In 16 starts in Greenville-Pickens Speedway’s NASCAR Late Model class, Randy Porter hasn’t finished outside of the top three this year. In fact, the last time Porter finished worse than third was March 26, 2005. Porter’s remarkable run at the historic Greenville, S.C. track has helped him solidify his position in this year’s track point standings – as well as his pursuit of the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Division I championship.
The NASCAR point leaders from each track are ranked in the NDWS Division I standings, based on their best 16 finishes of the year. Porter, of Easley, S.C., is ranked fifth in the standings after finishing second last Saturday night in Greenville. He trails NDWS Division I leader Tim Karrick, of Basehor, Kan., by 102 points.
Two other NASCAR Late Model stars also moved up in the NDWS Division I standings this week. Drew Herring, of Benson, N.C., finished third in last Saturday’s race at South Boston (Va.) Speedway and moved up two positions in the standings, to eighth place. Mark Wertz, of Virginia Beach, Va., finished second in last Saturday’s Late Model Sportsman race at Langley Speedway, in Hampton, Va. It was Wertz’s 10th consecutive top-five finish and moved him into ninth place on the NDWS Division leaderboard.
Ø Challenges ahead for points leader Tim Karrick … Tim Karrick faces a quandary at the top of the standings. Karrick competes twice per week at two NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series dirt tracks. On Friday nights, Karrick races at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. On Saturdays, he’s at Linn County Speedway in Pleasanton, Kan. The two tracks have given the veteran driver plenty of great racing experience and he’s made 29 starts this year. The NDWS Division I leaders are ranked based on their best 16 finishes of the year, however, and Karrick is running out of room for error.
Karrick’s next results will add to his NDWS Division I total only if they are better than a previous result. His best 16 finishes to date include seven wins, three second-place finishes and six third-place finishes. When factoring in bonus points, which are awarded based on the number of cars in the field at either track, Karrick needs a win or a second-place finish, against a field of at least 21 cars, to increase his current total of 1,090 NASCAR points in the NDWS Division I standings.
That Karrick is locked-in to a “must win” situation does not eliminate him from the title race by any means. It does, however, open the door for rivals to close the gap – and fast. Fellow Lakeside and Linn County Speedway driver John Allen, of Chanute, Kan., is ranked second in the NDWS Division I standings with 1,064 points. Allen has also matched Karrick’s 29 starts but has a little more flexibility when it comes to the NDWS Division I championship race. Because Allen’s best 16 finishes are not as strong as Karrick’s thus far, he can add to his current total more easily. If Allen finishes in the top five in his next event (and there are at least 21 cars in the field), he’ll add to his 1,064 total and close in on Karrick’s lead in the NDWS Division I standings.
Karrick, Allen and the rest of the NDWS Division I contenders have eight weeks of racing remaining before the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series season concludes Oct. 1. The NDWS Division I champion will win a $25,000 bonus and be honored at the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series awards ceremony, on Nov. 11 in Las Vegas.
NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series
Division I Leaders as of August 8 (best 16 points finishes)
Driver, Hometown, Home track, NDWS points
1. Tim Karrick, Basehor, Kan., Lakeside Speedway, 1,090 points
2. John Allen, Chanute, Kan., Linn County Speedway, 1,064
3. Philip Morris, Ruckersville, Va., Motor Mile Speedway, 1,062
4. Junior Miller, Pine Hall, N.C., Bowman Gray Stadium, 1,010
5. Randy Porter, Easley, S.C., Greenville-Pickens Speedway, 988
6. Rodney Cook, Reidsville, N.C., Ace Speedway, 950
7. Nick Parker, Kearns, Utah, Rocky Mountain Raceways, 910
8. Drew Herring, Benson, N.C., South Boston Speedway, 868
9. Mark Wertz, Virginia Beach, Va., Langley Speedway, 826
10. Brad Brinkley, Sanford, N.C., Caraway Speedway, 824
11. Jamie Stephens Jr., Conyers, Ga., Lanier National Speedway, 816
12. Sherman Davis Jr., Fayetteville, N.C., Southern National Raceway Park, 736
13. Ricky Bilderback, Rockton, Ill., Rockford Speedway, 720
14. John Sandquist Jr., Austintown, Ohio, 620
15. Bill Rodgers, Old Orchard Beach, Maine, 584
16. Robb Touchette, Lake Stevens, Wash., Evergreen Speedway, 486
New to the top 16:
Brad Brinkley, Sanford, N.C.
John Sandquist Jr., Austintown, Ohio
Robb Touchette, Lake Stevens, Wash.
Dropped out of the top 16:
Randy Benson, Rockingham, N.C.
Randy Smith II, Canton, Ohio
Doug Davidson, Monroe, Wash.