USAR: Lake Erie: Northern Division round seven preview

Crunch Time "Moving Day" for Northern Drivers in BFGoodrichTires.com 250 Myrtle Beach, S.C.--In tournament golf, Saturday rounds are known as "Moving Day." You can work your way up the leader board with a good round or fall from contention with...

Crunch Time
"Moving Day" for Northern Drivers in BFGoodrichTires.com 250

Myrtle Beach, S.C.--In tournament golf, Saturday rounds are known as "Moving Day." You can work your way up the leader board with a good round or fall from contention with a bad one.

While golf and auto racing have little in common, the Sears Auto Center Northern Division drivers will have their own version of "Moving Day" in the BFGoodrichTires.com 250 at Lake Erie Speedway on Saturday, July 28.

With just two races remaining in the regular season, drivers know it will be crucial to put themselves in the best position possible for the Championship Series in the last few races.

"It's very important to be as close to the leader as possible going into the Championship Series," said Matt Carter, driver of the No. 26 Travis Carter Motorsports Ford. "If you can finish in the top five in points, you'll have a legitimate shot at the overall title."

Carter currently holds down the fifth spot in Northern Division points, but there's a gaggle of drivers that could end up in the top five at season's end. Jody Lavender, driver of the No. 4 Greased Lightning Ford, sits in fourth position, but he's only ahead of Jack Bailey, who is 11th, by just 98 points going into the BFGoodrichTires.com 250.

While the lead for the overall title doesn't have as many drivers, it's still anyone's race between the top three to claim the $25,000 bonus for winning the Sears Auto Center Northern Division title.

Gary St. Amant, driver of the No. 7 JEGS.com/Speedco Chevrolet, has a 91-point lead over rookie Brandon Ward and a 100-point lead over 3-time Northern Champion Benny Gordon.

"We're definitely thinking about the championship points at this juncture," St. Amant said. "If we can record a couple more top-five finishes, that should be enough to clinch the Northern Division title, which is important for us on a number of levels, not the least of which is the 25-point bonus we'll have heading into the Championship Series."

After Ward's win in the Kroger 250 at Motor Mile (Va.) Speedway on July 14, the rookie jumped to second in points and into contention for the overall title. But he may not want to push the issue too much.

Ward, driver of the No. 93 SupplyOne Ford, currently leads the Miller Lite Rookie of the Year Program by 83 points over Ben Stancill. If Ward can hold onto and pick up the Northern Division Rookie of the Year, he'll take home a $10,000 bonus at the end of the regular season.

The BFGoodrichTires.com 250 is scheduled for a start time of 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 28. Front gates will open at 4:30 p.m. and Awesome Awnings Pole Qualifying will start at 5 p.m. Fans will be permitted along the frontstretch during the Wraps INK Autograph Session at 6:15 p.m.

Pre-race ceremonies will begin at 7 p.m.

2007 USAR HOOTERS PRO CUP SERIES QUICK FACTS FOR THE SEARS AUTO CENTER NORTHERN DIVISION

WHAT: BFGoodrichTires.com 250

WHERE:                  Lake Erie Speedway, North East, PA

.375 mile

WHEN: Saturday July 28, 2007

DISTANCE: 250 Laps/ 93.75 Miles

POSTED AWARDS: $122,670

STARTING FIELD: 32 car starting field - 34 cars possible - Fastest 28 cars through time trials -- two provisional positions from 2007 Northern Division top- 30 Driver Points Standings and two provisional positions from 2007 Northern Division top-30 Owner Points Standing. One Provisional for past Champion and past "Rookie of the Year" (if necessary)

TELEVISION:             SPEED Channel   Wednesday August 8, 2007 (4 p.m. ET)

Friday August 10, 2007 (12 Noon ET)

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

Saturday July 28, 2007:
12:00 a.m. USAR HPCS Practice Begin
2:00 p.m. USAR HPCS Practice Ends
4:30 p.m. Front Gates Opens
5:00 p.m. Awesome Awnings Pole Qualifying for the USAR HPCS
6:15 p.m. Wraps Ink Autograph Session for the USAR HPCS
7:00 p.m. Pre-Race Ceremonies for the bfgoodrichtires.com
7:30 p.m. BFGoodrichTires.com 250

-credit: usar

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Jody Lavender , Jack Bailey , Ben Stancill