Thursday, September 27, 2012
Lucas Oil Modified Racing Series Brings Skin Tight Title Run to Blythe this Saturday
by Dave Grayson
BLYTHE, Calif. -- The Lucas Oil Modified Racing Series, presented by 1 800 Loan Mart, will roll into the Lucas Oil I 10 Speedway, in Blythe-California, this Saturday night, September 29th, where they will treat the fans to the open wheel intensity of the 1 800 Loan Mart Topless 100. The quarter mile paved oval is located at the Colorado River Fairgrounds.
The topless aspect to this race is quite simple: the race teams will be removing the roofs of their cars for this 100 lap feature. This concept provides a highly unique viewing opportunity for the series' fans who can watch the drivers manhandle their powerful open wheel machines.
The intensity concept of this race involves the championship points battle. Going into Saturday night's race, there are only two points separating drivers Chris Gerchman and Austin Barnes. With only three races left in the series' 2012 season, it's very possible that the race at the Lucas Oil I 10 Speedway could become a pivotal turning point in this title profile.
A member of the famed Gerchman Racing family headquartered in Lake Havasu City-Arizona, Chris Gerchman now resides in the state of Texas and actually flies in to compete in the series' races. His 300 championship points are based on three wins and six top five finishes.
From Escondido-California, Austin Barnes also has three wins along with five top five finishes and one top ten which accounts for his 298 points.
These two drivers are very much evenly matched in terms of driver skill, availability of racing equipment and overall team resources. Each driver has one win at the Lucas Oil I 10 Speedway this year which clearly indicates that they know the fast way around the speedway's quarter mile oval.
The potential resolution of their championship battle could very well lie in the extra points available through the series' E 3 Spark Plugs Bonus Program. This program awards two bonus points to the driver who is lucky enough to park his modified racer in the Sunoco Race Fuels victory lane. The program also awards two points to the driver who wins the Budweiser Fast Time award in qualifying as well as a pair of bonus points to the driver who wins the Optima Batteries Hard Charger award.
When series officials first announced the creation of the E 3 Spark Plugs Bonus Program, this past January, it's quite likely that even they weren't sure how this new concept was going to impact the points standings. They know now. This program is now expected to be the difference maker in terms of crowning a new series' champion.
With it comes to collecting bonus points, Austin Barnes has a clear cut advantage over his rival due to his prowess in qualifying. The young driver has won the Budweiser Fast Time award for all six races so far this season. He also has a string of six qualifying awards from the 2011 season. That one dozen string of fast times dates back to June of last year.
Qualifying will be an important area that Chris Gerchman will need to focus on this Saturday night as well the two races that follows it. Claiming those bonus points for setting the fast time could very well lead him to that coveted championship at the end of the year.
However, let's not assume that the 1 800 Loan Mart Topless 100 is going to be a two car battle to the checkers. There are plenty of drivers, within the top ten in the points, who will looking to upset the Gerchman-Barnes win streak by being the first to cross under the checkers at the Lucas Oil I 10 Speedway Saturday night.
Chief among them is Jim Mardis, the series 2010 and 2011 champion. Mardis, third in the points, has enjoyed strong runs during the series' last three races and appears to be more than ready for a return to victory lane. The same concept applies to series' veterans Doug Hamm and Tim Morse who are currently fourth and fifth in the standings.
The drivers in points positions six through ten will not only be looking for their first win of the year but will also be looking to elevate their status in the points which could lead to a larger share of the Hoosier Tire West Points Fund at the end of the season. Going into Saturday night's race, there are only 12 points separating drivers Roger Brown, Larry Gerchman, Scott Osborn David Lord and Doug Carpenter.
The 1 800 Loan Mart Topless 100 is also a very lucrative event for the drivers. The race comes with a $10,000 purse with the winner receiving $1,500. Any driver who takes the green flag in the 100 lap feature is guaranteed a minimum of $300 for just starting the race. That's another aspect that will add some intensity to Saturday afternoon's qualifying session.
For more information regarding this incredibly exciting racing series, dial up their official website at www.lucasoilmodifieds.com .
The Lucas Oil Modifed Racing Series, presented by 1 800 Loan Mart, is powered by a highly potent marketing concept known as Team Lucas. Team members include: Lucas Oil Products Inc, E 3 Spark Plugs, General Tire, GEICO, CANIDAE All Natural Pet Food, MAV TV, SpeedCo Truck Lube and Tires/Firestone, Optima Batteries and 1 800 Loan
The series is also strong supported by a group of associate sponsors featuring: Eibach Springs, Hoosier Tire West, Budweiser, Blue Water Resort and Casino, Sunoco Race Fuels, Frank's Radio, Racing Plus and Go Pro Cameras.