By BILL FOLEY
A year ago Adam Roberts was in a qualifying position for the 200 when suddenly he slammed full-bore into the first turn wall with just two laps to go.
He headed to go to the Oswego Hospital and his car was cradled to the pits.
The team made it back Sunday, but fell one spot short in the last chance qualifier.
However, it all came together on Friday night as the Watertown N.Y., second generation driver qualified for a starting spot in the Billy Whittaker Cars 200.
Right out of the box Roberts was confident as he said, “The moment I stepped on the gas I knew I had a good one. About two laps in I felt good. We had been slow all week long and time trialed in 51st. We were out to lunch. We made a couple of changes and I stuck with what the guys said and it worked out.”
He started back in 17th position and passed 10 cars to gain the berth in the main-event.
Roberts said, “We softened it up a bit and we were halfway decent. Everyone was drifting out and I was able to hook up in the brown coming off the second turn.”
Continuing he explained, “I think when they did the track maintenance the track had a little bit more bite, but when the big-blocks got out there I think it was a little faster and many guys were carrying a lot of speed into the turns and couldn’t keep it down. I was hooked. When I can feel the left rear tire I know that I am running pretty good.”
He also noted, “I really have to give a lot of credit to Kody Graham. He’s a rookie, but not a rookie at this place. We battled and he raced me clean. It was a lot of fun.“
Sunday will be the first time Adam Roberts will complete in the long race as he explained, “The first time I tried was the last year at Syracuse and I was running seventh but a tire blew. Last year I crashed with two to go here.”
Roberts said, “Qualifying for the 200 means everything to me. It is a dream come true. I’ve helped team get into the race and heard war stories from my dad (Steve Roberts), but it is great to be in.”