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Keeping Pace

INSSA championship battle down to one race

David Garber, the current Inland Northwest Super Stock Association points leader, heads to Kalispell, Mont. in search of his first Lucas Oil Super Late Model Championship. His departure on Saturday means a new INSSA champion will be crowned after Garber's three-year reign.

Doug Pace

The Spokesman-Review

If you are looking for one race this weekend that will feature plenty of on-track drama, Stateline Speedway’s Inland Northwest Super Stock Association championship event on Saturday night just might be the ticket.

David Garber is the series points leader by 40 markers over Kameron McKeehan, but the three-time and defending champion sits just 39 points out of first place in the Lucas Oil Super Late Model Series, which also races this weekend at Montana Raceway Park. Having to make the choice between INSSA or Montana’s title, Garber will load up and take aim at Kalispell’s championship for the first time in his illustrious career.

With Garber departing that opens the door for a wide-open championship battle.

McKeehan will assume the points lead in Garber’s absence and have a slim 23-point gap over Amanda McDonald and current Rookie of the Year points leader Braeden Havens when qualifying gets under way Saturday night. Jeff Fenton also has a mathematical chance of earning the championship as he trails McKeehan by 38 points heading into the finale.

While Havens and MacDonald are tied for second place, another close battle will be decided between Todd Havens and Ross Cooper. They sit in seventh and eighth place, respectively, with 10 points the difference between them. Also nearly tied with one race left in the season are Jeff Little, who holds down ninth place in the championship standings, and 10th-place driver Dan Yonke. They are also separated by 10 points.

Fast finish at Sunset

Sunset Speedway has plenty of action left with three races over the next four weekends.

The one-fifth mile clay oval hosts some of the largest number of competitors in the region, with as many as 45 karters taking part in racing on any given weekend.

One of the largest classes, Adult Clone, has a tight points race for the season championship with Braeden Havens holding a 12-point lead on Dustin Halverson. That lead will shrink as Havens is set to compete in his late model at Stateline Speedway this weekend.

To Havens’ advantage is the fact that Sunset uses a throw-out system for scoring points, which allows a driver to eliminate his lowest points night of the season. Should Halverson have a solid night, the duo will be neck and neck heading into the final two races of 2010.

Also locked in a tight points battle are Junior I Clone drivers Daniel Watkins and Collin Thomas, who are separated by 30 points.

Another driver to keep an eye on will be Jerid Pickens, who has built a sizable lead over Jacob Martin in the Junior I Animal division. Division leaders looking to pad their championship standings include Jim Townsend (Adult Modified), Karl Schmitz (Adult Yamaha) and Jared Storer (Junior II Animal).

Kart racing

The Spokane Kart Racing Association closes out its 2010 season with a pair of two-day events over the next three weekends.

This weekend, racers will hold heat racing and main events with points being scored as two separate race days. The same format will be used on Sept. 25-26. Grandstand admission is free on both weekends. To enter the pit area, fans must purchase an admissions pass.

Competing will be drivers in the Junior I and II classes, World Formula, TAG, Kid Karts, Clone, Maxi and 125cc classes.

Championship points leaders include Nicole Behar, Ryan Krasselt, Jesse Arnzen, Jeff Johnson, Taylor Overhoff, Alex Oakley, Bradley O’Neil, Niki Johnston and Daytona Arnzen.

Johnson and Jeff Walsh are locked in the tightest race for a SKRA champion as the 125cc Shifter karters are separated by a mere 100 points.

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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.