NORTH-SOUTH FOCUS “SHOOTOUT” AT HICKORY SATURDAY
USAC Ford Focus drivers from the Midwest are set to invade Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway Saturday to challenge the best of USAC’s Carolina Ford Focus Series on the .363-mile paved oval. The event, the penultimate event of USAC’s 2009 Carolina series, also serves as a “special non-points event” for the Midwest chauffeurs, who have completed their 2009 campaign.
Saturday’s racing action at Hickory will also be streamed live via the internet on the USAC website at www.usacracing.com.
USAC Midwest and USAC/UMARA Ford Focus Champion Joe Liguori of Tampa, Fla. leads the contingent of drivers headed to Hickory eyeing the cash bonus posted for the top Midwest finisher. Additional tow money will also lure the Midwest cars to the Tarheel state.
Joining Liguori are Tyler Cottongim of Avon, Ind., third-place finisher in both the Midwest and UMARA standings, plus lady driver Shannon McIntosh of Miamisburg, Ohio, who competed in the recent USAC Pavement Ford Focus Nationals at Columbus, Ohio. Two cars are also coming from the Eric Rankine stable in Willard, Ohio. They were part of a three-car team which competed at Columbus. Additional teams are expected to finalize travel plans this week.
Steven Intravaia of Saylorsburg, Pa., who finished second to Kyle Hamilton in the September 19 Focus Nationals at Columbus after leading many laps, is among top Carolina Ford Focus prospects for victory. He ranks fourth in the current Carolina standings, behind point leaders Jeremy Frankoski, Scott Hunter and Eric Coomes.
The Hickory race is the fifth for the Carolina series at the historic oval in 2009. Frankoski has won twice, while Bradley Riethmeyer and Coomes have also scored victories there this year.
Hickory Motor Speedway has hosted 15 USAC events since 2004, when Michael Sboro scored the first of his two feature wins at the track. Chase Scott, who won the 2004, 2005 and 2006 USAC Carolina Championships, scored five feature wins at Hickory on his way to 21 career-wins.
Other Hickory feature winners in the USAC Ford Focuses have included Jon Seaman, Brandon Hartsell, Brit Andersen, Aron Oakley, Tanner Swanson and Michael Ward.