Speedway Cup Season 11
Races One through Four
Before Season 11 began, Tim McDonnell and Scott Jackson were listed at the two favorites to win the new title. Scott came off of a Championship and a 11-race top-5 streak that began at Michigan during the Season 9 chase. Tim McDonnell finished a mere 1 point behind Scott in Season 10, with a higher average finish than Scott in the final 6 races. Ken Pettit was third in the odds list, gaining the most points during the regular season before having to miss two of the final three events.
Week 1: February 6th, Daytona Race Results
Daytona started out with former Speedway Cup Champion Tony Pizzaro on the pole. This was Tony's first race run since his horrid last-place effort at Ontario during week 6 of last season. Ben Geer and Dave Miller would exchange the lead early on, but in the long run Tony and teammate Ken Pettit would lead the 1-2 charge lap after lap. Coming to the final lap, Ken Pettit and Champion Scott Jackson tagged, sending Ken, Tony, Dave Miller and most of the field spinning in the middle of the backstretch. Craig Lee drove through the grass to avoid the carnage, handing himself his second victory at this track in his last three tries.
Week 2: February 13th, Ontario Race Results
From Florida to sunny California, Tony Pizzaro would grab his second-straight pole to begin the season. Old-comers Bill Werkheiser and Michael Muncy would join in on the action, both looking for their first N4 victory in over three years. The first half of the race mostly showed Tony and Craig Lee leading the rest of the pack. Ken Pettit got tagged early on, but was able to endure a decent fourth place finish after a last lap crash. As Dave Miller and Tony Pizzaro were battling for the win, Craig Lee hit the apron and got loose sending him and Jimmie Stevens into the grass. Tony would end up winning the race on the inside line by a couple of feet, taking an early points lead.
Week 3: February 27th, TOC Race Results
Everyone took a week off to watch the NASCAR Daytona Duels. TOC was the next destination, with Dave Miller grabbing his first pole of the season with a 39.301. lap time. The race went caution free until Brodrick Wittmann spun on the backstretch directly in front of the lead pack. From then on, Dave Miller, Scott Jackson, Craig Lee & Tim McDonnell led about all of the remaining 29 laps. Tony Long and Craig Lee tagged each other on the frontstretch with less than 5 laps to go, triggering a 1-lap restart to the finish. Dave Miller got an sub-par jump on the white flag lap which gave second-place Cristian Torres his opportunity to make a move. Cristian got a nose under Dave coming into turn 1, but Dave held his ground by giving him nothing but apron on an almost disastrous move for the win. Dave crawled past Cristian on the high line coming off of turn 2 and cruised to victory as the rest of the pack fought mightily for third place. 3rd place finisher Tim McDonnell through 7th place finisher Jimmie Stevens were separated by only .17 of a second, racing too hard for Dave and Cristian to concern themselves. Dave takes a hard-fought points lead after the third event of the season comes to a close.
Week 4: March 6th, Michigan Race Results
Michigan Banked comes back to the Speedway Cup schedule after a two-season absence. Ken Pettit won the last race here in March of 2013, but he's in a new Duck Dynasty paint scheme that hasn't gotten him a top-3 finish in his last seven starts. Tim McDonnell grabs his first pole of the season after admittedly mentioning that Michigan Banked is one of his least favorite race tracks. Tim and Ken would battle it out early, exchanging the lead several times while eventually finishing 3rd and 5th respectively. Champion Scott Jackson led 27 laps, which is by far the most of anyone in this event. He also led 15 of the final 16, but the one he didn't lead was the most important. Tony Pizzaro and Ken Pettit would tag-team Scott on the outside after Scott's partner Tim hit the apron coming out of turn 2. Tony nosed out Scott by feet, winning his second race of the season on the outside lane on the final lap. Tony also re-takes the points lead.
Here are the Points Standings after the first four Season 11 events:
Tony Pizzaro - 169
Tim McDonnell - 167
Dave Miller - 162
Scott Jackson - 161
Ken Pettit - 157
Craig Lee - 156
Glenn Kaufmann - 149
Jimmie Stevens - 149