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Pilots Set For Driving Championship

Published: December 22, 2018 7:43 pm ET

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Thirty drivers with over 115,000 combined wins will compete at Miami Valley Raceway from Jan. 6 through Jan. 8 in the third-annual $25,000 North American Drivers Championship.

Doug McNair, of Ontario, won the inaugural contest at the southwest Ohio oval in 2017, while Trace Tetrick, of Indiana, is the defending champion.

Aaron Merriman, the reigning North American dash champion, leads the competing drivers in victories with 10,922 wins. Bruce Ranger, who returned to the sulky in 2018 after a two-year absence and is currently sporting a .403 UDRS score, is next in line with 8,959 victories. Brett Miller, returning to Ohio for the 2019 campaign, boasts a resume which includes 7,919 wins.

Another trio of the contestants sport over 6,000 career wins—Mike Oosting with 6,517, Kyle DiBenedetto 6,383 and Sam Widger 6,224.

A pair of accomplished local reinsmen competing in the championship have eclipsed the 5,000 wins plateau: Dan Noble with 5,457 and Randy Tharps with 5,300. Another handful of drivers have 4,000 victories to their credit: Todd Warren with 4,842, defending champion Trace Tetrick 4,834, Chris Page 4,561, Josh Sutton 4,515 and Shawn Gray 4,096. Pat Berry with 3,797 and Simon Allard 3,531 are next in line.

Another eight hopefuls have surpassed 2,000 wins: Billy Davis Jr., Dexter Dunn, Casey Leonard, Bob McClure, Anthony Napolitano, Roger Plante Jr., Hollywood Dayton dash champ Jeremy Smith and Tyler Smith.

Younger accomplished drivers with over 1,000 wins and are J Bradley Harris, Travis Henry, Drew Monti and Jimmy Whittemore. The final three spots in the championship will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 27.

Each driver gets four randomly drawn drives on the Sunday, Jan. 6 and Monday, Jan. 7 matinees. The field will be reduced to the ten top point leaders for an eight-race head-to-head competition to determine the winner on Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 8. In addition to the prestigious North America Drivers Championship trophy, the winner will receive $10,000 with the balance of the prize pool distributed to second through ninth place finishers.

Miami Valley will open its 2019 season on Friday, Jan. 4 and continue on a Friday through Tuesday five-days-a-week schedule through May 6.

(With files from Miami Valley)

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