Indiana's Rogers Begins Drive for Diversity Season Saturday
Corrigan Oil Speedway Winner Prepares for Rev Racing Debut at Caraway
Fort Wayne, IN (Friday, January 27, 2023) - As much of the country prepares to take in the excitement of Florida Speedweeks, other areas of the Nation are also prepping for their season openers. Watermelon Capitol Speedway in Georgia is hosting the ASA/CRA Super Series and ASA Southern Super Series this weekend alongside the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour, Golden Isle Speedway (GA) is hosting the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, and Caraway Speedway (NC) is prepping for their Winter Heat on Saturday; a race that will feature Fort Wayne, Indiana’s Paige Rogers behind the wheel of a Rev Racing Late Model Stock as part of the NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program.
Rogers, 19, got the call in September of 2022 that she had been accepted to attend the announcement ceremony for the program, and drove to Charlotte, North Carolina for the combine in November. There, she went through rigorous training including physical fitness assessments, media panel reviews, and of course a driver’s skill test. Rogers got the call that she would join the Rev Racing Team, and has fully immersed herself in the experience, including relocating to North Carolina for the program.
The sacrifice begins to pay off this weekend though as she competes at Caraway Speedway on Saturday night. The two-time Corrigan Oil Speedway Late Model Sportsman feature winner will make her second start behind the wheel of a Late Model Stock Car, a race car that she says is very different than what she’s used to.
“I have raced a Late Model Stock once and tested two other times,” Rogers said. “Definitely different,” she chuckled. “The late model part is the same, but everything else is different. The competition, anywhere you go, is stiff,” she explained. “Everything about them is different than what I do back home.”
Rogers says that her lack of experience in a Late Model Stock car isn’t a deterrent to what she believes they can accomplish this weekend at Caraway Speedway. Rogers says she has been doing her homework in preparation for the event, putting in hours of studying.
“The track itself, I don’t know a whole lot about it,” explained Rogers. “[But], I’ve been studying it, watching a lot of film… watching hand work, foot-work, line progression and stuff like that,” Rogers said.
Limited experience in a Late Model Stock Car and a first-time visit at a new track doesn’t have Rogers discouraged, however. She says that she believes she and her Rev Racing team will be ones to keep an eye on when the green flag drops on Saturday, explaining that her practice day (Friday) and any time behind the wheel before the 75-lap race will be key. Rogers explains what her goals are for this weekend
“Getting accustomed to the car, team, and the track [first],” she says. “As soon as we have that down - Saturday as soon as we show up, realistically, I’m going to have a car to win,” Rogers said confidently. “Our team is bringing cars to win to every track this year and I know that 110 percent. The question is, do we have a winning driver, and I believe we do,” Rogers finished.
So what would be a successful inaugural race with Rev Racing for Paige Rogers? The well-spoken driver is trying to keep things in perspective, but wants to win at all costs.
“Realistically? A top three [finish],” Rogers said. “But I want to come away with a win,” she ended.
Rogers will get a chance to race with Rev Racing over a dozen times in 2023 as she looks to prove herself worthy of moving on and moving up with the Drive for Diversity program. The team will compete all across the southeast racing Late Model Stock Cars, she says, somewhere north or south of 18 times this season. She says the pressure is on to perform this year, but it’s not just about her.
“This season, it’s just as much of a job, if not more [than last season],” she said. “Now it’s not only for myself, having the opportunity to be on this team, I’ve got sponsors, people backing me, people in the shop - I’ve got to go out there and do good for the people who support me,” Rogers said.
As for her exact schedule this season, she says like many drivers across the country, she and Rev Racing are still waiting for race tracks to release their 2023 schedules before they can finalize one of their own. She says in addition to her commitment to Rev Racing, her fans in the Great Lakes Region will get a chance to see her this year as well.
“When I have free time aside from my Rev Racing duties,” Rogers said. “I’ll enjoy coming back home to race at my local tracks [Corrigan Oil] Speedway and Owosso Speedway,” Rogers explained.
Fans who wish to follow along with Rogers and her events this weekend can watch live at CarawaySpeedway.TV. Racing begins at 2:30 PM ET and features Street Stocks, Late Model Stocks, Mini Stocks, Challenger, U-Cars, and Bootleggers. For more information on Paige Rogers and Rev Racing, find and follow Rev Racing on Facebook and Twitter.
Story - Zach Hiser
Photos - Drive for Diversity