Loden Starts The Season At The Top

Of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Standings

Jason Christley, NASCAR Public Relations

June 4, 2008

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.

FEATURE DIVISION

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

 

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