By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
NASCAR Next alum Will Rodgers has signed on for two NASCAR Xfinity Series road course races with Brandonbilt Motorsports.
The Maui, HI native will drive the No. 86 KELLY Benefit Strategies Chevrolet Camaro SS in the B&L Transport 170 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Drive for the Cure 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Roval. Rodgers made his Xfinity Series debut with the Jerry Brown-owned team at Iowa Speedway. He started 21st and finished 28th.
“I have been connected to KELLY Benefit Strategies from both a personal and business standpoint for a few years. And it’s a dream to see them come along with me and continue supporting my growth in the sport,” said Rodgers.
The 24-year-old has four victories on road courses in NASCAR K&N Pro competition. At Sonoma Raceway last season, Rodgers upset the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regulars as he took the lead from Aric Almirola on the final restart with 15 laps to go.
In total, Rodgers has six top-five and seven top-10 finishes on road courses in NASCAR competition. He also has two pole positions, both at Sonoma.
“Will has shown incredible success in his career on the road courses,” Brown explained. “His insight, feedback and overall talent will improve our program significantly. I was impressed with his composure and confidence during the Iowa weekend and I expect more of the same when he gets to his comfort zone at Mid-Ohio.
“And for Will to bring a company like KELLY Benefit Strategies to the sport as well as to our organization can help a multitude of the partners within the garage and those watching. I look forward to seeing their partnership blossom.”
KELLY Benefit Strategies teamed with Rodgers for four races since 2017. Last year, he earned two victories, one at Sonoma, and the other at New Jersey Motorsports Park with the company on board. Rodgers also earned a runner-up finish with the company at Watkins Glen International.
John Kelly, President of KELLY Benefit Strategies, explained that the young driver came close to a perfect score last season.
“We almost had a perfect score last year with two wins and one second-place finish with Will in his three road course events and we are thrilled to be partnering with him as he ascends into the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year. Seeing how Will battled those with more experience was especially meaningful to our organization and we can’t wait to see what he can do this time around. We look forward to supporting him at Mid-Ohio and Charlotte in September.”
Brandon Brown, the regular driver for the No. 86 will compete in a second Brandonbilt car at Mid-Ohio, the No. 68 Chevrolet Camaro SS.