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Local auto racing: Rogers evolves into top driver

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David Rogers grew up around racing machines. There were snowmobiles, four-wheelers among others.

“I actually traded my snowmobile for a go-kart,’’ Rogers recalled. “My father, Dee Rogers, said it was OK with him, so we made the trade.”

Rogers raced the go-kart for about a year. After the elder Rogers saw that his son liked racing, he bought him a new go-kart.

“I raced a go-kart from the age of 12 until I was 17,’’ Rogers said. “I won championships over the years.

“In my last year in go-karts I competed at the Route 58 track near Gouverneur and won all of them. I wanted to race cars so I sold the go-kart at the end of that season.”

Rogers started competing in the pure stock class at Can-Am Motorsports Park in LaFargeville and at the former Thunder Alley in Evans Mills when it had a dirt surface.

“In my rookie year I won the track championship at Thunder Alley,” Rogers said. “I won five race features between the two speedways.”

He didn’t make all the races at Can-Am in his rookie year, but still managed to finish in fifth place in the point standings. In 2012, Rogers moved up to the pro-stock division.

“It was a rough year,” Rogers said. “I had motors going south on me. It seems that every time I would moved up toward the front an accident happened, and we were usually involved in it.”

Rogers said he was getting quite discouraged until late in the season he won a race at Can-Am, giving his confidence a boost. This season he is leading the points race.

He has been in the top four all season. He said he’s won two races this season. One was a special 25-lap race that paid $1,000.

“You really don’t have to win a lot of races to win a track title,” Rogers said. “If you have a lot of top-five or better finishes, one should have a pretty good chance to win their division.”

Rogers was all set to either win or have a good finish last week at Can-Am when the weather had other ideas.

“I had won a heat race and was in my car as we were getting ready to weigh the car on the scales when it started to rain,” Rogers said.

Besides racing at Can-Am, Rogers has also competed at Rolling Wheels Raceway and Canandaigua Speedway.

“I also raced in the Keith Doxtater Memorial race on the black top last month at Evans Mills,” Rogers said. “I was running has high as second and third. With about 50 laps in the 60-lap feature, my tires started to go and we finished fourth.”

Rogers has a lot on his plate for a 23-year-old. He own an auto detailing business on West Main Street, and a lawn and landscaping business. During the winter, it is snow plowing that keeps the business busy.

The businesses help fuel his love for racing. It appears Rogers has many years ahead of him to continue pursuing his love of auto racing.

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