WHEELERSBURG, OH-2012 was a historic season for the GCP Engines Sport Mods.  Following an introductory season in 2011 that saw two races for the class, 2012 was the first full season in the southern Ohio region for the Sport Mod division.  The class lived up to all the hype in 2012 with solid car counts and great racing action.  Let’s take a look at the season it was for the GCP Engines Sport Mod division at SOS by looking at the top points finishers and three best races from the year.

Top Points Finishers

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#5. Kenny Parsons
Despite getting a late start to the season, West Virginia driver Kenny Parsons rallied to get a fifth place points finish in the 2012 GCP Engines Sport Mod championship race.  Parsons was able to charge to a top five points finish by putting up some impressive stats.  In five starts, Parsons finished in the top five every single race.  Four of those five top fives were second or third place finishes.  Impressive numbers for a driver who had never raced at SOS prior to this past June.  With a rookie season that turned a lot of heads, Parsons will be a favorite to visit victory lane in 2013 and also one of the main contenders for the 2013 GCP Engines Sport Mod championship.

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#4. Tim Scarberry
Just like Parsons, Tim Scarberry was another driver who got a late start to the season but rallied to score a fourth place points finish.  Scarberry was impressive from his first race as he contended for wins many times in 2012 and led laps in three feature events.  Perhaps Scarberry’s best performance of the season was on August 10th when he led 13 of 15 laps in the feature to finish fourth.  The Jackson, Ohio driver finished the season with four top fives and six top tens in six starts.  Scarberry is another driver who will be a favorite to visit victory lane in 2013 and a driver that will be a main contender for the 2013 championship.

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#3. Kenny Neal
Willow Wood, Ohio’s Kenny Neal was one of the first drivers to make the switch from the Bomber division to the GCP Engines Sport Mod division.  Neal made the switch a successful one as he was one of the most consistent drivers in the class last season.  In nine starts Neal scored six top fives and nine top tens.  Neal’s best finish of the season was a third place finish on August 10th.  Neal was able to turn his consistency into an impressive third place points finish in the battle for the 2012 GCP Engines Sport Mod championship.

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#2. Colten Wright
South Shore, Kentucky driver Colten Wright made history in 2012.  At only 13 years of age, Wright became the youngest driver to score a top five points finish at SOS in the new-era and quite possibly the youngest driver to accomplish that feat in the 45 year history of the speedway.  Wright, the grandson of former SOS promoter and racer Clyde Potter, had an impressive rookie season as he scored seven top fives and ten top tens in ten starts.  For a driver who is so young, Wright was smooth and consistent, allowing him to never finish outside the top ten all season and propel himself to a second place points finish.  Wright’s best finish of the season was a third place finish on April 20th.

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Track Champion: Eric Dennison
Eric Dennison was another driver who made the switch over from the Bomber division to the GCP Engines Sport Mod division in 2012.  The switch proved to be a successful one for Dennison as the Willow Wood, Ohio driver put together a championship winning season.  Dennison won the track championship impressively, winning five feature events and scoring seven top fives and ten top tens in ten starts.  Dennison was clearly the driver to beat all season long as he proved that by winning half of the GCP Engines Sport Mod events held in 2012.  The season that Dennison had in 2012 will long be talked about as he will enter the upcoming season as a favorite to repeat and win the 2013 GCP Engines Sport Mod championship.

Top Three Races of 2012

#3. May 11th Feature
Rookie racer Wes Harmon took the lead to start the May 11th feature while an incredible battle for second occured between Eric Dennison and former PRP Limited Late Model track champion Tim Robinson.  Making the battle all the more interesting was the fact that everytime Robinson got on the brakes in his #83 machine, the car wanted to dart straight up the track.  Robinson was somehow able to control the car though and continue battling Dennison.  Near the halfway mark of the race, Dennison and Robinson were able to catch up to Harmon to make it a three car battle for the lead!  Dennison was able to make the pass to take the lead while Harmon and Robinson battled for second.  Dennison was able to go on and take the feature win with Robinson finishing second and Harmon third.  This was one of those races that was entertaining from start to finish.

#2. Season Championships, September 14th
The wildest GCP Engines Sport Mod race of 2013 was no doubt the Season Championships on September 14th.  Before the feature event even started things got wild as Darrel Bowe flipped his car wildly down the fronstretch in his heat race.  The feature started with a good battle for the lead between race leader George Caldwell and Eric Dennison.  The two battled for the lead all race long until things got crazy on lap 10.  In turns three and four, Caldwell got sideways and spun right as Dennison was underneath of him.  Dennison was collected in Caldwells spin with the contact sending Dennison head on into the turn four concrete wall.  Both Caldwell and Dennison retired from the race with damage while 17 year old Tony Whitt Jr. inherited the lead.  Whitt was about to hold off Kenny Parsons to score his first career feature win.

#1. Fall Family Fun Night, September 29th
Sometimes you just have to save the best for the last, as was the case in 2012. The best race of the 2012 season for the GCP Engines Sport Mod division came during the final race of the season on Saturday, September 29th.  Danny Hamilton and Tony Whitt Jr. had an absolutely incredible side by side battle for the lead during the entire race.  The two stayed battling side by side right down to the very end as coming to the checkered flag Whitt was able to hold off Hamilton in a side by side finish at the checkered flag to win by a few feet!  The win was Whitt’s second in a row as the 17 year old driver proves to be a strong contender for the 2013 GCP Engines Sport Mod championship.

2012 was truly a great season for the GCP Engines Sport Mod division.  It sets the stage for what should be a huge 2013 season for the class.  The track has been fielding calls nearly every week this offseason from new people interested in the class.  With full fields expected almost weekly and great competition continuing, the action should be hot and heay in the class this year.  Once again, SOS officials will be focusing heavily on tech to keep the class as affordable and competitive as possible.