South Buxton Raceway will crown its 2013 champions in the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds and Lube Tech/Great Canadian Oil Change UMP Late Models this Saturday night.
Chatham’s Gregg Haskell has already wrapped up a second consecutive Late Model division championship as he takes a 121-point lead over Ridgetown’s Dale Glassford into the final night. The most points a driver can accumulate on a single race night is 97 by winning the feature and heat races.
Chatham’s Darryl Hoekstra is on the threshold of his first Modified points championship in just his second full season of racing.
Hoekstra, who shared his ride with Louisville’s Jim Fletcher in 2011 before going solo last year, has a comfortable 80-point lead heading into Saturday.
He can clinch the points title by starting the championship race.
And a championship for Hoekstra will also be notable, as his father Eugene is an eight-time track champion.
The Hoekstra’s would join the Reaumes - father Brett and son Andrew - as the only father-son points championship duos in the 42-year track history. Brett won the 1985 Sportsmen and 2004 Great Lakes Late Model titles while Andrew won the 2007-2008 Late Model crowns.
Eugene Hoekstra, making his return to racing after a 15-year hiatus, is 14th in the standings. He gave up his car for his son to drive in June when Darryl’s car was severely damaged in a wreck.
The younger Hoekstra has two feature wins and 10 checkered flags on the season.
Dick has the most feature wins in the class with five, including three in a row and four in five weeks during a hot streak from late June into mid-July.
Two-time defending points champion Jim Dale Jr. of Shrewsbury is third in the standings but has been mathematically eliminated from a third straight and ninth career title.
Merlin’s Jeff Daniel and Wallaceburg’s Drew Smith round out the top five drivers in points.
Two drivers to watch who will start deeper in the field will be Merlin’s Joe Brosseau and Leamington’s Justin Coulter.
Brosseau is 16th in points but has three feature wins and a division leading 11 checkereds on the season.
Coulter, 23rd in points, has only raced three nights but has two feature wins, including Aug. 24 when he started at the rear of the field.
Another eight-time track champion, Merlin’s Brad McLeod, is 20th in points going into the night. He has four top-five finishes in seven race nights in an abbreviated season.
The Late Models have been dominated by Glassford in the second half of the season, as he won five straight and seven of eight features starting in mid-June.
However, he lost his primary engine on Aug. 31 and didn’t start the Sept. 7 feature when he had problems with his back-up motor.
Glassford leads the division with eight feature wins and 16 checkered flags on the season but he fell out of points contention when he missed two nights early in the season.
Haskell is the only Late Model driver to compete every race night in 2013, as he has one feature win, four checkered flags and a division leading 12 top-five feature finishes.
Chatham drivers Jim Jones, Brad Authier and Erick Walker round out the top five.
Wallaceburg’s Mike Lewis is a legitimate threat as he will start the 25-lap championship race in the third row, as he enters the night sixth in points after missing the first five weeks of the season.
Lewis, however, posted 10 top-five finishes in 11 features and is second in checkered flags with nine.
Another serious challenger will be the driver of the No. 38 car, which will start near the rear.
But it won’t take long for this car to get to the front, whether it’s Blenheim’s Andrew Reaume or Chatham’s Kirk Hooker behind the wheel.
Reaume went three-for-three on Aug. 10 while Hooker won the feature and heat on Sept. 7, giving the No. 38 car five wins in the six races it ran in its two weeks on the track.
Charing Cross’ Chris Ross is a two-time feature winner this year but his car was severely damaged in Ohio earlier this month and is doubtful for Saturday’s championship race.
The Tirecraft Mini-Mods, Windride Transportation Sport Stocks and Bombers will all run non-points races. The three classes held its championship nights on Sept. 7.
Cottam’s Denis DeSerrano wrapped up his third career Mini-Mod points championship but finished second to Merlin’s Steve Shaw Jr. in the championship race.
Chatham’s Eren Vanderiviere won his third straight Sport Stocks points title but was runner-up to Grande Pointe’s Tyler Lozon, who won his second championship race in a row.
Blenheim drivers Dylan Bonner and Jeff Schives won the points title and championship race, respectively, in the Bombers, the first year for the entry-level four-cylinder class.
South Buxton’s 2013 season ends on Saturday, Sept. 28 with a ‘Fun Night,’ with special races for all classes including mechanics, ladies and staff.
The grandstand opens at 5:30 p.m. and racing begins at 7 p.m. this Saturday.