The Fuel Racing Series returns Saturday night to Friendship Motor Speedway, and while there are plenty of drivers gunning for the big check at the end of the night, only one of them is looking to sweep the season at the track.
South Carolina’s Ross Bailes is sitting pretty on top of the points in the touring Fuel Racing Series, and he returns to the track where he’s won at twice already in the series’ short history. With only two races remaining this season, Bailes has a 36-point lead over Brett Hamm, and a pretty large cushion between him and third place. Bailes could lock up the series championship if he can put on a performance like he did when the series last visited on June 27.
Then, Bailes led all 75 laps for the $3,000 check at the end of the night. Bailes is not only the defending Friendship Motor Speedway winner, he’s also the defending series champion. Last year, Bailes had to race for his life in the last race of the year to win the trophy. Following this weekend, the Fuel Racing Series heads south to Travelers Rest, South Carolina, for the series finale.
Weekly series postponed last weekend
Heavy rain came through Elkin last Friday night and postponed all racing events at Friendship Motor Speedway. It also postponed the Fan Appreciation Day which was scheduled. Fan Appreciation Day has been rescheduled to Oct. 3, while no makeup date for the weekly racing series that were supposed to race has been announced.
This week, the SECA Late Models, Open Wheel Modifieds, Super Stock 4, Xtreme Stock 4 and Renegades join the Fuel Racing Series for some fun racing action with only a few weeks left in the season.
While many racers have the mentality to strictly go for wins, as there isn’t a cash incentive to being the series champion in the weekly series, there is a trophy that none of those racers wouldn’t mind having. Chris Cheek leads Chase McCormick in the SECA Late Models by nearly 100 points, meaning all Cheek needs to do is start the final weeks and go through them without any points penalties.
Meanwhile in Super Stock 4, it’s a three-way dogfight for first place in points. Points leader Billy Robbins, Roger Nance and Kevin Atwell are separated by only eight points with only two scheduled races to go. Following a phenomenal 10-week run by George Anen Jr., he’s went from third in points to leading it all in the Renegade series. The problem? He’s got Shaun Robinson right on his tail, trailing by only seven points with three weeks to go.
In Xtreme Stock 4, Larry Martin has come on strong winning five straight, but it’ll be too little, too late. It will take a miraculous comeback for Jonesville’s Kayla Harrell to overtake Mocksville’s Austin Caudle to grab the series championship. Caudle leads Harrell by 24 points. Speaking of Caudle, Austin’s wife, Stephanie Caudle, started out strong, and while it’s been a few weeks since she visited victory lane, she’s kept her car near the top to maintain a 38-point lead with two races remaining.
Richard Clew only needs to start the last three races to clinch his series championship in Open Wheel Modifieds, while there might be some rough racing in Limited Sportsman to settle the battle between Matt Johnson and points leader Jay Foley.
Championship night for all seven series is Oct. 3.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.