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Teen driver to run in the American 200
Roderick fifth fastest in testing
5 Roderick pic2
Casey Roderick leads the points in the Georgia Asphalt Series. He will be racing this weekend in the ARCA RE/MAX American 200. - photo by For the Dawson Community News

He’s only had a driver’s license for a year, but 17-year-old Casey Roderick has been behind the wheel for more than a decade.


Saturday afternoon, the Lawrenceville native will qualify for Sunday’s ARCA RE/MAX Series American 200 in Rockingham, N.C. where he was fifth fastest last week in testing.


“I’m real excited and pumped,” said Roderick, who moved to Dawsonville in the summer of 2008 to join NASCAR legend Bill Elliott’s driver development program.


The teen started testing in ARCA, a stepping stone for the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series, last December when he and Elliott traveled to Rockingham and he made his first laps on a superspeedway.


An accomplished driver who has won in every series he’s raced and is currently the points leader for the Georgia Asphalt Series, Roderick believes he has a good chance this weekend.


“When I tested last Wednesday, everything went real well,” he said.


If an obstacle exists, Roderick said it will be that he’s working with a different crew than he had in testing.


“They’ll be running the Nationwide Series No. 1 in California this weekend. We’re trying to figure that all out right now,” he said.


Running the last race of the ARCA season is expected to be another knotch in his goal to run the Nationwide Series once he turns 18 next August.


“I don’t really know what’s in the future for me in ARCA or late-models. I’m hoping I can run all next year in late-models to get me ready for the Nationwide Series when I turn 18,” Roderick said. “I want to prove I can do it and get that opportunity to drive in the Nationwide one day.”


Roderick will be in the No. 51 Dodge this weekend. “We’re still working on our sponsor. Whoever it’s going to be, it’s going to be last minute,” he said.


JC Roderick, the teen’s grandfather and biggest fan, has watched every race the phenom has run.


“I was there the first time he won when he was 5-years-old, and he’s got a good chance at winning this one.”


The race is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday.