Mobile, AL - It's Hot! And it is going to get hotter! The National Late Model Sportsman Series Points race is heating up as the Southern Dirt our heads for Waycross, GA and the running of the "Walker Jones 75" at Waycross Motor Speedway....
Mobile, AL - It's Hot! And it is going to get hotter! The National Late Model Sportsman Series Points race is heating up as the Southern Dirt our heads for Waycross, GA and the running of the "Walker Jones 75" at Waycross Motor Speedway. Leading the touring series into Waycross is Gene Maine and the potent Ives Racing/Russell Brown Racing Chevrolet. The Valdosta, GA driver sits atop the points, but Waycross is not a track that has been kind to him in the past. In second spot is the points is Ricky Brant of Pooler, GA, who needs to make up some ground during the middle of the season to catch Maine before time runs out. Wendell Durrance won the "Waycross 75" earlier in the season at this track, and with a new car the Gainesville, FL driver is hoping that a repeat is in order to vault him over Brant and closer to Maine.
Fourth in the points overall, and leading the Rookie of the Year chase is Henry Carter Jr of Swainsboro, GA. With three top 10 finishes in the last three races another good finish could move him higher in the standings. "The Blackshear Bandit" Cecil Eunice is fifth in points and is looking for good things to happen as the series heads to his home track, and the site of many of his more than 500 wins. Further back in the points standings, but gaining ground at a rapid pace are Steve Jones, Billy Godowns Jr, Joe Kump, and Dennis Smith. By being at or near the front, these drivers have closed the gap to the points leaders considerably over the last three races and are forces to be reckoned with as the series heads into the second half.
In the Rookie of the Year battle, Carter leads Jones by a mere five points, and the Rhine, GA driver has had three top five finishes in the last four races. Third in the Rookie chase is Lee Jackson of Brooklet, GA, who has been quietly working his way towards the leading duo.
The Engine Builders points show Bennett Brothers with a slim lead over Gary Johns with Reeves RPM a very close third. Bennett, of Jacksonville, FL has ridden the success of Durrance and Maine to the top of the points and is hoping that their success combined with that of others who run his motors will keep him on top.
Snow Brothers leads the Chassis Builders points with a slim lead over Russell Brown. With each builder having about the same number of representatives, this battle changes almost every week depending on who places in the top five. Perched in third place is M&L Racing who are hoping their cars will make a late season charge to challenge the front runners.
Although Maine is safe, for the moment, at the top of the standings, the Walker Jones 75 could see some big moves made in the pack behind him. A poor finish, and Maine could see his lead eroded to next to nothing following the Waycross event. In the other points races, every race can see changes at the top and this week will be no exception. The battles are that tight.
National Late Model Sportsman Series Point Standings after 9 of 17 events
Championship Points Rookie of the Year Standings 1. Gene Maine 820 1. Henry Carter Jr 455 2. Ricky Brant 645 2. Steve Jones 450 3. Wendell Durrance 620 3. Lee Jackson 285 4. Henry Carter Jr 585 4. Wiley McDaniel 220 5. Cecil Eunice 565 5. Duane Chancey 175 6. Tracy Mimbs 545 7. Ivedent Lloyd 510 Chassis Builders Standings 8. Jimmy Lee Davis 505 1. Snow Brothers 215 9. Steve Jones 460 2. Russell Brown 195 10. Everett Phillips 455 3. M&L Racing 115 11. Billy Godowns Jr 420 4. Walter Newman 75 12. Joe Kump 375 5. Hooker 55 13. Terry Lumley 365 14. Dennis Smith 305 Engine Builders Standings 15. Randy Ellenberg 305 1. Bennett Brothers 150 16. Tracy Walden 280 2. Gary Johns 135 17. Robbie Metts 280 3. Reeves RPM 130 18. Skip Pannell 235 4. Custom Racing Engines 80 19. Johnny Collins 230 5. Wynn Racing Engines 55 20. Andy Stewart 220
1997 Winners Wendell Durrance 2 Gene Maine 2 Cecil Eunice 2 John Rankin 1 Tracy Mimbs 1 Dennis McDaniel 1 ***END***