BOISE, IDAHO (August 19, 2011) The CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series presented by Century Boatland returns to Rocky Mountain Raceways located outside Salt Lake City, UT for round eight of the championship series. Zan Sharp, a fan favorite at RMR and two-time RMCS champion from Wellsville (UT), leads the point standings as he hopes to score a third series championship.
Sharp is coming off a third place performance two weeks ago at the Idaho “200” and is excited to return to a track he knows like the back of his hand. Since 2004, Sharp has scored three wins and eight top five performances at the 3/8-mile banked oval.
“There is no question I like RMR,” Sharp offered. “It has been a good track for me but there are also several other guys that are really good here. If we hope to win the race or the championship, we will need a great performance at RMR.”
One of those other guys is Lynn Hardy from West Valley. Hardy put on a magnificent performance at the Idaho “200” coming from the back three times during the event to finish second. That finish put Hardy squarely back in championship contention as the Modified racing legend at RMR is in third place in the standings only 60-points out of the top spot heading into Saturday night’s NAPA Auto Parts “125”.
In his RMCS career, Hardy has two wins at RMR and nine top five performances. In the series last trip to RMR back in July, Hardy finished in fourth place. “I love racing at RMR”, Hardy said. “I have always been good there but racing at other tracks the past couple of years has made me a better driver. With the RMCS invert, you have to save enough for the end and I have not done that in the past. Hopefully we can get back to victory lane.”
Jeff Hillock out of Cedar Hills, UT has led the point standings most of the season but a broken drive pulley sidelined his effort at the Idaho “200” dropping him to second in the point standings 35-points behind Sharp. “We were all really disappointed about the mechanical issues we had up at Post Falls (ID),” Hillock said. “We had one of the fastest cars in the event and felt we had a really good shot at the win. It wasn’t meant to be but now we are back at home and the team is ready to put the car back in victory lane.”
Based on his performances this year, a return trip to victory lane is as close to a sure bet that one can make. In three previous races at RMR this season, Hillock has two wins and a second place finish. “We are good here and we are confident. It took us a while to find the sweet spot on the car but the team has worked tirelessly to put us in contention for the championship. This season is all about them and I hope we can close this thing out on a high note.”
Another driver returning home to RMR with momentum on his side is Eric Rhead from West Jordan, UT. Rhead won two races last season at RMR in his rookie campaign in the series and is coming off a fifth place performance at the Idaho “200”. For many in attendance, Rhead drove the race of his career after starting in the 22nd position and moving to as high as second place in the race. For much of the race he ran in the third position ultimately finishing fifth.
“We were thrilled with our finish at the Idaho 200,” said Rhead. “The team really made it possible. We were not very good all weekend but they kept working on the car. We are really excited to return to RMR; a track we know we can win at.”
After suffering broken camshaft for the second time this year, defending series champion Steve Jones from Meridian, ID drops to fourth place in the standings 63-points in the rears. “Stateline was heart-breaking,” Jones offered. Jones won the July RMR event this year.
Rounding out the top five in the standings heading into Saturday night’s race is Bruce Quale from Twin Falls, ID. Quale is coming off a fourth place performance at the Idaho “200” and is looking for his first win at RMR. “We all want to win at each track, but a win at RMR would be real special,” Quale said.
Canada’s Brian Levant is the track record holder at RMR with a quick lap of 14.906 seconds/90.568 mph. James Eaton has the most wins (4) of any series driver with Sharp and Jones with three triumphs and Dave Minegar, Hardy and John Dillon with two wins apiece. Six drivers share won win each at RMR.
A whole slate of local racing action is also on the schedule for Saturday night with qualifying getting underway at 4:45pm and racing action at 6pm MT.
The RMCS utilizes a racing format not found in ANY other regional touring series around the country. The RMCS inverts the full starting field putting the fast qualifiers at the back to start the race. This format ensures race fans see what they paid for and that is passing. Each driver is awarded three points per position gained in the event. Points are also awarded for qualifying and heat race finishes. Through the history of the series, the winning driver has averaged a 15th place starting position. To ensure competition, the RMCS pays it purse based on total point accumulation for the event and provides several special performance awards at each race. Century Boatland in Twin Falls is a major sponsor to the series providing significant support to the series all season.
The CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is a regional touring series that allows all competitors to race and gain experience on different types of racetracks. It is a high-quality professional racing series that offers maximum opportunity at an affordable price serving the intermountain West. The motto of the series is to “Race Hard and Have Fun!” For all the latest news and information regarding the CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series log on to our website at www.rmcsracing.com .
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