The Herald Bulletin

October 15, 2013

Ken de la Bastide: Sprint cars in action this weekend

The Herald Bulletin

---- — The USSA will be crowning its first Sprint Car Challenge champion Saturday during the UAW Paint the Night Pink season championships at Anderson Speedway.

This will be the last opportunity in 2013 for fans of sprint cars on a paved oval to see the drivers in action on the lightning fast quarter-mile banked oval.

Daleville resident Aaron Pierce, who has won two of the USSA events at Anderson Speedway this year, is the points leader, holding a narrow margin over California driver Tony Hunt.

USSA officials are expecting a large car count for the 50-lap feature including Pay Less Little 500 winner Jacob Wilson, JoJo Helberg, Bobby East, Brian Gerster, Bobby Santos, Travis Welpott, Brian Olson and Chris Neuenschwander.

Anderson Speedway will be crowning season champions in nine divisions including the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models, Street Stocks, NASH Thunder Cars, Front Wheel Drive Oval and Figure 8 divisions, Legends, Thunder Roadsters and Kenyon Midgets.

Racing starts at 5 p.m. in the event that will be raising breast cancer awareness.

It should be a good day of racing where Jeff Marcum is riding a hot streak in the MEP Late Models, having won three consecutive events.

In other racing news

For the eighth consecutive year, the IZOD IndyCar championship battle is coming down to the final race of the year.

Scott Dixon has a 25-point lead over Helio Castroneves as the series heads to California for the final event of the year.

The race is set for Saturday night where Castroneves is hoping to win his first IndyCar championship. Dixon has won championships in 2003 and 2008.

NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Chase continues at Talladega Speedway on Sunday where there is always the threat of numerous multi-car accidents as the cars race in tandems of tight packs.

Matt Kenseth leads Jimmie Johnson by four points at the halfway point in the fight for the championship.

Johnson should have emerged from the Charlotte race as the points leader.

He was set to win the race last Saturday until NASCAR threw a caution flag for debris with a handful of laps remaining. The reason for the caution flag was not shown on the television broadcast so I guess we have to believe there was debris on the back straight.

Both Kenseth and Johnson will be looking to survive the weekend and remain in title contention.

All 13 Chase drivers will be hoping to avoid any calamities on the track in an effort to put themselves into championship contention.

The fallout from the Michael Waltrip Racing fiasco continues with the team announcing it was cutting back to two full-time teams in 2014 instead of three.

Since the team was involved in a race-fixing scandal at Richmond in an effort to get Martin Truex Jr. into the Chase, NAPA auto parts pulled its sponsorship support.

Truex is rumored to be in line for the Furniture Row ride vacated by Kurt Busch, who will be driving for the Tony Stewart-led team in 2014.

Congratulations to Noblesville driver Mark Lambert for winning the ARCA/CRA Sportsman Late Model championship and to Anderson’s Dustin Burge for capturing the Street Stock title.