It’s hard to make it as an owner/driver in NASCAR these days, but Codie Rohrbaugh has made huge strides doing so in 2019.
The Petersburg, W.Va., native made his biggest stride yet on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 26), finishing 10th in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway. The race will go down as both his and his team’s first ever top-10 finish.
“[It feels] pretty good,” Rohrbaugh said. “After Martinsville, coming out with a top 10 and a truck in one piece, pretty good.”
Rohrbaugh said the key to the race was survival. He hung back for most of the day, finishing 23rd in stage 1 and 18th in stage 2. Meanwhile, a melee of trucks wrecked. Twenty trucks finished on the lead lap, but many of them had damage.
“Just survival,” Rohrbaugh emphasized.
Rohrbaugh said the other drivers were being too aggressive on the racetrack, “but there’s a lot on the line here.”
“So they had to push it, I understand,” Rohrbaugh said.
The top 10 finish might have been a surprise to many — after all the No. 9 truck has failed to qualify for three races this season — but Rohrbaugh said the expectation for the team was to get a top 10.
“I was hoping for a top 10 here. I knew the guys brought a pretty good piece here,” Rohrbaugh said. “So that was kind of our goal to get a top 10 today.”
Rohrbaugh has now raced in the last three he attempted. In his first three starts of the season, he finished between 23rd and 30th each time. But he’s now finished 17th or better in four of his last five starts.
“It means a lot. We’ve come a long ways this year,” Rohrbaugh said. “We didn’t make Daytona; we didn’t have no speed. And we hired a couple new guys and we’ve come a long ways this year.”