NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Points
Release: Sheridan Eyes Elusive Title At Delaware
Keith Rocco Still Stays Out Front After 14th Victory

Ron Sheridan knows what it’s like to almost win a track title. Now the 56-year-old veteran from Mt. Brydges, Ontario, has kicked off the 2010 season at Delaware Speedway looking very much like he may finally bring home that championship trophy.

Sheridan has won three of the first eight races in the Late Model division at the half-mile paved oval outside of London, Ontario. He is also 41st in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship standings, although his per-race average is sixth best.

Sheridan had a strong run last year, Delaware’s first as a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series sanctioned track, and finished ninth overall. But finishing just ahead of him in the national standings, as well as the Ontario province and Delaware track points, was Steve Robblee. While Sheriden went into the final race of the season with the points lead, Robblee was able to pass him on the final weekend.

“We just missed the setup a little bit and lost out there,” said Sheriden, who has raced for 18 years, including the last 12 in the Late Model division. “We just came up a little bit short. I bet you we’ve finished second five times. One year we missed it by four points. And then there was last year.

“This year, we just fine-tuned a little bit on the car. We’ve worked hard on it. We just came up with a package that is working and is comfortable for me. And we’ve been very fast the last couple weeks.”

Sheridan had a win and a fourth-place finish in twin features this past weekend.

Keith Rocco, of Wallingford, Conn., earned his series-leading 14th victory of the season this past Friday at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway in the asphalt Modified division. He was also second at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway on Thursday and eighth at Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl on Saturday. Rocco has 21 top fives and 25 top 10s in 25 starts.

The win allowed him to drop a 34-point fourth-place finish from earlier in the season and increase his points total to 768 to maintain his NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national points lead.

A driver’s best 18 results are counted toward their state and national points totals, and the champions are decided on overall points total.

Craig Preble, of Yutan, Neb., remains second in points with 692. He was fourth in the dirt Late Model division at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb., on Saturday and fourth at I-80 Speedway in Omaha, Neb., on Sunday. Preble has 12 wins and 19 top fives in 19 starts.

Justin Johnson was sixth and first in double asphalt Late Model features at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va., to move up two spots to third. He has nine wins, 13 top fives and 16 top 10s in 16 starts.

Bill Leighton Jr. (584 points) and Matt Buller (557), who race against Preble at the two Nebraska tracks, are fourth and fifth, respectively, in the national standings.

Under the points structure for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, the race winner received two points for every car in the event up to 20. Second place received two fewer points, and so-on through the field. Race winners received an additional five bonus points. For example, if there are 20 cars, the winner received 45 points, second gets 38 and third 36. If there are 15 cars, the winner received 35 points, second gets 28 and third 26.

For Sheridan, it’s too early to think about points, but there is always time to think about racing.

He was loading up the go-kart for his son Jake, 7, Tuesday night. Sheridan and his wife, Georgia, also have a five-year-old son, Nicholas. Sheridan will run his Late Model at Delaware Speedway on Friday, and then he and the crew will head down to Autodrome St. Eustache in Quebec on Saturday to run in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 race.

Then it’s back home to get the Late Model ready for a special Summer Showdown non-points race on Wednesday, July 7. The event will also feature NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kyle Busch and David Reutimann, as well as NASCAR Nationwide Series veteran Jason Leffler.

“I’m really looking forward to that,” Sheridan said. “There’s no points on the line, so I’m looking forward to going at it and racing hard with those guys.”

And then it’s back to the championship chase. While Robblee has encountered some early-season misfortune, Sheridan knows the key to wrapping up that sought-after crown be avoiding similar bad luck.
“It’s so competitive up here, that it’s going to come down to having one less bad night, one less flat tire,” Sheridan said. “Part of our success this year is we just go down there and try to do the best we can, and it’s just worked out for us.”

Track, state and provincial champions and the top three finishers in the national standings earn invitations to the 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet. The winner of the national championship will also earn a secure spot in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.

National Top 500 NASCAR Points Leaders

       Pos     Driver  Track   Starts  Wins    T-5     T-10    Points

       1       Keith Rocco     Waterford Speedbowl     25      14      21      25      768
       2       Craig Preble    I-80 Speedway   19      12      19      19      692
       3       Justin T Johnson        South Boston Speedway   16      9       13      16      603
       4       Bill Leighton, Jr       I-80 Speedway   20      0       16      19      584
       5       Matt Buller     I-80 Speedway   19      3       14      17      557
       6       Marty Ward      Greenville-Pickens Speedway     16      9       16      16      495
       7       C E Falk, Iii   Langley Speedway        15      5       10      13      471
       8       Ted Christopher Thompson Intl Speedway  15      4       10      12      466
       9       Toby Porter     Greenville-Pickens Speedway     16      5       14      15      455
       10      Duane Howard    Grandview Speedway      12      2       11      12      444
       11      Woody Howard    Langley Speedway        14      1       11      12      425
       12      Woody Pitkat    Stafford Motor Speedway 15      1       7       13      413
       13      Burt Myers      Bowman Gray Stadium     12      4       7       11      402
       14      Philip Morris   Motor Mile Speedway     12      4       9       10      398
       15      Lee Jeffreys    Bowman Gray Stadium     12      2       7       11      386
       16      Adam Royle      Raceway Park    18      7       15      17      375
       17      Tommy Lemons, Jr        Motor Mile Speedway     15      1       4       10      375
       18      Greg Edwards    Langley Speedway        11      2       10      11      368
       19      Jeremy Burns    Greenville-Pickens Speedway     17      0       12      16      366
       20      Travis Swaim    Caraway Speedway        13      4       11      13      350
       21      Ron Yuhas, Jr   Waterford Speedbowl     10      0       9       10      348
       22      Micah Veleba    Junction Motor Speedway 19      0       3       11      346
       23      Wes Falk        Langley Speedway        14      1       3       11      335
       24      Craig Von Dohren        Grandview Speedway      11      5       7       8       329
       25      Ralph Carnes    Greenville-Pickens Speedway     16      0       6       15      328