WACO, Texas – After cruising to 19 feature wins and his career second regional championship in 2015, Andy Roller made up his mind that it was time to move on from the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock division.
“We made the main event at Super Nationals last year and felt we’d done everything we needed to prove ourselves,” said the Waco, Texas, pilot. “It was time to move on. I needed to challenge myself more.”
After looking at a Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMod and an IMCA Sunoco Stock Car, Roller opted to stick with a full-bodied class. That decision ultimately rewarded Roller with rookie of the year honors in the EQ Cylinder Heads Southern Region.
“I didn’t know for sure how this year was going to go but the people who help me all thought I’d be OK,” he said. “My goal was to win one time but it turned out we won twice, and we did it on the same weekend early in the season.”
Those checkers came on May 13 at Heart O’ Texas Speedway and May 14 at Kennedale Speedway Park.
“I held off Jason Batt to win for the first time and I couldn’t believe it,” Roller admitted. “Jason has won like a million Stock Car races.”
HO’T is five miles down the road and has been Roller’s home track since his Hobby Stock days. He bounced around on Saturdays between Kennedale, an hour and a half to the north and Cotton Bowl Speedway, two hours to the south, often racing where the rain wasn’t.
Twelfth on the all-time IMCA Hobby Stock list with 76 career wins, Roller was satisfied with the results of his freshman Stock Car season. He’ll go into 2017 with a better idea of what to expect at the track and in the shop.
“We had door-to-door racing in this division all year. If we were going forward it was good, and if we were going backwards we were learning,” said Roller, who was third in points at Heart O’ Texas and had 18 top five finishes in addition to the two feature wins. “The biggest difference for us in the new class this year was the amount of work involved in a Stock Car. The attention to detail is a bigger factor and was one thing I was not prepared for.”
Robert Scrivner and Dillon Smith were his “go-to guys” for setup help.
Additional Top Fives: 18
HIS CREW: Wife Janna, parents Gary and Erma Roller, in-laws Adolph and Rene Kolar, Joe Williams, Jack Jenkins, Dillon Smith and Robert Scrivner.
HIS SPONSORS: Charger Chassis and Demon Decals both of David City, Neb.; Swenson Racing Components of Boerne; and Lamb’s Muffler, J & J Race Engines, Berta Built Bodies, and AMSOIL by Lefty, all of Waco.