The Sportsman Division at Bowman Gray Stadium is widely regarded as the best division at the historic track. This season has been no different, but the points have been dominated by one man.
Justin Taylor has been the model of consistency in 2019, he’s either finished in the top 5 or top 10 in almost every single race this season. Going into the final race as the leader, he gives his interesting insight on trying to win the championship.
“I have never won a title in racing,” Taylor told RACE22. “It’s beyond hard over at the bullring. I’ve lost weight, I’ve lost numerous nights of sleep. Its took a huge toll on my lifestyle. Once this week is over I will be back to the normal ole me! Thank god cause I have missed my cheeseburgers and cold beer.”
Tommy Neal is sitting second in the points has rallied from a couple of bad races to win races when it mattered most and now look, Neal is right there in contention once again. Neal the 2016 champion is a seasoned veteran of the division, this year he became the all time starts leader, so he knows what it takes to win the championship.
“I’m just gonna go over there and win the race,” Neal told RACE22. “I don’t really care where I draw at, because it’s a cone race, I’m just going over there to win the race. That’s just my point of view if he wins he the championship that’s good, if I win it that’s good. Justin has worked his butt off and he deserves it. My only chance to win is if he has bad luck, but he’s had luck on his side all year and that’s what it takes to win over there.”
Dylan Ward is has won 6 races this season so far, that’s more than last year when Ward won 5 races and barely missed out on the Top Gun Award that’s given out to the driver who scores the most wins. This year award has it wrapped up, but he has his doubts on this year’s championship.
“I don’t really feel in contention,” Ward told RACE22. “I feel like me and my team and all my cars have had a great year. A dream year you could say but I’m not where would like to be in points, but we are there to win races.”
Even though he doesn’t feel like he’s going to win the title, anything can happen on the final race of the season.
The dark horse of this championship quintet has to be Kyle Southern, this is his first time being in contention for the championship and he’s kind of relishing the opportunity as he’s playing with house money.
“We feel good going into this race,” Southern told RACE22. “We are coming to win the race and let the cards fall where they may man! We control the things that we have control over and prepare in the shop to go out and execute period! We are coming to put our elbows up and get after it for the checker’s nothing else matters at this point!”
Michael Adams is still mathematically in contention for the championship, but he may be eliminated before the race starts on Saturday depending on the car count for the division. Even though he might be eliminated, Adams hopes to end the season on a good note.
“It would definitely take a miracle,” Adams told RACE22. “I just wanna go this weekend and have a shot to win. We haven’t had that much at all this year. Just wanna have some luck and end on a good note.”
The Sportsman division has run a single race with 40 laps the distance for years, but with the inclusion of the Midway Mobile Storage cone restart, it’s made the race very intriguing. This Saturday’s finale will be a great way to end their 2019 season with a bang!