At the beginning of 2012, Nick Roth made the decision to make the switch to Sunset Speedway from Flamboro Speedway. The result was everybody knowing that he'd be a competitor that they'd have to deal with, though probably not in this fashion.
Roth opened up the season by finishing in the top 10 in the feature each night throughout the montj of May, looking like on some nights that he'd find his way to victory lane. However, that first elusive Sunset Speedway feature checkered flag had to wait till the month of June.
In the only feature that counted for points in the month of June, Roth would find feature victory lane after making the pass on Paul Maltese with 10 laps to go. Now that he's got one win under his belt and the car is set-up like a rocket, everybody already has him pinned for more wins down the road this season as he looks to catch Herb Walters in the points. After Roth's first feature win and Walters' three feature wins in May, Roth now trails Walters by 21 points.
Speaking of that feature, Maltese came home with a second place finish. Ever since coming out with a new car for the 2012 season, Maltese has been looking for the right set-up to make it as quick as his competitors. Could the second place finish lead to a win in July for the No. 28? Anything is possible.
With how the schedule was set-up, there was to be three nights that would've counted for points. However, that turned into only one counting - June 23rd. June 2nd would be called before the drivers even got to the track while on June 8th, they'd get their first round of heats in before the rain would come.
In trying to find an idea of who is strong heading into July, I took the three heats that they ran (including the one that doesn't count for points) and averaged it out to see who stands above the rest.
Roth tops the list with an average finish of 1.25 with Walters close behind with a 1.75. Rusnell has the third best average at second, though sits 98 points back of Walters in points after his early season struggles. Lane Zardo and Matt Bentley sit tied with the fourth best average finish at third. Both drivers have a good shot at catching Walters and Roth as they sit third and fourth in points.
Bad Luck Kid
It is no secret that 12-year-old Cayden Lapcevich is fast as he proved that last month with multiple top 10 feature finishes. However, it was bad luck and an accident on the backstretch that took him out of the running for the win on June 23rd. It seems Lapcevich has been a magnet for bad luck as it marks the third night of bad luck following mechanical problems on the first night and being spun while leading with a couple laps to go. Is July the month that the kid cracks victory lane?
Randy Rusnell Goes Ka-Boom
Randy Rusnell could've won the feature on June 23rd as he had a strong car and was in contention behind Maltese. However, an engine failure on lap eight would end Rusnell's night early. Rusnell had engine problems last year, too, though also closed out the year strong with five straight feature victories.
It seems each year, Dan Archibald seems to make someone mad. This year's candigate for the award is......Steve Cashmore. At the end of their second heat together on June 23rd, contact would wreck both cars at the completion of the feature and result in an on-track argument. Both drives were thrown out for the night. With July being the first time they'll see each other on track since then, will it continue??
KUDOS to Mike Weeda, Steve Cashmore, Stan Coe and Donny Brandon on scoring at least one top five in their heats in June. As the season goes, each driver seems to be picking up a bit of speed, ready to challenge the front competitors.
Beyond that, more KUDOS to Stan Coe and Mike Weeda on their top 10 finishes in the feature.
KUDOS to Ryan Semple on his 10th place feature run on June 23rd. After being a back of the pack runner last year, he could be ready to solidify himself as a top 10 competitor.
KUDOS to Rob Morrison on his top five heat finish on June 8th, even if it doesn't count for points. However, hope he can return after suffering motor problems on June 23rd.