The battle to become the third American Speed Association Kwik Trip Midwest Tour presented by ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment Champion will be under the spotlight with three events remaining on the 2009 schedule. 2007 ASAMT Champion Nathan Haseleu currently holds a 62-point lead over Steve Carlson heading into the September 6th Labor Day 100 at Norway Speedway in Norway, MI.
Haseleu is having his best year ever so far in ASAMT competition. When you compare his stats to this season compared to the 2007 season. You will see some resemblance. First, he won the championship by 40 points over Donny Reuvers in 2007. That year, Haseleu had one win, six top-five and seven top-ten finishes in 11starts. So far in nine events this season he has one win, six top-five and nine top-ten finishes.
Carlson has won many championships under the NASCAR banner but has yet to score a championship under the American Speed Association banner. He missed the ASAMT event back in May at Iowa Speedway, but with his four wins, six top-five and six top-ten finishes in his eight starts, many wonder if he would be the point leader today. At the Iowa Speedway event, Haseleu picked up 104 points and holds a 62-point lead today.
Mathematically, the top 15 drivers in the standings are basically still in the running for the championship. At each ASAMT event, a total of 160 points are available. Each driver receives 20 points for appearing at an ASAMT event, the fast qualifier receives 20 points, a fast heat winner receives 20 points and the feature winner receives 100 points. At the most, a total of 480 points are still on the line and the 15th place driver, Andrew Morrissey, is only 440 points behind Haseleu in the standings.
Haseleu has been averaging 128.11 points per event while Carlson has been averaging 136.38 points in the eight events he has competed in so far.
"Every aspect of an ASAMT event is going to be closely watched in the last three races," Tim Olson, ASAMT President said. "Points are on line in every event that happens that day. Drivers will want a good qualifying lap to get the most points, they will race hard in the heat race, and the feature race speaks for itself. I think the fans that will be attending our last three events will see a great night of racing action because of the points available in each race. No one will be holding back."
One area that has helped the competitors and fans see how the points are handed out is the statistics provided for each event on the Tour's stats website, stats.asamidwesttour.com.
"At the start of the 2008 season we started using a unique program that shows how each driver receives points at each event," Steve Einhaus, ASAMT Vice-president said. "This form of transparency has helped when a team had a question on whether or not they received the right amount of points per event. It even includes a spreadsheet in each event to show the point breakdown and it's then transferred to the point standings."
The next opportunity to pick up valuable points will be on Sunday, September 6th as the ASAMT will be part of the annual Dickinson County Fair and compete in the Labor Day 100 at the Norway Speedway located on the Dickinson County Fairgrounds. Qualifying gets underway at 4 p.m. with racing at 6 p.m.