5 POINTS SEPARATE CLAUSON, JONES AS 2010 USAC NATIONAL DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP COMES DOWN TO 2 RACES! It's all come down to this: 5 points separate Bryan Clauson and Levi Jones to decide the 2010 USAC National Drivers Championship! Only two races...
5 POINTS SEPARATE CLAUSON, JONES AS 2010 USAC NATIONAL DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP COMES DOWN TO 2 RACES!
It's all come down to this: 5 points separate Bryan Clauson and Levi Jones to decide the 2010 USAC National Drivers Championship!
Only two races remain on the calendar which afford points toward the title, which carries a $40,000 first prize as well as a $300,000 Firestone Indy Lights scholarship program which will find the winner competing in all six oval-track Firestone Indy Lights races, including the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next May.
Jones, of Olney, Ill., closed the gap to just five points with his second-place finish in last Saturday night's "Pacific Coast Nationals" Sprint race at Tulare, Calif. Clauson was involved in an early-race tangle and failed to finish the race. Neither driver was able to improve their point totals in the accompanying Tulare Midget race.
Clauson's best 25 finishes this year have included nine feature wins, nine second and seven thirds. Jones has a 2010 USAC record 10 feature wins, six seconds, five thirds and four fourths.
This Saturday's race is the ARP Fall Classic" Midget race at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway, while the final NDC event will be the 70th "Turkey Night Grand Prix" Midget race at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, Calif. Nov. 25.
To improve their scores, Clauson needs a second-place or better in either race, while Jones needs a third or better in either.
A victory by Clauson at Ventura could possibly lock up the title, but if Jones finishes second he would still retain a mathematical chance. A Jones victory could switch the balance of power in his favor entering the Irwindale finale, depending on Clauson's Ventura finish.
A myriad of scenarios are possible but Saturday's Ventura race should clear the air somewhat, or it could provide for a real Western "shootout" at Irwindale.
The remaining races would appear to favor Clauson, since five of his wins, four of his seconds and five of his thirds have come in the National Midget series. Jones, on the other hand, has earned all of his top-25 finishes in the Silver Crown and AMSOIL National Sprint series. His best National Midget finish this year has been a sixth at Las Vegas, Nev. in February.
2010 USAC NATIONAL DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1-Bryan Clauson-1,099, 2-Levi Jones-1,094, 3-Jerry Coons Jr.-1,044, 4-Tracy Hines-1,030, 5-Damion Gardner-1,001, 6-Dave Darland-969, 7-Bobby East-954, 8-Chris Windom-918, 9-Shane Hmiel-886, 10-Brad Kuhn-856.