Who will be the 2003 Goodyear Challenge Late Model Champion - Find out Saturday Night at New Smyrna
by Jane Smith
Samsula, Fla. (November 11, 2003) The 2003 race season is coming to an end. This Saturday will not only see the FASCAR Super Late Models, Sportsman, and Super Stocks final points but the Goodyear Challenge Late Models will end their 2003 season.
Last weekend we saw Bobby Blake win the Open Wheel Modified Championship and Ted Vulpius take the Mini Stock Championship along with Brian Bellaw taking the Late Model Championship at New Smyrna Speedway. Now the question is, "who will be the Champions" in all other divisions.
The Goodyear Challenge Late Models have seen quite a few different point leaders but it looks to be Jerry Artuso and Rich Clouser who have the best shot at the Championship. Either one of these drivers would make a good champion and if Clouser should win, car owner Bobby Sears would see his first championship as a car owner and not driver.
Other drivers in the top ten are Larry Osteen, Joe Sumasky, Steve Smith, Sean Murphy, Jason Boyd, Jimmy Castleberry, Brent O'Neill, and Brad May. At the last Goodyear Challenge race, it was Rich Clouser who set fast time at Charlotte County Speedway and he has high hopes of setting fast time at New Smyrna.
Saturday night will tell who the 2003 FASCAR Goodyear Challenge Late Model Champion will be.
David Rogers has won the Super Late Model Championship with B.J.
McLeod in second. These two positions are set in stone however Saturday night's action will decide who places where in the top ten.
Wayne Parker holds a 24 point lead over fourth place Guy Thomas.
With such a small lead, third and fourth place could go in either's favor. Joe Fitos sits fifth and will finish fifth as he has too many points to fourth and sixth place David Froelich cannot pass Fitos for fifth. Brent Hobbs stands only 16 points behind Froelich in seventh and if Froelich does not show, Hobbs could take over sixth with a good finish Saturday night. Mark Vandevender is only 20 points behind Hobbs and he could also improve his points standing. George Murphy comes in ninth, 36 points behind Vandevender and 12 points more than tenth place Mike Finn. Depending on who shows and who does not, points could definitely change for the Super Lates.
Last weekend saw Brian Bellaw take his second consecutive Late Model Championship. Completing the top ten for that division which is done now for the year was Tim Clark, Mark Smith, Don Hess, Bobby Orr, Timmy Todd, Larry Osteen, Chris Lawrence, Wade Lynn with Scott Seither and Jason Boyd tied in tenth.
Bobby Blake took the Open Wheel Modified Championship followed by Mark Vandevender, Matt Wheeler, Rob Underwood, Brad May, Jim "Hoot"
Flynn, David Castello, Jason Boyd, David Hite and Jerry Symons.
Billy Spade will win the Sportsman Championship but second and third place Dale Clouser and Ron Lufcy only have 8 points between them. Clouser leads but last weekend in the 50 lapper he lost a head gasket. If both show, this will be a good pair to watch.
John Nusbaum has fourth tied up but fifth place Jim Snyder only has a
8 point lead over sixth place Bill Love. This is another good pair to watch as their positions could change easily Saturday night. Mike Trocki runs seventh but is only 20 points behind Love so this too could go either way. Chris Pedulat stands eighth with a 32 point lead over ninth place Dusty Downer. Paul Colgan rounds out the top ten.
Ted "Mr Mini Stock" Vulpius won his first Mini Stock Championship last Saturday night after 18 years of racing. Vulpius took the championship by 20 points over Tim "Missileman" McPhail. Rex Christensen's hard work paid off as he comes out third in points followed by David Castello, Ben Hutto, Ron Dubeau, Rex Hollinger, Wayne Clark, Pug Puglisi, and Bob Delmastro.
Charlie Collins goes into Saturday night with a 24 point lead in the Super Stocks over second place Ron Whaley. These two both want the championship badly so expect to see some pretty close racing.
Third, fourth, fifth and sixth places are locked up with Jeff Colburn in third, Josh Wronkowski in fourth, Mike Amato in fifth and Butch Pierce in sixth. Todd Driscoll stands seventh but only holds a 4 point lead over eighth place Jack Lenzen. Depending on who shows and who does not, these could change. Coming in at ninth is Ted Head but only 4 points behind Head is Robert Skinner who has been running really good as of late. Expect to see some really close racing in this division as the season ends.
Qualifying for the Goodyear Challenge Late Models will be at 6:30 p.m. with grandstands opening at 6 p.m. Racing action starts at 7:30 p.m. New Smyrna Speedway is located between SR44 and SR415 between I-4 and I-95 eight miles west of New Smyrna Beach in beautiful Samsula, Florida.
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