After going winless in 2019, David “Rocket” Roberts is hoping to turn things around and start the 2020 season on a high note in Saturday afternoon’s Icebreaker at Myrtle Beach Speedway – the first NASCAR Weekly Series race of the season in the Mid-Atlantic.
Roberts, 58, from Gray Court, South Carolina, has enlisted the help of Greg Marlowe for this weekend’s Late Model Stock Car opener at Myrtle Beach. During Friday’s rain-shortened practice, Roberts felt like he and his team made improvements on the car and is feeling optimistic about his chances on Saturday.
“We’ve had Greg Marlowe down here this weekend and I feel like we’ve really made big strides making the car work better on bump-stops and learning all that,” Roberts told Race22. “I feel like we’ve got a pretty good shot tomorrow. I think we’ve got a fifth or sixth place car for qualifying, but it will race good. If we can get in line and stay out of trouble, I think we’ve got a good shot at it. Car is decent, good in race trim. This place is a funny place though. There are very few people that can come down here and run the same every time.”
Roberts’ last win came at Anderson Motor Speedway on July 20, 2018, and he last won a race at Myrtle Beach back in 2017. That winless drought is uncharacteristic for Roberts, who has won championships at Anderson Motor Speedway and Greenville-Pickens Speedway and won the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series South Carolina state championship in 2007.
“We got stumped on this bump-stop stuff and Greg was good enough to come help us,” Roberts remarked. “He’s pretty swift with all that stuff. Greg helps a lot of people. He’s a great guy. He’s been around racing a long time and won a lot of races and we come from similar backgrounds, so it’s easy for me to talk to him. We relate real good.”
Those recent struggles would make a victory on Saturday all the more special for Roberts.
“It would mean a lot to start our year back off on a positive note by winning since we didn’t win last year,” Roberts said. “Just our whole program, we’d like to get it turned around and in a better direction.”
Despite being 58 years old, Roberts has no plans of slowing down or stepping away anytime soon.
“It’s just something I love to do,” Roberts commented. “When the Lord’s ready for me to quit or when the time comes, I’ll know it. Right now, I just love the challenge of everything and driving. I don’t see anytime soon that I’m going to hang it up.”
Saturday’s Icebreaker will also be the first race where the new Gen-6 body, approved by NASCAR last fall, will be ubiquitous. Roberts, who runs AR Bodies, will run the old body and will evaluate whether to run their version of the Gen-6 body if it enhances performances – but says cost is a concern.
“My opinion, they should have left that alone,” Roberts explained. “There was nothing wrong with what we had. This is just something costing the racers money and that’s not something we need right now. It’s a good-looking body, but we should have stayed where we were at ant not opened that up at this time.”
Saturday’s Icebreaker at Myrtle Beach Speedway will commence at 3pm EST. Qualifying will take place at 12pm EST. Race22 will have RACEDAY LIVE coverage from Myrtle Beach Speedway.