Five to Go: Can Anyone Catch Jake West With Just 5 Races Remaining?

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Five to Go: Can Anyone Catch Jake West With Just 5 Races Remaining? Empty Five to Go: Can Anyone Catch Jake West With Just 5 Races Remaining?

Post by CJ Racing on October 31st 2018, 11:03 am

Five to Go: Can Anyone Catch Jake West With Just 5 Races Remaining?

Pike's Peak. Dover. Atlanta. Rockingham. Homestead.
After a long 3-week break for these Hardee's National Series drivers, the calm before the storm some might say, it comes to these 5 race tracks to decide who will be crowned the Champion for the 2018 Season, and have their name forever etched in the record books as a HNS Champion.

Just 4 races ago, the Championship fight looked vastly different then it does now; With 9 races left in this season, the Top 7 were only 51 points apart, and it looked like any one of those drivers still had a chance to win the Championship. 4 races later, and now it is only 3 drivers that are within that margin, with 3 others sitting in a 54-61 point range, while everyone else has fallen to 93+ points back, and pretty much out of title contention.

However, one driver is currently standing above all the rest: Jake West. The driver of the #4 Kurtis Racing team has been from the start of the season until this point consistently either on top or battling for the Points lead in every race, and besides some engine problems that he has had, Jake West has clearly shown throughout this season that if he ends up winning this Championship, that he will have certainly earned it...

Saying that... There are still a few drivers that fully believe that they are still in contention, and a few others who believe that if West and that #4 makes a mistake, that they will be back in the mix. Let's take a look at those drivers, as well as some other key stats as we get ready for the final stretch run of this 2018 HNS Season:
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#1. Let's take a look at the Points Standings to see the Drivers who are still mathematically and realistically in contention:
Five to Go: Can Anyone Catch Jake West With Just 5 Races Remaining? Hns11
GREEN: Realistic Chance of Catching Jake West
YELLOW: Doubtful
RED: Need a Miracle

As you can see, while 15 drivers are still in mathematical contention, it is really going to come down to the Top 6 drivers in Points, and to be more specific, the Top 3. And while Anthony Marchesi's sheer consistency has been absolutely incredible this year, his lack of Top 5 performances puts a damper on his possibility to catch West without a mistake by the #4 team...

Which of course brings us to the one obvious choice: TJ Martin and the #71 Turner Performance Racing team. TJ Martin is the one driver who has battled with West stride-for-stride pretty much all year long, however a problem at Phoenix 3 races ago, plus a subpar performance at Texas 2 weeks ago, has put him in a big hole. However, he was able to make up a chunk of points by winning at Oklahoma, and is now in a situation where while he would like for the #4 team to make a mistake, I believe that they are the one team that could make this points deficit up on the race track without West having issues.  

As for drivers like Angel, Williams, and Arndt, they are hoping for the 3 drivers, and particularly the #4 team, to make a mistake so that they can rejoin this Championship fight. Sean Angel in particular has had a phenomenal last 4 races, closing in from down -80 Points to -54 Points, with a win and 3 straight Top 3 finishes.

#2. The 2018 HNS Rookie of the Year Standings with 5 races remaining are:
TJ Martin- 6
Sean Angel- 5
Jek Porkins- 4
Hannah Allen- 4
Aidan Shepherd- 2
Alex Benyacko- 1

In my opinion, I feel that the ROTY battle will come down to Martin and Angel. Porkins and Allen have not had quite the same level of speed that they had earlier this year, while Martin and especially Angel seem to be on a tear right now.

#3. The Battle to see who will be in the Top 30 in Owners Points by the end of this year is also coming down to the wire, so let's take a closer look on who is currently good and who needs to pick up the pace in these final 5 races if they want their Owners Points locked in for next year.

25. #70 Titanium Motorsports- 413(Not Racing the rest of this year)
26. #99 Trailblazer- 412
27. #81 Red Stallion Racing- 396
28. #27 Hero Motorsports- 367
29. #26 Titanium Motorsports- 334(Not Racing the rest of this year)
30. #29 S3 Motorsports- 316
31. #59 Fitzwater Austrailia Racing- 302
32. #82 Red Stallion Racing- 297 (327 before their -30 Points Penalty)
33. #36 Young Motorsports- 294
34. #61 Red Stallion Racing- 291
35. #15 Bobby Racing- 279

With Titamium Motorsports not running the #26 and #70 the remainder of this year, there could be some huge Owners points implications in play, particularly with the #26's Owners Points. This could directly benefit S3 Motorsports in particular, who unless something disastrous happens to them will pass the #26, giving them an extra spot buffer on the Top 30. As for the teams currently from 31st-34th in Owners Points, it is looking like it will be a brawl right to the end. It is important to note the #82 Red Stallion car in particular, who could have been in 30th in points right now if it was not for a costly penalty earlier in the season, which could cost them dearly if they are not able to overcome it.  

#4: Let's take a look at some more stats for this year so far!
Top Average Starting Position
6.67- James Richardson(Did not start at Daytona)
7.55- John Arndt
7.91- Cory Williams
8.09- Alex Benyacko
8.27- Hannah Allen

Top Average Finishing Position
8.82- Jake West
9.41- Anthony Marchesi
9.91- TJ Martin
10.82- Sean Angel
11.18- Cory Williams

The Driver with the best AVG Start to AVG Finishing Position is(Minimum 15 races):
Vance Caldwell(33.73-25.32, an average gain of 8.41 positions per race)
The Driver with the Worst AVG Start to AVG Finishing Position is(Minimum 15 races):
Eric Demax(10.16-18.79, an average loss of 8.83 positions per race)

Most Laps Led

297- John Arndt
158- Hannah Allen
152- Jek Porkins
130- Jake West
117- Alex Benyacko

Fun Fact: CM Racing has led 45.3% of the laps this year... The next closest team is Kurtis Racing, with 11.8%(187 laps), then Turner Performance Racing with 11.4%(183 laps) led.

Top Driver in Points Without a Win: Anthony Marchesi(3rd in Points)
Top Driver in Points Without a Top 5: Caleb Farrell(19th in Points)
Top Driver in Points Without a Top 10: Max Ludger(26th in Points)
And Surprsingly, the Top Driver in Points Without a Pole: Points Leader Jake West

#5. And Finally, it is safe to say(again), there will be a new Hardee's National Series Champion this year!... Yes, that's not really a stat or a fact that wasn't plainly obvious, but still, THERE WILL BE A NEW HNS CHAMPION WHEN THE 2018 SEASON IS FINISHED!!!

---We hope you have enjoyed reading this short piece, and we are excited to see how the end of this 2018 Hardee's National Series season will go! 22 races down, just 5 more to go... Until next time, so long, and LET'S GO RACING DRIVERS!

Marty McGee
Hardee's National Series Beat Writer

_________________
________________________
Chris Dodd:
2018 SCS: Driver of the #15 Oreo's Ford for Martin Motorsports
Wins: None(Yet Smile ...)
DNF's: Too Many
Amount of Fun: Priceless

Memorable Moments:
1st Daytona 500 win(as an owner); PNOCS S2 Daytona 500!! (As a Driver); 2-Time Daytona 500 Winner
S1 Duraflame National Racing Series CHAMP, S2 Hershey's Cup Series CHAMP, S3 DASCAR Martini Endurance Series CHAMP!

Motto: Always remember... WATCH OUT FOR THE ORANGE CONE!!
CJ Racing
CJ Racing
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