(Photo courtesy of iRacing.com)
Shayne Terrien made it back to back trips to victory lane two weeks ago with his win at Texas. Points leader Gerald Campbell took an early spin and a gamble on fuel and minimized the points damage but only stands 27 points ahead of second place John Weitendorf. This week the G-Force Grand National Series powered by The JuiceBox Podcast heads to USA Speedway to shape up the final sprint in the points battle. After tonight, the points will be reset with each driver dropping their worst points result of the season for the final 3 race dash to the end.
USA is a 3/4 mile slightly banked oval making this the fourth trip to a short track this season. Drivers will be struggling to stay patient on the throttle in the corners with 14 degrees of banking making it tough to mash the gas on exit. Passes will need to be calculated and precise. Staying side by side for too long can cost drivers some significant time. The race will run 150 laps and could see some lap traffic playing a factor if a long green flag run were to occur.
As noted earlier, Campbell enters this race with a 27 point lead over Weitendorf and 91 points over third place Hank Steinmiller. Jake Hounshell and Jeff Green round out the Top 5 in points entering this evening, still within striking distance. It seems that the points battle will evolve into a two man race after tonight, barring any collapse from Campbell. The short tracks have been a bit unpredictable this year with Richmond going relatively caution free, yet Nashville showing 18 cautions. Tonight will be about surviving and putting a solid top 10 run down for the points leaders, while those sitting 6-10 in points will be in more of a desperation state.
Look for Blaine Akin to dominate the race early, with Campbell closely in toe. Other drivers to keep an eye on are Therrien, Chris Morse Jr, and Weitendorf as they all seem to find their way to the front the longer the runs go. I expect this race to start with two quick cautions in the first 15 laps then settle in through a fuel cycle and potentially run green the rest of the way. Single car qualifying will begin at 9 pm et with the race to follow right after on the Flatout Racing Network. The link can be found below.
Blaine Akin 2/1
Gerald Campbell 4/1
Shayne Therrien 5/1
Chris Morse Jr 7/1
Bo Brady 10/1
Over/Under on Cautions 6.5