I know, I know. The Bullring is now a UMP late model track, but for those who remember the IMCA era at 8000 Broadway, I thought you might be interested in knowing Ray Guss Jr. won his third straight national title.
Guss bested Todd Cooney by a single point, 810-809, in becoming the first driver in the modern era of the division to win three consecutive national IMCA Late Model championships.
The title difference was made in track championship bonus points, after both drivers finished the regular season with 794 points. Guss got 16 bonus points for winning the Quad City Speedway crown while Cooney got 15 bonus points for his Shelby County Speedway title.
Bonus points are determined by average car counts at each track; bonuses are given for a maximum of one Late Model track championship and the highest average is used when drivers win more than one local track crown.
A 14-time feature winner this season, Guss added another Allstar Performance Illinois State trophy to his collection. He earned a $5,500 share of the $21,300 point fund that will be paid to top 20 finishers in the final divisional point standings, which become official on Sept. 24.
Guss and Cooney also finished 1-2 in national points last year.
Rounding out the top five in points this season were Tyler Bruening, Ryan Griffith and Nate Beuseling. Darrel DeFrance, who now shares the record of three Late Model national championships with Guss, was sixth.