As the regular season comes winding down to the final five weeks, the battle for who will take home a title is shaping up to be a thriller come Season Championship night.
2011 was a stellar year for Corcoran, Minnesota modified driver Dave Cain. Winning numerous races and the Track Championship at Ogilvie last year, Cain was a top pick for this year's title. However, rather than going for a repeat this season, Cain opted for touring the area racing in both the USMTS Series and The Advantage RV Mod Tour, both of which will make a stop at Ogilvie in August. This opened the door for a new champion to emerge and as the weeks grind down just nineteen points separate leader Dustin Nelson and 3rd place JT Johnson, with Jason Voigt wedged in the middle 8 points ahead of Johnson and eleven out of the lead.
Coming off the heels of possibly the closest WISSOTA National Points race in sanctioning history, 2011 National Points runner up Dave Mass opened up the season with a feature win and seemed poised to start another dominating performance. Following wins by several other drivers including Mike Loomis and Dan Gullikson following the opener, Dave Mass posted 3 straight wins in the month of June and looked to be on track to a 3rd straight title. However, the following week Donna Jo Schmidt took it to the boys and won her first ever feature race and after several good weeks of consistent finishes Schmidt now leads the way by 16 over Mass and rookie Brandon Englund who are tied for 2nd with Dan Gullikson sitting fourth just twenty points out of the lead.
Following the conclusion of every season a track champion is crowned and in the Midwest Modified division 2009 Track Champion Justin Oestreich is looking to become the only 2 time open wheel champion at Ogilvie. However, Jeremy Nelson and Ryan Bowers might have something to say about that before all is said and done. A breakout season consisting of 2 victories to date at Ogivlie combined with consistent top 10 finishes have put Ryan Bowers just 41 points out of a championship with five weeks to go. Sitting 2nd on the podium is Jeremy Nelson, while he has yet to find his way to victory lane at Ogilvie the 06 has kept it up front all season and is just 28 points out from Oestreich.
While the Duke boys made the 01 famous on television, Elk River driver Justin Pogones is making his 01 well known at Ogilvie. As the season draws down, the AJ's Complete Automotive sponsored driver looks to capture his record 3rd straight Street Stock title. But before the celebration commences, 2011 Wissota 100 Champion Keith Tourville might just crash the Pogones party. Tourville has already parked his Player Motorsports ride in victory lane 4 times this season and sits a mere 31 points behind Pogones. But don't count the race for the title down to just two drivers, Wissota National Rookie Of The Year leader Brad Schmidt sits 48 points out of the lead and has already gone to victory lane once and came close numerous times.
The past two seasons, the 4D has been the staple of the Mod 4 division at Ogilvie. Until the two time National Champion and 2 time and defending track champion Rob VanMil decided to move on to the Midwest Modified class which cut back on racing the Mod 4. With VanMil racing closer to home and less nights with the Mod 4 it was time for a new face to emerge in the Mod 4 winner circle. Enter Matt Halls. The sleek-white 5E has enjoyed multiple trips to victory lane in this season and is currently a little over a month away from a track championship. But before the White 5E can claim the honey, he might just get stung by the Yellow 00 of Kyle Thell. The Foley native has buzzed to 3 feature wins and several 2nd place finishes this season and sits 37 points out of upsetting the Halls championship run. Chad Funt currently sits 3rd sixty five points behind Halls.
In the closest points race on the year Travis Swanson holds a slight 8 point lead over second place Noah Olson in the Hornet division. Levi Voss sits 3rd twenty-two out of the top spot with multi time feature winner Quain Busitzky storming towards the front now just 25 out of the lead. Milaca driver Teale Kraft is seated in the 5th position just 36 points out of a championship.
And so even though the air will start to cool off, it appears the racing and the battle for 2012 Track Championships is only going to get hotter.