eKartingNews.com Driver of the Month – October 2014 – Ashley Rogero
Former Pan American champion returns to claim first Senior title after out of the seat for full year
Ashley Rogero won her third straight on-track Pan Am victory, scoring the Senior Max ticket to the Rotax Grand Finals (Photo: Studio52.us)
In a continued effort to highlight the many outstanding performances by drivers around the country, eKartingNews.com is proud to introduce the ‘Driver of the Month’ program. Each month, the staff at EKN will determine the one driver who stood out above the rest and give the viewers a chance to know exactly what they accomplished and who they are.
We apologize for the lateness of the article, with the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals and the Rotax Grand Finals events taking up a vast majority of the time spent at the laptop during the month of November.
Racers will tell you over and over, the only way to get better as a driver is to get seat time. More laps behind the wheel train your body and mind, and gives you the time to understand what adjustments can be made to find that critical tenth of a second that could earn you a victory. For the past several seasons, Ashley Rogero was a constant name on the results sheet at events all across the country. As a Cadet racer, she steadily improved from mid-pack to a regular contender. Moving into the Junior ranks, the progression continued as she gained a number of victories and championships.
One of those major victories included a win at the 2012 edition of the Pan American Challenge in Colorado. The Track at Centennial hosted the event, with Rogero and her father Jim loading up their Tony Kart into the back of the pickup truck after racing at a WKA event in Indiana. The 1,100-mile trip took them to the Denver area, taking on competitors that had already spent a week testing at the facility in hopes of earning the Rotax Grand Finals ticket. She qualified within the top-10, and steadily moved forward during the heat races. Scoring the win in the Prefinal, she was able to fend off some early challengers in the main event, going on to score the win and the Rotax Grand Finals ticket.
The 2014 season for Rogero was one of transition. Stock car racing is her new goal, as she is looking to move up the motorsports ladder. She moved to the Mooresville, North Carolina area and has been steadily making contacts, developing plans for the future. When the Pan American Challenge was scheduled for the GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, she circled the event as her return to the karting seat. She and father Jim put together a Tony Kart and strapped on a AM Engines Rotax for her Senior Max debut.
Rogero qualified 12th in a stacked 25 driver international field. Similar to what they did in 2012, the Rogero’s inched their way forward and kept finding the right setup. Ashley finished 11th, 12th and 4th to secure an eighth position on the grid for the Prefinal. She advanced her way into the top-five, running as high as third before crossing the stripe in the fourth position, moving up to third after a penalty to another driver. This gave her the inside of row two for the start, which proved to be vital in her attack early in the main event. The inside line at the drop of the green grabbed the jump, with Rogero helping to push fellow Senior rookie Luke Selliken out to the lead. The two went back and forth until Rogero secured the lead on lap six. From there, consistent lap times and never putting a wheel wrong helped to keep a seven tenths advantage after 22 laps to earn her second Pan American Challenge victory. The win gave her the first ticket to the Rotax Grand Finals in the Senior Max division after competing in Junior Max category three previous times.
Her trip to the Kartodromo Internacional Lucas Guerrero outside Valencia, Spain over November 25-29 for the 15th edition of the RMCGF did not go as planned. Her laptimes were right there during practice but slipped in qualifying, and was removed after working on their kart on the false grid. This dropped her to the tail of the field for all three of her heat races. A wreck in heat one was marred by an exploding brake rotor in heat two. Thankfully, she and no one else was hurt. Ashley bounced back in heat three, passing over half the field to finish 15th as one of the fastest karts on the track. Unfortunately, it was not enough, needing to have one less point in order to qualify for the Last Chance Qualifier. This experience will no doubt only help her to grow as a person and a driver, with many more opportunities on the horizon for the 17-year-old.
October 2014 EKN Driver of the Month – Ashley Rogero
Hometown: Naples, Florida
Parents: Tammy & Jim Rogero
Siblings: Abbey Rogero
Education: 11th grade highschool student
Job: Driver Coach for KartSport North America
Engine/Engine Builder: AM Engines, Comet Kart Sales
Sponsors: Advanced Automotive, Razor Image, Sparco USA
Series You Compete In: GoPro Motorplex
Years Karting: 12
How did you get started in karting? My great uncle and Dad have been racing forever!
What has been the high point in your racing career? Coming back and winning the Pan American Challenge again.
What are your goals in racing? Hopefully one day to be in NASCAR.
In a few words, how would you describe your driving style? Aggressive, Consistent, Smooth.
Funniest moment at the race track? Anytime with Panch and Morgan.
Favorite Track: New Castle Motorsports Park or Pittsburgh International Race Complex
Favorite form of professional motorsports: NASCAR
Favorite karting driver: Oliver Askew, Nick Neri, Jordon Lennox
Favorite professional driver: Joey Logano
Favorite website: Pintrest
Favorite movie: Taken
Favorite actor/actress: Liam Neeson
Favorite music/group: Everything
Favorite vacation/activity spot: Mooresville, NC
Favorite food: Hibachi Chicken
The Real Deal
What do you do when not at the track? Go to school.
What are your goals outside of karting? Getting a late model program going.
What type of street car do you drive? Chevy Suburban.
What type of street car would you like to drive? Ford Flex.
What are your pet peeves or things that irritate you? When people lie.
What do you think could be done to improve the sport of karting? Giving something back to karters.
What are your favorite aspects about the sport of karting? The friend and family aspect of the sport.
October 2014 Driver of the Month – Honorable Mention:
– Ed Brand: Rotax Pan American Challenge – DD2 winner
– Lance Fenderson: Rotax Pan American Challenge – Mini Max winner
– Cody Hall: WKA Gold Cup – Sportsman Pro Gas double winner
– David Kalb Jr.: WKA Gold Cup – Junior triple winner
– Ugo Ugochukwu: Rotax Pan American Challenge – Micro Max winner
– Austin Versteeg: Rotax Pan American Challenge – Junior Max winner
– Alex Vrabel: WKA Gold Cup – Sportsman Pro Gas double winner