Points Standings Updated
Two points championships are not enough for Merlin’s Eren Vanderiviere and Blenheim’s Shawn Jones.
They both want their first season championship race victories this Saturday night at South Buxton Raceway.
Vanderiviere clinched his second straight Windride Transportation Sport Stocks points crown last Saturday as he opened up a commanding 154-point lead over Grande Pointe’s Tyler Lozon with his eighth feature win last week.
Jones is on the verge of a third consecutive title in the Tirecraft Comp 4s as he leads his brother Trevor by 47 points going into Saturday. If the two-time champion qualifies his way into the championship race, he would wrap up another points crown by finishing 21st or better.
“Two in a row feels good, especially eight feature wins and the most checkereds (15), but the one that would mean the most would be to bring that championship race home,” Vanderiviere said winning his second straight feature last Saturday.
“It’ll be nice to go into championship night and not worry about anything but the race,” said Vanderiviere, who didn’t clinch the points crown in 2011 until the final lap of the season championship race.
In that race, Merlin’s Steve Shaw took the lead with eight laps to go when Vanderiviere and Essex’s Gerald Martin tangled while running one-two.
Shaw went on to win his sixth career championship and 100th career feature race.
Shaw is second to Vanderiviere with five feature wins and 12 checkered flags this season despite missing five race nights.
Chatham’s Randy McKinlay won the mid-season championship while Wheatley’s Steve Clements and Essex’s Patrick Lajeunesse are the only other drivers to win a Sport Stocks feature this season.
The Comp 4 class has been trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ lately as the Blenheim brothers finished one-two in the last three features.
Last week, the 14-year-old rookie Trevor led all 15 laps for his second feature win of the season after finishing second to Shawn, 20, the two previous weeks despite leading the most laps both times.
“This is the one I want,” Shawn said, looking ahead to Saturday’s championship race.
Last September, he battled Cottam’s Denis DeSerrano for the lead for the first 16 laps before something broke in the motor and he faded to a ninth-place finish.
DeSerrano went on to win his third career championship race.
In 2010, Jones finished third in a race won by teammate Nate McNally.
DeSerrano was just 18 points behind Jones three weeks ago but has fallen to third, 75 points back.
But Trevor Jones has suddenly thrust himself into the championship picture with a second-half surge of seven top-fives, including two wins, in the last eight race nights.
“I want to win it (championship race) … and the points too!” Trevor said with a laugh about his goals for the final night.
The top three points drivers have accounted for 15 of the 16 features this season - Shawn Jones with nine, DeSerrano four and Trevor Jones two. Cottam’s Rob Quick, fourth in points, has the only other feature win in the class.
In past years, drivers lined up for the championship race by points, but under the new format, Vanderiviere and Jones are not guaranteed pole starting positions.
Drivers will earn their starting positions through the heats and crack-the-whip qualifying races.
The Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds and Glencoe Auto Recyclers UMP Late Models will have their championship nights on Sept. 22. There is no racing on Sept. 15 as several South Buxton staff members help out at the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals at Ohsweken Speedway that weekend.
Shrewsbury’s Jim Dale Jr. is on the verge of joining Merlin’s Brad McLeod as an eight-time track champion.
Dale Jr. carries a 76-point lead over Leamington’s Joel Dick and is 81 points up on Louisville’s Jim Fletcher heading into Saturday in search of a second straight points crown and third in the last four years.
The top two drivers have combined to win 12 of the 16 features as Dale Jr. has seven wins and Dick five. Louis Clements has two wins while fellow Chatham drivers Eric Vanderiviere and Darryl Hoekstra have one each.
Chatham’s Gregg Haskell is on the threshold of his first career points title as he has been atop the Glencoe Auto Recyclers UMP Late Models standings since June 2.
He is 71 points ahead of seven-time track champion Brad Authier of Chatham with two race nights remaining.
Authier leads the class with six feature wins and 17 checkered flags while two-time champion Dale Glassford of Ridgetown has five feature wins, including two in a row, and 12 checkereds.
Haskell is third in both departments with three features and eight checkereds.
The grandstand opens at 5:30 p.m. and racing begins at 7 p.m.