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The Calm Before The Storm

. Posted in Racing News

With 5 of the 6 divisions on tap the fans will get to see most of their favorite drivers 1 last time before the 2-week August break. RaceCar Engineering Late Models, Hobby Stocks, Amsoil V-8 Thunderstocks, Mini Stocks for Double Points and a $500 payday, and the Gladiators will race for points and bragging rights through the break.

Ivedent Lloyd, Jr. has held the points lead for quite some time, but hasn't pulled away from the field. Dillon Wood is just 22 points behind Lloyd and is still searching for that 1st win. Wood held the lead early in the season and has continued to run in the top 5. With consistency at the front comes wins and Wood isn't far away. Mark Whitener has Augie Burttram's 58 in 3rd, but Whitener and Burttram are banned until mid-September after the argument 2 weeks ago. The new points system can keep the 58 battling for points but a new driver will have a tough hill to climb. "The Locomotive" has steamed his way to 4th but is more than 100 points back. Collins has a runner-up finish earlier but will need some wins and bad luck for the top dogs to catch back up. Still without a driver's license because of his age, Christian Augspurger has driven the 35 to 5th. Augspurger won in the Mike Peters Era early in the season and after some bad luck has come back to 5th. Bo Allen and the 71 team were the others in the argument 2 weeks ago which means Allen would need a replacement driver to gain more points. The 71 can drive to the front, but does need a driver in the seat. Tyler Ivey was also a points leader, but some bad luck and missing the double feature night has dropped him to 7th. Ivey won the Mike Peters Open and can get his 47 in Victory Lane and needs some wins to get back in the hunt. "IceMan" Austin Kirkpatrick comes off of a trip to Victory Lane and would love to repeat. Kirkpatrick is top rookie and shows improvement every week-end. Shan Smith has driven his 99W17SS (99W for short) to 9th and has run up front and could take that win at any time. JO Nobles, the 2009 champion, has taken his 18JO to the top, both in the results and on the track, and the 18JO has taken a liking to the banking. Darrell Padgett hasn't shown his 46P since the Powell Memorial, but did take a win early in the season.

Chad Scranton was the 1st points leader and is the only 2-time winner in the 2011 Hobby Stocks. Of course, he hasn't started a race since and that left the points lead to Tim Powers. Powers has 1 win and 3 runner-up finishes, but even with that consistency, he'd love another win. Kevin Durden comes off of his 1st win of 2011 and wouldn't mind becoming the 2nd 2-time winner. Buck Woodhouse hasn't battled for the win but has put his 55W near, or in, the top 5 every week. Woodhouse, much like 4th place Howard Osteen, is still searching for the win, but it isn't far away now. Joe Belkey took a win already, but still wants another. Belkey has a fast car and takes it to the front and has put himself in 5th because of it. Joe Boyd, Billy Carlbert, Jr., and Tommy Ausburn have kept their cars clean, for the most part, and are 6th, 7th, and 8th, respectively. They can all get to the front and take a win and move up even higher in the standings. Mark Maresca and Donnie Reed round out the top 10 and have both taken their cars to the front. Mike Tovet and Matt Shea have wins, but they didn't count for points, but both could take another.

Jason Gamble has put all 3 of Eddie Tillander's cars near the front, but has only put the 27 in Victory Lane in the first 3 races. Gamble has held off the fight from Vaughn Woodall and Chad Scranton, both 18 points back, but with 2 different stories. Woodall has run every race and used his strengths to power to 2nd. Scranton is listed as 3rd, with 4 more wins than Woodall, but 3 starts less. In 4th is Brian Shea, 23 points behind Gamble. Shea is still searching for his 1st win, but has taken his 19 to the front and win #1 is right around the corner. "Mr. Consistency" led the standings for a week, but hasn't put his 64 in Victory Lane before. Gillette, along with Woodall and Shea, is in his 2nd full season and has made gains alng with them. He's just 25 back now. Gordon Cade is 51 points behind the leaders and stil searches for win #1 on dirt. Cade holds just 8 over Chris Watson. Watson still searches for his 1st win, and could take it this week-end. Tim Mathieu, John Thorpe, and Jonathan Appleby are more than 90 points back, but are all front-runners and this division has seen 30 point swings on a night before so you can't count anyone out.

A Double Points Night will give 5 drivers a shot at the points lead, but Ray Folwell and Brittany Yates have separted themselves from the field. Folwell holds a 12 point lead over Yates, but she has gained on him the last few races. In 3rd, 52 back, is the rookie Ryan Babcock. Babcock continues to hold strong at the front and a reward could be coming soon for the young driver. Ray Ethridge took a few wins last season but hasn't had much luck in 2011. Ethridge is 107 points behind Folwell and is battling for wins now. Buddy Pope has an early season win, but after missing a few week-ends of action has dropped and is now mounting a comeback. Chris Zimmermann and Roberto Morfin, Jr. have misse the past 2 races and have dropped to 6th and 7th, respectively. They could take wins as they both improved much from the 1st week-end, and both are hungry. Kody Kinsey is 8th and hopes to gain points on Babcock for rookie of the year in the Mini Stocks. Kinsey has his hands full as "Hammerdown" Shirlene Hammond is 9th, just 6 behind him. "Hammerdown" will try to gain those lost points to the leaders back, but it's easier said than done. In 10th is Charlie Staats, but he's missed some races and has lost valuable points because of it. With $500 on the line and Bubba not not exactly thrilled about the car count, we should see a full field of Mini Stocks battling for points and glory.

The 7-time winner, Steve Cox, leads by more than 70 points over Reid Christensen. "The Dominator" will have his 1st of 14 more scheduled shots at breakng the all-time wins in a season record set by Mini Stock driver Keith Briggs in 2008. He'll need to win half of those scheduled races to break the record. Reid Christensen will look to stop Cox, at least for a week-end, and celebrate in Victory Lane with the #30 team. Brandon Haseleu will hope to take a win this week-end and celebrate with his father in victory lane. Richard Todd and Jerry Taylor round out the top 5, but both still search for their 1st victory in their short careers. "The British Bulldog" has the smallest car and Bubba Raceway Park career with only 6 starts. Frankland has taken the 7UK to the top 5 on numerous occasions and could break out and win at any time. Steve Johnson was a main threat for the championship last season, but decided to run a limited schedule in 2011. He's run half of the season and has his 81 in 7th and will hope to catch team-mate Cox by season's end. Matt Kramer and Kody Fisher have put themselves in the top 10 and always battle hard no matter where they're at on the track. Casey Feaster is 10th and after the retirement speculations has decided to bring the 20 back to Bubba Raceway Park and battle for another win. Feaster took 3 wins early, but hasn't won in the points season. Scott Sullivan, Jonathan Green, and Sammy Dale each have a win recently and could add another.

All 5 divisions will put a show on as everyone wants to enter the break as the points leader and race winner. Gates open at 4:30 with racing scheduled for 7. For more information you can check out www.bubbaracewaypark.com or call the Speedway hotline.

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