Every touring series Dirt Late Model race, whether it be a national series race or a regional series race, will have drivers competing who are not seeking a championship in that particular series. Whether it be due to rain outs of events slated for other parts of the country or drivers who simply jump into a series that has come into their region, there will always be “outsiders” in the mix for feature finishing positions and perhaps even the race win.
One thing that has to be taken into consideration by those who race regularly on a certain touring series is that the more of those drivers who finish between racers competing for the same title, the greater the difference in points doled out at the end of the night.
Obviously, this works to the advantage of a touring series regular who might win a particular event with two or three non-regulars finishing between him and the next driver racing for that championship. Conversely, a driver who may not have the night he was hoping for could find himself losing a significant amount of ground in the standings to regulars who finished ahead of him with several series non-regulars in between.
For example, this weekend’s World of Outlaws Late Model Series races at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, SC and Lavonia(GA) Speedway will no doubt include several Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series competitors since that tour had its races rained out in time for those teams to make other plans. Of course, there will also be a number of regional stars who will enter those events as well.
If a WoO Late Models regular such as Chris Madden were to win the race at Cherokee with non-regulars such as Jonathan Davenport and Don O’Neal finishing second and third, the points gap over other regulars such as Brandon Sheppard or Shane Clanton would be wider than had those “outsiders” not been there and Sheppard and Clanton had finished on the podium.
The potential of bigger points gaps is one of the interesting aspects of dirt racing in that the number and quality of outside competition can impact the overall standings of a particular series. The bottom line is that it is imperative for those seeking season-long championships to beat all the drivers entered into each race while at the same time always being aware of those who they are directly opposing for that title.
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