Peach State Speedway ARA doubleheader preview

Kelley Looks To Extend ARA Point Lead JEFFERSON, GA - The American Racing Association (ARA) resumes its revised schedule Saturday, Sept. 22, with a doubleheader at Peach State Speedway. Both the Kool Seal Challenge and Southern Thunder series...

Kelley Looks To Extend ARA Point Lead

JEFFERSON, GA - The American Racing Association (ARA) resumes its revised schedule Saturday, Sept. 22, with a doubleheader at Peach State Speedway. Both the Kool Seal Challenge and Southern Thunder series will run 125-lap features in the Kool Seal Twin 125s.

The Kool seal Twin 125 doubleheader was originally scheduled for Sept. 2, but was rained out.

Close championship battles in both series will also resume, as Paul Kelley of Snellville, GA, hopes to pull away from 14-year-old Stephen Leicht of Asheville, NC, in the Southern Thunder standings.

Kelley (#24 Kelley Motorsports Chevrolet) ranks first with 245 points, with 14-year-old Leicht (#99 Action Racing Collectibles Chevrolet) second with 230 and Michael Lance of Dacula, GA (#04 Lance Used Auto Parts Chevrolet) third with 214 points.

"This is the first time I've been in this position, so all I can do is what I've done all season, and that's to go for the maximum points," says the 20-year-old Kelley. "The way the points work, I have to qualify on the front row, then invert and try for the bonus points. I'm definitely going to invert if I start on the front row."

ARA awards five bonus points to each of the front row qualifiers, and the top five qualifiers have the option of inverting, or starting five position back in the field. Then they can earn up to 10 bonus points for passing. Regular points are awarded based on the number of starters (i.e., if there are 20 starters, the winner gets 20 points, second place 19, etc.).

Leicht has won two straight Southern Thunder races, and has 4 total to Kelley's two (both at Peach State) this season.

"Stephen's a good racer from a family of racers. His father and grandfather raced, and it something he's making a career of," says Kelley. "He's a good driver, too. He's definitely gonna make it big"

In the Kool Seal Challenge series, Scott Kilby, of Statesville, NC, has won the last two races - and earned a maximum number of points possible in each - to boost his lead to 495-475 over Bumgarner, of Conover, NC. Westley Huffman of Blytheville, SC, ranks third with 415 points, followed by Marlowe with 401, Keith Stiltner of Grundy, VA with 324, Frampton Ferguson of Furman, SC with 284 and Leicht with 277. Leicht is the only driver who competes on both series.

Kilby has boosted his lead by 19 points in the last two events. Kilby won the Bobby Isaac Memorial 200 at Hickory Motor Speedway and the U.S. Auto Sales 125 on Aug. 12th at Peach State Speedway in his #30 A&H Windows Chevrolet, while Bumgarner finished second at Hickory and third at Peach State in his #95 Country Chair Ford.

Gates will open at 10 a.m. for competitors, with Kool Seal practice starting at Noon, followed by Southern Thunder practice. Qualifying for the Battery Supply of Virginia pole award will start at 4 p.m., when spectator gates open. An autograph session is scheduled for 6 p.m., with the Kool Seal Challenge race starting at 7 p.m., followed by local division features and the Southern Thunder feature. For more information, the new telephone number for Peach State Speedway is 706-387-7490.

-ARA-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Stephen Leicht