Southern Super Series
Viewer's Guide to the Southern Super Series
Mar 9, 2022
Casey Roderick wasn’t even supposed to be at South Alabama Speedway this weekend and now he’s racing in both marquee events.
It began with a phone call from Tyler (T.M) Porter with an offer to drive the Pro Late Model typically driven by Derek Griffith over the past four months. Griffith is preparing to make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut with Sam Hunt Racing so Porter needed a driver.
Why not the 2014 Rattler 250 winner and 2019 Baby Rattler 125 winner?
"We've been really busy at work and we weren't planning on racing this weekend, but when Tyler called, I was like, 'let's do it,' Rodrick said. "So, Cody and Hank took care of the Super, got it ready to unload and we've got two good chances to win this weekend."
Porter, the President and CEO of Godfrey Environmental Contracts LLC., says the endeavor began with a brainstorm session.
"It started with a good friend of mine, Kevin Peel," Porter said. "We were brainstorming different names to reach out to since we couldn't race with Derek. Who are the best guys available in the south and that led us to Casey."
It’s been three years since Roderick has last been in a Pro Late Model. During that time, the cars have been sapped of even more power and have some different handling characteristics -- at least at South Alabama Speedway.
"The biggest thing, setups haven't changed that much on them, but it is a big difference on power," Roderick said. "The way motors feel, the way they come off the corners. It's definitely a momentum deal.
"The Pros have always been like that, but even more so now."
Thus, the biggest goal for Roderick, Porter and crew chief Matt Drake will be a strong qualifying session before the race on Saturday afternoon. It’s going to be tough to pass and Roderick hopes to not have to worry about passing.
"You pinch these things off and it just kills the momentum coming off the corner," Roderick said. "So, getting underneath somebody's going to be tough. Your car's not really handling good and roll speed through the corner is not to be really good to make any gains."
If its up to Roderick and Drake to make the car drive and race good, Porter has ensured that it looks good. The car will feature a series of throwback schemes over the course of the season. It began with a Mello Yello wrap at the Snowflake 100, a City Chevrolet wrap at Speedfest, and why not the Hardees colors for the Hardees Rattler 250 weekend?
Next up is Superflo if you see a trend.
"In my opinion, the best movie ever made about racing is Days of Thunder," Porter said. "When I bought this car, I knew I wanted to do something cool and didn’t want a generic wrap. We’re going to run the Hardees wrap for a couple of weeks, because these are expensive, but we’ve got a great relationship with Michael Faulk and appreciate all he does for us.
"But we’ve got two more printed that coming up that I’m excited about. We’re going to keep those under wraps for now, but we’re doing the pink Superflo for breast cancer awareness."
Porter’s mother is battling breast cancer and that car will be a personal tribute from her son.
Meanwhile, the wrap isn’t printed yet, nor is a schedule for it, but the one paint scheme Porter hopes to emulate by the end of next year or early next year is a tribute to his love for early to mid-90s Winston Cup racing.
"Rusty Wallace’s Miller Genuine Draft car," Porter said.
For now, Roderick hopes to give Porter a fun ride on Saturday and give himself a chance to win on Sunday too. He thinks he has cars capable of winning either race for a second time.
"I certainly hope so," Roderick said. "I feel really confident about it. We have a few more things to work on with the Super and get it where I want. I’m fighting a little bit of rear grip right now, so we’ll get that figured out. We need to get it back into the race track but we’ll be alright."