Will Rodgers

Will Rodgers (born October 8, 1994) is an American professional stock car racing driver. He competes part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving the No. 26 Toyota Supra for Sam Hunt Racing. He has also raced in the ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series West, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, and Pirelli World Challenge.

Will Rodgers
Will Rodgers NJMP.png
Rodgers at New Jersey Motorsports Park in 2018
Nationality American
BornWilliam Rodgers
(1994-10-08) October 8, 1994 (age 26)
Maui, Hawaii
ARCA Menards Series West career
Debut season2016
Current teamJefferson Racing
Years active2016–present
Car number42
Crew chiefJeff Jefferson
Former teamsDeLong Racing, Dave Hanson, Jefferson Pitts Racing, REF Motorsports, Levin Racing
Starts30
Championships0
Wins1
Poles2
Best finish5th in 2017
Finished last season18th (2020)
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East career
Debut season2017
Years active2017–2018
Former teamsJefferson Pitts Racing, Levin Racing
Starts5
Championships0
Wins3
Poles0
Best finish22nd in 2017
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
5 races run over 2 years
Car no., teamNo. 26 (Sam Hunt Racing)
2019 position43rd
Best finish43rd (2019)
First race2019 U.S. Cellular 250 (Iowa)
Last race2021 Tennessee Lottery 250 (Nashville)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
Pirelli World Challenge career
Debut season2016
Current teamHale Motorsports
Car number65
Starts8
Wins5
Best finish7th in 2016
Last updated on: June 8, 2021.

Racing careerEdit

2016: West Series debutEdit

After racing in the Pirelli World Challenge, Rodgers began racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in 2016, driving for team owner Dave Hanson. He made his debut at Sonoma Raceway, finishing in 17th.[1] He ended the season with four top-ten finishes.[2]

2017: Breakthrough with Kevin HarvickEdit

 
Rodgers crossing the start/finish line at Sonoma in 2017

Rodgers returned to the series in 2017, running full-time in the K&N Pro Series West for Jefferson Pitts Racing. He opened the season with four consecutive top-five finishes.[3] At Sonoma, Rodgers qualified on pole position, earning his first career pole in the series.[4] While he led early, Rodgers was eventually passed by 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick, finishing second.[5] Rodgers said after the race, "For some funny reason, I had a feeling as far back as four weeks ago that it was going to be me and Kevin coming into turn 11 on the last lap. And sure enough, there we were. He ran a really good race, I learned a lot from him. We were able to lead some laps there in the beginning. It doesn't feel too bad to finish second today."[5] Harvick, meanwhile, was impressed with Rodgers' performance, stating, "That was really what this was all about, to shine a little light on a kid like Will and race against him and give him the recognition he deserves. I want to keep supporting the series and bring that bright light on some of these kids who need the opportunity."[6] The race became a turning point for Rodgers' career; in May 2018, Autoweek writer Matt Weaver argued that Rodgers had "gained more from his graceful defeat than if he had won the race without the participation of a Cup Series veteran."[7] Rodgers spoke of the race as having done "wonders for my career. We got a lot of attention....I can't say enough about how helpful Kevin was. He put me on his radio show and told the world that he respected me. That was huge."[7] Rodgers ran the rest of the season for Pitts' team, adding another second-place finish at Evergreen Speedway.[8]

Rodgers also ran the two road course races in the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season. Rodgers earned his first career K&N Series win at Watkins Glen International, holding off Rubén García Jr. after García hit the wall attempting to overtake him.[9] After the race, Harvick, despite not participating in the event, visited Rodgers in Victory Lane to congratulate him on the win.[10][11] Rodgers also won the second road course race of the season at New Jersey Motorsports Park.[12]

2018: Road course dominance, ARCA debutEdit

 
Rodgers celebrates his West Series win at Sonoma in 2018
Rodgers on track at New Jersey Motorsports Park in 2018
Rodgers in Victory Lane after winning the race

In 2018, Rodgers returned to Jefferson Pitts Racing for the K&N West season opener at Kern County Raceway Park. After finishing a disappointing 16th,[13] Rodgers moved to Bob Farmer's team for the doubleheader at Tucson Speedway. He finished ninth and seventh in the first and second race respectively.[14]

On June 16, Rodgers returned to the East Series to run again at New Jersey Motorsports Park. He won the race after qualifying second and leading 49 of the 55 laps,[15] earning his third road course victory in four such races at the K&N level and establishing himself as one of the series' road course ringers.[16] Two days before the race, Harvick reaffirmed his support for Rodgers and argued, "When the road course stuff shows up, Will is probably capable of being in an Xfinity race or a Cup race. In the right equipment on a road course, he'd be a top-10 competitor."[11] The next week, Rodgers returned to Sonoma for the K&N West race; while Harvick did not enter the 2018 race, a total of five Cup Series drivers (Aric Almirola, William Byron, Daniel Suárez, Erik Jones, and Alex Bowman) did participate.[17] Rodgers beat all of them, qualifying on the pole and winning his fourth consecutive road course race at the K&N level.[18] Rodgers later joined Levin Racing for the race at Gateway Motorsports Park.[19]

Before the 2018 ARCA Racing Series season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, Rodgers was also announced as a driver for Ken Schrader Racing for select races, including Daytona.[20] The race was Rodgers' first on an oval track longer than one mile in length.[21] At Daytona, Rodgers was involved in an accident in turn 4 on lap 21, which led to him finishing 25 laps down in 30th place.[22] Rodgers then rebounded to finish eighth in his next race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.[23] Later in the season, he set a new career-best finish with a sixth-place run at Michigan International Speedway.[24]

2019: K&N return at Sonoma and Xfinity debutEdit

 
Rodgers at an at-track event during the Sonoma race weekend in 2019

Rodgers began the 2019 season on the sidelines (working on the business aspect of his career by recruiting sponsors) but returned to Levin Racing for the K&N Pro Series West race at Sonoma.[25] He spent the week leading up to the event serving as a driver coach to fellow K&N Pro Series driver Hailie Deegan.[26]

In July, Rodgers joined Brandonbilt Motorsports for his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway.[27]

2021: Return to Xfinity SeriesEdit

Rodgers returned to the Xfinity Series in June 2021 with Sam Hunt Racing on a three-race schedule at Nashville Superspeedway, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.[28]

Personal lifeEdit

Rodgers was born in Maui, Hawaii and currently resides in Huntersville, North Carolina.[29]

At the age of three, Rodgers was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a liver disease that resulted in numerous biopsies and colonoscopies during his youth. He runs the Will Rodgers Liver Health Foundation.[28]

Motorsports career resultsEdit

NASCAREdit

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Xfinity SeriesEdit

NASCAR Xfinity Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 NXSC Pts Ref
2019 Brandonbilt Motorsports 68 Chevy DAY ATL LVS PHO CAL TEX BRI RCH TAL DOV CLT POC MCH IOW CHI DAY KEN NHA IOW
28
GLN 43rd 58 [30]
86 MOH
12
BRI ROA DAR IND LVS RCH CLT
28
DOV KAN TEX PHO HOM
22
2021 Sam Hunt Racing 26 Toyota DAY DAY HOM LVS PHO ATL MAR TAL DAR DOV COA CLT MOH TEX NSH
14
POC ROA ATL NHA GLN IND MCH DAY DAR RCH BRI LVS TAL CLT TEX KAN MAR PHO -* -*

K&N Pro Series EastEdit

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 NKNPSEC Pts Ref
2017 Jefferson Pitts Racing 7 Ford NSM GRE BRI SBO SBO MEM BLN TMP NHA IOW GLN
1
LGY NJM
1*
DOV 22nd 95 [31]
2018 NSM BRI LGY SBO SBO MEM NJM
1*
TMP NHA IOW GLN
2*
23rd 110 [32]
Levin Racing 10 Chevy GTW
26
NHA DOV

ARCA Menards SeriesEdit

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

ARCA Menards Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 AMSC Pts Ref
2018 Ken Schrader Racing 52 Ford DAY
30
NSH SLM TAL TOL POC
18
MCH
6
MAD GTW CHI
9
IOW ELK POC
8
ISF BLN DSF SLM IRP KAN 22nd 985 [33]
11 CLT
8
2020 Steve McGowan Motorsports 17W Chevy DAY PHO TAL POC IRP KEN IOW KAN TOL TOL MCH DAY
5
GTW L44 TOL BRI WIN MEM ISF KAN 53rd 39 [34]

ARCA Menards Series WestEdit

ARCA Menards Series West results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 AMSWC Pts Ref
2016 DeLong Racing 84 Chevy IRW KCR TUS OSS CNS
Wth
16th 201 [2]
Dave Hanson 06 Chevy SON
17
SLS
8
IOW
10
Toyota EVG
14
DCS
Ford UMC
7
UMC
7
MER AAS
2017 Jefferson Pitts Racing 7 Ford TUS
5
KCR
3
IRW
5
IRW
5
SPO
19
OSS
20
CNS
9
SON
2*
EVG
2
DCS
4
MER
3
AAS
5
KCR
8
5th 520 [3]
27 IOW
8
2018 7 KCR
16
SON
1*
12th 230 [35]
REF Motorsports 4 Ford TUS
9
TUS
7
OSS
11
CNS DCS
Wth
IOW EVG
13
Levin Racing 10 Chevy GTW
26
LVS MER AAS KCR
2019 40 Ford LVS IRW TUS TUS CNS SON
6
DCS IOW EVG GTW MER AAS KCR PHO 42nd 38 [36]
2020 Jefferson Racing 42 Chevy LVS UMC
5
UMC
8
IRW EVG DCS CNS LVS AAS KCR PHO 18th 75 [37]

* Season still in progress
1 Driver ineligible for series points

Pirelli World Challenge resultsEdit

Year Team Make Model Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Rank Points
2016 Hale Motorsports Mazda Mazda2 TCB COA1
DSQ
COA2
1
MOS1
3
MOS2
1
LRP1
1
LRP2
2
ELK1
ELK2
UTA1
UTA2
LAG1
1
LAG2
1
7th 752

* Season still in progress
1 Ineligible for series points

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "2016 Chevy's Fresh Mex 200". Racing-Reference. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Will Rodgers – 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Results". Racing-Reference. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Will Rodgers – 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Results". Racing-Reference. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  4. ^ Segal, Davey (June 24, 2017). "Qualifying: Rodgers Scores First K&N Pole". NASCAR Home Tracks. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  5. ^ a b NASCAR Wire Service (June 24, 2017). "Kevin Harvick holds off Will Rodgers for NASCAR K&N West Sonoma victory". Autoweek. Crain Communications. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  6. ^ Utter, Jim (June 24, 2017). "Harvick returns to his roots with win in K&N West race at Sonoma". Motorsport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Call It 'Six Degrees of NASCAR Next Separation' for Kevin Harvick and a Trio of Prospects". Autoweek. Crain Communications. May 30, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  8. ^ "2017 NAPA Auto Parts 150". Racing-Reference. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  9. ^ Legare, Andrew (August 4, 2017). "WGI Notebook: Rodgers holds on for K&N victory". Star-Gazette. Gannett Company. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  10. ^ NASCAR Wire Service (August 4, 2017). "Will Rodgers earns maiden NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory". Autoweek. Crain Communications. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  11. ^ a b McFadin, Daniel (June 14, 2018). "NASCAR Next's Will Rodgers, Hailie Deegan get boost from Kevin Harvick". NBC Sports. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  12. ^ Mulranen, Patrick (September 17, 2017). "Local fans impressed with NASCAR's return to Millville". The Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  13. ^ "2018 Bakersfield 175 Presented by NAPA Auto Parts". Racing-Reference. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  14. ^ "A Few Things We Learned In Tucson". NASCAR Home Tracks. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. May 8, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  15. ^ "2018 JUSTDRIVE.com 125". Racing-Reference. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  16. ^ Jacobs, Jaxson (June 19, 2018). "What We Learned In New Jersey". NASCAR Home Tracks. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  17. ^ McFadin, Daniel (June 19, 2018). "Five Cup drivers set for K&N West race at Sonoma". NBC Sports. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  18. ^ Southers, Tim (June 23, 2018). "Will Rodgers bests Cup stars for first K&N West win at Sonoma". Motorsport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  19. ^ Segal, Davey (August 20, 2018). "Will Rodgers, Levin Racing Partner For Gateway". NASCAR Home Tracks. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  20. ^ "Will Rodgers to race for Ken Schrader's ARCA team with Drydene Oil" (Press release). Catchfence.com. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  21. ^ "Will Rodgers prepped for ARCA Racing Series debut at Daytona International Speedway" (Press release). Catchfence.com. February 7, 2018. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  22. ^ "2018 Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire". Racing-Reference. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  23. ^ "Drydene announces more ARCA races with KSR; starts at MIS". ARCARacing.com. June 6, 2018. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  24. ^ Wagner, Casey (June 11, 2018). "Strong Showing for Rodgers in Michigan Debut". ARCARacing.com. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  25. ^ Segal, Davey (June 17, 2019). "Will Rodgers Looking To Defend Sonoma Victory, Partners With Levin Racing". NASCAR Home Tracks. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  26. ^ Segal, Davey (June 18, 2019). "Will Rodgers Playing Role Of Coach To Hailie Deegan At Sonoma". NASCAR Home Tracks. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  27. ^ Segal, Davey (July 23, 2019). "Will Rodgers to Make Xfinity Series Debut at Iowa". Frontstretch. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  28. ^ a b Carey, Michael (June 8, 2021). "Will Rodgers Is Back To Raise Liver Health Awareness With Sam Hunt Racing". TobyChristie.com. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  29. ^ Stern, Elliott (May 25, 2018). "Solvang's Will Rodgers named to "NASCAR Next" class of 2018". Santa Ynez Valley News. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  30. ^ "Will Rodgers – 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series Results". Racing-Reference. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  31. ^ "Will Rodgers – 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Results". Racing-Reference. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  32. ^ "Will Rodgers – 2018 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Results". Racing-Reference. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  33. ^ "Will Rodgers – 2018 ARCA Racing Series Results". Racing-Reference. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  34. ^ "Will Rodgers – 2020 ARCA Menards Series Results". Racing-Reference. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  35. ^ "Will Rodgers – 2018 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Results". Racing-Reference. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  36. ^ "Will Rodgers – 2019 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Results". Racing-Reference. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  37. ^ "Will Rodgers – 2020 ARCA Menards Series West results". Racing-Reference. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Retrieved June 25, 2020.

External linksEdit