NASCAR Whelen All-American Series News
Seven Drivers to Decide Division III Title Race
Sep 7, 2006 - updated Sep 7th, 2006 5:16pm
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. --
...Race New York’s Mark Bliss clings to lead, prepares for final feature events at Lake Erie Speedway Sept. 8
(Sept. 6, 2006) – Mark Bliss is another week closer to his goal of winning the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Division III championship, but several racing rivals are still in close contention.
Bliss, of Arcade, N.Y., competes in the Late Model classes at Lake Erie Speedway, in North East, Pa., and Holland (N.Y.) International Speedway. He has two races remaining at Lake Erie – twin feature races on Friday, Sept. 8 – that could make the difference he needs to hold off the rest of the title contenders.
His closest challengers hail from four other speedways in Division III. Jamie Hunt of Ashville, Ohio, is ranked third but has the potential to collect enough points to threaten Bliss’ lead over the final weeks of the season. Like Bliss, Hunt has the option of racing his Late Model at two different tracks: his home track at Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway and Kil Kare Speedway in Xenia, Ohio. Fellow Columbus competitor Donnie Hill is also a potential champion contender.
At Colorado National Speedway in Erie, Colo., Scotty Backman has taken on an ambitious 2006 schedule. Backman, of Parker, Colo., has recorded six wins at Colorado National and has finished outside of the top five in just two races this season. In addition, Backman is competing for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title in the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series. Backman is ranked fifth in the NDWS Division III standings but is within striking distance of Bliss’ lead with two races remaining at Colorado National.
Two Las Vegas racers – Justin Johnson and Scott Gafforini – are further back in the standings but with three Super Late Model events remaining at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, this duo cannot be counted out by any means.
A representative from Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway completes the seven-driver set that will decide the $25,000 NDWS Division III championship. Andy Loden, of Stanley, N.C., is the final driver remaining with a mathematical chance of winning the title.
NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series
Division III Leaders as of Sept. 5 (best 16 points finishes)
Driver, Hometown, Home track, NDWS points
1. Mark Bliss, Arcade, N.Y., Lake Erie Speedway, 1,040 points
2. Rick Sexton Jr., Mattawan, Mich., Kalamazoo Speedway, 1,024
3. Jamie Hunt, Ashville, Ohio, Columbus Motor Speedway, 1,022
4. Kevin Nuttleman, Bangor, Wis., LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway, 1,022
5. Scotty Backman, Parker, Colo., Colorado National Speedway, 1,010
6. Justin Johnson, Las Vegas, The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 958
7. Andy Loden, Stanley, N.C., Hickory Motor Speedway, 956
8. Frank Deiny Jr., Mechanicsville, Va., Old Dominion Speedway, 918
9. Steve Lance Jr., Cuba, Ill., Peoria Speedway, 894
10. Steve Jones, Meridian, Idaho, Magic Valley Speedway, 796
11. John Vallo, Fairborn, Ohio, Kil Kare Speedway, 696
12. Dan Shelliam, Hazel Green, Wis., Dubuque Fairgrounds Speedway, 690
13. Chuck Steuer, Bohemia, N.Y., Riverhead Raceway, 666
14. Brock Behnke, Poplar Grove, Ill., Rockford Speedway, 594
15. Bill Matuszak, Freedom, N.Y., Holland International Speedway, 506
New to the top 15:
Justin Johnson, Las Vegas
Dropped out of the top 15:
Scott Gafforini, Las Vegas
For more information, contact:
Jeremy Davidson, NASCAR Public Relations, (386) 681-4173 or firstname.lastname@example.org