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Roderick Claims Winchester 400 Pole in Debut

It's the 2020 All-American 400 winner's first race trip to the Fastest Half-Mile.


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Before Saturday, the only previous time Casey Roderick had turned a lap at Winchester Speedway came in a Bill Elliott Racing Super Late Model as a development driver at a test session alongside Chase Elliott.

In his return to the World’s Fastest Half Mile, over a decade since that afternoon, Roderick scored the pole and will lead the field to green on Sunday in the prestigious Winchester 400. Driving his own car but under the Team Platinum branding, Roderick posted a 15.309 second lap -- 0.043 faster than Corey Heim in the Jett Motorsports No. 78.

"It’s about survival tomorrow but it’s special to be on the pole for my first Winchester 400, first time here," Roderick said. "I’ve always wanted to be here in a Late Model. This is a really cool place. I’ve experienced only once before.

"I tested a Chase Elliott car in practice until he could get here for the race, but that’s been a long time ago. So it’s special to race here, and do well, to be fast in practice and win the pole means a lot."

Given how the day started, Heim more than satisfied to start the race on the outside front row.

"It’s been a struggle today," Heim said. "I didn’t think we were all that great until qualifying and put it on the front row."

The session came with a little bit of a controversy as Roderick was given a warmup lap before going back out for his official run.

"I don’t understand the protocol there," Heim said. "I would have been faster my second time too. But we’re excited to be on the front row."

Chandler Smith will start third in the Anthony Campi No. 18.

"We have a great WearMe Toyota Camry," Smith said. "We had a strong test last weekend and came back and applied it. I can’t thank Anthony and his guys for making that long haul from Florida, especially after the hurricane. To come here and still compete at this caliber is impressive."

Like Roderick said, tomorrow is about survival and everyone throughout the field knows it.

"Attrition," Smith said. "Last year, I thought we had the dominant car and that didn’t matter because attrition, right?"

That and Roderick says keeping track of the changes to the track on a day that could start warm but get increasingly colder.

"The track has already gone through a lot of changes," Roderick said. "From where we started today to now, required a lot of adjustments and tomorrow could be more of the same, so we’ll see. It’s a smoother track than I remember, but other than that, it’s been a good weekend for us."

But again, the emphasis is on survival.

"This race usually starts about 25 cars and by the end, after 350 laps or so, you’re down to 5-10," Heim said. "So you know, 50 percent odds to even be in that group and once you’re there, I feel like we’ll have a shot at it, for sure."

Green flag for the Winchester 400 is scheduled for 2:00 ET. You can catch every lap on RacingAmerica.TV.

51st Winchester 400
Starting Lineup

  1. Casey Roderick 15.309
  2. Corey Heim 15.352
  3. Chandler Smith 15.370
  4. Jake Garcia 15.416
  5. Cole Butcher 15.476
  6. Billy VanMeter 15.510
  7. Albert Francis 15.518
  8. Sammy Smith 15.526
  9. Michael Hinde 15.529
  10. Carson Hocevar 15.534
  11. William Sawalich 15.544
  12. Kyle Crump 15.546
  13. Stephen Nasse 15.608
  14. Jesse Love 15.627
  15. Logan Bearden 15.634
  16. Jake Finch 15.648
  17. Tommy St. John 15.607
  18. Chase Burda 15.670
  19. Brandon Varney 15.779
  20. Jaden Creatacci 15.848
  21. Eddie VanMeter 15.863
  22. Brian Brewer 16.505
  23. Neil McClelland NT
  24. Jon Beach NT
  25. Chris Munson NT
  26. Jess Drock NT
  27. Evan Varney NT
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