Roper Racing Team

Daytona International Speedway Next Era Energy 250 Advance

Daytona 500 2019

Truck: No. 04 Preferred Industrial Contractors, Inc. Ford F-150 for Roper Racing

Crew chief: Shane Whitbeck

NextEra Energy 250 Notes of Interest

Eager to start the season, Roper Racing team will travel from their home-based shop in Texas to Daytona, Florida for the Daytona 500. Not only is this the first race of the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series season but it is the first time at Daytona for Cory Roper and the No.04 Ford F-150 truck team. Like last season, the team is expecting to make another competitive run at it in the truck series.

• 2018 Season in Review…Friday’s race will mark the Roper Racing Team’s 7th NASCAR Truck Series start. Roper and the No. 04 truck team scored a 17th-place finish in the final race of 2018 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Roper started the race from the 19th position and ran as high as 10th during the event. He was able to take home the team’s third top-20 finish of the 2018 season. This was the team’s first season competing on a national level. The No. 04’s season has been highlighted by a 13th-place finish at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in March, runs inside the top 15 in three out of five events in which they’ve competed, and two other top-20 results.

• The 2.5-Mile Track…Daytona is the Super Bowl of racing that Cory Roper has been watching as long as he can remember. He has raced at many big tracks, but not this big. Now he will be having the opportunity to be a part of something that he has dreamed about his entire life. Regardless of the outcome, Roper will be living out his dream and looking for a big finish at this historical track.

• The Team…Based in Mont Belvieu, Texas, just outside of Houston, Roper Racing fields the No. 04 Ford F-150 truck. The core of the team has worked with Cory for many years. Not only are they all hard workers who work all day at their regular jobs but stay late nights at the shop because they are dedicated to the success of the team.

• The Driver…2019 marks Roper’s second year to the NASCAR Truck Series. Cory is not only the driver but the Team owner as well. Currently he is funding the team himself through his construction business that he started himself 10 years ago. Cory has been around racecars and working in a race shop most his life. 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 near Houston, Texas with his wife, Cherie, 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 has since relocated to Texas from North Carolina and serves as the Full Time Crew Chief for Roper Racing Team.

• 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 are your goals for the race at Daytona Speedway?

“Our main goal is to first of all make the race. We don’t have a guaranteed spot like the other teams showing up so we have to do our job when we get there. I have all the confidence in the crew and equipment we are bringing to accomplish this but on the same note I have never been to Daytona. I have never seen it in person and have never made a lap around it, so I have a large learning hurdle to jump over right out of the gate. So my goal is to make the race and of course hopefully to finish the race. I understand how Daytona works so I will try to be smart about it and make good decisions while I’m in the draft.”

After running six races in the team’s first NASCAR truck season in 2018, what are your expectations for the 2019 season?

“We have put a lot of effort and capital into building a Tier 1 race team for the 2019 season. We have the equipment and the man power to have a competitive NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series team. If we can nail down the funding for this season our expectations are to run a full championship contending season. This is a big expectation for a team in their first full season but I feel like we have layed down the foundation to be able to obtain this goal.”

Shane Whitbeck, crew chief of the No. 04 Preferred Industrial Contractors, Inc. Ford F-150

What are your goals for the race at Daytona Speedway?

“My goal for Daytona is to have good speed in the truck. The guys at the shop have been working really hard all winter to make the truck fast. I feel we should have an opportunity to make the top 12 in qualifying to set ourselves up for a good race run. The most important thing is for Cory to run the whole race so that he can learn about racing on a Super Speedway. This will be his first time at Daytona so I have been preaching to him about staying on the yellow line and be patient so that we will be there at the end of the race.”

After running six races in the team’s first NASCAR truck season in 2018, what are your expectations for the 2019 season?

“Some of my short term expectations are to start capitalizing on the speed that Cory was showing last season at the end of the race to turn that into a top 10 finish. After that, I would then move my expectations to a top 5 finish. I know that is a big goal to meet with the competition level in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Some of my off track expectations are to have the first Roper Brother Chassis built this year, and to keep building our team to be one of the top competitors in the truck series.”

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