August 30, 2006

The Champions Will Be Decided

The Championship battle put tension in the air last Friday and it really showed out on the race track as everyone wanted to go to the front. The end result was a surprise winner in all four features, Chris Place in the Super Late Models, Brian Heeney in the Modifieds, Damon Place in the Street Stocks, and George Wyers in the Pony Stocks. Of these four drivers, only Damon Place is in a challenging position for a Championship.

Bad luck struck some of the top contenders in the Super Late Models again as Jon McNett crashed out of the feature while Doug Finley cruised to a sound 5th place finish. With Jimmy Gallagher's misfortune of being sent to the rear during a caution, Finley was able to stretch the point gap and shows a 46 point lead over Gallagher. Jeff Hackworth is sitting good in third, 54 points behind Finley. McNett is now a little too far back after two bad weeks of racing, although he could still pull off a championship if the top 3 have a bad night on the final points night this Friday. Stan Perry is 5 points behind McNett in 5th and also needs some bad luck showing up with the top three drivers.

Here's your top 3 Modified drivers giving it all they've got - Bob Cantine Photo
In the Modified Division, Larry Wallace is still showing the way with his 125 point lead over Bud Perry. Wallace needs to keep it cool and finish the feature this Friday and the season Championship will belong to him. Chris Ozanich is still sitting in 3rd but is now 182 points behind Wallace.

Damon Place won the feature last Friday, but still can't close that gap on Dane Long. Long lost 10 points to Place when he finished 2nd, but gained points in qualifying and the heat race. This allowed him to gain one point over Place last Friday with a 35 point lead going into the final points night. This is not a comfortable lead by any means, and Dane Long knows it. Both drivers will have to give it all they've got in all three events, qualifying, heat race, and the feature event, as they battle down to the wire for the Championship. Scott Sigman has pretty much wrapped up 3rd place this year and for much of the season was very much in the hunt for the Championship, but has fallen behind this past few weeks. He can't be disappointed though, as he has had a season that many other drivers would dream of having. He has won heat races and features at both Spartan and Springport this year and finished second in the Championship at Springport.

What was up with the Pony Stocks last Friday? They were battling like there was no tomorrow! There was 23 of them running around the track and running fast as a total of 9 drivers qualified at 16.99 or faster. That might be a record number of cars running below 17 seconds. And those 9 drivers were separated by less than a half second. And for the first time, there were a total of 20 drivers running at 17.99 or faster. This was a fast, competitive field of Pony Stocks. As far as the Championship goes, John Ward was able to gain a total of one point during the night to lead Jimmy Scavarda by 18 points going into the final Championship night. It appears that Ward will win the Championship unless he either fails to show up or drops out of the feature event early in the going.

Meanwhile, there is a friendly battle going back and forth for 3rd place between Tina Anderson and Keith Holden. Anderson moved back ahead of Holden this past week and holds a 2 point lead over him. This has been a fierce battle, but as already stated, a friendly one. These two drivers always pit next to each other and have even loaned tires between themselves when needed. This will be a fun battle to watch, but keep in mind they are also both still mathematically able to win the Championship should John Ward and Jimmy Scavarda each have a bad night.
Keith Holden is having a great year - Bob Cantine Photo

The Pure Stocks will be back for their final race of the season. Wayne Parkhurst II won the Pure Stock Championship at Springport Motor Speedway and will do so again this Friday at Spartan Speedway as he holds enough of a lead over second place Russ Potter III. This new class has taken off slow just like the now popular Pony Stock class did several years ago when it first started up. 15 year old Wayne Parkhurst II has been there at each event this year and will win in exhange for the support he has provided for this new class. Another big supporter is Russ Potter III who got a late start this season but who has really pushed for this class and likewise earns a well deserved second place. There are still a number of new cars being built for this class and a few of them might show up this Friday to provide us with what should be the biggest field of Pure Stocks we've had all season.

John Ward has already won the 2006 Pony Stock Figure 8 Championship as they ran their final race a few weeks back. But the regular Figure 8 guys will be out this coming Sunday to have a big battle in their final left and right turn race of the season. There is a tight battle between 3 drivers for the Championship with 3 others also in the hunt should the top three nail each other in the intersection! Be sure to be there Sunday to view the outcome as Jerry Atwell, Jeff Cummings, Jim Gokee, John Hitsman, Ray DerMiner, and Rolley Olney tear up Paul Zimmerman's grass.

Here's the current points rundown of the top championship contenders:

Andrews Chevrolet Super Late Models
1967 Doug Finley
1921 Jimmy Gallagher
1913 Jeff Hackworth
1870 Jon McNett
1865 Stan Perry

WMMQ 94.9 Modifieds
2587 Larry Wallace
2462 Bud Perry
2405 Chris Ozanich

Performance Automotive Northwest Street Stocks
3187 Dane Long
3152 Damon Place
3037 Scott Sigman

Performance Automotive Northwest Pure Stocks
864 Wayne Parkhurst II
425 Russell Potter III

Holiday Powersports Pony Stocks
1306 John Ward
1288 Jimmy Scavarda
1270 Tina Anderson
1268 Keith Holden

Figure 8
803 Jerry Atwell
800 Jeff Cummings
782 Jim Gokee
743 John Hitsman
740 Ray DerMiner
732 Rolley Olney

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