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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Winning championships is becoming a bit of a habit for Simpsonville, South Carolina’s David Roberts.
The 55-year-old late model stock driver collected the track championship at South Carolina’s Anderson Motor Speedway this season. It’s his second career track championship at Anderson after he first won the championship in 2014.
Between his track championships at Anderson, Roberts also collected the track championship at another South Carolina venue, Greenville Pickens Speedway in 2015. So for those doing the math, Roberts has now won three straight NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track championships between the two venues.
Not bad for a 55-year-old, is it?
“It’s just home,” Roberts said about racing at Anderson and Greenville. “We’re out here in our backyard at both race tracks. I actually grew up, my first race ever and it was dirt at the time, was at Anderson Motor Speedway. I just kind of have loved-hated that place for a long time.
“Both of them are just home. It just feels comfortable for us being there. You know everybody,” Roberts explained. “Anderson is special to me because it’s the first place where I ever drove a race car, competed in a race, first place I ever won an asphalt race, first time I won a Shrine race. It’s just a special place.”
Roberts’ season at Anderson got off to an auspicious start. An ill handling race car forced him to park the car early in the opening night feature on March 18. At that point he wasn’t even sure he’d race at Anderson again this year.
“The first race at Anderson we had bad luck and we just parked the race car,” Roberts said. “We really weren’t going to go back. We struggled there the year before and we figured we’d focus on going back to Greenville and Myrtle Beach (Speedway) some.”
Mother Nature, as it turns out, was on Roberts’ side. A few scheduled weekends off at Anderson combined with a rainout gifted Roberts the chance to go test his race car and he found a few things during those test sessions that helped him improve his Anderson setup.
After that, it was officially game on for Roberts.
“We went and tested a time or two and came across something we kind of thought was good,” Roberts said. “Evidently it was good because we went over there (to Anderson) and won like seven or eight in a row. We wound up winning 10 total. We just had a great race car.”
Roberts closed the season with a total of 11 victories, 10 of which came at Anderson. In 27 NASCAR starts at Anderson, Greenville and Myrtle Beach, Roberts earned 20 top-five and 24 top-10 finishes. That left him ranked fourth in the state of South Carolina and 61st in the nation.
He was able to accomplish that thanks to support from sponsors Palmetto Industrial, Martin Brothers Construction and allsquare.com, just to name a few.
While Roberts has won track championships at Anderson and Greenville, he’s never done it in the same season. It’s something that he admits has been on his mind, but it’ll depend heavily on sponsorship and how well Roberts starts off the 2017 season if he attempts to complete the South Carolina double.
“Our goal next year is to start off and try to go for both,” Roberts said. “It just depends on sponsorship. It takes a lot of money to run two different tracks on two nights, it gets hard to do that.”
At 55, Roberts knows his time in a race car is not going to last forever. With that being said, he sees no reason why he can’t keep racing for a few more years to try and add a few more trophies and championships to his mantle.
“As long as I’m healthy, I feel good and I can keep my sponsors and be competitive…I joke around with my kids all the time that I’ve got another 20 years left in me,” Roberts said. “Realistically as long as I’m competitive and I have a chance to win races, I’ll keep racing.”