After two straight races filled with disaster for David Darling, the Pro Stock championship chase has closed to just 10 points between the top two with two races remaining. Darling, the defending track champion, has been involved in a wreck the last two weeks — and has watched a sizable advantage dwindle to just 10 markers. Behind Darling, Rookie of the Year contender Jake Johnson is trying his best to close in.
Johnson, who scored his first win on August 25th, followed it up with a second straight victory after outdueling Rick Martin in Saturday’s Pro Stock main event. Johnson will look to become a champion in his Rookie campaign — while Darling seeks a second straight and fifth track championship. Entering the final two events, Angelo Belsito, another former track champion, is third.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model division is a battle between two drivers named Ryan. At the top, Ryan Kuhn, who picked up another win last Saturday night, holds a 16-point lead behind the wheel of the No. 72 Everett’s Auto Parts machine. Kuhn, who is following in the footsteps of his father Jimmy with success, will look to seal his first title, but will have to hold off a former champion.
Ryan Lineham, who is the defending Late Model champion, isn’t going to go away quietly. Lineham hasn’t had the raw speed he had in 2017, but has been consistent and has shown he is going to be at the front towards the end each week. With Vinnie Arrenegado third, 34 points back, if the top two stumble, look for him to mount a charge.
After Kyle Casper broke early in the most recent Sportsman main event, the championship fight in the Division III class has become a two-man race. Paul Lallier, who is looking for another title, holds a scant four-point edge over defending champion Scott Bruneau. Even though Lallier has shown a little bit more speed on the track each week, Bruneau finds a way to get to the front when it matters most, and always has been a master of consistency. With the car counts up over 20, one mistake by either driver will give the other a definite edge. Sparky Arsenault, who last won a title in 2008, is third but will need a lot of help to close in.
Former Pro Stock champion Bobby Tripp made his return to racing at the third-mile this season, but in the Sports Trucks. And that return has been filled with success for the veteran. Tripp looks well on his way to a title in the Trucks as he holds a 24-point lead over Josh Hedges with just two races left. But, don’t count Hedges out just yet. After winning last Saturday night, Hedges has officially shown that he isn’t going to go down without a fight. And, tied with Hedges, defending champion Mike Duarte is still within striking distance as “Showtime” looks to prove last season was no fluke.