Loden Starts The Season At The Top
Of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Standings
Jason Christley, NASCAR Public Relations
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. ( June 4, 2008 ) Andy Loden figured he'd sell one of his Late Models and spend the season bouncing from track to track. That all changed when Tri-County Motor Speedway in Hudson, N.C. just over an hour from his house announced NASCAR sanctioning. That gave the 31-year-old Loden the opportunity to run two nights a week on a regular basis: Tri-County on Friday and Hickory Motor Speedway in Newton, N.C., Saturday night.
We go right from Tri-County to Hickory and spend the night in the parking lot, Loden said. We're having fun. We have a good bunch of guys on the crew this year.
They're also running well. Loden has four wins and 16 top fives in 18 starts already this season and finds himself atop the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings with the first official point standings of the season.
It's pretty neat to see your name there, Loden said. I've never had that before.
There are plenty of familiar names in the top 10. Third-generation driver Coleman Pressley, the 19-year-old son of former NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Robert Pressley, is in second. Pressley is running weekly at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Greenville, S.C., where he has three wins. He also has three wins at Hickory, and is just two points behind Loden in the national standings.
Keith Rocco, who finished fourth in the nation last year, is currently third on the strength of two early-season Modified wins at the Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl. Defending Greenville-Pickens Late Model and South Carolina state champion David Roberts is fourth, and Philip Morris, the 2006 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion and five-time Late Model champion at Motor Mile in Radford, Va., is fifth. Morris was third in the nation last year.
Loden had 10 wins in 29 starts last year to finish 66th in the nation and fourth in North Carolina. He won his second straight Hickory Late Model title by 40 points over runner-up Kyle Grissom and 102 over third-place Chrissy Wallace. This year, Loden has the points lead at the .363-mile Hickory and the .400-mile Tri-County, and has a pair of wins at each track.
We expected to run well at Hickory and we didn't know how well it would go at Tri-County, said Loden, a technician at a Chevrolet dealership in Mooresville. We're actually running better at Tri-County and kind of struggling at Hickory. We actually get disappointed running fourth or fifth. You shouldn't, but after running so well there the last two years We won there two weeks ago and thought we were back on track, but we just didn't run good this past week again. The field is so tight at Hickory. We've just gotten behind a little and everybody's caught up a little. But we're getting there.
Under the point structure for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series , the race winner will receive two points for every car in the event up to 25 cars. Second place will receive two fewer points, and so-on through the field. For example, if there are 25 cars, the winner receives 50 points, second gets 48 and third 46. If there are 15 cars, the winner receives 30 points, second gets 28 and third 26. New this year, drivers receive five bonus points for a win. The final day for the 2008 points is Sunday, Sept. 14.
National Top 25 NASCAR Leaders
PosDriver Name Home Track Starts Wins T-5 T-10 Pts
1 ANDY LODEN HICKORY MOTOR SPEEDWAY 18 4 16 18 540
2 COLEMAN PRESSLEY GREENVILLE-PICKENS SPEEDWAY 12 6 12 12 538
3 KEITH ROCCO WATERFORD SPEEDBOWL 12 2 7 9 426
4 DAVID ROBERTS GREENVILLE-PICKENS SPEEDWAY 11 1 9 10 403
5 PHILIP MORRIS MOTOR MILE SPEEDWAY 8 3 8 8 391
6 C E FALK, III SOUTH BOSTON SPEEDWAY 12 0 9 10 390
7 MARTY WARD GREENVILLE-PICKENS SPEEDWAY 8 3 8 8 389
8 RALPH CARNES GREENVILLE-PICKENS SPEEDWAY 12 0 5 12 348
9 BRIAN HARRIS WEST LIBERTY RACEWAY 9 3 9 9 345
10 KENNETH HEADEN GREENVILLE-PICKENS SPEEDWAY 8 0 6 8 330
11 DUANE HOWARD GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY 8 3 3 7 329
12 JEFF STRUNK GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY 8 0 7 7 320
13 SAM WATTS HICKORY MOTOR SPEEDWAY 14 1 8 11 307
14 ANDY ECKRICH WEST LIBERTY RACEWAY 10 2 7 8 304
15 GREG EDWARDS LANGLEY SPEEDWAY 8 1 6 8 301
16 JOEY STEARNS MADERA SPEEDWAY 11 1 7 11 287
17 DOUG MANMILLER GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY 8 0 4 6 286
18 NICK JOANIDES TOYOTA SPEEDWAY AT IRWINDALE 8 5 6 6 285
19 CHARLES PRICE TOYOTA SPEEDWAY AT IRWINDALE 10 2 5 7 278
20 MIKE GULAR GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY 8 1 3 6 277
21 DOUG GODSEY SOUTHERN NATIONAL RACEWAY PARK 10 2 8 10 276
22 LUCAS RANSONE TRI-COUNTY MOTOR SPEEDWAY 11 0 5 8 274
23 DENNIS GADA WATERFORD SPEEDBOWL 7 3 4 6 273
24 COREY STRICKLAND SOUTHERN NATIONAL RACEWAY PARK 10 4 9 9 272
25 GARY GLENN ALL AMERICAN SPEEDWAY 7 3 7 7 269