March 23rd, 2pm ET on FOX and MRN
Truck: No. 04 Preferred Industrial Contractors, Inc. Ford F-150 for Roper Racing Crew chief: Shane Whitbeck
Martinsville Speedway 250 Notes of Interest
• Team owner and Driver, Cory Roper, and the #04 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Team will be loading up and heading out Wednesday for a 17-hour journey from Texas to Martinsville Speedway. This will be Roper’s 10th start for the NASCAR Truck Series. Roper made his truck debut at Martinsville in 2018 starting in 17th and finishing the race at an impressive 13th place. Roper has 2 top 20 finishes thus far of the 3 races of 2019 truck season. After qualifying 5th in Vegas, Roper is confident and ready for Martinsville. Roper grew up racing on short tracks so he is sure to bring a good run on this half mile track.
• The Track: Martinsville Speedway located in Martinsville Virginia is the first short-track race of the season at just a half mile, often referred to as The Paperclip, is sure to be action packed. • Last Race: Roper qualified 5th at Vegas Motor Speedway and had a fast Ford f-150 truck but got caught up behind another truck after a spin in the field in front of him. Although the truck suffered significant damage to the front end, Roper went on to finish the Vegas race in 24th place.
• The Team: Roper Racing headquarters are located on the outskirts of Houston, Texas in Mont Belvieu. Roper Racing fields the No. 04 Preferred Industrial Contractors, Inc. Ford F-150 and 2019 season marks the team’s second year into competing in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. The team plans to run a full season for 2019. The Team is currently self-funded by Roper who is actively seeking sponsorship to continue to build this new and upcoming successful race team.
• The Driver: Cory Roper is currently in contention for Sunoco’s Rookie of the Year for the 2019 NGOTS season. 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 at the local and regional levels at short tracks in Texas and Oklahoma, where he won Points and Track Championships. The Vernon, Texas, native now resides in Mont Belvieu, 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 relocated to Texas at the end of 2018 season as a full-time Crew Chief for Roper Racing.
• The Trucks: At the conclusion of the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, Roper Racing Team purchased 16 Ford F-150 trucks and a number of additional assets from the Brad Keselowski Racing stable to build Roper Racing Team.
• About Preferred Industrial Contractors, Inc.: Roper Racing Team is actively seeking sponsorship to grow the race team but is currently self-funded by Roper’s company, Preferred Industrial Contractors, Inc. (PIC). PIC 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 Martinsville race?
“I have raced at short tracks my whole life so this half mile is where I am most familiar. Last season, I felt like I finished pretty good at Martinsville in 13th p, especially for that being my first NASCAR race ever. My team has been working hard on these Ford F-150 trucks, so I know we are bringing good fast equipment to the track. Now that I am familiar with Martinsville, I think we will qualify well and run up front. My goal is to win.”
Shane Whitbeck, crew chief of the No. 04 Preferred Industrial Contractors, Inc. Ford F-150
What are your goals for Martinsville Race?
“Martinsville is another track Cory has competed in in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series already so I feel we should unload a good Preferred Industrial Contractors Ford F-150 truck. Las Vegas race showed that going back to a track for a second time is a big help for us. We were able to meet our goals in qualifying at Las Vegas. We just had some bad luck in the race and got caught up in a wreck. Going to Martinsville, I would like to make all three rounds in qualifying and get our first top ten finish there. That track is more in Cory’s wheel house with all the short track experience he has. I feel we can start up front and we will be able to race up front.”