* DeSantis takes New England Region championship lead * Gada advances towards fifth track title, first regional championship DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 27, 2003) - For anyone following the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series New England Region ...
* DeSantis takes New England Region championship lead
* Gada advances towards fifth track title, first regional championship
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 27, 2003) - For anyone following the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series New England Region championship standings, things just got real interesting.
Meme DeSantis, of Temple, Pa., overtook Jeff Strunk in the track point standings at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa., after he recorded a victory and a top-five finish in twin Modified feature races there last Saturday. Strunk finished 6th and 27th in the same events, knocking him out of the track championship points lead. As a result, Strunk surrendered his lead in the New England Region championship standings as well. DeSantis' Competition Performance Index (CPI) ranking of .7500 was enough to place him atop the regional standings for the first time this season.
With four weeks remaining until the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series regional championship contest concludes Sept. 21, DeSantis faces a challenging month ahead. NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series rules stipulate that a driver must have a minimum of 18 starts before the deadline, in order to be eligible for the regional title. DeSantis has only completed 14 races due to rainy weather that has plagued the area and needs to run four more races - rain-free - in the next four weeks if he wants to challenge for the $45,000 regional championship.
While Strunk and DeSantis were busy exchanging the regional lead, other contenders made significant moves last weekend as well. Dennis Gada, a four-time track champion at the 3/8-mile Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl, won his fifth race of the season and jumped to second in the regional rankings after taking over the track points lead at Waterford. Gada, of Salem, Conn., has finished fourth or better in the New England Region standings the past three seasons, but is still seeking his first regional title.
Neither DeSantis nor Gada were ranked in the top 10 of the New England Region standings last week. Their moves bumped Eric Berndt, of Rocky Hill, Conn., down to third in the New England Region standings, despite the fact that Berndt recorded his ninth top-five finish at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway last week.
<pre> THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 ... Driver Home Track Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 CPI Change* 1. Meme DeSantis Grandview Speedway 14 4 10 12 .7500 +10 2. Dennis Gada Waterford Speedbowl 13 5 9 11 .7433 +11 3. Eric Berndt Thompson Speedway 13 3 9 12 .7025 -1 4. Dwight Jarvis Claremont Speedway 14 3 12 14 .6893 +1 5. Scott Bonney Lee USA Speedway 13 4 10 13 .6663 -2 6. Bobby Babb Jr. Beech Ridge Motor Speedway 15 1 10 13 .6453 -2 7. John Fortin Riverhead Raceway 12 2 7 12 .6192 - - 8. Jeffrey Crowley Star Speedway 11 3 7 9 .5839 +2 9. Kerry Malone Stafford Motor Speedway 15 0 5 9 .5833 -1 10. Rick Houlihan Seekonk Speedway 12 0 7 11 .5808 -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.