By BILL FOLEY
Roth Racing has been on the national Sprint Car scene for as long as anyone can remember.
Fans have seen the 83 prove to be one of the elite rides.
Well, the 83 is back in the pits once again in 2018 with California driver Cory Eliason behind the wheel.
On the opening night of the Craftsman Tools World of Outlaw Sprint Tour at Volusia Speedway Park the team found itself with a solid fifth place finish behind Sheldon Haudenschild, Paul McMahan, Shane Stewart and Donny Schatz.
However, though Eliason was happy he had his regrets.
He had run third through most of the later stages of the race, but ended up fifth.
The West Coast driver explained, “We were going so good, but I just made a mistake on that last restart and went from third to fifth. I went from 10th to third tonight so a fifth place run is good for us. I guess I have to be happy with it as that is how you win championships by being consistent. So I have to be satisfied with that.”
At the start of the race the second quick timer of the night (who didn’t get to the dash) said, “We got off to a really good start on the first lap and moved up several positions right away.”
This was fortunate as he got ahead of the major accident of the night that saw David Gravel take to the sky and Tim Shaffer end up hanging on the fence at the end of lap one, but he noted, “I was ahead of that.”
He drove a solid race, but the restart with three laps to go proved costly as what appeared a podium finish disappeared.
Prior to the racing action Eliason said, “We are planning on running about 80% with the Outlaws. We have just three races as a team and we are making progress. I just need to get laps.”
Of Volusia he noted he was sort of in a different element as Cory said, “There is really only one half-mile track in California and I grew up racing on mostly third of a mile tracks where you lean on the cushion and run up against the walls.”
That isn’t the case at Volusia as Eliason said “I didn’t think this track was that big when I first looked at it, but it is and actually has two totally different types of corners.”
For years the 26-year-old has “had my own team and paid the bills” and this ride is a dream come true.
Cory said “The team wanted to travel while at the same time having a car in California that Kyle Hurst is driving. Thus far we made both shows with the All Stars and finished 23rd and 18th as the second night I got involved in a mishap at the start.”
Well, he worked his way into the top five on the opening night of the 40th Outlaw season and hopes that bigger things are looming, but you get the impression he’s willing to be patient, get comfortable with a new team and that they will make strides that are needed to be successful.