Cody Gerhardt rolled into the Rocky Mountain Raceway at Salt Lake City Utah, on July 2, with hopes of making a showing. After winning his heat race, when the waving of the green flag deemed the USAC Pavement Sprint Car Main Event underway, Cody had fifty laps to work his way from his 9th place starting position into first place. With 49 laps behind him, Cody took the lead in front of a near capacity crowd, and managed to hold on to the first place position and take the checkered flag.
USAC Pavement Sprint Car Racer Cody Gerhardt
Cody Gerhardt won the USAC Western States Pavement Sprint Car Series race Stockton 99
With a recent win and confidence under his belt, Cody showed up at the Stockton 99 speedway, at Stockton California, on July 9, anxious for the race to get underway in the USAC Western States Pavement Sprint Car Series.
Cody took the lead in the feature at lap 34, and despite two caution flags, the young driver never looked back. At the night's end, Cody had managed to log another victory and had hopefully started a winning streak. Cody's second win of the season situated the driver in second place in points for the Pavement Championship and put him just 23 points out of the lead in the Western Classic Championship.
When asked to give an account of the races he had run during his rookie season, prior to his two consecutive wins Cody said, "My first USAC Pavement sprint car race of the season was at the Madera Speedway. It was the Gerhardt Classic, which is a 100 lap race on a 3/8 mile track, in memory of my great grandfather. I qualified 7th of 15 cars and finished 8th. My second race was at Roseville Speedway, where I finished fourth on the bumper of the third place car. My third race, I was running a strong 4th, then I spun out and finished 8th. My fourth race was at Salt Lake City Utah and I won."
As a rookie, one might suspect that there are many lessons to be learned throughout the next few years, but Cody was aware of what it would take to win upon pulling into the Rocky Mountain Raceway in early June. "The key was being smooth, and not using the tire up too early in the race," explained the driver. "I knew I had a good car. If I was patient, and made clean passes, the race would come to me. After watching the pavement sprint cars race since I was very small, it felt great to get my first USAC Pavement sprint car win."
Cody agreed that his confidence level had increased after each race this season, and stressed the importance of confidence. "During each race I became better at handling the car, and finishing better each time," he explained. "Seat time is everything, and the more I am in the car, the more experience I gain, especially during racing conditions."
Although Cody was the guy who was credited with the win by the fans, he is also aware that his team plays a very intricate role in his success. "My team is everything, and without them, I could not have achieved what I have done so far," Shared the driver. When asked the key to continued success throughout the remainder of the season, he stated "Continual sponsor support and keeping the eye on the main goal of winning a championship. Having been the first driver to win three championships in the Focus Midget series in 2010, I want to add being the first driver to win a USAC Pavement Sprint Car Championship in his rookie year."
Cody credits a portion of his early success to the availability of good equipment. That said, he is also aware that it is of utmost importance to properly maintain one's engine. When asked if he uses K&N Filters, Cody said, "Absolutely. We use cleaners, oil filters, air filters and pre filters (on the race car), as well as fuel and oil filters for our support equipment and tow vehicles. We've been using K&N products five-plus years, and they are just as the advertisement says, "The Best". The entire company has been excellent!"
In closing, Cody said, "I would like to thank all the sponsors for their continued support. They have helped us get to where we are at today. The fans are great, and root me on, which keeps me pumped up. I would also like to thank all of the press people that put race results and finishes on various websites and news print, which allows me to get the exposure I need to further my professional racing career."
Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.