LEBANON, OH. – The battle lines have been drawn for the third annual $25,000 North America Drivers Championship at Miami Valley from Sunday, January 6 through Tuesday, January 8. Three consecutive matinee programs will decide which of the 30 talented drivers in the contest will emerge with the title, the trophy and the $10,000 first prize.
Each driver has four randomly drawn horses and post positions on each of the first two programs. Following Monday afternoon’s results the top ten point getters will advance to Tuesday’s championship round and race head-to-head starting with a clean scoring slate over eight races on the card. Thirty points are awarded to the winner of each contest race with 20-14-11-9-7-5-3-1 points earned for second through ninth place finishes.
Based on post positions alone, Dexter Dunn–the Down Under sensation who won the 2015 World Drivers Championship–gained a slight nod over his competitors. With an average post position draw totaling 44 over each driver’s eight opportunities on Day 1 and Day 2, Dunn’s starting posts equal 30. A total of seven drivers drew post positions totaling under 40. The others were Anthony Napolitano (31), Bruce Ranger (32), Jeremy Smith (33), Brett Miller (34), Randy Tharps (35) and Drew Monti (36).
On the flip side, there are six drivers who drew post positions adding up to over 50. Joe Bonjiorno will have his work cut out for him with a total of 64, although that number is skewed by an assigned outside post behind Grana Padanno–a winner of two straight at the top level at Northfield Park–in the $27,500 Open Trot on Sunday. Others who didn’t fare particularly well at the draw are Roger Plante Jr. (55), Bob McClure (55), Dan Noble (53), Pat Berry (51) and Simon Allard (51).
Dunn will be looking to get off to a fast start as his four Day 1 drives include two rails and just nine in total post positions. Others who will have a slight advantage as they try to top the leader board early are J. Bradley Harris (11), defending champion Trace Tetrick (13), national dash champion Aaron Merriman (16) and top Chicago-land reinsman Casey Leonard (16). Those with an excellent chance of moving up the leaderboard on Day 2, based on post positions alone, will be Hollywood Dayton Raceway’s recently named dash champ Jeremy Smith (9), Billy Davis Jr. (13), Anthony Napolitano (14), 8959-time winner Bruce Ranger (14) and the all-time winningest African-American driver Randy Tharps (16).
“We look forward to an exciting championship that goes right down to the wire, just as the first two editions of this competition did,” said Tournament Director and Race Secretary Gregg Keidel. “Unless someone gets really hot, the winner isn’t usually known until they hit the wire in the last race. These drivers have over 120,000 collective wins so they all know how to reach a winner’s circle. I hope the fans and the participants enjoy this unique contest format and may the best man win!”

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