By Jeremy Davidson, NASCAR Public Relations
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 15, 2005) – Only 26 points separate the top two drivers in Division II of the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series, with one weekend of racing remaining before the NASCAR season concludes on Sept. 18. While Chris Spieker of Massena, Iowa, retained his lead in the division this week – former NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series national champion Joe Kosiski moved past Mike Hansen for second in the standings.
Spieker, Kosiski, Hansen – along with Joe Kosiski’s younger brother Ed, also a former national champion – are in the midst of one of the closest NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series championship battles in recent history. At stake is the $25,000 NDWS Division II championship bonus, which will be awarded to the driver with the highest points total after this weekend, based on their best 16 finishes of the year.
With three of the top title contenders – Spieker, Joe and Ed Kosiski – scheduled to race at I-80 Speedway, in Greenwood, Neb., on Sunday (the final date to collect points towards the NDWS championship), the competition and excitement level will be at an all-time high as these drivers race one final night for all the championship honors.
Ed Kosiski is not currently ranked in the NDWS Division II standings, due to the fact that he trails Joe Kosiski in the NASCAR point standings at I-80 Speedway. Ed, however, could win the Division II title if he finishes at least three positions ahead of Joe in their next race at I-80. If Ed achieves this finish, he would replace his brother Joe on the NDWS Division II leaderboard and automatically surpass current Division II leader Chris Spieker with a minimum of 1,104 points.
If Ed Kosiski surpasses Joe by that margin, Spieker, who also races at I-80 along with his home track of Adams County Speedway in Corning, Iowa, cannot gain enough points to hold off Ed Kosiski for the Division II points lead – even if he wins his two races and accumulates the maximum amount of bonus points in each event.
If Ed Kosiski does not manage to surpass Joe for the NASCAR points lead at I-80, Spieker can clinch the Division II championship by finishing second or better in his next race, if there are 21 or more cars in the event. By doing this, Spieker would earn enough points on his overall Division II record to put the championship out of reach for Joe Kosiski, provided Joe does not succumb to Ed as outlined in the scenario above.
Spieker can still win the title without a second- or first-place finish in his next race. In order to match Spieker’s current total, Joe Kosiski would need to win three more races in order to approach 1,088 points, the total which Spieker would maintain even without a top finish this weekend. With time running out and only one weekend remaining, it is not likely that Joe Kosiski can find enough opportunities to race this weekend and challenge for to the title.
Another unranked driver, Jay Noteboom from Park Jefferson Speedway in Jefferson, S.D., could possibly win the Division II title if he finishes at least eight positions ahead of Hansen in their next event at Park Jefferson and finds a second opportunity to race this weekend at another Division II track. If Noteboom surpasses Hansen by this margin, and wins the race, then finishes at least second in his second race of the weekend (while gaining maximum bonus points in each event) he could potentially gain up to 1,090 points and claim the championship, provided Spieker or the Kosiski brothers do not improve their own rankings.
A second-place finish or a win by Spieker (with maximum bonus points), as outlined above, would eliminate Noteboom, Joe Kosiski and Hansen from contention.
If Spieker’s next events do not feature at least 21 cars, he cannot improve his point total and could be challenged by the Kosiski brothers or Noteboom as outlined above.
This Week’s Division II Leaders …
(Driver, Home Track, Points / Canadians in "BOLD")
1. Chris Spieker, Adams County Speedway, 1,088
2. Joe Kosiski, I-80 Speedway, 1,062
3. Mike Hansen, Park Jefferson Speedway, 1,050
4. Jeff Strunk, Grandview Speedway, 1,030
5. Scott Bonney, Lee USA Speedway, 920
6. Eric Richardson, Mesa Marin Raceway, 912
7. Gerry Bergeron, Autodrome St. Eustache, 890
8. Pete Anderson Jr., Stockton 99 Speedway, 868
9. Robert Barker, San Antonio Speedway, 832
10. Scott Lindsay, Delaware Speedway, 822
11. Stacey Gerken, Lorain Speedway, 816
12. Travis Sharpe, Concord Motorsport Park, 784
13. Dennis Pelphrey, Watsonville Speedway, 772
14. Jeremy Lapainis, Edmonton International Raceway, 742
15. Mark Bliss, Holland International Speedway, 738
16. Brent Brinson, Myrtle Beach Speedway, 728
17. Patsy Catalano, Spencer Speedway, 680
18. Alan Pyszora, Shasta Raceway Park, 632