IPSC: Championship to be decided at Scotia Speedworld

(HALIFAX, Nova Scotia) - After 10 races and 1,600 laps on the 2000 International Pro Stock Challenge (IPSC) series season, the championship battle will be decided this Saturday in the Parts For Trucks 150 at Scotia ...

(HALIFAX, Nova Scotia) - After 10 races and 1,600 laps on the 2000 International Pro Stock Challenge (IPSC) series season, the championship battle will be decided this Saturday in the Parts For Trucks 150 at Scotia Speedworld. Three drivers are poised and ready to duke it out for the title, which is worth $30,000, but just as important the bragging rights inherent with being the champion. Maine's Ben Rowe, New Hampshire's Andy Shaw and Nova Scotia's John Flemming sit one, two and three, respectively, with just 34 markers separating them.

All three are focused on finishing first, but realize first you must finish, so caution may be the name of the game on the tight 3/10-mile oval.

"Second-place is the first loser," said Flemming, whose average finish on the 2000 IPSC season at Scotia Speedworld over the first four events is an impressive 3.75. "We feel like we've got nothing to lose once it comes down to crunch-time. We've got a good car and a good set-up for Scotia. All we need is some luck."

Rowe has momentum on his side with two back-to-back wins in the last two IPSC events, but must improve his average Scotia Speedworld finish in 2000 of 5.75 to secure the championship. He has moved from eighth place in the point standings after six events to the lead. Rowe feels like losing the title in 1999 to Scott Fraser by a mere six points helped his team prepare for the 2000 chase.

"We knew it would be tough,' said Rowe, whose average 2000 IPSC Scotia Speedworld finish is 5.75. "The teams in this series take racing very seriously. We just had to stay focused in spite of whatever else was going on. It takes consistency."

Shaw gained the series points lead after just two races and has held it all season, until last week in New Hampshire.

"It's not that we had good luck in the first half of the season," said Shaw. "We just didn't have any bad. And everyone in racing knows luck is as much a part of winning as being good. We just haven't had the top five finishes lately that we needed."

Shaw's average finish in the first four IPSC events at Scotia Speedworld on the 2000 season is 6.75.

Mathematically speaking, any of the top three drivers are able to walk away from the Parts For Trucks 150 the champion. With a five point spread between first and second and second and third, a top three finish and leading laps is key to either Shaw or Flemming finishing ahead of Rowe. Points decrease by two each position after third and down the finishing order. Bonus points are awarded at five points to the driver who leads the most laps and five points to any driver who leads one lap, on one occasion per race.

"The way we have it figured, if we lead the most laps, and Ben doesn't lead any, we would have to finish ninth or worse with us winning the race and the title," said Flemming.

Based on the same scenario, Shaw would need to win the race, lead the most laps with Rowe leading none and finishing fourth or worse.

"Bonus points are critical, " said Flemming. "After all, the bonus points Ben earned the last two races are exactly the 20 point lead he has on Andy."

Both Flemming and Shaw have an IPSC victory at Scotia Speedworld this season. Rowe had a win there in 1999.

Further back in the points chase, only 105 points separate third from 10th. Maine drivers lead the way with Kirk Thibeau fourth, Kenny Wright fifth, Sam Sessions sixth, Gary Smith eighth and Tom Mayberry 10th. Nova Scotian's Mike MacKenzie and Mike Riley sit seventh and ninth respectively. The final finishing order of the Parts For Trucks 150 is sure to shake up the running order among these teams.

A full slate of Scotia Speedworld Weekly Racing Series action is scheduled for Saturday, featuring the Nova Automotive Hobby Stock, the Miller Tire Street Stock, the C & R Auto Supply Sportsman and the Motor Home Vacations Thunder Cars. Heat races for these classes start at 11 a.m. with features scheduled in the IPSC show. Results will determine champions in all divisions.

Snap-on Tools Time Trials for the IPSC start at 12:30, followed by the IPSC Motor Mart Heat Races at 2, with features for all classes following. Grandstand gates open at 10 a.m.

This is the season finale for Scotia Speedworld as well as the IPSC.

Advance tickets are available in Halifax at Racing Around; in Dartmouth at Parts For Trucks, Forbes Chev Olds, R & D Racing and Amber Contracting; in Bedford at Municipal Contracting; and in Elmsdale at the Elmsdale Superstore.

Scotia Speedworld is located at Exit 6, Highway 102, across from the Halifax (Nova Scotia) International Airport. # # #

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Series Stock car
Drivers Gary Smith , Mike MacKenzie