By Dick Jordan
Levi Jones of Olney, Ill. is back atop the 2010 USAC National Drivers Championship, seeking the $40,000 first prize awaiting the champion at season’s end.
Jones finished fourth in Sunday’s “Rich Vogler Classic” USAC AMSOIL Sprint race at Winchester, Ind., increasing his point total by six to 1,037. Clauson’s seventh-place finish failed to increase his total of 1,032, which was one more than Jones entering event.
Drivers are allowed to count their best 25 scores from the 2010 USAC National events (Silver Crown, Sprint and Midget) and Jones and Clauson both are currently sitting on a throw-out of 34 points (the lowest of their top 25 scores). That means a finish of fifth or better in Saturday night’s USAC Mopar National Midget race at Sun Prairie, Wisc. would improve their scores. The Midgets also compete on Sunday at Sun Prairie.
USAC’s inaugural National Drivers Championship has entered its stretch run, with 22 events currently remaining on the 2010 schedule (11 Midget, 7 Sprint and 4 Silver Crown). That could increase or decrease due to rescheduling or rainouts, etc.
Clauson has started 56 National races and Jones has started 44. The unique system awards drivers 49 points for a victory in any of USAC’s three National Series (Silver Crown, Sprint or Midget), which includes a five-point bonus for the win. The point scale drops by two points to 42 for second, 40 for third, etc., with a minimum of 2 available for positions 22 and beyond.
The current USAC National Drivers Championship standings show Tracy Hines third, followed by Jerry Coons Jr. and Damion Gardner.
2010 USAC NATIONAL DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1-Levi Jones-1,037; 2-Bryan Clauson-1,032; 3-Tracy Hines-973; 4-Jerry Coons Jr.-970; 5-Damion Gardner-962; 6-Dave Darland-915; 7-Shane Hmiel-860; 8-Chris Windom-845; 9-Bobby East-796; 10-Henry Clarke-795.