Budds Creek: Series spotlight - Ed Hoover

President's Cup a do-or-die weekend for Hoover It is safe to say that 2009 has been a banner year for Pro Modified legend Ed Hoover and the Paul Trussell Motorsports team. With four final rounds, two victories and an incredible 17-6 ...

President's Cup a do-or-die weekend for Hoover

It is safe to say that 2009 has been a banner year for Pro Modified legend Ed Hoover and the Paul Trussell Motorsports team.

With four final rounds, two victories and an incredible 17-6 win-loss record, you would think Hoover would be thrilled with the season he has had so far.

But that just isn't the case.

Despite a career year and numbers any driver would be thrilled to have, the only number that stands out in Hoover's mind this season is the number two -- as in second in the IHRA Pro Modified points chase.

With two races remaining, Hoover is currently second in the standings behind defending world champion Kenny Lang who has opened up an impressive 76-point lead over the man from Gilbert, S.C. heading into this weekend's IHRA President's Cup Nationals at Maryland International Raceway.

So with Hoover having four final round appearances and 17 round wins, how has Lang managed to open up such a large margin over his nemesis?

Simply put, Lang has been better. A lot better.

While Hoover has been to four finals, Lang has been to seven. Hoover currently has two wins, Lang has three. And as for the 17 round wins by Hoover, Lang has 21.

Every time Hoover has taken a step forward, Lang has been two, sometimes three steps ahead and thanks to that impressive showing Lang is now on the verge of clinching his second consecutive world championship in Pro Modified.

"It has been a great year for us. Obviously seven final rounds in a row has been a big help and we are now in a comfortable position with two races to go," Lang said following his victory in New Hampshire two weeks ago.

But it hasn't always been Lang's championship to win.

Hoover briefly took over the points lead following his win at the Mopar Canadian Nationals in Grand Bend, Ontario giving him the Canadian sweep as two consecutive victories led to a slim 11-point lead.

Two races later, however, that lead has melted away and now Lang is on the verge of clinching his second championship. In fact, if Lang can hold on and make it to his eighth straight final, it will almost be a done deal.

Just don't tell Hoover, who is determined to get back in the hunt.

"We just have to put it all on the line over the final two races. It has been a lot of fun going back and forth with Kenny, but we are ready to get this thing turned around. No more playing around," Hoover said.

But that is not as easy as it sounds.

Lang can all but clinch the title with a solid showing this weekend, leaving the man who has spent the past 20 years dedicated to the world of Pro Modified racing still searching for that elusive first championship.

But if Lang stumbles and Hoover is able to capitalize -- watch out.

"It has been a great year, but my focus is putting Trussell Motorsports in the winners circle and bringing home a championship," Hoover said. "There are still two races and a ton of points at stake -- it isn't over yet."

-credit: ihra

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Series Drag
Drivers Ed Hoover , Kenny Lang