The CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series returns to the ultra-fast and wide Rocky Mountain Raceways located outside Salt Lake City, Utah for the round six of the ten race championship series this Saturday night. This event will mark the 22nd time the series has competed on the 3/8-mile banked oval since the series was incepted back in 2004. During that time there have been twelve different winner’s in the previous 21 races.
Leading the point standings heading into the race this weekend is 2007 series champion John Newhouse of Twin Falls, ID. Newhouse planned to only run a partial schedule this season in order to concentrate on his daughter’s racing efforts, but five top ten finishes including three top five efforts have vaulted him to the championship lead midway through the season.
Newhouse holds a 24-point margin on first year competitor Brett Thompson of Jerome, ID. Thompson is coming off a dominating performance in the last series event at Meridian (ID) Speedway last month where he picked up his first career series victory. Thompson has four top three finishes this season with his worst result of 15th coming at RMR back in May.
Two-time RMR winner this season Steve Jones of Boise is coming off his worst performance of the season at Meridian where a practice crash sidelined the multi-time Magic Valley Speedway track champion. Jones held a 50-point margin heading into the Meridian event but dropped to third in the standings 36-points behind Newhouse.
Steady has been the name of the game for local RMR hero Lynn Hardy of West Valley, UT. Hardy has three top five and four top ten finishes this season and rebounded for a seventh place finish at Meridian in a borrowed car in order to keep his championship hopes alive. Hardy has two victories at RMR and is currently in the fourth position in the standings, a scant 90-points out of first.
Long-tow king Thane Alderman of Las Vegas, NV has been a regular on the series for the past four seasons and has one win at RMR back in 2008. Alderman currently sits fifth in the point standings on the strength of three top five and four top ten finishes in the first five races. Alderman is coming off a third place performance at Meridian.
Two-time series champion Dave Minegar of Boise sits sixth in the standings and has struggled to find his championship form through the first five races this season. Minegar has only two top five finishes but has managed to score his series leading 22nd career Sharp Powder Coating Fast Time Award in the last series event at Meridian Speedway. Minegar is 151-points out of first.
Local racing icon Zan Sharp of Wellsville, Utah is only running a partial schedule this season. Sharp has three victories at RMR with seven top five performances and three Sharp Powder Coating Fast Time Awards. Sharp’s last win at RMR came in this event last season.
Leading the A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning Rookie-of-the-Year standings is Eric Rhead of West Jordan, UT. Rhead, 8th in the overall standings, has three top ten finishes this season and holds a 15-point margin over Lonnie Lowder in the rookie standings. Lowder will debut a new car this weekend picking up a former Eddy McKean Southwest Tour car. Rhead also sits second in laps led this season with 71.
Brian Levant of Calgary, Canada is the track record holder at RMR with a quick lap of 14.906 seconds/90.568 mph set on May 31st of this year in his first series start. Levant finished second in the race back in May but will not be in attendance as he will be competing int he Montana 200 this weekend in Kalispell, MT.
Through five races this season, there have been five different Sharp Powder Coating Fast Time Award winners with two track records being set. Brian Levant at RMR on May 31 and Dave Minegar at Meridian on June 26.
Drivers who have won at RMR include: James Eaton (4), Sharp (3), Hardy (2), Minegar (2), John Dillon (2), Steve Jones (2) and seven other drivers with one win apiece. Jones has won the last two events at RMR this year.
Brett Thompson leads the ESI Lap Leader standings with 131 laps led. Eric Rhead is second with 71 and two-time winner Steve Jones in third with 65. The RMCS inverts up to the top 20 cars to start each race with the fast qualifiers starting at the rear of the field. Throughout the history of the series the average winning driver has started from the 15th starting spot. So far this season the winner has started from an average of the 12th position.
There have been three first time winners this season (Bruce Quale, Steve Jones, and Brett Thompson). Newhouse has completed the most laps (449 of 450). There have been ten different heat race winners with Bruce Quale (3) and Dylan Caldwell (2) as the only driver’s picking up more than one win in heat race action. Nine drivers have competed in all races this season (Newhouse, Thompson, Jones, Hardy, Alderman, Minegar, Quale, Rhead, and Joe Miller).
The RMCS utilizes a racing format not found in ANY other regional touring series around the country. The top 20 qualifiers are inverted for every race putting fast time in the 20th starting position. This format ensures race fans see what they paid for and that is passing. Each driver is awarded three points per position gained in the event. Points are also awarded for qualifying and heat race finishes. Through the history of the series, the winning driver has averaged a 15th place starting position. To ensure competition, the RMCS pays it purse based on total point accumulation for the event and provides several special performance awards for each event.
The CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is a regional touring series that allows all competitors to race and gain experience on different types of racetracks. It is a high-quality professional racing series that offers maximum opportunity at an affordable price serving the intermountain West. The motto of the series is to “Race Hard and Have Fun!” For all the latest news and information regarding the CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series log onto www.rmcsracing.com. Follow all the racing action from throughout the West by logging onto www.racingwest.com. This event will be “Near Live” on Racing West all day Saturday so log on and have fun!