WINSTON-SALEM — Each Saturday at Bowman Gray Stadium is a chance for underdogs to try and climb up in the points, and each race night forces the points leaders to perform and defend their territory.
But nerves will be on edge even more this weekend. It will be a Double Points Night – one of three events in the season where twice the normal points are awarded for finish positions. All it takes is bad luck at the wrong time, and a driver’s bid at the championship is effectively over. But a good showing can be the moment where a season starts to turn around.
If there’s one competitor chomping at the bit for Double Points Night, it’s Tim Brown of Tobaccoville. He’s taken the checkered for the last two events in a row in the Brad’s Golf Cars Modified Series and is hot on the trail of points leader Burt Myers of Walnut Cove.
“Our car’s really good right now. We’re just going to try to keep it like that and keep taking advantage of the opportunities we have here to win,” said Brown. “I’ve got to catch Burt in the points – that’s what it’s all about.”
“Winning’s great, and I want to win every race that we enter – but at the end of the season, that points championship is what means everything,” said Brown. “We’ve got some work to do. We’re not letting up. We’re going to keep our head down and keep digging.”
With twin 25-lap races on the schedule for the Modifieds, Brown will be in his element. Position is determined strictly by qualifying, giving the pole position a strong advantage in the dash for the checkered. Brown has qualified on the pole for three out of four events this season, so the format seems to be one that will suit his team well.
Last Saturday’s racing also featured the twin 25-lappers, and Brown claimed the checkered in the first race. The night ended with Brown moving up past James Civali of Davidson from third in the points to second. He gained six crucial points on Burt Myers, narrowing Myers’s lead to 12 points. John Smith of Mount Airy, on the strength of consistent top-five finishes in the races to date, is in fourth place, 16 points behind Myers.
In the Texas Steak & Tap House Sportsman Series, Derek Stoltz of Walkertown finally broke the long-standing tie with John Holleman of Winston-Salem for the points lead. Stoltz claimed victory on Saturday to move him solely into the points lead with Holleman dropping to second. However, Holleman’s night was still an excellent one: he is a mere one point under Stoltz in the points rankings.
Saturday was a dream night for 18-year-old female rookie Amber Lynn of Walkertown. She moved through the field to take the checkered in 20-lapper for the Q104.1 New Country Street Stock Series. The victory was her first ever at the Madhouse. And as if that wasn’t enough, the win boosted her into the points lead. Blake Shupe of Mount Airy finished second to Lynn on Saturday and also assumed that spot in the championship standings. He trails Lynn by 18 points.
In the Law Offices of John Barrow Stadium Stock Series, Chris Allison of Mocksville earned two more points than Chase Hunt of Lexington. That was good enough to move Allison up to tie Hunt for the points lead.
The pressure gets cranked up a notch this Saturday with the Midway Mobile Storage 100 for the Sportsman Series – it’s their longest race of the season. And, of course, there will be double points on the line for each division.
Gates open at 6 p.m. for practice, and the first race begins at 8. More information can be found online at www.bowmangrayracing.com or by calling (336) 723-1819.