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 12 Races In...

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PostSubject: 12 Races In...   Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:02 am


12 Races into the AMP Energy Racing Series 2010 campaign, we've already seen alot.

Herb Cilantro is atop the points standings with Jalen Scransen trailing close behind. This article is going to break down the top 5 drivers, top 3 races and name the surprises we've seen so far.

We'll start with Top 5 Drivers, not by points, but by performance:

1. #42 Herb Cilantro -- Now this one wasn't as easy as you think. Jalen Scransen could be deserving of the top driver as well. Cilantro deserves it because well, the only thing that comes to mind when you think of that #42. Consistency. Last weekend at Saskatchewan and a month or so ago at Salem were his two worst races. He finished 26th at Salem and 37th at the Stadium. Other than that, his worst finish is 17th. His average finish is an outstanding 14th place, the highest we've seen of any driver over the past decade who has completed all races. 426 Motorsports is on top of their game in 2010. Not to mention his average start is an 18th, his worst being a 39th at Talladega, where he placed 5th at the checkers. He has led a total of 89 laps, 10% of the laps he's done he has led. Not as outstanding as the #26, but still impressive for the sophomore. While still being the current points leader, Cilantro is low on top fives (3) and tens (4). But all that consistency has kept him the points leader. He's recorded only 2 DNF's all year, those were his two worst finishes. To secure the championship, Cilantro must continue to keep doing what he has been doing. This team cannot repeat what happened at Saskatchewan, because Scransen is closing fast. He also has to get another win. His win at Boston really is what set him off early.

2. #26 Jalen Scransen -- If I say he's deserving of a 1st, then of course he's #2 on the list (no pun intended). But why isn't Scransen atop the list? Well to be honest, he's not as consistent as Cilantro. Scransen started off slow, with a 16th at Daytona and a 22nd at Salem, where he tangled with the 39 early into the contest. Then at Boston, the fourth year driver would place 6th, after being shuffled out of the lead late in the race and handing the victory to points rival Herb Cilantro, after Scransen led 11 of the 100 laps. He continued at Mosport, where he climbed from 12th to finish 4th. Then came the crapshoot. Lowell. He placed 25th there and went onto Grand Detour. He would lead 48 of the 150 laps at the Grand Detour track, only to be passed by Herb Cilantro's teammate Jen Smith with 3 to go, another heartbreak for Scransen and the GoDaddy team. Scransen would capture two poles at Talladega and McKinley, only to be shuffled out early in those two contests. Scransen's average starting spot is a 14th. Scransen and his team would finally get the win they deserved at the famed Saskatchewan Stadium where he ran from Jen Smith, his rival from Grand Detour, to get the win. Scransen has led a total of 139 laps, after only leading 10 or so in 2009. Like Cilantro, Scransen has 3 top fives and 4 top tens, and what's keeping him down is his number of DNF's, 4. To snatch the championship from Cilantro, Scransen must get another win and get consistent top 20 finishes. If Cilantro continues his run in 2010, Scransen is going to have his work cut out for him, he'll need to be strong, consistent top tens.

3. #54 Jerry Richson -- He may stand 5th in current points standings, but Jerry Richson has been fantastic in the 2010 AARO AMP Energy Racing Series season. The second year driver has amassed 3 top fives and six top tens in his 12 starts, and only three DNF's. Richson has led a total 13 laps this year, and is usually near the middle of the pack, until the end of the race, where he makes a charge and gets into a good finishing spot. Infact, he has only led laps at Superspeedways, no other tracks, he doesn't like being the leader until the end, I guess. If it weren't for the DNF's he's got, he'd be in the second spot in the championship standings. All of the races he doesn't wreck in, he does well. If he wrecks, he finishes near the back, the way back. 34th, 38th and 41st are his finishing positions so far where he failed to finish. So that brings his average finish down to a 17th. With an average qualifying spot of 23rd, Richson may want to qualify better, if he qualifies well, the 54 car will finish well, if not, he'll be in the 15-25 position range. He's 5th in the standings after 12 races, for Richson to take the crown, he will have to get even more top ten's. Do it even more consistent that Scransen will have to be. Richson is not out of it yet.

4. #90 Aaron Fisher -- Another second year driver who has amazed so far is Aaron Fisher. With a total of 11 laps led, nobody expected him to be in the hunt for the championship. Fisher has yet to win a race is his short career, many say he is overdue, but Fisher has yet to really be a contender in a race. His best finish is a 3rd and Grand Detour. Fisher has a total of two top fives and 5 top tens, capped with only three DNF's. Fisher has an average finish of 16th, and sits 3rd in the points standings. For Fisher to take the title he will have to get a win. He needs added points, I don't think he'd be able to even get around Scransen the way he's going now without a win.

5. #40 Grant Jacobs -- Another surprise to my list. Jacobs has been very quiet during the first half of the season. However ever since McKinley, he's sparked up. In one race less then most of the top 10 in the points, he sits ninth. He has one top five and three top tens, with one DNF. Jacobs has moved up at least one position in the standings in each race since McKinley. Shows that he's sparking up at the right time.

Honorable Mentions: #83 Nate Knowitall (Avg Finish of 8th in 5 races), #12 Louis Tellez (Would be in hunt if it wasn't for terrible terrible luck).

Now on to the top 3 races of the season so far.

1. Saskatchewan, Race #12 -- This race was absolutely spectacular. The five to six wide racing all the way around the track held breathtaking moments each corner. The battle for the lead was also very observant. Fred Ritcher started on pole and no one could pass him. He got a bad vibration on the second restart and put him out of contention. Kimo Talofa and Jalen Scransen became the class of the field with Scransen obtaining the lead late and cruising on to his first career victory in the AERS, one that was a long time coming.

2. Boston, Race #3 -- This race was overall just great. Lead changes, wrecks, great back of the pack racing, battles all over the racetrack and interesting pit strategy. Jorge Hernandez about ended his life with a scary wreck on the front straight away, flying through the air and into the fence at 225MPH. Herb Cilantro would end up avoiding everything and would pass Jalen Scransen near the late stages of the race. Cilantro cruised to victory under the yellow when Andrew Martin was turned on the backstretch.

3. McKinley, Race #9 -- This McKinley race was much much better than last years. This race provided not only great racing, but clean racing. Something that was scarce in the '09 event. The finish wasn't as great but the race was certainly an improvement from last years event. This one was one to never forget.

Now onto the surprises....

1. Safety -- I think this goes for everyone. I'm very happily surprised that these drivers who were involved in bad accidents are still walking around to this day. Jorge Hernandez, and Daniel Micks are just two of the victims of these hard accidents that are somehow still alive today. The AARO has done a great job with safety additions to the COY that they don't need the ugly COT to fill it's place.

2. Mikael Carter -- How could someone who finished fifth in the 2009 standings while leading them for a few weeks be so low in the points? Carter has been in the top 10 in the standings every year before 2010. He's struggling, a lot. He's been in some terrible luck as well. Carter sure needs to step his performance up by the end of the year to prepare for 2011. His contract is up at the end for the 2011 season.

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PostSubject: Re: 12 Races In...   Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:46 pm

Finished this.

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