New England Region news, notes 2003-07-22

NASCAR DODGE WEEKLY SERIES NEWS & NOTES - NEW ENGLAND REGION * Strunk leads New England Region at "halfway mark" * Malave, Jarvis seeking first regional championships DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 23, 2003) - If the NASCAR Dodge Weekly ...

NASCAR DODGE WEEKLY SERIES NEWS & NOTES - NEW ENGLAND REGION

*   Strunk leads New England Region at "halfway mark"

* Malave, Jarvis seeking first regional championships

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 23, 2003) - If the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series has a halfway point, this week is it.

Although many race tracks began their seasons earlier in the year, NASCAR's Competition Performance Index (CPI) standings are tracked for the final 18 weeks of the season. Nine weeks of competition remain before the eight regional championships are decided after the weekend of Sept. 21, making this week the symbolic halfway point of the season.

The coveted New England Region championship has shared the stage with the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series national championship for two consecutive years. Last season, Lebanon, N.H. driver Peter Daniels won the New England Region and national championships after racking up 14 feature victories at Claremont (N.H.) Speedway. Two years ago, Plainville, Conn. driver Ted Christopher accomplished the same feat. In 2003, Daniels and Christopher have been out of contention for the first half of the season and several other drivers are aiming to take their place as NASCAR's New England Region champion.

Jeff Malave, of Manchester, Conn., competes at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway, where he has recorded six top-five finishes this season. Malave trails Jeff Strunk, of Bethel, Pa., in the New England Region standings, but may move up by default if Strunk's home track - Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa. - does not complete 18 races, the minimum number needed for Strunk (or any driver) to be eligible for a regional championship.

At Daniels' home track, Claremont Speedway, Dwight Jarvis of Ascutney, Vt., has benefited from the 2002 national champions' absence from the 2003 leaderboard. With Daniels out of the championship picture for the time being, Jarvis' two wins have helped him establish a third-place ranking in the New England Region standings.

<pre> THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 ... Driver Home Track Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 CPI Change* 1. Jeff Strunk Grandview Speedway 10 1 10 10 .7750 - - 2. Jeff Malave Thompson Int'l. Speedway 8 2 6 7 .7175 - - 3. Dwight Jarvis Claremont Speedway 8 2 8 8 .7088 +1 4. Bobby Babb Jr. Beech Ridge Motor Speedway 11 1 9 9 .6909 -1 5. Scott Bonney Lee USA Speedway 9 3 7 9 .6878 - - 6. Jeff Pearl Waterford Speedbowl 8 1 5 7 .6600 - - 7. Kerry Malone Stafford Motor Speedway 9 0 4 6 .6111 +1 8. Rick Houlihan Seekonk Speedway 8 0 5 7 .6038 -1 9. Jeffrey Crowley Star Speedway 8 2 5 6 .5988 +7 10. John Fortin Riverhead Raceway 8 1 4 8 .5888 -1

*Editor's Note: The +/- numbers in the "change" column indicate a driver's movement in the regional standings, versus their position during the previous week. The dash marks indicate that a driver has maintained their position in the standings.

Top top-five finishers ...

Consistency is a key factor for any championship contender. In the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series, consistent top-five finishes are a measure of success in this category. Here's a look at some of the steadiest finishers in the nation:

Driver           Home track (region)                   Top-fives (thru 7/22)
Matt Carter      Hickory Motor Speedway (Atlantic)              15
Marty Ward Jr.   Greenville-Pickens Speedway (Atlantic)         15
Brian Richardson Mesa Marin Raceway (Sunbelt)                   13
Phil Rozum       Lorain County Speedway (Northeast)             13
Scot Danzeisen   Viking Speedway (Midwest)                      12
Tim Karrick      Lakeside Speedway (Midwest)                    12
Justin Labonte   Caraway Speedway (Atlantic)                    12
Tim Lance        Peoria Speedway (Heartland)                    12
Shaun Magnum     Concord Motorsport Park (Southeastern Coastal) 12
Chuck Wares      Tucson Raceway Park (Sunbelt)                  12

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Justin Labonte , Ted Christopher