The champagne is ready, and the trophies are waiting. This weekend, three NASCAR Touring Series across North America will crown their champions, and two other series will take a significant step toward deciding their titlist during one of their biggest events of their season.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The champagne is ready, and the trophies are waiting. This weekend, three NASCAR Touring Series across North America will crown their champions, and two other series will take a significant step toward deciding their titlist during one of their biggest events of their season.
First up is the NASCAR Camping World Series East, which will settle things Friday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The ‘Monster Mile’ has served as the coronation grounds for a pair of first time champions over the last two years – Joey Logano (2007) and Matt Kobyluck (2008) – and will do so again this season.
Rookie Ryan Truex, a 17-year-old development driver for Michael Waltrip Racing, will take the green flag for the Sunoco 150 with a 30-point edge over Eddie MacDonald. Truex has finished third or better in each of the last seven races, including three victories.
Truex can win the championship by finishing fourth or better, by finishing fifth or better and leading a lap, or by finishing sixth or better and leading the most laps.
MacDonald is likewise riding a wave of momentum, having won the Heluva Good! Fall 125 Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to cut 20 points off Truex’s lead. The 29-year-old from Rowley, Mass., is enjoying a breakthrough season with four top fives and nine top 10s in 10 races.
Jody Lavender maintains an outside shot, but would essentially need to win the race and have Truex and MacDonald finish in the back of the field.
Saturday will see two championship celebrations.
Andrew Ranger is on the cusp of wrapping up his second NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 championship in three years. The 22-year-old from Roxton Pond, Quebec, needs just to start the final race, the Z-Line Designs 250 presented by The Dodge Dealers of Ontario and Coca-Cola, at Kawartha Speedway Saturday to wrap up the title.
With the championship, Ranger would secure a spot in the postseason NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, to be run Jan. 30, 2010 at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.). Philip Morris, who won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series crown last week, has already earned one of the spots that go to the seven champions in NASCAR’s developmental series.
Jason Bowles is almost as close in the NASCAR Camping World Series West, but defending champion Eric Holmes still holds hope that he can win his third title in four years if Bowles falters.
Bowles, 27, of Ontario, Calif., leads Holmes by 78 points heading into Saturday’s Toyota/Copart 150 presented by Golden State Steel & Stair at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif.
Bowles needs only to finish 16th or better to wrap up his first NASCAR title. Holmes, 34, of Escalon, Calif., must finish fourth or better and lead the most laps to keep his hopes alive.
Last year, the roles were reversed. Bowles won the final race, but Holmes, who had the lead coming in, finished fifth to take the title.
Truex, MacDonald, Bowles and Holmes have already secured spots in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown by virtue of winning NASCAR Camping World Series races this season.
Sunday, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will get together for the second combination race of the season for the Made In America Whelen 300 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
While both tours will have two races remaining after Martinsville, Sunday’s race could shake things up.
Donny Lia was third Friday in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at New Hampshire to close within 48 points of defending champion Ted Christopher. Ryan Preece, the defending Martinsville winner, is 26 points back of Lia.
Andy Seuss won at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C., Saturday in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, but George Brunnhoelzl III finished second to keep his points lead at 125 points.