By Jeffrey Sachse
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - Oshkosh, WI. - As the season beings to wind down, drivers in the Miller Lite Grand Nationals, Total Power Sales Street Stocks and Lynn Service Center Dirt Devils, have just four opportunities to earn points toward the 2011 title chase. Competitors in the Automotive Supply Company Modifieds and Leon's Frozen Custard Sport Modified have just three point events left due to those classes having off during the upcoming IRA Sprint Special on August 26th.
The title chase in four of the five divisions continues to remain close with the point lead shrinking for several of the current point leaders.
Brian Drexler saw his lead slashed by six points during the past racing event and he now has just a 13 point lead over Tim Lemirande, whose recent late season charge which now includes back to back victories has elevated him to second in the current standings. Just two additional points back is Travis Spaulding who finished second in the most recent feature race.
A single point behind Spaulding is Mike Klenz another driver with a pair of wins to his credit. Round out the top five is Eddie Muenster who is a single point behind Klenz. All totaled the top five in the current standings are within 17 points of the lead and each has a shot at collecting the 2011 season title.
Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway awards 40 points to the winner of a feature race. For every position behind the winner the points drop by one. As a result second place scores 39 points, third scores 38 and so forth. The 20th position in a feature scores 21 points.
Therefore there is a 19 point difference between first and 20th. What this simply means, is one of the keys in the title stretch is to avoid dropping from a contest early in an event due to an accident or mechanical problem.
Among the point leaders the best way to winning the title however will be taking feature checkered in the closing weeks.
An even closer point battle is currently taking place in the Miller Lite Grand Nationals where T.J. Smith holds a slim 8 point advantage over defending champion Larry Richards.
Smith has been swapping the point lead back and forth with Tim Warner who had been Smith's closest point rival until mechanical difficulties this past race dropped him to fourth in the standings. Third in the current standings is Jim Rhode who sits just 10 points from the top spot. Rhode was the first driver in the class this season to score three victories in the division. Warner now sits 11 points back with Terry Van Roy 16 points from the top spot in the fifth position.
The Total Power Sales Street Stock division currently is showing a three car battle for the title in 2011. Jeff Jungwirth has proven consistency is key to winning a title and currently sits atop the standings by 15 points over Jerry Winkler. Winkler has won three feature contests but has had his fair share of mechanical problems which leaves him chasing the point lead with four races left. Jon Schultz who also has three victories currently sits 25 points out of the top spot in third place.
Jason Fairbank has maintained the point lead in the Lynn's Service Center Dirt Devil division throughout the season and in these closing weeks Dan Juszczyk has become his chief rival for the title.
Fairbank's lead currently sits at 15 points. Cory Wegner has made a late season charge claiming two feature wins along with a second and a third in the past four weeks and now sits 24 points back from Fairbank in the title chase and cannot be ruled out as a title contender.
The only division where the potential champion is becoming clear is the Leon's Frozen Custard Sport Modifieds. Zeke Bishofberger has only finished out of the top five in a feature contest twice this season and has won three feature events here at Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway. He currently has a 32 point lead in the standings over his nearest rival Kevin Bethke. With just three point nights left for the division, Bishofberger basically needs to make sure he continues to finish races to secure the division championship in it's inaugural season at the raceway. Another victory could all but lock up the season title for Bishofberger.
The point battle will continue this, Friday evening, August 12th with the Graphic Point Night at the Races.
The show will feature over 100 cars and all five weekly divisions will be on hand including Automotive Supply Company Modifieds, Miller Lite Grand Nationals, Total Power Sales Street Stocks, Leon's Frozen Custard Sport Modifieds and Lynn's Service Center Dirt Devils.
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. Weekly racing Friday Night racing continues until September. Fans and drivers are encouraged to visit the track website at www.oshkoshspeedzone.net for additional information on upcoming racing events.
Gates open at 5:00pm, with racing action beginning at 6:30pm. Adult admission is just $10, with students tickets available to those between the ages 11 and 15 at just $5. Children 10 and under are admitted free with an adult.
This article was posted to the website on August 10th, 2011