RPW Column: Roger Guest Jr.’s Readying For 2023 Season With Team Froggy At Orange County
Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MILFORD, PA – Team Froggy expanded to a three-car team in 2022 as Roger Guest Jr. joined to race the #11 Chevrolet Camaro.
With a year’s worth of experience behind him, Guest is looking for bigger things this coming season.
“The whole Team Froggy, (Guest, Ron Constable #49 and Ryan Modiano #07) we are running for points at Orange County. I set my goals for this year. I would like to have more highlights like finishing 2nd in the Mark Rutherford Dash For Cash at the Marky Traverse Race. I was the only rookie to make that dash and I was very proud of that. I was following Mike Vigiletti and I learned a lot from following him. It was my 2022 season highlight. For 2023, I would like to hopefully get a win or two.”
With team members Constable and Modiano both finishing in the top 10 in OCFS Street Stock points the past two seasons, Guest would like to add a 3rd Team Froggy car into that group.
“My goal, I talked with Ron about it, is to get all 3 cars into the top 10 and at least one car into the top 5. That’s what we are going for. The ultimate goal is trying to win a championship. Team Froggy has never had one, but we are geared to try to win one this year.”
Roger has put in a lot of time working on the #11 during the off season. And the other Team Froggy team cars have been getting attention as well.
“This winter, I fully redid the #11, it has new paint, new vinyl. It has a great look. We went with the same green, but the decal work is completely different. Except for the numbers, I made all the decals myself. I’ve taken great pride on how the car looks this year. The engine was sent out to LRB Performance Machine. Cilurso Motorsports is assembling the engine for me. Cilurso Motorsports has helped me with redoing the whole car. The #49 is getting a rebuilt transmission from Cilurso as we speak.”
Guest has been involved in motorsports for many years, getting his start in 2007.
“Back in 2007, I was the lead mechanic for Moose Shauger on his Slingshot. Moose has been very close friends with the family, he got me involved. In 2008, I bought a Slingshot and started racing. I took a couple of years off and then got my kids involved in Go Kart racing. We raced karts all the way up past Albany, way down into Pennsylvania near Harrisburg. We went all over the place with the carts. I wanted to move up. I’ve known Ron since I was 14. He said he had a car and go drive it. That’s how I got involved with Orange County. I’ve done a handful of Enduros and Demolition Derby’s. Moose has been very close friends with the family, he got me involved.”
While he uses his own driving style, there are two drivers that Roger looks to as ones he looks up to.
“I sort of have my own style. But this year, I wish I could drive just as good as Mike Vigiletti and Bob Sleight. I look up to those guys.”
The OCFS Street Stock division has a history of great camaraderie among the teams and drivers. Guest blended right into that at the 2022 Championship Night at OCFS.
“Mike wrecked his car in the heat race that night. So I let him run my car for the feature to help protect his points position. One thing that I like to do is to be a big helper. If I’m in a position where I can help, I will do it. I knew where Mike was as compared to me. And it was the right thing to do. At Mike’s Christmas Party, those guys were explaining stuff to me about the cars and stuff. I’ve been a mechanic for over 20 years and they enlightened me to a lot of stuff. They are all great guys.”
As he used the 2022 season to feel things out as a rookie, Guest is going for bigger things this year.
“I went in last year, somewhat easy and trying to get to know people. This year, I’m going for a win. I have to drive better. That’s my goal. I have a great crew with my sons Isaiah and Riley along with Ron and Ryan and all the people that we bring. It’s definitely a family sport. My sons have stepped back from racing because they know that I wanted to do this. And they support me.”
These days, Guest enjoys seeing the success of some of those he raced against back in his Slingshot days. And also seeing one of the best rivalries in racing.
“I love watching the Big Blocks. When I started racing Slingshots, I was racing with Anthony Perrego and Billy VanInwegen. I always wanted to follow them because they were phenomenal at what they do. Being at the track and watching guys like Stewart Friesen and Matt Sheppard is amazing. Those guys are a class act. And Donnie Elliott, my son Riley grew up racing against his son Aidan at Oakland Valley, so we got close with them. We have a lot of good friends out there.”
Sponsors on the #11 are Solar Tire and City Park Rod and Gun Club. As with many other teams, Roger’s #11 would like to secure some additional sponsors.
Roger is very grateful for the help that he gets from Tom Cilurso.
“The car wouldn’t be where it’s at without Tom Cilurso. he’s helped me work until 8,9 o’clock at night working on the car. He’s definitely the man behind the scenes that nobody really sees since he races too.”
In a nice touch, Roger’s #11 and the other Team Froggy cars pay tribute to the team’s family members who have been lost.
“We put some memory names on the cars. Ron’s father-in-law just passed away, his name is on all the cars now. My mother passed away in 2008 when I first got my start in racing, her name is on there. Ron’s mother-in-law is on my car. So is Ron’s mother. We definitely have a group of guardian angels watching over us.”
It’s all set up for a good season for Team Froggy. They are a fine group of people, always great to talk with. Wishing them success in 2023.