Statistically Speaking …

By – Chris Porter

First, we’d like to announce that there are movie passes/certificates up for grabs for the Midway Drive-In in Minetto. Second, we’d like to tell you how YOU can win them. It’s pretty simple and straight-forward. All you need to do is simply predict the winner of Friday night’s SBS Racing News-sponsored  NORA race at Spencer Speedway. If more than one person guesses correctly, then a winner will be drawn at random.

Send your NORA race winner prediction to: [email protected] no later than 6pm, this Friday. Along with the email, just leave your name and phone number. That’s it. You can’t get any simpler than that. Drivers and crews are NOT excluded, but don’t be afraid to pick another driver – (unless you win, no one will know)!

You only have three days to enter, so get your predictions in ASAP so you can enjoy a triple-feature at your leisure this summer at the Midway Drive-In. As always, check back here after Friday night’s NORA event to catch up on what happened at the Williamson, NY-based track.

When racing resumes in the Port City on the Fourth of July, Dave Gruel will be holding a 35-point lead over Mike Bond and a 37-point lead over David Cliff. Russ Brown will be looking at a 62-point deficit, Kevin Knopp a 63-point deficit and Tim Barbeau will start the night 74 points out of the lead.

One would think that if you’ve landed your car in the top 10 every week, then you would be a solid contender. If you’ve knocked down three out of four heat wins, then you must be sitting pretty, right? No, that’s not the case for Brian Sobus or Dave Danzer. Sobus has scored a top-10 finish each week this season, but sits 90 points out of the lead. Dave Danzer may have sat in victory lane three times after his qualifying heat race, but he’s still sitting 91 points behind Gruel.

90 and 91 points may not seem very much, especially at this point in the season. However, when you’re also sitting seventh and eighth place in points, it means that not only do you need to reel in the fearless leader, but reel him in faster than the five or six drivers that are sitting in front of you.

Something else stood out this past week. Steve Abt has seemed to have lost his rookie status as noted by the absence of  the “R” after his name in the current points standings. Seeing how the “R” patch was still attached to his name last month, perhaps it was lost as part of one of the many area June graduations?

Maybe it’s just an oversight in the editing department. But, if he’s truly lost his rookie status, then Andrew Schartner now holds a commanding lead in the ROY race. A few weeks ago, this column said that Schartner and the Crow Motorsports team would get things rolling. They nearly had their No. 18 car rolling into victory lane last Saturday night.

It was a big confidence booster for the young, but well-spoken driver. Now that we know how he can run when he gets to choose his own line, let’s look to see how quickly he’s able to mimic the performance when having to deal with traffic. Schartner is another example of how no front-row starter can be taken lightly in the small block supermodified division this year.

What do racers do when their home track is closed for two weeks in a row? They race somewhere else, of course. While some of Oswego Speedway’s supermodified drivers are heading to the Buckeye State this weekend for an Oswego-MSA Challenge race, NORA is holding its season-opener at Spencer Speedway on Friday night.

SBS Racing News is sponsoring the 25-lap event. The organization is hoping for 20 cars, but honestly, a dozen cars would still make for a good show (as seen in the past). If the weather doesn’t frighten anyone off, look for a solid Oswego-sized field to put on another great race. As read in JJ Andrews’ Gater News column this week, look for the infamous Andrews-driven “Orange Menace” No. 93 and tag-team partner, Chris Lupa – driving the 2008 ROY-winning No. 46 car, to be in attendance. Perhaps the beautiful Ken Pierce No. 67 will be ready in time?

Predictions? Oswego’s off for few weeks, but even though NORA boasts a 25-lap event this weekend, we’ll ride last week’s correct pick for a few more weeks to celebrate actually getting one right! However, watch out for Cliff’s No. 06!