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Driving Championship Set For Tonight

Published: October 13, 2016 6:04 pm ET

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The National Driving Championship, presented by Standardbred Canada, will take place on Friday, October 14 at The Raceway at the Western Fair District in London, Ontario. Which of the eight drivers will be crowned champion?

The oddmakers at The Raceway at the Western Fair District have given the edge in tonight's National Driving Championship to driver Guy Gagnon.

Based on the morning line odds and the NDC point system, if the horses finish as the oddsmakers predict Gatineau, Quebec's Guy Gagnon will tally a total of 62 points. That total will top the points accumulated by B.C.'s Jim Marino (55) and Ontario's Brett MacDonald (54).

A late scratch in Race Four, the third NDC leg has taken Boyur Attractive, slated to be driven by Trevor Henry, out of the race. Henry will now drive the also eligible Whosur Filly from his originally slated starting spot in Post Seven. For the purposes of this prediction, the point totals were not adjusted after the scratch.

Here's how the oddsmakers have assessed the 2016 National Driving Championship standings based on morning line odds.

1. Guy Gagnon - 62
2. Jim Marino - 55
3. Brett MacDonald - 54
T4. Brandon Campbell - 47
T4. Corey MacPherson - 47
6. James MacDonald - 42
7. Trevor Henry - 36
8. Jason Hughes - 33

Who do you think will win the 2016 National Driving Championship? Have your say in the weekly SC web poll.

The National Driving Championship is an eight-race event and drivers earn points based upon their finishing positions. Drivers were able to have input into the horses they will be driving as a hockey pool style “draft” was conducted Tuesday for them to choose their horses in each race before the post position draw was made.

Eight drivers from across the country have qualified in four regional events co-ordinated by Standardbred Canada and will congregate in London, Ont. this October to battle it out for the National Driving Championship title and the honour of representing Canada in the 2017 World Driving Championship on home turf.

Here is a recap of the qualifying events from earlier this year:

James MacDonald of Guelph, Ont., won the Ontario Regional event at Grand River Raceway while Trevor Henry, of Arthur, Ont., finished as the runner-up. This will be MacDonald’s first NDC and Henry’s second, as he competed in the 2011 event. Henry later went on to represent Canada in the 2013 World Driving Championship in France.

Atlantic Regional winner Jason Hughes of Stratford, PEI, and runner up Corey MacPherson, of Vernon Bridge, PEI, will make their first NDC appearance after qualifying at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park.

After finishing 1-2 in the Western Regional at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino, Brandon Campbell, of Calgary, Alta. and Jim Marino, of Surrey, B.C., are both hoping to return from the NDC with more than Air Miles. Both of these drivers took part in the 2014 event at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at CDP, and this will mark Campbell’s third consecutive attempt at the National title as he also competed in 2011.

The Quebec/Eastern Ontario Regional was won by Guy Gagnon, of Gatineau, Que., who competed in the 2014, and 2009 events, while Brett MacDonald, of Embrun, Ont., makes his NDC debut with his runner-up finish, only one point back of Gagnon in the qualifier.

Here’s a look at the drivers:

Driver
Brandon Campbell
Guy Gagnon
Trevor Henry
Jason Hughes
Brett MacDonald
James MacDonald
Corey MacPherson
Jim Marino

Years Driving
14
29
28
25
2
8
8
19

Career Starts
8,519
26,407
32,472
7,307
794
13,735
4,112
13,241

Career Wins
1,268
4,662
6,084
1,120
109
1,550
646
2,034

Earnings
$7.6 million
$21.9 million
$44.4 million
$1.9 million
$507,000
$19.9 million
$1.1 million
$12.2 million

The NDC races are carded as races 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. First race post time is 7:05 p.m.

The National Driving Championship will adapt the point system utilized in the World Driving Championship. Points will be awarded on the order of finish as follows:

Number of Starters: 8
15 (1st)
10 (2nd)
7 (3rd)
5 (4th)
4 (5th)
3 (6th)
2 (7th)
1 (8th)

In the event of a scratch where an also-eligible is not available, the driver will receive five points. To download a printable NDC scorecard, click the following link: 2016 NDC Scorecard

To view the completed fields, click here or view program pages here courtesy of TrackIT.

Trot Insider will provide live coverage of the NDC on standardbredcanada.ca.

AttachmentSize
NDC Scorecard.pdf327.13 KB

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