Truck: No. 04 Preferred Industrial Contractors, Inc. Ford F-150 for Roper Racing
Crew chief: Shane Whitbeck
World of Westgate 200 Notes of Interest…
- As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Cory Roper and the Roper Racing team are ready to roll the dice as they attempt to make their first start at a 1.5-mile track in Friday’s World of Westgate 200. The event will mark the team’s fourth series start.
- Honeymoon in Vegas… A little over 21 years ago, Roper and his wife, Cherie, traveled to Las Vegas together for another significant event: their honeymoon. Married on July 12, 1997, the couple have continued to visit Las Vegas nearly every year since.
- Season at-a-Glance…In Roper Racing’s first three races this year, Roper finished 13th at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in March, 18th at Iowa Speedway in June and 25th at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway last month.
- The Team…Based in Baytown, Texas, Roper Racing fields the No. 04 Preferred Industrial Contractors, Inc. Ford F-150. The 2018 season marks the team’s first foray into competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and they are slated to run a limited schedule.
- The Driver…While he’s a newcomer to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Roper is no stranger to racing. He grew up watching his dad, Kenny Roper, compete. At the age of 14, Roper got his first racecar and started competing on a local and regional level at short tracks in Texas and Oklahoma. The Vernon, Texas, native now resides in Mont Belvieu, Texas with his wife and daughters Megan and Britney.
- The Crew Chief…NASCAR veteran Shane Whitbeck serves as crew chief for the No. 04 Preferred Industrial Contractors, Inc. Ford F-150. The Sarasota, Florida, native previously worked at Brad Keselowski Racing for 10 years. Whitbeck is based in North Carolina and consults with the team during the week and serves as crew chief on race weekends.
- About Preferred Industrial Contractors, Inc.… Preferred Industrial Contractors, Inc. is a global industrial construction, fabrication and maintenance company, headquartered in Baytown, Texas. The company executes turnkey construction projects from scope development, safety management, project controls, project management, procurement, staffing, fabrication and construction. Preferred Industrial Contractors, Inc. serves the power, chemical processing and refining industries.
Cory Roper, driver of the No. 04 Preferred Industrial Contractors, Inc. Ford F-150
What have you done to prepare for Las Vegas since this will be your first race on a 1.5-mile track?
“I’ve watched lots of YouTube videos and studied many, many laps around there to get a better sense of what to expect this weekend. I talked with Brad (Keselowski) last week and he gave me a few tips on how to get around that place that will hopefully help us a bit on Friday.”
What is your strategy for the weekend ahead?
“Our focus will mainly be on qualifying – making sure we have speed to fire off quickly and qualify for the race. From there, our goal is to complete all of the laps and finish on the lead lap in the race.”
Is Las Vegas a town you like to visit?
“My wife and I went to Las Vegas on our honeymoon 21 years ago and we’ve gone out there nearly every year since for at least a trip or two. We’ll gamble a little bit, but we mainly enjoy going to see the shows and relaxing by the pools.”
Shane Whitbeck, crew chief of the No. 04 Preferred Industrial Contractors, Inc. Ford F-150
What are your goals for the race in Las Vegas?
“This is Cory’s first start on a mile-and-a-half track, so we have conservative goals for Las Vegas. We’ve heard there might be a lot of trucks out there this week, so our first goal will be to make the race. Beyond that, we’re focused on getting Cory as much seat time as we can to help him understand the aerodynamic challenges a track like this presents a driver. There will be a number of former BKR (Brad Keselowski Racing) drivers out there this week and the BKR family stays close, so I know we’ll be able to lean on some of those guys if Cory has any questions.”