A pretty quiet time this weekend, with only three notable short track series taking to the track this weekend. But that certainly shouldn't discount the achievements of this week's winners - Justin Wakefield, Brian Campbell, and Steve Jones - as all three had unique storylines in their victory.
PASS South - Wake County Speedway: Justin Wakefield has had great cars the first four races in the PASS South. But the bad news was that this was the first time he has really been able to capitalize on it. Two engine failures in three races left Wakefield without a single top-ten despite leading 33 laps. On Friday though he was on it, as Wakefield rolled to his fifth major short track series victory in the past five seasons. Runner-up and former series champ Ryan Lawler had his best finish since 2008 and Preston Peltier was third. Peltier has built up a solid points lead just four races into the season on the strength of two victories and may now be the man to beat in the fourteen-race season. (Results - http://bit.ly/bSxEWY. PASS has yet to publish new points). It is also worth noting the PASS South is giving away FREE tickets to the May 29th race at Concord Motorsports Park, so if you are going to be in the Charlotte area for that race weekend and want to see real short-track racing over Cup Lite, go to proallstarsseries.com
CRA (Champion Racing Association) Super Series - Berlin Raceway: Brian Campbell dominated the Keyser's Port City Racing 125 to claim his third career series victory. He also tied his father, Michigan racing legend Fred Campbell, for most CRA victories at the famed track. Brian is certainly an underrated talent, winning last years ASA Late Model Series Challenge Division title and tacking on eleven total victories in the ASA Late Model Series (between the Northern Division and Challenge Division). Chris Anthony was the runner-up as he has now finished in the top-five in all four CRA career starts. Johnny Benson, Jr., returning to the site of his horrific crash last June was third in his first CRA start. Also making her first CRA start was fourteen-year-old Kelsey Steele, the daughter of ARCA legend Tim Steele. She ran well in practice but crashed to 24th in the race. John VanDoorn, Tim Steele's last protege, continued to lead the series standings after winning the 09 title. (Results - http://bit.ly/bRAMtA, updated points included)
Rocky Mountain Challenge Series - Rocky Mountain Raceways: Steve Jones, making his sixteenth start on the tour, came away with his first series victory, winning the pole and the race. Entering the race, it was the first time Jones had ever led the series points and he had already collected five top-fives before his breakthrough. Zan Sharp, the only two-time champion of the series, was the runner-up in his first start of the year. Two young drivers - Kenny Vanderham and Skylar Mortenson - made their first series star. (Results - http://bit.ly/dw16oJ. Points not yet available).
ACT Tour was rained out for the third time in four attempted race dates this year. They will make up races this weekend as will the CRA.
On a troubling note, the ASA NorthWest Late Model Tour has cancelled its remaining 2010 schedule after two dismal races in both car count and attendance. The collapse of the ASA NWLT leaves stock car racing in the Pacific Northwest in some dire straits as the only other sanctioning body active right now is ARCA West, who put on a race in Vernon, BC two weeks to go with only nine cars competing. Thus, I doubt we will see the ARCA West Superlates back next year. The true irony is that at the time NASCAR closed the Elite Division for late model cars in 2006, the Northwest region appeared to be the strongest region left. But the Midwest now has the ASA Midwest Tour, the Southeast has PASS and UARA, and the Southwest now has the SRL league. Part of the failure in the Northwest was simply the number of organizations that tried to fill the vacuum NASCAR's abandoning of short-track series created. ASA, ARCA West, the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series, the NEWALTA Series, and the Late Model Challenge Series split the races, drivers, and fans apart. Despite a number of these series since merging, the damage appears to have been done. Hopefully, someone can pull it back together in time for 2011.
This weekend's schedule:
ASA Late Model Series Sunoco National Tour (formerly the Challenge Division) @ Rockingham - Friday
UARA Late Model Series @ Rockingham - Saturday
USAR Pro Cup Series @ Rockingham - Saturday
CRA @ Winchester - Saturday
ASA Midwest Sportsman Tour @ Wisconsin Dells - Saturday
ACT Late Model Tour @ Oxford Plains - Sunday
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