Factory Stocks take center stage this weekend at Manzanita Speedway as they headline both the Friday night show which is a points race and the Saturday night non points race is a $1,000 to win race. The Friday night part of the "Factory Stock Showdown has an additional $200 added to the purse. Only two points race remains on the 2008 season including the Friday night race. The factory stock season ends October 17.
The Saturday night card has an entry fee and is one of the richest races of the season for the factory stocks. In addition to the $1000 to win all starters are guaranteed at least $100.
Southwest Modlites and SCRA Sport Modifieds will run support races Friday night. The sport modifieds are also on the card along with AMA Modlites and Dwarf Cars.
Bobby Taylor needs a good top five finish in both the remaining points races to snare his third driving title. Taylor won the title in 2003 and 2006. He leads both Lyle Askren, Jr. and Matt Martinez by 30 points heading into Friday nights showdown. He hopes to at least hold steady and go into the season finale with his challengers needing to finish only eighth or better.
Martinez has won four features this year while Taylor has only made one trip to the winner’s circle. However the front runners are tied for heat race wins with five and Taylor has won two more trophy dashes than Martinez. Martinez leads in top five finishes nine to seven but Taylor has three more top tens as Martinez has failed to finish several races.
Ten different drivers have won features this year with Anthony Madrid at the top of the list with five wins. Four of those wins came when he subbed for Justin Upton but Upton ran the last race and it is not known whether Anthony will have a ride this weekend. The only other drivers with more than one win are Martinez and Ron Poe. In addition to Taylor, Lyle Askren, Jr., Bobby Erdman, Daren Olney, Patrick Shumaker, Brent Radtke and Upton have scored wins.
The big purse for the Saturday night Factory Stock Showdown is expected to draw one of the largest fields of the year. The SCRA factory stocks have averaged 25 cars through the first 20 races with a high of 31 cars on April 25 and a low of 16 in a non points race September 19.
The SCRA Sport Modifieds close out their part of the 2008 season at Manzanita this weekend. Garrett Funk has already wrapped up the driving championship in his rookie season. He is 145 points up on another rookie, Justin Thornton. Only 64 points, including show up points are available each night and that makes it impossible to be overtaken.
Two modlite groups have been formed in the valley and each have only one event left after this weekend. The Southwest Modlites will close out their season October 18 at Manzy and the AMA modlites will run in the Nationals along with Southwest Dirt Late Models and BRA/UMP Dirt Modifieds in November.
The Southwest modlites have been successful in attracting the largest fields and expect about 30 cars for their Friday night outing. . This marks only the sixth modlite race sanctioned at Manzanita this year but they will end their points season in their October 18th raced. The Southwest modlites have raced 20 times at five different tracks this year plus two "Spring Training" outings. They have produced eight different winners with John Priest leading the way with five wins. Tony Martin has score three times while Terry Belcher, Steve Moriarity and Justin Randall have won twice. Mark Julian and A.J. Martin have each scored a win.
The AMA Modlites have had 49 different drivers race with them but with their car count shrinking they have joined forces with the SW Modlites and will have only one division. That means that the Southwest cars will be running in the Nationals and the AMA will pick up a big year end show on the road.
The AMA has run 19 races at various tracks and 11 drivers have scored wins. Several drivers have run both divisions including Terry Belcher who has one win with AMA and two wins with SWML.
Clayton Echols has been steady and with two wins to his credit he holds the points lead with an 1851-1813 lead over Gary Mooney. Robert King, Jr. leads in wins with five. Two time winners, in addition to Echols, have been Nick Bruce, Andy Eatwell and Jesse Chinn.
Mark Julian has scored once with the AMA in addition to his win in the SWML. He got his win September 20 and will be trying to make it two in a row.
Race time has been moved up to 7:00 P.M.. with the front gate opening at 6:00. Admission Friday night is $10 for adults and $8 for juniors and seniors. Saturday night admission is $12 and $10. Children under 12 are, as usual, admitted free.