BOISE, Idaho — The CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series has been the marquee series in the intermountain west for the past five seasons and Zan Sharp dominated the first couple of years winning two series championships, but he had not visited victory lane since 2006. That all changed this past Saturday when the former champion return to form and claimed his fifth career series victory at Rocky Mountain Raceways in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Sharp started sixth but quickly asserted himself and by lap 29 he found the front of the field and never looked back. While Sharp occupied himself keeping the field at bay, rookie Jonathon Gomez and former series champion John Newhouse waged a spirited battle that included Bruce Quale and Thane Alderman.
Sharp set a torrid pace out front leaving the quartet to battle it out for the runner up spot. At the conclusion of the race it was Gomez edging Newhouse for second while Alderman got by Quale to claim the fourth position. Quale finished fifth with Jeff Jefferson placing sixth followed by point leader John Dillon, Mitch Dickinson, Dylan Caldwell, and Craig Bell rounding out the top ten.
“The bar in this series has been raised,” stated Sharp. “These races have never been easy to win especially with the invert, but you add in the talent these guys have and just to run competitively is difficult. We have been working on our equipment a lot and it is finally starting to pay off.”
While Sharp is pleased with the victory that ended a dry spell of nearly three years, he knows it is only going to get tougher. “Dave Minegar and John Newhouse have been the class of the series the past couple of years and with Dillon (John) and Jefferson (Jeff) on their game you had better be right or they will make you pay.
Next up for Sharp and the series regulars is the Idaho “200” weekend in Northern Idaho August 1-2. “I am looking forward to the race,” Sharp said. “We have a great series and the folks up north are still talking about last year’s event. It should be a great weekend and I hope we can come out on top again.”
John Dillon continues atop the point standings although Jeff Jefferson has cut in to his lead. Dillon holds a 22-point advantage over Jefferson with John Newhouse moving into third 80-points back. Craig Bell drops to fourth with Jonathon Gomez rounding out the top five in the standings after five races. Zan Sharp leads the next five in sixth followed by Dylan Caldwell, Dave Minegar, Thane Alderman, and Steve Jones rounding out the top ten,
The next event for the CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is the annual Idaho “200” at Stateline Stadium Speedway in Post Falls, Idaho. On Saturday, August 1 is the NAPA Auto Care Duel for the “200” featuring the RMCS, then on Sunday, August 2 the RMCS regulars will suit up again and compete against the best in the Northwest in the Idaho “200”. Thane Alderman is the defending race winner at Stateline.
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. Points are also awarded for qualifying and heat race finishes. 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.
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. It is a high-quality professional racing series that offers maximum opportunity 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