FORT WORTH, Tex: After back-to-back tough finishes in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, Codie Rohrbaugh and his CR7 Motorsports team head to Texas Motor Speedway for Saturday night’s Vankor 250 hoping to change their luck – while asking the NASCAR community to continue show to their support for an eight-year-old West Virginia native recovering from a near-fatal kayak accident eight weeks ago.
Early race accidents at Pocono Raceway and Kentucky Speedway have certainly tried to dampen the team’s spirits, but the continual daily reports from the hospital on Shirk’s condition is a great motivator for the team to continue to go to the track and fight for good finishes, while doing their part to bring attentiveness to their mission to aid Shirk in his recovery.
“It’s been a tough couple races, but we will bounce back,” said Codie Rohrbaugh.
“This team is resilient, and we know we have the capabilities of contending for top-10 finishes and that’s our objective this weekend.”
For the third consecutive race, Statesville, N.C.-based CR7 Motorsports and their partner Grant County Mulch has again given up their space for Saturday night’s race for 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 two 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.
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.
“This continues to be really important to me,” said Rohrbaugh. “I’ve been heartbroken for a while now and even though Joshua is making strides, he still has a long road to recovery. I am asking the NASCAR community to support him by offering their thoughts and prayers to his family. It really means a lot to me.”
Rohrbaugh will make his fourth NGROTS start at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend and he is determined to better his track-best of 17th – earned in November 2018.
“Texas Motor Speedway is definitely a unique race track, but I love racing there,” he said.
“This weekend will certainly be different without the opportunity to practice or qualify
“However, I have the utmost faith in my crew chief Doug George and the rest of the CR7 Motorsports team and hopefully the cards will fall right where we can contend for our second top-10 finish of 2020.”
After seven races, Rohrbaugh is 19th in the championship standings, 47 points from 15th.CR7 Motorsports has 18 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 Vankor 250 (167 laps| 250.5 miles) is the eighth of 23 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races on the 2020 schedule. The 36-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 8:00 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