Farmers Night at Shady Bowl

From staff and wire reports

DeGRAFF – Shady Bowl Speedway will hold its annual “Farmers Night” this Saturday.

The race is always a fun night out and continues a tradition that started back in the 1980s. The late models, modifieds, street stocks, pure stocks, tuners, compacts and spectator drag divisions are set to compete. The racing action will start at 7 p.m.

The point standings that will determine the 2016 champions are rapidly coming to a close. When the racing ends Saturday only four more points races will remain.

Urbana’s Mike Ward sits atop the late model standings with a 13-point lead over Jesse Gade. The modified ranks show Mike Carroll of Kettering with a seven-point lead over Brad Yelton.

DeGraff’s Buck Purtee is leading street stock points with a 25-point advantage over Rodney Roush. Jason Purtee holds a big lead (58 points) over Rob Bryant. Larry Adams of East Liberty has dominated the compact class as he has posted five feature wins. Josh Foltz is second, 35 points behind Adams.

In tuner points, New Carlisle driver Matt Jackson is the current leader as he has posted four feature wins. Terry Eaton Jr. is second, 32 points behind.

Earnhardt Jr. on the bubble

Dale Earnhardt Jr. candidly declared two weeks ago that he has too good of a race team to be worried about making NASCAR’s playoffs.

Since then, he has produced underwhelming finishes at Daytona and Kentucky and slipped to 13th in the Sprint Cup standings. Earnhardt hasn’t scored a top-10 finish in a month and, yes, he is indeed in danger of missing the championship Chase.

With eight races remaining to complete the 16-driver field, Earnhardt ranks third among drivers who have yet to secure a win this season but are ranked high enough to make the Chase. It’s not a safe position by any means: Earnhardt has slipped from seventh in the standings since May and has led only four laps since mid-March.

He’s not the only driver in a precarious position. Because 11 drivers have so far won races this season, any first-time winners in the next two months will claim the remaining five Chase berths. Among those looking for automatic berths in the Chase are two of Earnhardt’s Hendrick Motorsports teammates — Chase Elliott and Kasey Kahne — as well as 2015 qualifier Jamie McMurray.

Ryan Newman, who has made the Chase the last two years without a win, is on the bubble. Austin Dillon, rookie Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson are all eyeing wildcard spots but they could solidify a berth with their first career Cup wins.

From staff and wire reports