Champions are set to be crowned Saturday night at Friendship Motor Speedway, but for many series, fans are left wondering who they will be.
One unique niche about Friendship Motor Speedway is that nearly every driver out there doesn’t really think about points, and instead, just go out there to try and win. That mentality has made this season at the speedway special, and lately, as the races started to wind down, tempers started to fly. It’s tough to combine all the emotions into one weekend, but the local dirt track is going to try.
There isn’t an extra cash incentive to win the championship, but there are trophies, and who in their right mind doesn’t want an extra trophy to put in their case? Weather pending, all seven local series are set to go out on Saturday night and put it all on the line. Unlike NASCAR, there is no chase format, meaning drivers like Chris Cheek in SECA Late Models and Richard Clew in Open Wheel Modifieds had the championships locked up weeks prior, but in many other series, they don’t need a gimmick like the chase offers to provide a tight race to the finish.
The closest battle comes in the Renegade series. Elkin’s George Anen Jr. went on a roll this summer, winning nine-straight races, but has had some tough luck in the past three weeks. It’s allowed Shaun Robinson to regain the points lead, but only by one point. Who wins the championship could easily come down to who wins that race. Both have cars capable of winning, and a win would secure the championship for either driver.
The next closest battle to watch looks like it will be the Super Stock 4 series. Billy Robbins holds the top spot, but hasn’t been out there leading laps lately. He’s got two drivers in Roger Nance and Kevin Atwell breathing down his neck both hungry for a championship. Only nine points separate Robbins from Atwell, and only two separate him from Nance.
Limited Sportsman also has a battle between points leader Jay Foley and Matt Johnson. Twelve points separate Foley and Johnson. One wreck could end Foley’s title hopes, however one reason he’s up there in the first place is because of his ability to race with aggressive caution. While that’s an oxymoron, he knows when to put the hammer down, and when there may be trouble ahead. If he can do what he’s done all season, Foley has the championship locked up.
Austin and Stephanie Caudle appear to have the championship wrapped up in the Xtreme Stock 4 and UCAR series. It would take a disaster for Austin Caudle, combined with a win by Jonesville’s Kayla Harrell to come close, and even then, Caudle’s cushion might be enough to hang on.
Last week’s racing was cancelled due to rain. Mother Nature may rear its ugly head yet again this weekend, as rain is in the forecast through Thursday. If rain does indeed postpone Saturday’s event, it will be rescheduled. Additionally, Fan Appreciation Night will be held throughout the day, as well as the “Rock Strong” Silent Auction for Rocky Lyons, who is currently battling cancer. All additional information, as well as updates can be found on Friendship Motor Speedway’s Facebook page.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.