The action returns to the Ocean Speedway quarter-mile clay oval on Friday night after a week-long break for Memorial Day Weekend.
As usual, the Taco Bravo Sprint Car race will headline the evening preceded by the IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, Four Bangers and South Bay Dwarf Car main events.
Five races into the season, the race to a Taco Bravo Sprint Car championship is starting to take shape.
Jeremy Chisum is the only driver with a top-10 finish in all five races this season along with two top-five efforts.
However, Chisum is still looking for his first win of the year, while his closest challenger, Kurt Nelson, has a win to his credit. Chisum currently leads Nelson in the standings by 25 points.
James Ringo, who’s the only other driver with two top-five finishes, is just three points behind Nelson in a close battle for second place.
Koen Shaw, who was last season's runner-up, and Jason Chisum are both within 44 points of the leader.
Bud Kaeding has made three appearances and won a pair of races behind the wheel of his father's famed #69 sprint car, while fourth-generation racer Chase Johnson also has a win under his belt.
Three-time reigning champion Brad Furr and 2015 title-winner Justin Sanders are a pair of drivers that have won in recent seasons.
Sanders has a win to his credit and is ninth in the standings, but neither he or Furr are competing for points.
Given the way things are looking for this year’s class, now is a golden opportunity for some drivers to step up and claim their first-ever win.
The drivers to watch for this week include Jake Andreotti, Jayson Bright, Richard Fajardo, Kyler Shaw and Cole Macedo, who’s the reigning Civil War champion.
IMCA SPORT MODIFIEDS >> The IMCA Sport Modifieds has a close battle at the top of the standings between Austin Williams and one-time winner Adriane Frost.
Williams used his second top-five finish of the season the last time out to gain a three-point advantage over Frost, who’s also a two-time Four Banger champion.
Max Baggett, who’s a newcomer this season, is now third in the standings just four points ahead of Charlie Hunter and five in front of Jarrod Mounce, who got his first win in last week’s Bill Egleston Memorial race.
Some drivers to watch for this week include rookie Kelly Campanile, Randy Miller, Justin McPherson, Steven Allee and John Ferro.
Plus, fans might be in for a possible treat if state championship contenders Guy Ahlwardt or Keith Brown Jr happen to show up for a special appearance.
HOBBY STOCK >> Rob Gallaher is off to an impressive start and leads the Hobby Stock point battle. But the two-time champion knows it's too early to start picking the spot on the mantle for the championship trophy.
Gallaher has picked up a pair of wins and has top-five finishes in all four races this year. He currently has an 18-point lead over his father, Joe Gallaher.
Joe Gallaher is still looking for his first win of the year, while two-time winner JC Elrod is one of the only other drivers with a feature victory, so far.
Wally Kennedy, who’s a previous division champion, is just six points behind Joe Gallaher in a close race for second place.
Kennedy is looking for his first win of the season along with DJ Keldsen, Bobby Huckaby Sr, Tony Oliveira, Quentin Harris and Nick Triolo.
FOUR BANGERS >> Last season, the Four Banger division had the closest championship battle at the speedway. It's no surprise to see the trend continue again this year as the Beardsley family proceeds to battle for track supremacy.
Reigning champion Kate Beardsley and Nicole Beardsley are tied for first place in the standings, while 2017 champion Bill Beardsley sits in second just 24 points behind the leaders.
The Beardsley sister are the only drivers with all top-five finishes in their first five starts but are still searching for their first win of the season.
Bill Beardsley is 18 points ahead of one-time winner Ryan McClelland and 28 in front of two-time winner Dakota Keldsen, who continues to pilot the Lloyd Keldsen Special.
During the last race, McClelland had an apparent victory taken away from him after the post-race tech inspection.
John Grilli is a point behind Keldsen and accounts for the division’s other victory so far.
Some drivers to watch for this week include DJ Harrington, Chuck Kessinger, Tony Gullo and Luke Babcock.
SOUTH BAY DWARF CAR >> Gene "Punky" Pires might be the reigning South Bay Dwarf Car champion but the star of the early portion of the season is past champion Mark Biscardi.
Biscardi opened the season with a win just ahead of multi-time champion Terre Rottweiler and Pires. Biscardi has also won a race ahead of Ryan Amlen and Eric Weisler.
Other drivers to watch for include Barry Waddell, Eddy Claessen, Keith Costas and Dan Zuger.
UP NEXT >> The Taco Bravo Sprint Car championship race is intriguing as new drivers emerge in the battle. The chances of getting another first-time winner have never been better.
Plus, with the IMCA Sport Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, Four Bangers and Dwarf Cars in the mix, Ocean Speedway will be the place to be at this Friday night. For further information, go to www.racepmg.com.