Day At The Track

Ten finalists advance to Championship

02:48 PM 08 Jan 2019 NZDT
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Jeremy Smith Jeremy Smith Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
Conrad Photo
Jeremy Smith scored a driving double on Day Two of the North America Drivers Champiionship and advanced to the $25,000 final round on Tuesday
Conrad Photo
Jeremy Smith
Conrad Photo

LEBANON, OH. - The stage is set for the Championship Round of Miami Valley's 3rd annual $25,000 North America Drivers Championship on Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 8). In one of the closest races in the contest's short history, the field of harness racing driver finalists was whittled from thirty to ten after two preliminary rounds to engage in an eight-race head-to-head battle for the trophy, the title and the $10,000 first prize. The 'race' to make the Championship Round was so close, in fact, that five drivers tied for the final spot and had to draw randomly to determine which one got to advance.

Although he didn't win a race on Day Two, Brett Miller managed three runnerup finishes from his four drives and emerged as the point leader of the preliminary rounds. His 144 point total topped Jeremy Smith (136), Randy Tharps (122), Joe Bonjiorno (115), Dan Noble (114), Drew Monti (113), Aaron Merriman (106), Dexter Dunn (98), Anthony Napolitano (91) and Travis Henry (86)-the lucky winner of the draw to advance.

Others in the tie at 86 points were Simon Allard, Pat Berry, Shawn Gray and Chris Page.

Conditions call for a clean scoring slate for Championship Round with all ten drivers starting again from scratch. Points are awarded 30-20-14-11-9-7-5-3-1 for first through ninth place finishes.

A total of ten drivers scored triumphs during the twelve NADC races on Monday. Simon Allard and Jeremy Smith scored the only doubles. Winners, in order, were Fudge (Noble), Ideal Magic (Allard), Townlinedaliscard (J. Bradley Harris), Friskie Teddy (Smith),Fleet Bumblebee (Allard), Three Card (Merriman), IYQ YQR (Monti), Cast No Shadow (Henry), Velocity Mattis (Bonjiorno), Llama Llama (Dunn), Howabout Hanover (Smith) and Scwartz Bros Beaty (Napolitano).

Immediately following the Round Two races, drivers were drawn randomly into fields of horses that were previously drawn. In front of a full room of anxious finalists invited to witness the draw, the results were revealed.

Those who draw morning line favorites in the eight-race competition, in order, were Jeremy Smith (Gold Coast Muscle), Anthony Napolitano (Carries Desire), Randy Tharps (Rock Is Sweet), Dan Noble (Mgsperkg Bluegrass), Tharps (One Sweet Woman), Noble (Gone Girl), Napolitano (Bettor Win) and Noble (Rockin Hot Lady).

Post time for Tuesday's North America Drivers Championship program is 2:05 p.m.

Gregg Keidel

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