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STRANGE PIT ROAD INCIDENT DOES NOT AFFECT RODGERS OUTCOME IN CHICAGOLAND ARCA SERIES DEBUT

JOLIET, IL (June 29, 2018) – After coming off back-to-back wins in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, Will Rodgers wanted his first visit to Chicagoland Speedway for the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards Scott 150 to be memorable.

Rodgers recently added Chicagoland Speedway to his schedule from primary sponsor with Drydene Performance Products. Rodgers practice speeds showed his No. 52 Ken Schrader Racing entry was in a decent place of 11th and wanted to improve upon that for a good qualifying effort at the 1.5-mile track.

While on pit road, getting into position for qualifying, the No. 55 came up on the right side of the Drydene Ford and tore a significant gash through the door panel. With the track being hot, crew chief Donnie Richeson could not go over the wall to access the damage and determine if it was safe for Rodgers to go for a qualifying run. With time running out in the 20-minute session, Rodgers returned to the garage for review by the team and ARCA Officials. With proper installation of repairs to the No. 52, the Drydene team showed what persistence and dedication is all about. Team Drydene would start from the back in the 27-car field.    

The ARCA Racing Series rookie from Maui, Hawaii moved up into 13th position by lap 14 and the first caution of the night. Team Drydene did not pit and kept up the pace with the leaders. During the mid-way point of the race, the Drydene Ford was a tick free, but it was not enough for adjustments for the team’s first pit stop on lap 33.

Rodgers learned quickly that running on top of the track was the key to picking off a few more cars, and settled into the eighth position for much of the second half of the race. With only five laps remaining a much-needed caution flag was shown, fuel would be a concern for the top-ten, including the KSR team. All came in for fuel and tires, but a few teams opted for two tires for a tick of track position. That made for excitement as the leaders with four fresh tires wanted to go. Rodgers was behind a car that took only two tires, and a slow restart that caused him to lose a few spots.

The NASCAR Next racer finished in ninth after a green-white-checkered flag finish.

“Ninth place is a little bit of a sting, as we could have had our first top-five for Drydene Performance Products. That was a crazy restart and there were a few cars in front of us that didn’t have tires and it was kind of unpredictable to figure out where they were going to go. Unfortunately, we got pushed back twice on that GWC. Nothing we can really do about it, I’ll just take it and learn from it and hopefully we’ll get our top-five next time,” said Rodgers.

The No. 52 Drydene Performance Products team’s next race is Friday, July 27 at Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, PA. Drydene also has a partnership with the historic tri-oval and will have a large footprint in the midway for fans to learn more about its products.  

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