Double Points for Downs Ford Modifieds and
Twin-25's for Factory Stocks this Saturday
With only five regular season Saturday night shows remaining on the Wall Stadium Speedway 2014 schedule it's become all about points. Both drivers who expected to contend for a division title, and those who have unexpectedly found themselves in the hunt, have a good idea of what they need to do to secure the championship. Pick up more points than their fellow title competitors.
Those precious points will be of particular importance for two divisions this Saturday, the Downs Ford Wall Mods, and the Factory Stocks. The Mods will be competing in a regular distance 40-lap feature event which will award double points. Meanwhile, the Factory Stocks will compete in Twin-25 lap features, meaning twice the number of points can be gained or lost.
The Downs Ford Wall Mods points race looks to be realistically among six drivers. Leading the points is the favorite when the season began, defending champion Chas Okerson. The driver of the 99 machine came into 2014 the best prepared to race for a title of any point in his great career. The purchase of Jimmy Blewett's asphalt mod, and his own winning car from last season gave the champ two potent bullets to use for the defense.
The driver directly behind Okerson in the points is part of a surprise team for 2014, Zach Alspach. One half of the Alspach brothers, both he and Trevor have won in the headline division in their rookie season. While Trevor has managed to pick up two wins, it is Zach's consistency which has him only seven points behind Okerson. Could this rookie knock off the veteran, and pick up the title in his first season? If he does, this Saturday will certainly have a lot to do with it.
Third in points is a driver many expected to contend for both wins, and championships, from the day he was announced as the driver of the famous Barney Racing number 14. Eric Mauriello brought two consecutive Sportsman division championships to the red, and white, number 14. He was expected to be a contender right away. However, a disappointing rookie season in 2013, and a frustrating start to this season, had some questioning whether the youngster would ever meet the expectations put upon him. Eric, and the team, have finally started to look like the championship team many expected in the second half of the season with two wins. He finds himself only trailing Okerson by 12 points.
Eric's teammate, Shawna Ingraham, grabbed many of the headlines at Wall last season. The young driver picked up the first win in the history of the Wall Modified division by a female in her rookie season. The granddaughter of Don Ling, who drives the number 66 in honor of him, was certainly looking to improve on her first season, by picking up a few more wins in 2014. While the wins haven't come, she has been competitive just about every Saturday. Her finishes at the front of the field have given her fourth place in the points, only trailing Okerson by 20 points. If Shawna wants to make history again, and become the first female Wall Modified division champion, she needs to win, and with double points on the line this Saturday, no time would be better than now.
Shaun Carrig is not someone you would go into a season thinking of as a title contender. Not because he isn't talented enough to get it done, but because his father, and a small crew, compete every week with an extremely limited budget. Just about everything on the number 54 is hand-built in their garage. Yet somehow, Shaun finds himself fifth in points, only 26 points from the lead. While he has yet to win this season, he has been fast on a number of Saturday nights. A front row starting spot, and some luck could see this veteran driver not only pick up a win, but show he is a true contender for the championship.
The team of Andrew Krause couldn't be any more different than that of Carrig's. The young driver shows up on most Saturday nights with a car for as many as three divisions. But don't be fooled by the shiny wheels, and big trailer, Andrew works as hard, and is as talented as any of the drivers already mentioned here. He lead a majority of the Garden State Classic before being wrecked from the lead, and is always one of the drivers to watch as he battles his way through the field every Saturday. Andrew is only 28 points away from Okerson in the Wall Mods, and only trails Kevin Davison by 10 points in the Sportsman division. A good finish to the season could help him towards possibly picking up two championships in the same season.
While the points race is tight in the Wall Mods, the Factory Stock championship is all but in the hands of Scott Riggleman. The driver of the 09 machine has a 72 point lead over Tiffany Olejnik. With Twin-25's for the division this Saturday, and a 50-lap double points race scheduled for next weekend, all Riggleman has to do is avoid disaster. However, twin features can always be dangerous when it comes to points. A wreck in the first feature, which heavily damages a car, could mean no points in the second feature. Almost like missing a night of racing. It will be interesting to see Riggleman's approach this Saturday. Will he be conservative, knowing just finishing almost secures him the title, or will he go for both wins, which would allow him to go for it again next week.
Also on the schedule for "Beach Luau Night" this Saturday are the Four-Cylinders, Legends, and a special appearance by the Sunday Series Champ Carts. Grandstands open at 5pm, with qualifying getting underway at 5:45pm. Feature races are scheduled to start at 7pm.
For more information on this event check out the Wall Stadium Speedway website. A link is provided on this RacingAroundJersey.com page.
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