For some of the smaller-engine divisions, last week’s results saw the standings tighten.
Shane Smith, who entered last week’s race second place in the Econo Bombers, finished third and took an 18-point lead over points leader Cody Richards. Smith has 252 points.
Justin Shipley, who finished second in last Saturday’s race and currently sits fifth in the division, said Richards blew his engine, which led to the latter’s 13th-place finish and fall into second place.
Shipley was confident that Richards would bounce back from last week’s disappointment.
“Absolutely. He’s going to have (the car) fixed and be ready to go for sure,” Shipley said. “He wants to win the points.”
Eric Hamby sits third in the Econo Bombers, hot on the heels of the top two with 222 points — the only other driver in the division with more than 200 points.
Though Kirk Atkins managed to increase his lead slightly over Andy Morris in the Super Bombers, the two remain only 26 points apart, with Atkins at 258. Daniel Brewer is third, 12 points behind Morris.
Jimmy Nelson continues to edge closer to Chris Neese in the Cruisers, with his second-place finish last week pulling him within 22 points of division leader Neese.
No division’s top two drivers are closer in points than the Pony Stock’s, which has its points lead shared by Shannon Ethridge and Jeremy Millsaps. Etheridge won last week to close his gap completely on Millsaps, with both drivers now sitting at 238 points.
Jeremy Ray is third, 80 points behind, paving the way for Etheridge and Millsaps to battle it out for the Pony Stock title.
“It’s usually always an exciting points battle (for the Pony Stocks) this time the year,” said Mia Green, a track employee and the daughter of owner Mickey Swims.
With a points system designed to keep the standings close, Dixie has encouraged drivers not to miss a race, lest they fall behind.
Despite the track’s efforts to foster competitive standings, Michael Page continues to sit far above the rest of the drivers in the Super Late Models, holding a 74-point lead over Luther Jenkins.
With the school year in Cherokee County beginning Wednesday, tonight will be Dixie’s Back to School Night, with everyone under the age of 17 admitted for free. A regular grandstand ticket is $10.