Halfway Home Championship Series Churns into Myrtle Beach Speedway Myrtle Beach, S.C.-Nobody thought Clay Rogers would have pulled out to a 103-point lead in the standings just three races into the Championship Series. But he has, and ...
Championship Series Churns into Myrtle Beach Speedway
Myrtle Beach, S.C.-Nobody thought Clay Rogers would have pulled out to a 103-point lead in the standings just three races into the Championship Series. But he has, and that's bad news for the rest of the field as the six-race shootout turns south for the remainder of the year.
Rogers has turned in a stellar season thus far, racking up a series-high six wins and 13 top-five finishes coming into the Mark Brooks Memorial Bi-Lo 250 presented by Black's Tire & Auto Service on October 28.
"I just can't wait for the season to be over, so we can look back and enjoy some of the things we've done," said Rogers, driver of the No. 44s Automotive Development Group Ford. "It's been a great year for us, but we're not going to think about it right now. We're going to stay focused."
That focus is on winning his second Pro Cup title in three years and joining Bobby Gill as the only multiple champion of the Hooters Pro Cup Series.
The only things that could derail Rogers' bid for a second title is a string of poor finishes or three straight wins by his closest competitors. And neither seems likely.
Rogers has only posted four finishes outside the top-20 during the entire season. He also was running in the top-10 when he suffered mechanical failures in those four events.
Rogers' closest competitors are Northern Division drivers that will lose the home-field advantage for the remainder of the season. Of the tracks visited in the final three races, Shelby Howard, who trails Rogers by 103 points, and Woody Howard, who is 161 points back, have a combined six starts and no wins.
Shelby Howard, driver of the No. 20n Speedco/Tony Stewart Racing Pontiac, will be making his first start at Myrtle Beach Speedway this Saturday, but it will be his second race of the day. Howard will compete in the Busch Series event at Memphis and fly back to Myrtle Beach Speedway in time for the Bi-Lo 250. While he's never competed at MBS, Howard believes his momentum won't stall on the Grand Strand.
"I feel good about keeping our momentum going," said Howard, who has back-to-back second-place finishes in the last two races. "I've actually never seen the place. But everything I've heard about makes me think it should fit my driving style. I'm excited about it."
Benny Gordon, driver of the No. 66n Predator Performance Ford, should be excited as well coming to Myrtle Beach. Gordon has four wins in eight races at his former home track. The Bi-Lo 250 will also give Gordon a chance to shake the post-season blues. After being tied with Rogers to start the Championship Series, Gordon has fallen 203 points behind after three races.
"We're just going to have some fun the rest of the year," said Gordon. "We're going to go out and try to win the final three races and see what happens."
The Mark Brooks Memorial Bi-Lo 250 presented by Black's Tire & Auto Service is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28. Fans are encouraged to come out early and watch Advance Auto Parts Pole Qualifying at 4:30 p.m.
Immediately following qualifying, the Allison Legacy Series will run a 50-lap feature. At 6:15 p.m. fans will be allowed to take part in the on-track autograph session. Front gates will open at 3 p.m. For more information, contact MBS at (843) 236-0500.
WHAT: Mark Brooks Memorial BI-LO 250 presented by Black's Tire & Auto Service
Race No. 4 of the USAR HPCS Championship Series
WHERE: Myrtle Beach Speedway, Myrtle Beach, SC
.538-mile, semi-banked asphalt oval
WHEN: Saturday, October 28, 2006 - 7:30 P.M. (EST)
DISTANCE: 250 Laps/ 134.5 Miles
POSTED AWARDS: $139,599 (Includes $36,433 Point Fund)
STARTING FIELD: 36 car starting field - 38 cars possible - Fastest 36 cars through time trials - One provisional position from 2006 Northern Division top- 15 Driver Points Standings and One provisional position from 2006 Southern Division top-15 Driver Points Standing (only if necessary).
TELEVISION: SPEED Channel, Wednesday, November 1, 2006 (4 p.m. ET)
SPEED Channel, Friday, November 3, 2006 (12 Noon ET)
Saturday October 28, 2006:
11:30 a.m. USAR HPCS Practice Begins
1:30 p.m. USAR HPCS Practice Ends
2:30 -4:00 p.m. Allison Legacy Series Practice and Qualifying
3:00 pm Front Gate Opens
4:30 p.m. Mark Brooks Memorial BI-LO 250 HPCS Qualifying
5:15 p.m. Allison Legacy Series Race 50 Laps
6:15 p.m. USAR HPCS Driver Autograph Session
7:00 p.m. Pre-Race Ceremonies
7:30 p.m. Mark Brooks Memorial BI-LO 250 presented by Black's Tire & Auto Service