XENIA — By the time the season rolls around to the final two events of the schedule in most any sport, the season champ has all but been decided.
Not so in the inaugural Gem City Auto Racing series of stock car racing at Kil-Kare Raceway. With two race weekends left on the schedule, all four racing division titles remain up for grabs.
In the Late Model division, New Bremen’s Drew Charleson holds a close 15-point advantage over Xenia’s Ryan Fleming. Charleson has one win to his credit this season, while Fleming has two in the series. However, Charleson has 220 points to Fleming’s 205.
In an unofficial points formula devised by Sports Editor John Bombatch, a win earns a driver 50 points with the points diminishing in five-point increments down to five points for ninth place. From there, points are in single-point increments down to 15th place, which garners half a point.
With that in mind, none of the four racing divisions has a clear season champion at this point.
There’s been a good battle brewing in the E-Modified division. Jack Jones of Beavercreek and Kettering’s Jamie Sites are 1-2 in the standings. Sites claimed his division-best fourth feature win of the season on Aug. 13, but Jones finished second to remain out in front in the overall standings, 280.5 points to 254. That 26.5-point gap is the largest in the four GCAR divisions.
There’s a tight Street Stock battle being waged between Columbus drivers Phil Gussler Jr. and Jacob Muncy. While Muncy won the feature three weeks ago with Gussler finishing second, Gussler returned the favor on Aug. 13 and Muncy was the runner-up. Muncy has four race wins, tops among Street Stock drivers; Gussler has two. But Gussler is out in front in the points standings by just 20 points, 310-290.
Another talented Columbus driver, Dusty Harding, has a 21-point lead over fellow Columbus hotshoe Corey Kyer, 265-244. We erroneously reported that Riverside’s Bo Hoelscher as the division leader in our Kid’s Day story, and Dusty’s wife and fellow race driver Lisa Harding was kind enough to point out the mishift on our part. Hoelscher does have the most wins thus far among the Compact drivers, however, with three.
Two race weekends remain in the 2017 GCAR season.
The series returns to Kil-Kare Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 27 for a regular program featuring Late Model, E-Modified, Street Stock and Compact feature races. Then on Sunday, Sept. 24, the GCAR series winds up with the Lee Ramond Dayton 100 late model auto race, plus a schedule including E-Modified, Street Stock and Compact feature finales.
The inaugural Gem City Auto Racing titles in all four divisions remain up for grabs. With each of the points margins 26.5 points or less, anything can happen.