After four trips to victory lane in 2022 left Tyler Roahrig wondering “What if?”, nothing was going to stand in the way of him accomplishing the ultimate goal of winning the 2023 Auto Value Bumper to Bumper 500 Sprint Car Tour Championship. Roahrig did just that after closing out the 2023 campaign with a win at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, and claiming the title of Series Champion.
“I’ve never really chased points before this year, but I set out to win the tour championship as a personal goal of mine,” Roahrig said. “Going into the last race, I knew it was going to be tight. Kody Swanson was very close in points as we had basically been equal all year. Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park is a good track for me, but Kody has certainly had much more success there over the years than I have had, so it was by no means going to be easy”.
Going into the 2022 season, the first for the 500 Sprint Car Tour, Roahrig was all in right away. Being one of the first competitors to commit to running the entire schedule, he was also an early favorite to contend for the inaugural championship. He started the campaign strong with a win and a second place in the first two races. Adversity would set in as a scheduling conflict caused him to miss a race and an engine issue forced him to retire from another event early. Despite his four victories, a series high, the misfortunes caused him to finish the season in sixth place. As the 2023 season approached, Roahrig had his eye set on one thing. Finishing first.
Roahrig once again led the series in victories in 2023, racking up three trips to victory lane. He also never finished outside the top ten through nine races and had a worst finish of sixth, which he did twice. Including his three victories, Roahrig amassed seven podium finishes. Additionally, he qualified on pole position six times and led a total of 87 laps. In a series that provides points for qualifying and for leading laps, his performance in these areas proved large in his quest for the 2023 championship.
“Consistency was a big thing for our team this season,” Roahrig proclaimed. “I’ve been fortunate to win some really big races in my career, but I have never gone for a championship. Personally, it was big and exciting, maybe in a different way than winning some of the bigger races that I have, such as the Little 500”.
A dominating performance in the final race of 2023 allowed Roahrig to clinch the season championship, adding to an already impressive resume that includes two Little 500 victories. Roahrig entered the weekend with only a three point lead over 2022 defending champion, Kody Swanson. After extending his lead following yet another pole position qualifying performance, the championship was his to lose. A qualifying draw caused Roahrig to start in the sixth position, and he immediately went on the offensive after seeing Swanson jump out to an early lead. By lap 13, Roahrig had driven his way to the lead where he would stay for the closing laps. When the checkered flag dropped, Roahrig had extended his points advantage to 58 as he claimed the 2023 Season Championship.
“My team and I had a great time running with the Auto Value Bumper to Bumper 500 Sprint Car Tour in 2023. The competition is great and we go to some really fun tracks, which are my two favorite things about the series. I have to thank everyone on my team, and all my supporters: CB Fabricating, Evan Jackson Racing Engines, Penske Racing Shocks”.
The 2023 Auto Value Bumper to Bumper 500 Sprint Car Tour season saw nine points races run between early April to middle October. A total of 48 different sprint cars competed in a 500 Sprint Car Tour event in 2023. Five different drivers went to victory lane with three separate drivers winning multiple events. For more information on the 2023 season, and for updates on the upcoming 2024 schedule, follow the 500 Sprint Car Tour online and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (X).