USAR: South Boston II: Northern Division finale preview

Cha-Ching Big Money on the line in Miller Lite 250 at SoBo Myrtle Beach, S.C.--The Sears Auto Center Northern Division will finish its regular season at South Boston Speedway on Saturday, August 11. The Miller Lite 250 will be the culmination of...

Cha-Ching
Big Money on the line in Miller Lite 250 at SoBo

Myrtle Beach, S.C.--The Sears Auto Center Northern Division will finish its regular season at South Boston Speedway on Saturday, August 11. The Miller Lite 250 will be the culmination of a season of hard work for the teams and drivers. With nearly $200,000 in purse and bonus monies up for grabs, many will be handsomely rewarded at the race's conclusion.

Gary St. Amant, driver of the No. 7 JEGS.com/Speedco Chevrolet, stands to walk away with the lion's share of the money. If he can hold on and win the Northern Division title, St. Amant will pick up a $20,000 bonus and 25 bonus points heading into the Championship Series.

"This is what we've been racing for," St. Amant said. "It's time to clinch this deal and head into the Championship Series with as much momentum as possible."

But right now, Benny Gordon, driver of the No. 66 Samuel Metals Ford, is the driver with the most momentum in the Northern Division. After dominating at Lake Erie (Pa.) Speedway, Gordon has closed St. Amant's lead down to just 65 points going into the Miller Lite 250. He has such tunnel vision right now that hasn't even pondered the scenarios.

"I think mathematically we can [win the title], but I don't think we have a shot," said Gordon.

Well, it's much more than a mathematical shot. If Gordon does the same thing he did at Lake Erie, lead the most laps, lead halfway and win the race, St. Amant has to finish eighth to hold onto the title. If St. Amant finishes ninth, Gordon would win by a scant two points.

"I haven't even been thinking about that. We've just been trying to get our team ready for the Championship Series," said Gordon. "I'm glad I know now, because we plan on being just as good at South Boston as we were at Lake Erie."

But don't expect St. Amant to wilt under the pressure. St. Amant has won titles before, and he knows what it takes to keep the lead.

"We need to race smart, but we're not going to hold back too much," said St. Amant, who won earlier this year in Salem, Ind. "We'd love to close out the regular season with a win. Of course, top priority at the moment is clinching the Northern Division and getting those 25 bonus points heading into the Championship Series."

St. Amant and Gordon aren't the only driver battling for bonuses in the Miller Lite 250. Rookie Brandon Ward has a 65-point lead over Ben Stancill in the Miller Lite Rookie of the Year standings in the Northern Division. The top rookie after SoBo will take home a $10,000 bonus.

"The rookie title is what we're chasing, and it's going to be close," said Ward, driver of the No. 93 SupplyOne Ford. "Ben has been good all year, and he could definitely go to South Boston, outrun us and take the rookie of the year away from us. I think we have to go into this race and not point race at all. We've got to keep doing what we've been doing and see where the points stack up."

The Miller Lite 250 is scheduled for a green flag at 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 11. Front gates at South Boston Speedway will open at 3 p.m. Awesome Awnings Pole Qualifying for the Hooters Pro Cup Series will start at 4:30 p.m. The Wraps Ink Autograph Session will begin at 5:45 p.m. followed by pre-race ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. After the conclusion of the Miller Lite 250, South Boston's regulars will compete in a 150-lap Late Model Stock feature.

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2007 USAR HOOTERS PRO CUP SERIES QUICK FACTS FOR THE SEARS AUTO CENTER NORTHERN DIVISION

WHAT: Miller Lite 250

WHERE:          South Boston Speedway, South Boston, VA

.4 mile

WHEN: Saturday August 11, 2007

DISTANCE: 250 Laps/ 100 Miles

POSTED AWARDS: $122,670 (Includes $37,000 Point Fund)

STARTING FIELD: 32 car starting field - 34 cars possible - Fastest 28 cars through time trials -- two provisional positions from 2007 Northern Division top- 30 Driver Points Standings and two provisional positions from 2007 Northern Division top-30 Owner Points Standing. One Provisional for past Champion and past "Rookie of the Year" (if necessary)

TELEVISION:             SPEED Channel   Wednesday August 22, 2007 (4 p.m. ET)

Friday August 24, 2007 (12 Noon ET)

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

Saturday August 11, 2007:
11:00 a.m. USAR HPCS Practice Begins
1:00 p.m. USAR HPCS Practice Ends
1:30 p.m. USAR HPCS Drivers Meeting (Engines Off)
1:45 p.m. Chapel Service (Engines Off)
2:00 -2:45 pm Late Model Practice
3:00 p.m. Front Gates Opens
3:30 pm Late Model Qualifying
4:30 p.m. Miller Lite 250 Qualifying for the USAR HPCS
5:45 p.m. Wraps Ink Autograph Session for the USAR HPCS
6:30 p.m. Pre-Race Ceremonies for the Miller Lite 250
7:00 p.m. Miller Lite 250
To Follow: 150 Late Model Event

-credit: usar

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Series Stock car
Drivers Ben Stancill