WATCH LIVE: USA 100 at Virginia Motor Speedway
Currently, series rookie Cla Knight leads the ULTIMATE Super Late Model points standings by 14 points over Anthony Sanders and 17 points over Jeff Smith. The championship battle takes teams to Jamaica, Virginia, where Knight scored a top-10 finish during the King of the Commonwealth in May.
“I like Virginia. We’ve had some good success up there in the crate cars,” Knight told Speed51. “We went up there earlier in the year and were fast early in the night. We were a little off in the feature and actually came to the pits and made some adjustments. We’ve got a much better direction to go in come feature time.
“It had been a while since I had been there. When we went up there early in the year, it was like a first go at it. We got some good notes and know what we need to do different this time.”
Big-money races such as the USA 100 get circled on the calendar by competitors like Knight. He will be hoping to maintain his ULTIMATE points lead and pocket some extra money in the process.
“It’s big any time we can get into there and have a solid finish. Whether it’s winning the 20 [grand] or running second or third, it’s real good money to help you go forward for the rest of the year.”
Of course, that also comes with the challenge for Knight and his fellow title contenders of finding balance. How hard can you challenge for the win without jeopardizing title hopes?
“We leave the house every week with the goal of winning the race. If you win races, the points take care of themselves. During the night, you have to evaluate where you’re at and where your competitors are at. Then, you decide how aggressive you can be. You have to pick your battles during the night and make sure you can finish.”
Knight may be the “young gun” in the title battle with Sanders and Smith, especially considering he is also racing for Rookie of the Year honors in the ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series. However, Knight has plenty of his own racing experience under his belt, which he is using to his own advantage this season.
“Honestly, it’s just the same as any old thing. Those guys have raced a long time. I’m a rookie on running the ULTIMATE deal, but I’ve been racing cars for more than 10 years. I’ve got some experience. I may not have as much Super experience as those guys or some of the experience at some of these tracks. I’ve had my ups and downs, but we’ve had some good luck and put ourselves in good positions.”
Race fans unable to make the trip to Virginia Motor Speedway this weekend will be able to watch all of the action live on Speed51.TV. Click here to find out more about Saturday’s broadcast of the USA 100.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo / Brandon Zumbach