Hot Roddy! Gualala driver wins Late Model 100-lapper
Junior Roddy “threw the moon” at his car, then he drove it there Friday night.
Roddy started second, took the lead immediately and led all 100 laps to claim the checkered flag in the Late Model main event at All American Speedway.
It wasn’t easy. Roddy said his car was “terrible in practice all day.” He qualified 14th in a massive field of 26 drivers. Because Roddy races in a different series — the Airport Auto Brokers Late Model Series — he had to make several changes to the car’s setup.
But Roddy won every restart following eight caution flags and one red flag, and he kept his distance from All American regular Juan Pitta to win a race that paid a base of $2,000 to the winner. Several contingencies were sure to make the payout more.
“With 93 laps down, I said, ‘Boys, if I lose this, it’s all because of me. It isn’t because of you guys,’ ” he said of his crew. “I’m just thrilled we did it.”
Roddy lives in Gualala, town of a little more than 500 people on the Mendocino coast.
“It takes a few hours just to get to a freeway,” he said.
Roddy races mostly in Eureka, Anderson, Ukiah and Lakeport. The Airport Auto Brokers series came to Roseville twice over the summer, and Roddy was the No. 1 qualifier for the August race.
But for Friday night’s 100-lapper, which kicked off a weekend that continues Saturday night with NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and SRL Spears Southwest Tour Series events, Roddy had to make several changes — notably, being weighed down considerably and moving from 10-inch tires to eight.
“It was like being in a foreign land, I assure you,” Roddy said. “The car was tight, tight, tight, and it was loose off, and we fought that and fought that. The car was no good.”
And then, it was good. Roddy never pulled away, but his car was solid entering and exiting the turns throughout the race. He weaved through lapped traffic late in the race. And when other cars began backfiring, shooting sparks, smoking and heading for the pits, no one ever really mounted a challenge, though Pitta wasn’t far behind.
“We threw the moon at it,” Roddy said. “We raised the track bar up, took wedge out of it. My tire guy did an awesome job. We decided not to run bleeders because we were scared it was going to be a cautioned-filled race because we saw the Modified race.
“The 11 car was trying to reel me in, and he was,” Roddy said of Pitta. “I was like, ‘Man, I hope this ain’t a 150-lap race,’ because it was done. I used up everything we had. That was a drive, I’ll tell ya.”
Pitta finished second, .903 of a second behind Roddy. Billy Butler was third.
Scott Winters, a past track champion at All American, took the lead from Jay Linstroth on lap 18 in the Modified feature and won the 25-lap race. The race was scheduled for 50 laps but had a 25-minute time limit. Seven yellow flags cut the laps in half.
ALL AMERICAN SPEEDWAY
K&N BMR Fall Event
Late Model main event (100 laps): 1. Junior Roddy, 2. Juan Pitta, 3. Billy Butler, 4. Jamie Krizysik, 5. Chris Scribner, 6. Jason Gilbert, 7. Glen Cook, 8. Kyle McGrady, 9. Travis Milburn, 10. Mindy McCord, 11. Shannon Mansch, 12. Nick Romano, 13. Quintin Crye, 14. Cameron Hayley, 15. Laura Hayes, 16. Dylan Lupton, 17. Troy Nogosek, 18. Dave Byrd, 19. Jeremy Doss, 20. Colin Bailey, 21. Matt Scott, 22. Chuck Glick, 23. Kenny Bartram, 24. Justin Philpott, 25. Dylan Hutchison, 26. Brandon Trevethan.
Modified (25 laps): 1. Scott Winters, 2. Jay Linstroth, 3. Joey Licata Jr., 4. Jason Bamberg, 5. Jason Philpot, 6. Gary Glenn, 7. Keegan Walmer, 8. Rich Lindgren, 9. Scott Woessner, 10. Bobby Runyan Jr., 11. Gary Lowblad, 12. Sal Lopez, 13. Justin Wolff, 14. Steve Cote, 15. Billy Bowerman, 16. Andy Field, 17. Cody Thompson, 18. Jim Badaker, 19. Troy Nogosek.