HomeSprint Car & Midget NewsUSAC Sprint Top Rookie Rogers Looks to Make Gains in 2021

USAC Sprint Top Rookie Rogers Looks to Make Gains in 2021

2020 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year,
Jadon Rogers (Worthington, Ind.)
(Rich Forman Photo)

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Worthington, Indiana (January 26, 2021)………Still just a high school senior, Jadon Rogers can already count himself as a six-year sprint car racing veteran, but in 2020, the Worthington, Ind. teenager took on the bulk of the USAC trail for the first time, and as a result, earned himself the 2020 AMSOIL National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year award.

Rogers and his family-owned No. 14 team began the season picking and choosing USAC events, starting just four of the first 11 events on the schedule, but from mid-July onward, starting at Indiana Sprint Week when he picked up a ride in the Randy Edwards No. 61m, stepping in for the briefly retired Stephen Schnapf, Rogers committed himself to the remainder of the schedule to earn the honor.

Rogers overtook season-long top-Rookie Anton Hernandez (Arlington, Texas) three-quarters of the way through the year, with seven races remaining, and never relinquished it, finishing 14th overall in the final series standings.

“This is outstanding,” Rogers exclaimed.  “We bought in about halfway through the year last year, really started chipping away.  We didn’t really know at the beginning of the year that we were going to run for (Rookie of the Year).  When we got closer to the middle of the year, we knew that if we were going to run for it, we were going to have to go hard.”

Rogers indeed did finish strong, making large strides in the latter stretch where he earned three of his five total top-ten finishes in his last five starts, topped by a career best finish of 2nd at Tri-State Speedway’s Haubstadt Hustler in September.  Along the way, Rogers also notched a 7th at Gas City, Ind., a 9th at Putnamville, Ind. and a 9th and 10th at Tri-State, making him three-for-three on the year in recording top-ten results at Haubstadt, Ind. track in USAC competition.

Establishing USAC career highs in all statistical categories, Rogers was also the fastest qualifier in one of the largest fields of the year, topping 51 cars in time trials during the July 3 Bill Gardner Sprintacular at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Ind.  Despite the achievement, qualifying is an aspect of the racing program that Rogers is still learning, one step, and one lap, at a time.

“Qualifying is the hardest part,” Rogers acknowledges.  “You’ve just got to make a good lap and then you’ve got to strive for an even better one on the second lap.  Sometimes just cutting one good lap is a struggle.  We really struggled qualifying all year and maybe that’s my fault, but we’ll keep trying harder and if we can get that better, I think we can put ourselves in a better position for success.”

Rogers splits his time racing on dirt tracks in the Midwest with time spent in the fall on the soccer field and in the winter on the basketball court, both sports in which he excels in at White River Valley High School in Switz City, Ind.

However, like many during this time of the year, Rogers has his mind set on sunny Florida.  However, Rogers has a destination in mind that is a racer’s delight – the dirt, rather than the beach, to kick off the new season at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. for the start of Winter Dirt Games XII where the dawn of a new season presents new goals to strive for and a fire brewing inside.

“I just want to get a USAC win,” Rogers stated.  “I want to be able to contend in races and every time I go to the racetrack, I want to be one of the guys to beat.”

USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR ROOKIES OF THE YEAR:

1971: Darl Harrison

1972: Billy Cassella

1973: Rich Leavell

1974: Lee Osborne

1975: Marvin Carman

1976: Roger Rager

1977: Eddie Leavitt

1978: Tim Richmond

1979: Jerry Carman

1980: Frank Riddle

1981: Steve Long & Johnny Coogan

1982: Danny Milburn

1983: Dean Shirley

1984: Jerry Russell

1985: Terry Shepherd

1986: Kenny Jacobs

1987: Rick Ungar

1988: Dean Jacobs

1989: Eric Gordon

1990: Rick Howerton

1991: Tony Stewart

1992: Gary Cameron II

1993: Kenny Irwin Jr.

1994: Bobby Smith

1995: Mark Cassella

1996: Gus Wasson

1997: J.J. Yeley

1998: Tracy Hines

1999: Ryan Newman

2000: Bud Kaeding

2001: Ed Carpenter

2002: Boston Reid

2003: Michael Lewis & Mat Neely

2004: Josh Ford & Josh Wise

2005: Darren Hagen

2006: Scotty Weir

2007: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

2008: Chad Boat

2009: Henry Clarke

2010: Justin Grant

2011: Coleman Gulick

2012: C.J. Leary

2013: Tyler Courtney

2014: Jarett Andretti

2015: Aaron Farney

2016: Isaac Chapple

2017: Stevie Sussex

2018: Timmy Buckwalter & Logan Seavey

2019: Dustin Clark

2020: Jadon Rogers

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