AUGUST 27, 2012; OSHKOSH, WI – It has been a season of hard fought battles and wheel to wheel racing action with the goal of reaching victory lane. The competition has been tough as record car counts have been tallied in multiple divisions. All summer long, competitors in each of the five weekly classes at Oshkosh Speedzone have been racking up the points and aiming to rank as high as possible for a shot at the season title. They have raced for a chance to sit at the top of the point standings after the final checkered flag flies and be called….champion!
There remains but on final point night on the road to the championship title hopes and it takes place this Friday evening August 31st, when LaSure’s Banquet Hall presents the season championship night at the races. Fittingly enough LaSure’s Banquet Hall will be the location of the 2012 Awards banquet to honor those champions crowned this Friday night.
Heading into the program the title hopes in two classes will likely come down to the final lap of the feature race. In the other divisions anything can happen but a clear goal is presented to the point leaders.
Of the drivers in the title hunt the one with the most precarious of points lead can be seen in Miller Lite Grand National point leader Brian Henry. Henry who has finished second in the division standings on multiple occasions holds fate in his hands heading into the final night of action. His consistent performances and ability to place himself at the front of the pack when the checkered flag flies can be seen in the numbers. He leads the standings with 482 points. That number however is a mere five markers ahead of his nearest rival. The battle tested youngster T.J. Smith, who last season won two track titles taking top honors at both Oshkosh Speedzone and 141 Speedway is seeking to defend his crown. Over the past several weeks he has closed in on Henry until and now the gap has been narrowed and the five points represent a mere 5 positions on the race track. The title will likely not be determined until the final checkered flag of the final feature race. It is also worth noting that should both Henry and Smith suffer some misfortune on the final night that Steve Schneider could still steal the title but to do so, first he must win.
The story is similar in the Total Power Sales Street Stock division, where Richard Garb, running in his eighth season seems poised to take home championship honors. Garb known for his smooth racing style avoids the fray by motoring past opponents in the outside groove. His ability to avoid pitfalls have placed him seven points ahead of cagy veteran Jerry Winker. While Winkler has won titles and numerous races in his career he once again finds himself trailing in points heading into the final night of racing. Winkler knows one thing, his best shot at a title is with a victory and for Garb the goal is either beat Winkler to the checkered flag or remain close enough to maintain his point gap. In the end it will be decided between those two drivers as defending division title holder Jeff Jungwirth is 30 points back just a bit too far off pace to repeat as champion.
In the Automotive Supply Company Modified division the picture is only slightly clearer, defending champ Brian Drexler looks to be on pace to defend his title. Competing in what can be considered the most talent filled weekly Modified field in the Midwest, it is Drexler who currently sits atop the heap with a 23 point lead over Tim Lemirande. Lemirande is a familiar opponent for it is the exact same showdown that took place last season when Drexler came out on top. To repeat as champion Drexler’s path is clear, make the feature and finish the race. If he does so the title will be his. If he fails to make the main event then the pressure falls on Lemirande who then needs to take the victory to give himself the best shot at stealing the championship. When the field hits the track for the feature it surely will be go time.
The championship chase is a little more setteled in the Lynn’s Service Center Dirt Devils. Jason Fairbank has a chance to become a back to back champion in the 4 cylinder division. To do so he will need to appear for the program. Then he must survive his heat race with a running car and make a lap in the feature contest. If he’s in the main event when the green flag falls the title will be his. Fairbank’s nearest rival Mike Montie has been the most prolific winner in the class but he remains 31 markers out of the point lead a number which cannot be overcome if Fairbank starts the feature race. The second position however is up for grabs as Chris Maas and Matt Brehmer are both within 10 points of Montie.
The Leon’s Frozen Custard division has the best focus on who the champion will be. Troy Jerovetz sets the pace by 38 points heading into the final night. Jerovetz needs to make an appearance on Friday Night to seal the title. However he’s not mathematically captured the championship. If Jerovetz were unable to attend the evening and Ryan Besaw would win the final event of the year he could conceivably steal the crown by the slimmest of margins.
To witness the drama of championship night unfold be at the Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway for the first green flag which will fly at 7:00pm. Adult admission for the evening is $10, with student’s ages 11 through 15 admitted for $5. Children 10 and under are FREE with a paid adult admission.
One race event remains after championship night.
Fans and drivers are encouraged to visit the track website at www.oshkoshspeedzone.net for additional information on upcoming racing events including the 3rd Annual Fall Classic Weekend which will take place on Friday Night September 7th and Saturday Afternoon September 8th. Over 190 cars are expected to appear in the six classes which are in attendance this season with the addition of IMCA Stock Cars to the Fall Classic lineup.
Fans can also get information by friending the raceway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thespeedzone and you can receive all the latest updates from the track on twitter as well by logging onto www.twitter.com/thespeedzone and subscribing to our news feed.
Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway is a 1/3 mile semi-banked clay oval located at the Sunnyview Expo Center which resides near the intersection of Highways 76 and County Trunk Y in Oshkosh.
This article was posted to the website on August 28th, 2012