Sonoma, CA – As the teams in the Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) go into the final race of the season, many are realizing that the fight is still far from over. 2012 has proven to be one of the most competitive seasons of USTCC competition and the top 7 drivers have a shot at winning the title going into the last race of the season. In 2012, there have been six winners in seven races which is why the championship points battle is so tight.
Realistically, the battle is between the top four drivers. At the moment, the points leader is Felipe Cabezas, followed by Robert Thorne, Pete Bovenberg/Brandon Kraus and Chris Lock who is also leading the iGrille Top Rookie points. The rules allow for each driver to drop their worst finish of the year and this is where it gets interesting. Cabezas has had a terrific year with no big issues during the whole year but once you factor in the drops, Cabezas drops from first to third. Thorne has also had a great year with one win, at the first race of the season. At that point it looked like Thorne was going to win every race but that has not happened but after the drops, Thorne will be the points leader going into the last race. Lock is the biggest benefactor of the drops jumping from fourth place to a solid second place in the points. After the drops, Lock is only ten points away from Thorne. "The team is going into this weekend extremely focused, knowing we have an outside chance to win the championship. This is one of the best aspects of USTCC, that a small budget team like ours can have a fighting chance against a world-class team like K-PAX. It is a real testament to the work that the officials have put in to balance the performance of all these different cars, and it has paid off in the closest season I have seen. I am excited for the weekend. Racing for "all the marbles" is what we live to do,” said Lock.
What this means is that Lock can control his own destiny. Win the last race and you win the championship. If Thorne wins the race, he will win the championship. It is that easy for both drivers. Cabezas and Bovenberg/Kraus are also in the hunt but they would need help to win the title. They would need Lock and Thorne to not finish the race or finish well down to have a chance.
As everyone knows, crazy stuff can happen in motorsports. We will just have to wait for the outcome of the race on Sunday November 11 so see what happens. Be sure to follow the action on www.ustcc.com and on the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ustcc