road Course, so that puts us all on a relatively level playing field,” added Rohrbaugh.
“For me, the goal is to stay on the track during the first stage and then make gains during the second stage that puts us in a position for the third and final stage. You can bet on some action, some tempers and probably a late race caution or two.
“Who knows what is going to happen honestly. Maybe it will be the exact opposite and we’ll have a fuel-mileage type race. You just never know, and I think that’s part of the excitement going into the race this weekend is that no one knows what to expect.”
After a rough stretch of races which saw Rohrbaugh dip outside the top-20 for seven consecutive races, Rohrbaugh and his CR7 team rebounded in Michigan last weekend and left the Motor City with a solid top-20 finish and a much-needed boost heading into Daytona.
“We came out of Michigan with some much welcome positive energy,” added Rohrbaugh. “I felt real good about our performance and hopefully even though the racing is different this weekend, we need another good run to try and make this second half better than much of the first half.
|For the seventh consecutive race, CR7 Motorsports and their partner Grant County Mulch has again given up their space this weekend race for Joshua Shirk.|
The No. 9 Chevrolet Silverado has been designed with a western-theme scheme, personally selected by Shirk.
The hood carries a special touch with Shirk displaying a message of his own that he wrote before the accident, “I am a child of God. He saves me. I talk to he.”
On May 17, 2020, eight-year-old Joshua Shirk was kayaking with family in rural West Virginia.
While on the water, the kayak capsized and Shirk became trapped under the water in debris.
When family was finally able to pull him to safety, the young boy had no pulse. Quick work by medical workers at a local hospital were able to revive him but he remained in critical condition.
Shirk was later transported to WVU hospital in Morganton, West Virginia where he has made vast improvements but still needs the love, prayer and support of many.
Over the last six weeks, Shirk has been able to come off a breathing machine and has started intense physical rehabilitations with a focus on working his muscles and standing up with assistance. His progress lately has been exceptional, as his muscles continue to strengthen.
With prayer, love and support working, Rohrbaugh hopes others will now pledge their support alongside his CR7 Motorsports team uniting strength in numbers and the power of prayer.
“Our mission continues to be really important to me,” said Rohrbaugh.
“The prayers from everyone are working and I’m so happy that Joshua is making huge strides towards his recovery. I continue to plead when asking the NASCAR community to please support him by offering their thoughts and prayers to Josh and his family. It really means a lot to me.”
|After 11 races, Rohrbaugh is 19th in the championship standings.|
CR7 Motorsports has 22 NGOTS starts to their credit with a career-best finish of third at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (February 2020).
Additionally, the team owns another top-10 finish at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in October 2019. An 11th place qualifying effort at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (Oct. 2019) is the team’s best time trials effort to date.
In 20 career ARCA starts, Rohrbaugh has a best finish of seventh twice at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (July 2018 and Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (February 2019). He has qualified a career-best fourth on four different occasions most recently at Kansas Speedway (Oct. 2018).
Marketing partnership(s) opportunities are available for the No. 97 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet and No. 9 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet for the 2020 ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series seasons and beyond. Interested inquiries are encouraged to contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304.257.8783.
The Sunoco 159 (44 laps| 158.85 miles) is the 12th of 23 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races on the 2020 schedule. The 39-truck field will take the green flag on Sun. Aug. 16, 2020 shortly after 12:00 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Eastern).
Credit: CR7 Motorsports