@wyantgrprace •Saskatoon, SK (July 18, 2016)- The race season for the Saskatoon Stock Car Racing Association has hit the mid season point at Wyant Group Raceway and with no racing this weekend it is a good time to check the points standings and make some predictions. Racing picks up again hot and heavy next week with NASCAR week, beginning on the July 23rd with the Street Stock Rick Fredrickson Memorial, joined by the Sportsman Division and the Super Trucks.
Racing continues July 26th with the Super Late Models racing for the Bryce Mann Memorial trophy, the Pro Trucks, the Sask Legends and the Bandoleros. Those all lead up to the NASCAR Pinty’s Series coming to town with an expected field of 21 cars for the Bayer Crop Science Velocity Prairie Thunder 250.
The Law Enforcement Bandoleros and the Saskatoon Shrine Club Legends have a back-end heavy schedule, having been to Wyant Group Raceway only two times so far this season. A winner in the Bandoleros is totally unpredictable at this time as only eight points divide the top four positions. #14 Ty Stewart has a six point lead over the #93 of Ryley Schneider.
Rookies #21 Dakota Wollf and #1 Tun Maung have been the surprise standouts, both finishing well in all their races. Any of these four drivers could be headed for the top spot on the podium each race night and at the end of the year.
In the Saskatoon Shrine Club Legends, the experience of #21 Blake Erb continues to hold him at the top of the leader board, having not claimed the checkered flag in only two of his seven times on the track. But they still have five race events to go in Saskatoon, so the 23 point lead over the #27 of Jody Stewart could quickly and easily disappear.
Another surprise is that the #16 rookie of Stan Friesen is in third position, only 17 points back.
Experience is at the top of the leader board in the Golf’s Car Wash Mini Stocks as well in the #41 of Jim Barnsley, but the perseverance of Cole Nixey and Shawn Magee is starting to pay off. Barnsley’s Streetwise Service Neon was on a perfect run, claiming all wins on its first three nights at the track.
Cole Nixey was first to claim a feature race from Jim, then the next week out it was Shawn Magee to get across the line ahead of Jim. Both drivers have also taken a heat win from Jim.
The smart money is probably on Barnsley with a 16 point lead for the big crown come September. I see spark and persistence in Cole Nixey though and I’m going with him. Scott Kozak has been doing a lot of practice and has racing in his blood. He’s probably a future champion and will play a part in keeping Jim from the 2016 championship.
With five races left and a 17 point lead in the Golf’s Car Wash Street Stock Division, the #81 of Curtis Houben is probably headed for a championship. Don’t count out #18 Mike Rea and especially don’t count out the #3 driven by Craig Katelnikoff. Katelnikoff knows what championship tastes like and knows how to make up points. I’ve got to stick with Houben at the end though.
The Tiger Automotive Pro Trucks have probably the most interesting battle going on. Black flags for both #19 Aaron Anderson and #01 Alex Leschenko propelled the #49 of Shantel Kalika into the points lead with five race events remaining. Aaron and Alex sit tied for second, 13 points back.
Shantel has had a very strong year and has proven she knows how to drive at the front of the pack. Anderson and Leschenko both know how to win though and 13 points isn’t exactly a comfortable lead with these two chasing you.
I see a September battle between Anderson and Kalika, with either one winning by only a couple of points.
Thanks to a feature win last week with Dan Shirley piloting the #28 car, Cale Siemens finds himself at the top of the points in the Shell V-Power Sportsman division, with four race events left. Ben Busch is hungry for a championship, as is Neil Schneider.
Schneider always seems to be chasing demons in his car though. I’m going to go with Busch over Siemans at the end of the year. Not meaning to jinx Cale, but I see Ben’s experience coming through and there won’t be any more bottom three finishes for him this year.
Hmmmm…. Rob Janzen or Kenny Heintz in the WSSL Super Late Model Division. Rob knows how a championship trophy looks on his mantel, Kenny sure wants to find out. Both have shown they’re not afraid to spend money fixing their cars.
The SLMs have four race dates left, three of them are Sky Series with extractions for local points. Kenny has shown he can do the long races well. Six points? I’m going to go with Kenny Heintz at the end for the local WSSL championship trophy.
The Sky Series is tough to pick. It comes down to who makes all the races. Jim Gaunt is defending Champion, but Trevor Emond has the experience and the car to beat him if he makes the trip from Leduc the final three races. Rob Janzen has a good chance as well.
I know you’re wondering how I can give Rob an edge in the Sky Financial Series but not pick him for the local points championship. Rob is strong where it will help him in the Series, Kenny is strong will it will help him in local standings. It’s too bad Howie Crossman didn’t make the first Sky Financial Series race. I’d have him in the top three.
Don’t forget, three race nights next week: Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Don’t miss any of the action at Wyant Group Raceway.
Points Standings at July 17, 2016, top five:
Law Enforcement Guardians Bandolero Division 1. #14 Ty Stewart, 101 2. #93 Ryley Schneider, 95 3. #21 Dakota Wollf, 94 4. #1 Tun Maung, 93 5. #33 Jasmine Speidel, 75
Golf’s Car Wash Mini Stock Division
1. #41 Jim Barnsley, 400
2. #23 Cole Nixey, 384
3. #4 Shawn Magee, 369
4. #37 Scott Kozak, 343
5. #7 Dylan Isley, 317
Saskatoon Shrine Club Sask Legends Division 1. #21 Blake Erb, 172 2. #27 Jody Stewart, 149 3. #16 Stan Friesen, 132 4. #84 AJ Morrison, 126 5. #49 Jason Hankewich, 121
Golf’s Car Wash Street Stock Division
1. #81 Curtis Houben, 311
2. #18 Mike Rea, 292
3. #3 Craig Katelnikoff, 288
4. #1 Scott Barrand, 202
5. #63 Kevin McLaggen, 200
Tiger Automotive Pro Truck Division
1. #49 Shantel Kalika, 283
2. #19 Aaron Anderson, 270
#01 Alex Leschenko, 270
4. #5 Ian McLean, 245
5. #94 Mickey Pogoda, 236
Shell V-Power Sportsman Division
1. #28 Cale Siemens, 139
2. #49 Ben Busch, 134
3. #93 Neil Schneider, 115
4. #42 Nicole Sheetka, 113
5. #33 Ryan Thompson, 110
WSSL Auto Parts Super Late Model Division 1. #17 Rob Janzen, 186 2. #62 Kenny Heintz, 180 3. #12 Matthew Shirley, 167 4. #97 Jared Reddekopp, 161 5. #38 Dave Bone, 160
Sky Financial Super Late Model Series
1. #17x Trevor Emond, 91
2. #55 Jim Gaunt, 89
3. #17 Rob Janzen, 82
4. #09 Clint Habart, 66
5. #62 Kenny Heintz, 63
#97 Jared Reddekopp, 63