RACERS PREPARE FOR THE RUN TO THE END AS POINTS CHAMPIONSHIPS START CREEPING UP ON THE MINDS OF TOP TEAMS
SUMMER TIME IS HOT BUT THE BATTLE FOR THE POINTS CHAMPION IS ABOUT TO GET HOTTER
Once again the "Dog Days of Summer" are upon us. Typically this is the time of year where it's too hot to fish & too hot for golf, but too cold at home. Not so in the racing community because by this time of the season we are well passed the halfway mark & the racing is at it's hottest.
Plans are in the mix to enjoy the rest of the season for the better part of the racers that have not performed well or often due to time constraint or lack of funds, but for others the season is just now getting hot. A few teams are right where they were hoping to be finishing races upfront, leading laps & either winning or flirting with a win. Other's started with high expectations & commuted to challenging multiple series races & home track points but are left wondering if the season will ever get turned in the right direction & even come close to hitting a streak of good luck.
Part time racers are gearing up for the end of the season blowouts that normally pay good just for making the show. Full time racers in sanctioned series' who have been doing really well in the season normally start paying attention to championship standings. The top tier Drivers & teams of the series start keeping a keen eye out where other top competitors race to evalute their options as they try to continue in the mix of things till the end. Then of course you have the teams that lean towards focusing on the at track points if odds seem better, especially if racing that track has brought better luck than traveling around.
Racing is a competition of a .10 second but to be successful & win a team must have reliable well maintained equipment, a driver that must have patience to avoid trouble & a little bit of good charm. Crew chiefs now become like law students preparing for the bar exam. Studying the competition, checking notes on tire pressures, crunching numbers & reading stats. Drivers start becoming more attentive worrying more about finishing races without complications or simple mistakes while they track the moves of other top competitors & their finishes because at this stage of the season every point counts towards the final stretch to the title.
To survive up to this point & have a legit shot for a run at the championship is normally a sign that the race team managed their equipment, stayed out of the carnage & had very few mechanical failures. Racers start competing against more than just each other, this is the time where they are now racing the clock as the season approaches the close. Teams that got a jump start on the season racing as many races as possible will now be getting to the point where they can write off a few of their not so good finishes by racing more than the required amount of races.
The competitors that have not raced as much in the beginning as others traditionally tend to pick up the pace by adding more to races often at tracks they rarely compete at. Sometimes they even twice a weekend at tracks that run the same sanctionIng body Or within reasonable traveling distance. This allows the racer to double his points on a weekend & can give a definite sign of where he stands with completion. If a driver gets momentum & is less than 100 points back or 10th place, he may decide to compete at a Friday night & Saturday night show to give the team better odds at climbing the ranks in points. This always proves to be a great time for fans to start seeing drivers who typically race at other tracks start showing up at their track to chase the competition. This tends to come into effect more often when a driver dominates a certain track.
The way the points system works with most weekly racing series points is racers who are competing with other teams from different sanctioned race tracks in their region can only make ground on the points chase if the leading driver finishes 2nd or worse & the other contenders take the win by either racing against the leader or by winning at a series track. The catch to the points lead is if by chance the challenger wins that night but the points leader wins too, then the challenger gains no ground. We watched this play out toward the end of last year with the NeSmith Street Stock Series Season championship. Unfortunately the second place challenger had to park his ride with just a few races left to go based off of a very tough financial decision(lack of funding).
This time of year that the racing community becomes a "chess game". Teams with a legitimate shot at the points title typically start picking tracks to race at based off of high & low car car counts, double points races & where other lead competitors are racing. Racers & crew chiefs start playing out different scenarios rewriting & forming new game plans based off of the last weeks final rundown.Elimination of the weakest becomes a major part the equation & shop talk turns into discussions & backed with faith, hard work & perfection as they prepare for another week of survival of the best. Napkins & tear offs of old card board parts boxes become the blue prints of tomorrow & calculators become the sand of the hour glass.Those at or near the front start feeling anxiety with hopes & promises that this will be the year that they are crowned the strongest of the strong & victory becomes more than a checkered flag finish. The REAL RACING SEASON begins right about now. Can you feel the heat yet?? ARE YOU READY???
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