Derek Rogers Lends Robbie Emory Car for Points Chase

Derek Rogers Lends Robbie Emory Car for Points Chase

After Robbie Emory wrecked his car in hot laps, Derek Rogers lent the championship contender his car. What made it even more surprising? Rogers barely knew Emory.

The kind gesture occurred at Beckley Motor Speedway in West Virginia, during the Steel Block Bandits Dirt Late Model Challenge event. Emory sat second in the series’ points heading into the race.

“I appreciate that [Emory] and his family travel all over the place with one car on an open trailer,” Rogers, of Shinnston, West Virginia, said. “They can’t afford to take two cars with them. I knew losing second in the points would be devastating to them. Sure, I wanted to race that race, but Robbie and his family had a lot more invested into it than I did.”

Rogers talked over the prospect of lending his car to Emory with his brother, Cody Rogers.

“Both Cody and I thought this was the right thing to do,” said Rogers. “I was persistent [to let] Robbie drive our car. It is tough to jump into someone else’s car because you don’t want to break it. It took some convincing, but Robbie finally agreed to drive it.”

The wreck during hot laps took Emory by surprise.

“I hooked a hard right on the front straightaway,” Emory, of Milton, Delaware, said. “I did everything I could to save my car until the last second — I hooked it left and locked her down. It hit dead center of the end of the wall, at the opening where you come off the track.”

Despite some soreness from where his belts were, Emory was not hurt. He sat in a full-containment seat from The Joie of Seating paired with a Simpson five-point harness. Emory wore a Bell helmet and a Simpson Hybrid head-and-neck restraint. What he truly credits, though, is the chassis from Swartz Race Cars.

“The front clip serves as a crush zone,” said Emory. “The front bumper is 18″ longer than most cars. The frame is shorter in front and back, allowing more of the impact to be absorbed before it got to my body.”

Emory’s car incurred extensive damage, with its front end pushed in 8″. He said he believes the front clip needs replacement at the very least.

“Derek immediately came running up as we were looking at our damaged car,” Emory said. “He said, ‘If you are good enough to drive, get in my car and race.’ He sacrificed his whole night so that I could run.”

With the car typically driven by Derek Rogers, Emory started the feature 16th and finished eighth. He fell back one spot in the points, where he now sits third, 43 points behind the leader, but Rogers’ generosity has kept him in the points chase.

“We were almost complete strangers to the Rogers,” said Emory. “I don’t know how to ever repay those guys. I’m telling everyone that this shows how much of a family that racers are.”