KANSAS CITY, Kan: Stopping the bleeding from a stretch of four races outside the top-25, Codie Rohrbaugh and his CR7 Motorsports team steer to Kansas Speedway for a dose of back-to-back NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races this weekend.
Recovering for a respectable 22nd place finish this past weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, the Statesville, N.C.-based team hopes the ship has sailed on the recent string of bad luck and sees 400-miles of racing in the Midwest Friday night and Saturday as an opportunity to rekindle the team’s early season success.
“Texas was definitely a positive for us,” said Rohrbaugh. “After our stretch of races in June and early July – we needed to come out of Texas with a clean race and something to build on. We did that and now we can go and attack Kansas with eyes wide open.”
Although the 26-year-old Rohrbaugh doesn’t have any experience at Kansas’s 1.5-mile layout in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, the Petersburg, West Virginia native does have three ARCA Menards Series starts from 2016 to 2018 which included a top-10 finish during the 2017 campaign.
While it has been a while since he has seen Kansas, Rohrbaugh is hoping his first laps in the No. 9 CR7 Motorsports Chevrolet will be like old times.
“Statistically speaking, I’ve faired pretty OK at Kanas Speedway,” he said. “My first year there in ARCA we had a pretty fast car but had some electrical issues. We came back a year later and finished top-10.
“In 2019, we were chasing another top-10, but strategy didn’t fall our way and we ended up 12th. Still, I like Kansas and how it races. I’m hoping we can transfer some of our ARCA success to the Truck program and get back to chasing top-15 runs with the intentions of getting us some more top-10 finishes before the end of the season.”
NASCAR announced this week that the remainder of the season will be hosted without practice or qualifying and while Rohrbaugh admits the extra track time would be beneficial at some tracks, he is taking the news in stride.
“I think some places it’s going to be challenging and other places we’ll be fine,” offered Rohrbaugh. “It’s just how it goes. I think we are blessed to just be racing to be honest. We’ll take the good with the bad and just fight hard to keep our team as close to the front as possible.”
For the fourth and fifth consecutive races, CR7 Motorsports and their partner Grant County Mulch has again given up their space this weekend race for Joshua Shirk. The No. 9 Chevrolet Silverado has been designed with a western-theme scheme, personally selected by Shirk.
The hood carries a special touch with Shirk displaying a message of his own that he wrote before the accident, “I am a child of God. He saves me. I talk to he.”
On May 17, 2020, eight-year-old Joshua Shirk was kayaking with family in rural West Virginia.
While on the water, the kayak capsized and Shirk became trapped under the water in debris.
When family was finally able to pull him to safety, the young boy had no pulse. Quick work by medical workers at a local hospital were able to revive him but he remained in critical condition.
Shirk was later transported to WVU hospital in Morganton, West Virginia where he has made vast improvements but still needs the love, prayer and support of many.
Over the last three weeks, Shirk has been able to come off a breathing machine and has started intense physical rehabilitations with a focus on working his muscles and standing up with assistance. His progress this week has been exceptional, as his muscles continue to strengthen.
With prayer, love and support working, Rohrbaugh hopes others will now pledge their support alongside his CR7 Motorsports team uniting strength in numbers and the power of prayer.
“This continues to be really important to me,” said Rohrbaugh. “The prayers from everyone are working and I’m so happy that Joshua is making huge strides towards his recovery. I plead when asking the NASCAR community to continue to support him by offering their thoughts and prayers to his family. It really means a lot to me.”
After eight races, Rohrbaugh is 21st in the championship standings.
CR7 Motorsports will also field an entry in Friday night’s Dawn 150 ARCA Menards Series race at Kansas. Newcomer Jason Kitzmiller will drive the No. 97 Chevrolet on the heels of his second career top-10 finish at Kentucky Speedway on Jul. 11, 2020.
CR7 Motorsports has 19 NGOTS starts to their credit with a career-best finish of third at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (February 2020). Additionally, the team owns another top-10 finish at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in October 2019. An 11th place qualifying effort at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (Oct. 2019) is the team’s best time trials effort to date.
In 20 career ARCA starts, Rohrbaugh has a best finish of seventh twice at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (July 2018 and Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (February 2019). He has qualified a career-best fourth on four different occasions most recently at Kansas Speedway (Oct. 2018).
Marketing partnership(s) opportunities are available for the No. 97 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet and No. 9 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet for the 2020 ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series seasons and beyond. Interested inquiries are encouraged to contact at email@example.com or 304.257.8783.
The Kansas 200 (134 laps| 201 miles) is the ninth of 23 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races on the 2020 schedule. The 38-truck field will take the green flag on Fri., Jul. 24, 2020 shortly after 6:00 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Central).
The Kansas Speedway 200 (134 laps| 201 miles) is the 10th of 23 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races on the 2020 schedule. The 38-truck field will take the green flag on Sat. Jul. 25, 2020 shortly after 12:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Central).