It all comes down to this week’s Les Entreprises MP Roy 200 at New Smyrna Speedway. Before the 200 laps the competitors have competed for 1,902 laps so far this season. This will be the second time the Les Entreprises MP Roy Inc Pro Late Model Series visits the New Smyrna Speedway. Earlier this season Justin Fuller qualified on the NHR Pole and led every lap in a convincing victory.
On the media tour today we caught up with the top three in points as they answered questions for the media on hand. The first driver to answer questions was the championship leader, Nicklas Rasmussen, who has a slim four point lead over AJ Hamel, was asked about his nerves and thoughts about going into the championship race as the points leader. “The nerves are fine. I know that i have a job to do when the light goes green at New Smyrna, and there is a lot at stake. However i will just try to tackle it as a normal race!” Rasmussen stated as he chuckled and looked at AJ Hamel who responded with “I’m excited. Ready for Thursday. Let’s get this thing under green”. The only driver to be in this pressure situation is the three time champion Justin Fuller who said “I am feeling good, I’ve had speed all season. And New Smyrna is one of my better tracks. Won there earlier this season. Nick is a fierce competitor and will be tough to beat. We had some solid runs and decent luck in the chase up until 2 laps to go last week. I can only focus on my race and hope the cards fall in my favor.” The drivers are ready and know what they need to to get the job done. As far as the competition goes it really is anyone’s game and we could see a spoiler winner. AJ Hamel who feels more confident in the second visit to the track had this to say about the competition “The field is going to be very tight early and passing will be difficult. The same guy who runs 8th might just as easily run 2nd given the opportunity. As for Nick, well, I’ve only ever gained 4 points on him once in a race where he wasn’t torn up. All I can do is show up and do what I do and see where it all shakes out. Don’t forget should Nick run into trouble there’s a big bad number 51 lurking not far behind me and he can absolutely make up those points.” As far as the championship leader Rasmussen he believes you have to be ready for the unexpected to happen and react in the right way. Fuller, while smirking at his 2 competitors at the table, was asked about how he was preparing for this weeks season finale, “Going into this week I’m going to keep with the same strategy I have been all season. Lead as many laps as possible. Get the pole and win. Come away with max points, and just hope the #51 Atomic Sign Works Toyota comes out on top.”
One championship has already been settled. The Nein Shiza Autosport Rookie of the Year award goes to Jason Stehney. Being the only rookie to make the chase and has had a phenomenal season and clinched the honor last week at 5 Flags Speedway. Nein Shiza Autosport representative Travis Wallace said the following “Nein Shiza Autosport would like to thank all of the new drivers this season in the race for the NSA Rookie of the Year award. Everyone put on a great show throughout the season and raced hard and clean. On behalf of Nein Shiza Autosport I would like to officially announce the prize for this year’s winner. With one race left in the season, we think the suspense has built long enough. This season’s rookie of the Year will receive 50 iRacing credits. This season has been a great first time sponsorship opportunity for us and we hope we can continue to be a part of this series for seasons to come.” and will present the award at the banquet April 22nd!
This weeks race is the longest in distance on the schedule being 200 laps. Race officials have added the maximum number of gallons of gas to the set and will have one set of tires in the pits for the competitors to use during the race. Who will be raising the hardware Thursday night? Only one way to find out! Watch the Les Entreprises MP Roy 200 right here Thursday night live at 9:30pm eastern.