XENIA — According to the latest Gem City Auto Racing points standings, you don’t have to win them all in order to be the series leader. It helps, sure. But consistency is shaping up to be a valuable points commodity as well.
Three weeks into the GCAR racing schedule, New Bremen’s Drew Charleson has yet to win a late model race. But thanks to some bad racing luck by Xenia’s two-time winner Ryan Fleming in the May 7 event, Charleson finds himself as the late model division points leader this week.
Fleming, who had won the series’ first two races, was battling Columbus driver David Carter Jr. for first place with about six laps left in Sunday’s Week 3 event when the two drivers’ cars collided coming out of the fourth turn. Fleming spun out while Carter continued. Race officials sent Fleming to the back of the lead pack of cars, since his incident brought out the yellow, and no foul was called on Carter.
Carter, who is nonw sixth in the points standings, went on to win the race while Fleming finished seventh. Charleson stayed out of trouble to finish third behind Grove City’s Chad Pendleton. He now leads Fleming by five points in the Late Model division.
In the Modified division, Beavercreek’s Jack Jones has both the most wins thus far and he’s been a pretty consistent finisher as well. Jones won GCAR’s first two Modified events, and on Sunday he finished second to Kettering’s Jamie Sites. With that string of consistency, Jones leads Marion’s Kyle Purvis by 20 points, with Troy’s Jerry Stapleton in third.
Columbus driver Phil Gussler Jr. won the first GCAR Street Stock feature back in April. He still has the points lead in the division, but fellow Columbusite Jacob Muncy has won the last two and is closing fast. Gussler currently has a 30-point lead in the Street Stock points.
Do you get the idea that a lot of the drivers are hailing from the Columbus area? The same holds true in the Compact Division. Nine of the division’s current top-10 Compact drivers are from the Columbus area, with fifth-placed Nick Barrett of Kettering the lone exception.
Columbus driver Dusty Harding hasn’t won a race yet, but he’s atop the standings with 115 points, just 15 better than Trey Gregory, who has won the last two races.
A big reason for the influx of Columbus drivers is that Columbus Motor Speedway closed after last season.
NEXT SCHEDULED RACE: June 4 at Kil-Kare Raceway, Xenia, including the Robbie Dean Memorial Race.