Brandon Watson holds a 53 point lead over Derrick Tiemersma in the standings heading in to the final event. Given that the largest possible separation between the race winner and last place finisher can be 38 points (including heat races), Watson needs only to start one heat race or the feature to be declared the 2012 champion. However, Watson wants to end 2012 with a win after leading all 75 laps in the 14th Don Biederman Memorial at Kawartha last Friday.
As mentioned, Tiemersma's hopes for a second OSCAAR title are dim, but remain possible. Should Brandon be unable to start any race this weekend, Tiemersma would have to win both of his heat races as well as the feature and lead the most laps in order to claim the championship. A long shot of a chance is an understatement. But, Tiemersma expressed at the start of the season a desire to win races more so than another championship. Sunday provides him his final opportunity of 2012 to get the elusive win.
Charlie Gallant sits third in the standings and remains in the same position as Tiemersma for the championship title. Gallant would need to win both heats as well as the feature while leading the most laps. The difference? Gallant has a feature win at Peterborough this year on September 1, where he led the most laps. Sitting just two markers back of Tiemersma, a second place finish in the overall standings would be Gallant's best to date.
Sitting Fourth in the standings is two-time 2012 winner George Wilson. Wilson's wins at Sauble Speedway and CTMP Speedway have not been enough when coupled with a pair of DNFs. The best Wilson can achieve is a tie for the championship lead if Brandon does not start and he rattles off a perfect weekend. Food for thought: had Wilson not been DQ'd on opening night, he would sit first in the standings with a nine point lead over Brandon.
Four-time defending OSCAAR champion Glenn Watson sits fifth in the standings out of title contention, but retains a shot to finish in the runner-up spot for the first time since 2007. After winning seven races in 2011, including Autumn Colours, Watson has gone winless in 2012. The medicine for what the team might consider a disappointing season would be to cap it off with a third 'Classic' win.
Jesse Kennedy has already secured the 2012 OSCAAR Super Late Model Rookie-of-the-Year title and as a result will not look to play safe. Look for the #10 to be battling near the front to resurrect a poor showing at Peterborough on August 4.
Both set of Klotz Synthetics qualifying heat races for the 'Supers' will take place on Saturday along with qualifying events for all divisions in attendance. Racing gets underway at 3:30pm with spectator gates opening at 1:00pm. The season will culminate with a 50-lap feature on Sunday afternoon. Spectator gates open at 11:30 before the first green flag at 12:30pm. For a full schedule of events, please visit www.peterboroughspeedway.com .
OSCAAR Mod Tour Concludes at Peterborough
The inaugural tour for the OSCAAR Modifieds has been a monumental success and is set to crown its first champion Sunday afternoon at the 20th edition of the Autumn Colours Classic. The second 50-lap event of the season will provide a test of endurance as drivers seek the prestigious crown for the event dubbed 'Canada Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing'. Just two drivers remain in contention for the championship heading in to the season finale, but it all lies in the hands of the most dominant driver on tour this year.
Gary McLean currently holds down the lead in the championship standings with a 46-point lead over nephew Brent McLean. Gary's seven victories in 11 starts thus far this season have placed him well on his way to a championship. So long as Gary starts the 50-lap A-Main, he will clinch the inaugural OSCAAR Modified championship. Gary has explained on numerous occasions that he will not simply race for points. He's there for the win and to add to his already extensive Autumn Colours resume.
Brent sits second in the standings and has a shred of hope for a championship title. For Brent to win the championship, Gary would need to finish third or worse in both Klotz heat races as well as not start the feature. In the process, Brent would need to win both of his heats and lead the most laps en route to a feature win to claim the title by one point. Regardless, Brent would love to earn his third win of the year to complete the hat-trick.
Third in the standings is the rookie-of-the-year points leader Davey Terry. Terry and team have experienced a power surge over the second half that has solidified their spot at third in the standings. He cannot move up nor down. Since OSCAAR uses a separate set of standings to determine the Rookie title, Terry must still race for position with Tim Burke. Terry's lead is at four points over Burke for the rookie title, thus he must finish within four rookie drivers of Burke to claim the title. After consecutive second-place finishes leading to Peterborough, Terry is looking to make the next step and climb atop to podium for the first time.
Burke is fourth in the standings and faces a tough task for the rookie title. Likely to remain fourth overall, Burke will have to hope misfortune befalls the #14 to secure the rookie title.
Josh Gruntz and Brandon Crumbie sit tied for fifth, meaning the higher finishing driver in the standings will secure the final spot inside the top-five on the inaugural tour. Each driver has been sidelined for one event so far this season and their battle inside the top-five speaks to their consistency so far. Both will hope to replicate that success at Autumn Colours, particularly Gruntz who will participate in his first 'Classic' in his hometown.
Action for the OSCAAR Modifieds gets underway Friday night with the first round of qualifying action. Racing begins at 6:00pm and the spectator gate will open at 5:00pm. Qualifying events for all divisions, including the OSCAAR Super Late Models, will continue Saturday afternoon beginning at 3:30pm and grandstands opening at 1:00pm. Feature action begins Sunday at 12:30pm and grandstand opens at 11:30am. For a full schedule of events, please visit www.peterboroughspeedway.com.
By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia)