RODGERS WORKS AND WINS SONOMA NASCAR K & N PRO SERIES RACE
COMPETES AGAINST FIVE MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES DRIVERS TO TAKE THE WIN
SONOMA, C.A. (June 25, 2018) – Hot off his dominating performance in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at New Jersey Motorsports Park, 23-year-old Will Rodgers headed to the west coast to continue his three race road course program with KELLY Benefit Strategies. Rodgers made the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Carneros 200 at Sonoma Raceway his weekend. What separated this victory from the last one for Rodgers was not only racing at his self-proclaimed home track, but also the competition the driver of the no.7 KELLY Benefit Strategies/GEAR Alloy Wheels Ford would face.
With five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regulars entered in Saturday’s Carneros 200, Rodgers understood he would face a unique challenge. Going up against the likes of Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, William Byron, Erik Jones, and Daniel Suarez, Rodgers relied on confidence and lessons learned from finishing runner-up to NASCAR Champion Kevin Harvick one-year prior.
“Looking at the entry list for this event, I knew I had my work cut out for me,” Rodgers said post-race. “Racing against Kevin [Harvick] here last year taught me a ton about restarts, patience, and aggression. By combining that with what I learned from racing road courses growing up, I felt a lot of confidence entering this event. The only concern I truly had was how strategy would affect us throughout the race, but I had a lot of faith in my guys at Jefferson Pitts Racing to make the right calls; they did.”
After topping the boards in final practice and qualifying for the pole position, Rodgers set his eyes on the weekend sweep at Sonoma Raceway. When the green flag dropped, the No. 7 KELLY Benefit Strategies/GEAR Alloy Wheels Ford gapped second place William Byron. Rodgers would hold the lead until the first break where strategy would shuffle Rodgers back to eighth for the restart. Methodically working his way back through the field, Rodgers made his way to the third position before the second break would occur.
When the restart came with 20 laps remaining, Rodgers took the second position from Daniel Suarez in just two turns. Before the lap was completed, Rodgers had worked his way around Aric Almirola for the lead with 14 laps left. From that point on, Rodgers would not be challenged again for the top spot. The No. 7 cruised to victory lane at Sonoma Raceway, giving Rodgers a much-deserved victory and cause for celebration.
“Anyone who knows me knows how much I wanted to win at Sonoma Raceway. My other wins have been amazing, but nothing to date tops this one right here. I am so proud of all my guys at Jefferson Pitts Racing, KELLY Benefit Strategies, GEAR Alloy Wheels, Drydene Performance Products, and everyone who had a hand in this victory. Our goal was to better our finish from last year by one position- we did just that,” exclaimed Rodgers post-race.
This victory gives Jefferson Pitts Racing their eighth win on a road course in the last eight races they entered. Rodgers has captured four consecutive road course wins for the team.
Rodgers heads to Chicagoland Speedway to return to ARCA Racing Series competition this Thursday night, June 28 in the No. 52 Drydene Performance Products Ford for Ken Schrader Racing.
The last race in the KELLY Benefits Strategies road course trifecta will be August 3 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y.
About KELLY Benefit Strategies
Since 1976, KELLY Benefit Strategies has delivered premier employee benefit consulting and is a trusted partner to businesses of all sizes. KELLY Benefit Strategies provides the foundation for innovative strategic vision through its unique integrated Total Benefits Solution® — combining expertise, administration, and technology to help clients save time, maximize the value of their benefits investment, and control the cost of these benefits.
Picture provided by Tami Kelly-Pope.