The Herald Bulletin

October 1, 2013

Ken de la Bastide: Anderson Speedway to crown 9 champions


The Herald Bulletin

---- — There will be plenty of racing action at Anderson Speedway this Saturday with multiple divisional championships up for grabs on a day sponsored by the United Auto Workers to benefit the fight against breast cancer.

Qualifications for all nine divisions will start at 2 p.m., with racing action staring at 5 p.m. All divisions will be competing in longer than normal feature events with double points on the line.

Several divisions that would normally headline a regular racing card at Anderson Speedway will be sharing the top billing.

The United States Speed Association will be crowning a champion in the inaugural Sprint Car Challenge for non-winged sprint cars. A large field of cars is expected for the season finale. California driver Tony Hunt is the current points leader, but local favorite Aaron Pierce has won four USSA features at Anderson Speedway in the past two years.

Other top drivers expected for the 50-lap feature are Jacob Wilson — the 2013 winner of the PayLess Little 500 — JoJo Helberg, Brian Gerster, Bobby East and Chris Neuenschwander.

The McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models will be in action with Ronnie Rose entering the final event of the season with a comfortable points lead. The one thing that is evident in the MEP Late Models is the balance among the field of drivers.

There have been eight different winners in the 10 races, some ran in conjunction with the ARCA/CRA Top Speed Fabrication Sportsman. Jeff Marcum is coming off two consecutive wins in the division. Other winners this year include Rose, Chris Hacker, Rob Allman, Fred Hopkins, Danny Trent, Trey Craig and Keith Sterkowitz.

Division champions also will be crowned in the NASH 102.5 Thunder Cars, Street Stocks, Front Wheel Drive Oval and Figure-8 divisions, Legends, Thunder Cars and Kenyon Midgets.

In other racing news

It came as no surprise when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and officials with the IZOD IndyCar Series announced that racing action at the famed track will begin the first week of May.

The IZOD IndyCar Series will be competing in its first ever road course race at IMS to kick off the month leading to the Indianapolis 500.

Adding the IndyCars on the IMS road course makes sense to me, particularly with the race on the Baltimore street course being eliminated in 2014.

I like the idea of running on the IMS road course, I just don’t like scheduling the race in the month of May. Just seems to take something away from the Indy 500.

Whether NASCAR wants to admit it or not, the Chase for the championship has become a three-driver battle after only three races. Matt Kenseth leads Jimmie Johnson — the most recent race winner — by eight points with Kyle Busch holding down the third spot.

The other 10 drivers are all almost behind by more points than can be won at a single race. Needing three drivers to stumble more than once is a tall order for those drivers that will be reciting the familiar refrain of long-suffering Cubs fans, “Wait till Next Year.”