Champions will be Crowned this Saturday at Lebanon I-44 Speedway

This Saturday, September 15th, is Heritage Bank Night at the Races and the James Tait Memorial race at Lebanon I-44 Speedway. Also, the 2018 racing season will come to a close and five Champions will be crowned. The Championship battles will come down to the wire in several of our divisions including the premier division, the Pro Late Models. The Pro Late Models will be racing in memory of James Tait and a two-time Daytona 500 winner will be making an appearance on Saturday night in the Pro Late Model division to shake things up even more.
The Charger division has been putting on spectacular bumper-banging action week in and week out on the new 1/5-mile track. The Charger’s Championship battle is very close as Crystal Blake continues to hold off the dirt-track brothers of Will Garner and Shannon Geller. Garner is within striking distance and has made up points on Blake nearly every race this season. Garner has one last chance to take the points lead away this Saturday night. Other drivers like Chris Albright, Mollie Eades and Mason Mundy have shown speed as of late and have all won features this year as well. They will surely be a factor in deciding the Champion this weekend.
The new Big 10 Late Model Series has been gaining momentum all season and they are coming off of an intense and dramatic 50-lap feature. The Rookie, Dylan Bates, entered that night with the points lead, but Jimmy Fohn stayed consistent throughout the night and stole the Championship lead back from Bates. Entering the final night of racing, Fohn leads Bates by just 8 points. Sitting in third position in the Championship is Justin Blake. Blake is within striking distance waiting to capitalize on a mistake from Bates or Fohn. He is also coming off of a solid second place finish and is looking to carry his momentum into the final show. The Veteran, JC Newell, has not picked up a win yet this season, but he did lead nearly half of the 50-lap feature last week. With this week’s feature being only 20-laps, will JC Newell be the Championship spoiler this weekend and pick up his first win of 2018?
The Modifieds have been dominated this year by one driver and that driver is, “The Iceman”, Ricky Icenhower. Icenhower has won eight out of nine features and has won the last seven shows in a row. He has a 61-point lead over 2nd place of Michael Juergenson. Juergenson has led several laps so far this year and has come close the beating Icenhower. Juergenson only has a 4-point lead over Richard Lewis who has been picking up speed the last few weeks and is the only driver to win a feature other than Icenhower this year. Lewis is coming off of a solid runner-up finish and is hoping to carry his momentum into the last the round to propel him into 2nd place in the Championship. When Ricky Icenhower starts Saturday night’s Feature, he will be crowned your 2018 Modified Track Champion, but can anyone beat him in the feature and claim the $600 Bounty?
In the Street Stock division, Jordan Nisbett has been Mr. Consistent with four wins and seven top-fives this year. He has healthy points lead over Ricky Icenhower’s son, Trevor Icenhower. “Ice-chip” only has a six-point lead over Steve Shaw who has had a fast race car the past few weeks. The Street Stock races always come down to the wire, usually three-wide battles all around the race track. With this sort of hard racing, every driver that is racing for the Championship must be on their toes. Icenhower must hold off Steve Shaw in the feature this week to secure second in the Championship. Ben and Brock Johnson from Miller and Tony Johnson from Lebanon have also won features this year, even though they are pretty far behind in the Championship they will for sure be up front wreaking havoc on this Championship battle, you don’t want to miss this feature!
The Pro Late Models have a dramatic Championship night in store this Saturday. The James Tait memorial race will feature exciting racing and added competition. Two-time Daytona 500 Winner, Sterling Marlin will be in the house looking to steal the show. Marlin has been to the High-Banks several times but has had bad luck each time. Marlin is hoping to find Victory Lane at Lebanon I-44 Speedway this Saturday night for the very first time. His competition will be stout as point leader, Ken Dickinson tries to hold off Tim Swearengin and Jimmy Vanzandt for the Championship. Swearengin may have been your point-leader had he not blown an engine a few weeks back. Tim Swearengin is coming off his second feature win of the season and hopes to carry the momentum into the final round. Another win for Swearengin could possibly win him the Championship, depending on where Dickinson finishes. Dickinson has only finished outside of the top five once this season, so Swearengin has a tough task at hand. Jimmy Vanzandt is hot on their heels in the third position. Vanzandt has a new engine in his No. 67 Late Model and made a trip to Indiana this week to have his car dialed in by past Lebanon I-44 Speedway Champion, Cole Williams and family. Vanzandt is hoping for a win this Saturday night in hopes of propelling himself to the Championship. If one of these three drivers have a bad night on Saturday, Ryu Taggart is right there in 4th waiting to attack. Will Swearengin or Vanzandt be able to reel in Dickinson this Saturday night?
The gates will open at 6:00PM for Heritage Bank Night at the Races and the James Tait Memorial. There will be several things taking place on the Midway before the races, including face painting, live music and more. Pick your favorite driver and cheer them on as they make their last attempt to become a Champion! Racing will begin at 7:30PM. In the Grandstands, adults will cost $12 and kids 10 and under are always free with special pricing for juniors, military, and seniors. For more information visit our website at i44speedway.net or find us on Facebook!

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