CONCORD, N.C. — Clay Rogers is a career short-track racer.
A five-time CARS X-1R Pro Cup Series champion and the 2006 Snowball Derby winner, Rogers has raced and won in nearly every significant Southeastern late model touring series during his career.
However, this weekend Rogers will attempt to do something he’s never done. He will attempt to qualify for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond (Va.) Int’l Raceway. Rogers will be driving the No. 75 Chevrolet SS fielded by Mark Beard, who also fielded a car for Rogers in a handful of ARCA Racing Series events from 2009 to 2012.
This isn’t Rogers’ first foray into NASCAR. He entered 12 NASCAR Nationwide Series events between 2001 and 2005 and has 36 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts to his credit, including a third-place finish at Daytona Int’l Speedway in 2011.
Odds are against Rogers and company making the field for Saturday’s race as they have no owner points to fall back on and must make the field on time, but don’t be surprised if they show up with a fast enough race car to make the show. It’s always good to root for the underdog.
• Speaking of underdogs, who would have pegged Richie Crampton, Alexis DeJoria and Shane Gray to pick up career-making victories during the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals?
The NHRA’s Big Go has always been the place where legends are made. Drivers such as John Force, Bob Glidden, Tony Schumacher, Don Garlits, Joe Amato, Kenny Bernstein, Shirley Muldowney and many more have made names for themselves by finding victory lane at Lucas Oil Raceway.
You can now add the names Crampton, DeJoria and Gray to that list. Will one of them turn their victories into a championship this year? Stay tuned.
• It’s a true shame that Turner Scott Motorsports has shut down the No. 30 truck driven by Ron Hornaday Jr. The truth is Hornaday was never promised a full schedule this season and it is believed he was driving the truck essentially for free. Still, to be fourth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings and have your ride suddenly vanish must be gut-wrenching.
Is this going to be the end of Hornaday’s long and storied career? We don’t think so. Someone will give the wily veteran another shot and it’ll happen soon. There is a reason why the 56-year-old is a four-time series champion.
• Will someone please give Grant Enfinger a shot in NASCAR? The man has proven he can win on the biggest tracks (Daytona Int’l Speedway) as well as some of the smallest (Elko Speedway) and even on dirt Monday at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds.
Enfinger deserves his shot and we can only hope someone eventually takes notice and gives it to him. Perhaps if he wins the ARCA Racing Series championship this year that opportunity will finally come.