TWIN FALLS, Idaho — The CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series will close out the 2008 campaign in the annual NAPA Auto Parts “150” at Magic Valley Speedway located outside Twin Fall, Idaho tonight. The always-exciting fan favorite event will draw one of the largest fields of the year with more than 24 of the region's top Late Model drivers will be on hand for the championship race.
David Minegar of Boise, Idaho leads the point standings heading into the final event on the strength of two wins and six Sharp Powder Coating Fast Time Awards this season. Minegar holds an 89-point margin and will need every bit of that if he hopes to claim his second series crown.
Minegar needs to score at least 151 points to lock up the title at a track where he is the qualifying record holder and the site of three of his six career wins. But the NAPA 150 has never been one of his better events.
Lurking in second place in the standings is the defending series champion John Newhouse of Twin Falls. Newhouse has completed all but three laps in competition this season on the strength of three top five and six top ten finishes heading into the championship event. Newhouse has one career victory at Magic Valley speedway back in 2006.
Tied with Newhouse for second is Thane Alderman from Las Vegas Nevada. Alderman is enjoying his most successful season on the tour this year. With two wins and no finish worse than fifth this year Alderman has been the most consistent driver and would be atop the standings if not for mediocre qualifying efforts. Alderman has completed all but one lap this season.The RMCS rewards drivers for qualifying performance and where Minegar has excelled Alderman has struggled and that is the difference in the point spread.
Former NASCAR Tour champion John Dillon of Eagle, Idaho is still looking for his first win in the series but has been a force at each event this season. Currently fourth in the standings just 52 points behind Alderman and Newhouse, Dillon would like nothing more than to take his first checkered flag at a track that has denied him over the years.
Craig Bell of Kuna, Idaho rounds out the top five and has scored three top five and five top ten performances this season. Bell sits just one point behind Dillon in the standings.
Tom Hill also of Eagle has been in the hunt at each race this season scoring one win (MVS) and four top five finishes along the way. Hill finds himself 39-points behind Bell.
Local favorite Bobby Latham III of Twin Falls had high hopes for the season but has found nothing but disappointment at every turn resulting in his seventh place in the standings. Latham looks to finish the season on a high note at a place where he has scored four of his five career victories. Latham won last year’s addition of the race.
A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning Rookie-of-the-Year competitors occupy the 8th through 12th places in the standings led by Twin Falls Dan Koyle. Koyle’s rookie campaign has been impressive, finishing in the top ten in all races this season. Steve Jones, Travis Monett, Dylan Caldwell, and Mitch Dickinson round out the rookie class and all have had flashes of brilliance this season.
The NAPA “150” is the 20th series event to be staged at the one-third mile paved oval. There have been eleven different winners with Bobby Latham scoring the most wins (4) at MVS. Minegar, Hill, James Eaton, and Bryan Warf each have two wins at MVS. Latham won last year’s contest with Eaton, Newhouse, Nick Gibson, and Bruce Quale rounding out the top five finishers.
CarbonX, the industry leader in fire resistant underwear and clothing, is title sponsor of the premier Late Model series. Along with CarbonX several key associate sponsor support the series including: Thompson Motorsports, Performance Solutions, Kidd Performance, and Joe's Racing Products. Long-time sponsors ESI, A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning, Sharp Powder Coating, Five Star Racing Bodies, Frank's Radios, and Hoosier continue their long association with the series
The RMCS utilizes a racing format not found in any other regional touring series around the country. The top 20 qualifiers are inverted for every race putting fast time in the 20th starting position. This format ensures race fans see what they paid for and that is passing. Each driver is awarded three points per position gained in the event. Through the history of the series, the winning driver has averaged a 15th place starting position. To ensure competition, the RMCS pays it purse based on total point accumulation for the event and provides several special performance awards for the event including: The ESI Hotshoe Award paying $400 to the driver who sets fast time and goes on to win the race. CarbonX will pay a Lap Leader Bonus of $5 for every lap led. Sharp Powder Coating pays $100 for setting fast time at each series race. The Thompson Motorsports Halfway Challenge will pay $100 to the driver leading at halfway of each event; and the Thompson Motorsports Performance Improvement Award pays the driver $200 who improves the most positions over the previous event.
The CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is a regional touring series that allows all competitors to race and gain experience on different types of racetracks. In its fifth year, this high-quality professional racing series offers maximum opportunity for competitors at an affordable price serving the intermountain West. The motto of the series is to "Race Hard and Have Fun!" For all the latest news and information regarding the CarbonX rocky Mountain Challenge Series log on to our website at www.rmcsracing.com