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Local auto racing: Can-Am takes unique approach, will double points in divisions

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Tonight presents an opportunity for many drivers at Can-Am Motorsports Park to impact the rest of their season.

Every division will feature double points in tonight’s races, which presents both opportunity and risk for the drivers.

“Some people like it, lot of people don’t like it, but it’s interesting for the fans and that’s why we do it,” said Chip Burdick, the track’s general manager.

Racing begins at 7:30 tonight and the features will include a 25-lap sportsman modified race as well as pro late models, pro street stocks, thunder cars, thunder stocks and novice sportsman.

All of the point races at Can-Am are close this season, with the largest gap being an 18-point lead for David Rogers over Sid Harmer Jr. in the pro street stock division.

First place normally is worth 60 points, but tonight it will be worth 120.

And if a driver has an unexpected mechanical problem, or gets involved in an early crash, they will lose out on a chance to earn a lot of points.

“A bad night could have impact for the rest of the year,” Burdick said. “It changes everything, but that’s what’s pretty neat about it.”

One of the track’s closest first-place fights is in the sportsman division, with Brandon Hagan just two points ahead of Taylor Caprara (372-370). The next closest driver is Josh Van Brocklin, with 308 points.

Charlie Sandercock leads the late-model division with 366 points, followed by A.J. Kingsley and Brandon Kidd, who each have 352.

Ray Belcher holds a 276-268 lead over Matt Zira in the thunder car division.

Because of the double points to be awarded, Burdick said that drivers who have enough money to own two cars will usually bring both to the track in case they have problems during the qualifying heats.

If they change cars, they would have to start in back for the feature.

If rain disrupts tonight’s event than there will not be another chance for the drivers to earn double points for just one feature.

“We just go on to the next race,” Burdick said. “We have sponsors every night and with rainouts we have to reschedule the sponsors. We can’t afford many rainouts. Hopefully it just rains in the morning and we can race at night.”

WORLD OF OUTLAWS UPDATE

The World of Outlaws Late Model series competed in Cornwall, Ontario, on Sunday, and Darrell Lanigan claimed the win in the feature.

Watertown resident Tim Fuller finished in ninth place, and Watertown’s Tim McCreadie finished 21st.

Both local drivers are in the top 10 in the season standings.

Fuller is fifth with 2,860 points and McCreadie is sixth with 2,838. The leader is Josh Richards with 3,090 points.

McCreadie has three wins this season while Fuller is still looking for his first. Both have 12 finishes in the top 10.

Times sportswriter Cap Carey can be reached at ccarey@wdt.net

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