DAYTONA BEACH, Florida -- A familiar scenario is brewing in West Salem, Wis. At LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway, nine-time Late Model track champion Kevin Nuttleman isn’t leading, but is waiting until just the right moment in time to seize the lead in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series standings.
The strategy paid off handsomely for Nuttleman in 2005, as the Bangor, Wis. driver won the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Division III championship, worth over $20,000, with a slow and steady rise to the top of the charts. Last season, Nuttleman hovered around third or fourth place in the standings for several weeks, before taking over the lead for good after the first week of July.
Nuttleman hasn’t led this year, but he’s moved up from eighth to second in the last three weeks, after a string of steady top-10 finishes. At first glance, Nuttleman is behind his 2005 pace, but the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series season has been extended until Oct. 1, putting Nuttleman right where he wants to be as the championship race enters its final two months.
Nuttleman now trails NDWS Division III leader Donnie Hill, of Columbus, Ohio, by 158 points (982-824). In other NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Division III racing action, Virginia’s Frank Deiny Jr. has continued his success streak at Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas, Va. Deiny scored his seventh win of the season last Saturday, which was his third win in the past four weeks. In fact, Deiny has not finished outside of the top five since March 26. With his most recent victory, Deiny advanced to fourth place in the NDWS Division III standings.
NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series
Division III Leaders as of Aug. 1 (best 16 points finishes)
Driver, Hometown, Home track, NDWS points
1. Donnie Hill, Columbus, Ohio, Columbus Motor Speedway, 982 points
2. Kevin Nuttleman, Bangor, Wis., LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway, 824
3. Mark Bliss, Arcade, N.Y., Lake Erie Speedway, 822
4. Frank Deiny Jr., Mechanicsville, Va., Old Dominion Speedway, 814
5. Scotty Backman, Parker, Colo., Colorado National Speedway, 802
6. Kevin Leicht, Arden, N.C., Hickory Motor Speedway, 800
7. Justin Johnson, Las Vegas, The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 768
8. Rick Sexton Jr., Mattawan, Mich., Kalamazoo Speedway, 758
9. Steve Jones, Meridian, Idaho, Magic Valley Speedway, 640
10. Steve Lance Jr., Cuba, Ill., Peoria Speedway, 638
11. Dan Shelliam, Hazel Green, Wis., Dubuque Fairgrounds Speedway, 526
12. Chuck Steuer, Bohemia, N.Y., Riverhead Raceway, 508
13. John Vallo, Fairborn, Ohio, Kil-Kare Speedway, 464
14. Brock Behnke, Poplar Grove, Ill., Rockford Speedway, 458
15. Bill Matuszak, Freedom, N.Y., Holland International Speedway, 302 New to the top 15: None Dropped out of the top 15: None