As we head into the final week of the 2016 Fall Season, four different drivers lead the points standings in each of our four divisions. Three championships are completely up for grabs when each series pulls into South Boston for SoBo Championship Week, while the fourth title is all but locked up. Below are a couple possible championship scenarios that each points leaders needs to do to clinch their respective titles.
Super Late Models – Points Leader: Joe Schaffer Jr.
Joe has once again put together a very solid Super Late Model points campaign, and built himself a buffer heading into the final two weeks of racing. That buffer has come in handy as some wheel problems have forced Joe to run conservatively in these last two weeks. Despite the wheel issues dropping Joe to a 25th place at Stafford, he still leads the standings by 45 points heading into South Boston. With the way drops work and with the points gap that Joe has, he has already clinched the Super Late Model title…as long as he doesn’t score negative points. If 2nd place driver, Derek Robinson, could score maximum points (107 points), and Joe falls back on using his next drop race (62 points), the two drivers could technically end in a tie but the tie-breaker would go to Schaffer with his two wins. Joe Schaffer should end the season as the 2016 Fall Season Super Late Model champion.
Pro Late Models – Points Leader: Ian Layne
Early in the season, it was Cody Kelley who was on a tear winning a total of 5 races in the division, but with Kelley missing a number of races since then, Ian Layne has been right there in the mix all season long and now leads the points standings heading into the final race of the season. Layne entered last week with just a 3-point lead, and left IRP with a big win, extending the points lead up to 9 points. That 9 points however, is just a small gap and leaves the championship completely up for grabs at South Boston. Trevor Edwards is 2nd in points and has been on quite the roll lately which means Layne will need to continue his strong pace as well. As long as Layne finishes with 4 spots of Edwards (4 spots=8 points not including bonus points), Layne will score enough points to stay ahead of Edwards in the points. If Layne has a bad night, his next drop race that would be factored into the points is 84 points, and Edwards would need to score at least a 4th place finish (94 points, again not including any bonus points) to have a shot at the title. If Edwards wins the races and scores maximum points (107 points), Layne would need to finish 2nd and score bonus points to hold off Edwards. With the gap at just 9 points, anything can happen especially with potential bonus points being factored in, but it should be a fight right down to the checkered flag for the championship.
SK Modifieds – Points Leader: Trevor Edwards
For most of the season, it’s been a battle between Joe Schaffer Jr. and Matt Rolfe at the top of the points standings for the championship. But that all changed last week when both drivers had issues early in the race, and Trevor Edwards picked up the win which shot him to the top of the points standings. Edwards will enter South Boston with a 10 point lead, but as quickly as the points got shaken up last week, it could happen again this week. Edwards can clinch the title, no matter what anyone else does, if he can score a 2nd place finish (98 points), even if 2nd place driver, Matt Rolfe, can score maximum points (107 points). Otherwise Edwards will need to finish within 5 spots of Rolfe (not including bonus points). Rolfe isn’t the only one Edwards needs to worry about, as Dale Owen is right there in the mix as well, sitting just 11 points behind Edwards. The scenario for Edwards to hold off Owen is similar, and will need to finish within 6 spots of Owen to hang on as well. Both Bill Martin and Joe Schaffer still have a mathematical shot at the title as they sit 24 and 26 points behind, respectively, but it looks like the championship fight will come down to Edwards trying to hold off Rolfe, and Owen.
Street Stocks – Points Leader: Tim Bills
In the Street Stock division, Tim Bills has been the car to beat for most of the season with 3 wins, which has helped him build a 30-point lead heading into the final race of the season at South Boston. But, after missing two races earlier in the season, Bills doesn’t have any drop weeks to fall back on, so if he runs into any trouble it could open the door up for Trevor Edwards to have a shot. Regardless of what Edwards does, Bills can clinch the title as long as he finishes 12th (78 points) or better, which will give him enough points to hold off Edwards if Edwards scores maximum points (107 points). If Edwards doesn’t win the race or score any bonus points, Bills could still clinch the title if he finishes 16th or better, but bonus points will play a big role in where that final position needs to be for Bills. If neither driver gets any bonus points, Bills will need to finish within 15 spots (30 points) of Edwards. Bills is looking to go for back-to-back titles and is the heavy favorite in this fight for the championship.
Power Rankings – Week 10
Power Rankings are based off a driver’s performance over the past three weeks of the season. Wins, poles, laps led, top fives, and top tens all effect a drivers position in the power rankings in a positive way, while finishes outside of the top fifteen or worse, and failing to qualify for races will effect it in a negative way.
This week’s rankings are based off of regular season starts between weeks 7-9 in the 2016 Fall Season.
Week 9 Power Rankings
10. Ian Layne – Last Week: NR – 10 Starts, 9.3 average finish, 6 top tens, 130 laps led, 1 win (PLM at Lucas Oil) – Leads Pro Late Model points
9. Matt Rolfe – Last Week: 10th – 13 starts, 8.8 average finish , 8 top tens, 5 top fives, 132 laps led, 1 win (PLM at Martinsville)
8. Derek Robinson – Last Week: 8th – 7 starts, 8.3 average finish, 5 top tens, 2 top fives, 15 laps led
7. Joe Schaffer Jr. – Last Week: 1st – 10 starts, 9.6 average finish, 6 top tens, 4 top fives, 146 laps led, 1 pole, 2 wins (SK at Lanier, PLM at Iowa) – Leads Super Late Model points
6. Derek Holzhausen – Last Week: NR – 3 starts (in SLM division only), 7.0 average finish, 2 top tens, 1 top five, 2 poles
5. David Krikorian – Last Week: 5th – 5 starts, 9.0 average finish, 3 top tens, 3 top fives, 135 laps led, 1 pole, 1 win (SLM at Stafford)
4. Tim Bills – Last Week: 9th – 10 starts, 8.8 average finish, 6 top tens, 5 top fives, 110 laps led, 5 poles (2.1 average starting position), 1 win (SS at Irwindale Inner) – Leads Street Stock points
3. Dale Owen – Last Week: 7th – 10 starts, 7.3 average finish, 8 top tens, 4 top fives, 104 laps led, 1 win (SK at Lanier)
2. Bill Martin – Last Week: 2nd – 11 starts, 6.5 average finish, 9 top tens, 7 top fives, 14 laps led, 1 pole (SK at Stafford)
1. Trevor Edwards – Last Week: 3rd – 13 starts, 3.5 average finish, 13 top tens, 11 top fives, 79 laps led, 1 win (SK at Stafford) – Leads SK Modified points
Just Outside, Looking In: Scott Dunlap, Jeremy Adams, Darrell Hamlin, Ty Spearman, Russell Berry