Preview - Lucas Oil 100
“SUPER SIX” HEAD INTO BATTLE LOOKING FOR ’10 TITLE
As we saw with the shakeup in the points last week, the next three events will be critical in the championship chase on the CARQUEST Tour. The 550 feature laps ahead of the top six could make or break their chances at becoming the one hoisting the big trophy at the Banquet. Three are former champions of the series, three are looking to become first time Pro Stock champs. One of the drivers will look to become the ninth different winner in as many races this season when we see the green flag for the Lucas Oil 100 this Saturday evening at the Speedworld! For Tucker, Turple, Hicken, Chisholm, Smith and Vincent – it is go time!
Sure, this event is important for point reasons but it is also important in regards to the season finale. The Lucas Oil 100 is the final chance for teams to build setups and log notes for the Parts for Trucks 200 finale at the same track in September. Not only will the Parts for Trucks 200 hand out money in the season long championship but will also hand out some dough in the Parts for Trucks Challenge. The Lucas Oil 100 could go a long way to showing us who could be the favorites for the finale weekend!
Your current point leader is due for a win on the Tour and with him possessing two second place finishes at Scotia Speedworld this season that win could very well come on Saturday night. With a strong runner-up finish last weekend, Shawn Tucker vaulted his #52 AL Guillison Disaster Kleenup Chevrolet to the top of the board in the standings and is the man to beat going into this weekend’s event. The last time a 100-lap event was contested at the Speedworld though it was Shawn Turple atop the field. Turple trails Tucker in the “Shawn and Shawn show” by just six points – or the equivalent of three feature positions.
Jonathan Hicken’s car was in victory lane a couple of weeks ago but it wasn’t Hicken behind the wheel. Cassius Clark drove the #5 Chapman Brothers Construction/Castle Building Centers Impala to the win at the Atlantic CAT 250 and the team will look to keep the momentum built from that event to stay in the point hunt. The Brudenell, Prince Edward Island driver is just twenty points behind Tucker with three events remaining on the schedule.
If you believe in momentum from race to race then Donald Chisholm is your man! Chisholm won in fine fashion at Riverside by dominating the Parts For Trucks 100 for his first win since 2004 and his first win on the refurbished track. Chisholm runs well at the Speedworld and would like nothing more than to become the first driver to win two features on the CARQUEST Tour in 2010. He sits twenty-four back from Tucker and just four points behind Hicken for third.
The top five is rounded out by Wayne Smith. The Oval Outlaw was swept up in a late race wreck, causing the #44 to finish eighteenth on the field. Smith returns to his home track this weekend where he’s posted many feature victories with hopes that one more is on the horizon. A win here could be the start of a rapid three race run to the title as he runs well at the Speedworld and at Speedway 660. Smith is twenty-seven points out of Tucker for the lead.
Completing our “Super Six” is Kent Vincent. Vincent kept his car clean at Riverside and was rewarded with a top three finish when the checkers flew. Vincent is only thirty-one points out of his first CARQUEST Pro Stock Tour title and with a few good runs and a little bit of luck, the #8 Vector Aerospace Dodge Charger could be in the mix for the championship!
As mentioned, we have had eight different drivers visit victory lane in as many races this season. We mentioned Shawn Tucker could make it number nine but what about the other drivers in this talented field that have yet to win this season. Craig Slaunwhite, Daryl Mahar and Mike MacKenzie call Scotia Speedworld home and will both be looking for good runs this weekend at the tricky 3/10-mile oval. Mike Stevens came oh-so close last weekend to taking his first win while Chris Hughes is hungry for a victory before we draw to a close in 2010.
Don’t count out the defending champ of the Lucas Oil 100 either. Springvale, PEI’s Greg Proude showed the way in this event last May and is looking to capture another one this weekend.
You will not want to miss this weekend’s racing action at the Speedworld. Friday night brings the Media Race centre stage as the likes of Cyril Lunney, Ray Bradshaw, Denyse Sibley, Bobby Mac and Pat Healey will go at it in four cylinder cars for 15-laps of action. Five other divisions will also be on hand to race for valuable championship points. Then on Saturday it is the Lucas Oil 100 with the Maritime League of Legends cars going at it for fifty laps of heated action on the Speedworld oval. It’s a must see weekend of racing at the Enfield track!
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!
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