Even though Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey folded up their tents earlier this year, the Pepsi Limited Sportsman division will contin-ue the tradition of the three ring circus this Friday night as their division boasts the most championship attractions and the clos- est point battle. “Polish Prince” Tyler Janovsky, Chris Colburn, and “Hot Stuff” Kenny Thompson have been atop the Newport Chev- rolet Weekly Racing Series Point Standings all season long and it all comes down to one final show.
Janovsky currently sits in the center ring with a 15-point lead on Colburn and 23 points on Thompson. A high school senior at Twin Valley High School, Janovsky has led the point standings since Race # 2 with 2 wins, 3 runner-ups and 3 thirds. His 65 laps led is tops in division.
The hottest driver right now in the division may very well be Colb-urn. With 2 feature wins and 10 top 5’s over the 12 races sched- uled, the rookie Colburn has struck lighting (McQueen) in a bottle at the right time. At the beginning of the month, the 2nd generat- ion racer trailed Janovsky by 29 points and over that three race span since, he has closed the gap to within 15 points. Colburn al-so is tied for the division lead with 3 heat race wins.
Thompson, the other high school senior (Fall Mountain Regional), leads the division with 3 feature wins, adding 6 top 3’s, and 9 top 5’s to his dance card. Thompson was on his way to his 4th feature win last week until a wheel bearing failed on the # 39 ending his night. As a result, an 18-point deficit grew to 25 heading into this Friday night.
The players from positions 4 through 10 are penciled in but not necessarily in the order in which they arrive. Cornish’s Chris Gil- bert rides 4th in points after missing the first 3 weeks. Gilbert has 1 podium (2nd-Race # 8) and 7 top 5’s and is ahead of Joe Te- treault by 16 points. Tetreault has 358 points with 1 feature win and 3 podium finishes to his credit while rookie Briana Akusis, runs 6th in points with 337. Josh Ruel (312), 2-time winner David Greenslit (287), 2016 champion Scott Vien (240), and Cote Swen- son (234) round out the field.
By comparison, last year, Vien headed into championship night with a 3-point lead on Colburn’s father, Gary, and 36 points on Janovsky. When the dust settled, Vien grabbed the feature win and his 1st title. Colburn finished 2nd and lost by 6 points. Will the “Polish Prince” do what he needs to do to be crowned track champion? Will Colburn add another championship to the name? Will “Hot Stuff” catch fire and win both the heat and feature to give him a shot at the title? Any way you slice it, someone will be drinking a nice cold Pepsi as there will be a new first-time champ-ion!