Bubba Raceway Park will go with 5 exciting divisions including the Top Gun Sprints in Round 5, a wingless event, the UMP Open-Wheel Modifieds, Amsoil V-8 Thunderstocks, a $500 to win Double Points event for the Mini Stocks, and the Gladiators. The push to pass in the points battles must start now or time could run out.
Danny Martin, Jr. has the field groaning when his 24 shows up at the racetrack as he's won nearly every feature in 2011 including the last 3 at Bubba Raceway Park. However, drivers such as Gene Lasker, Robbie Smith, and Matt Kurtz have nearly ended his run and Tyler Godwin beat Martin in Round 1 proving he's vulnerable. Tim George, Terry Witherspoon, Mark Ruel, Jr., and Jimmy Ballew, Jr. are the ones Martin must beat for the Top Gun championship he still wants. The Sprints always put on a show that the whole crowd remembers and nothing less is expected this week-end.
The UMP Open-Wheel Modifieds have a name on the top of the list that everyone wants to displace- Jeff Mathews. Of course, driver #33 has won every Modified title since the conversion back to dirt in 2008. In 2nd, 47 points behind, is the #333 driven mainly by Ivedent Lloyd, Jr. Lloyd still seeks win #1 in the Modified and now is where the push must begin. Mathews controls his destiny, but Lloyd can climb back into it with some help. Garret Stewart, Jim Passino, and Dave Barber have all driven smart and consistent finishes go a long way in a title battle. In 6th, a GT Academy graduate, is Rich Pratt. Pratt took his 1st ever Modified win this season and hopes to take #3 this week-end. Pratt will need it to climb back into the battle but it's far from over. Bad luck has plagued Kyle Bronson, Ronnie Chance, and Henry Hall and that has put them at the tail-end of the top 10. All 3 have shown that they can keep the car at the front and wins could come soon and make the season better for any of them. In 10th is Scott Mooers, the Pierce Modified driver. Mooers hasn't had the season he's wanted but has gotten better and better every time out on the clay and he can't be disappointed with that. The Modifieds will put it all on the line and we could see yet another driver in victory lane.
As the season has progressed the closest constant battle has been the chase for the Amsoil Synthetic Lubricants V-8 Thunderstocks battle. Brian Shea currently leads the battle by a mere 7 points over 3-time winner and the 2009 champion Jason Gamble. Gamble has passed the most cars in 2011 but his luck has put him in the back numerous times since his undefeated May run. In 3rd is Vaughn Woodall. Woodall has used consistency to stay in the battle and only trails by 10. In 4th is asphalt-turned-dirt driver Gordon Cade. Cade still seeks career win #1, even after 2 runner-up finishes, on dirt and with 24 points to be made up it couldn't come at a better time. Jonathan Gillette sits 5th in points only 46 behind. Gillette led the points at 1 point but the last 6 races have been brutal for the young driver with just 1 top-10 finish. The push starts now for Gillette. John Thorpe has 9 top-10s in 12 starts this season, tops in the division, yet he's still 58 points out of 1st. Thorpe must wonder how much closer it could be if he had started the 2 races he missed. Driver #114 has been getting stronger every week-end and win #1 can't be far away now. The big winner in 2011 has been Chad Scranton who has won 44% of his starts in the division. The #27 can always be found at the front when it's on the clay and if anyone can make up 64 points it's Scranton. In 8th is Chris Watson. Driver #18 has been very consistent in 2011 with 12 top 15 finishes keeping him within 80 points of the lead. Though he may have just 1 heat race win, he has been very consistent and almost always loads the car up in 1 piece making for an easier week. Jonathan Appleby and Tim Mathieu complete the top 10 but both are more than 100 points out.
John Yates has 2 drivers in the points battle- 3 time winner Ray Folwell and Brittany Yates (his daughter) just 10 points and 2 wins behind Folwell. The 2 can keep the battle to themselves but young Ryan Babcock could join the battle with some help. As Babcock tries to make up those 54 points he will have hard chargers Ray Etheridge and Buddy Pope chasing the nearly 80 points they need to make up on him. Another rookie, Kody Kinsey, sits 6th but over 200 points out of 1st. Kinsey will try to get in the battle for the win and inch closer to the 4th and 5th place drivers. Shirlene Hammond and Roberto Morfin, Jr. have each gone to victory lane and could do it again at any time. Stephen Hahlbaugh has been strong but has missed a few events and that has cost him points just like Chris Zimmermann. Zimmermann rounds out the top 10 and had made steady improvemnet but has missed the past few events. The battle for glory should be interesting and a new face could visit victory lane.
"The Dominator" vs. "The New Dominator" has headlined the Gladiators for all of 2011. Steve Cox has led from the beginning and holds 45 over Reid Christensen. Christensen was down by 70 at 1 point and with 5 wins recently it's been narrowed down. Brandon Haseleu and Steve Johnson now battle for 3rd with just 6 points between them now. Both will battle for wins and glory as 200 points separate them from the top 2. The battle for 5th has 3 drivers within 30 of each other. All 3 are winless and Richard Todd has the task of holding them off. Jerry Taylor is 1 behind Todd and Kramer is 30 out. All 3 have made improvements throughout the year and wins could be close. Robert Graham, Stephen Frankland, and Kody Fisher will battle for 8th and could make it exciting for the fans.
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 at 352-622-9400!