Andrew Felker can ensure becoming the 2012 champion in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series by finishing 17th on Saturday.
However, the 19-year-old has his sights on a stronger run in the season-ending eighth annual Charlene Meents Memorial at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville.
"Little Belleville is my favorite track of all the POWRi tracks and I definitely like having Little Belleville as the last place to run for the championship," Felker said.
Proceeds from the Saturday race will go to the Belleville Fire Department to help build the 911 Memorial Walkway of Southern Illinois.
A 35-foot long, 7,100 pound, twisted, rusted steel beam that was once part of the World Trade Center in New York City will be a centerpiece to the Sept. 11 Memorial Walkway that will be constructed on front lawn of Firehouse No. 4 at 1125 S. Illinois St., in Belleville.
Felker leads Belleville driver Brett Anderson, 2,980-2,790. POWRi awards 200 points for feature wins, decreasing by 10 per position to awarding 10 for 20th place and below.
POWRi also requires a driver to drop its lowest two finishes. Felker has raced in all 28 features this season and must drop 20 points --22nd and 20th places -- effectively reducing his lead to 170 points.
Anderson didn't enter eight events this season, five because of illness, and doesn't have to eliminate any of his 20 feature results. He's the sole driver who can overtake Felker for the points lead and has clinched second place.
"I know we have a good chance to win the race, but it's going to be tough to win the championship unless Andrew (Felker) has a DNF," Anderson said. "We missed too many races this season and it would be different if we hadn't. It would definitely be great to win the race. It's the last race with my dad and it's my home track."
Keith Anderson, Brett's team owner and crew chief, will retire from racing to spend more time with their family. Brett Anderson has won the Meents twice, last season and in his POWRi Midget championship season of 2008.
Anderson has finished second and third and Felker has two fourths in the previous features this season at one-fifth mile Belle-Clair. Both drivers have two wins in 2012.
POWRi's Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series will also close out the 2012 season at Belle-Clair.
Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach is hosting the fourth annual Gold Crown Midget Nationals this week featuring midget cars racing for $3,000 to win Friday and $10,000 to win Saturday in a 26-car field.
Non-wing sprint cars are racing for $2,000 to win each night.
The big weekend kicked off Thurdsday night and continues Friday and Saturday, with the main event set for Saturday night. Drivers from all across the country are scheduled to compete in what should be one of the region's most prestigious events.
Gates open at 5 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $22 for adults on Friday and $28 on Saturday, pit passes are $35.
The Belle-Clair Speedway weekly stock car racing season came to an end last Friday with the retirement of Don Klein and the crowning of the track champions.
In the UMP Late Model division, Michael Kloos would hold off all the challenge for his fifth feature win and third track championship.
Kloos was followed to the checkered flag by Matt Taylor, Rusty Griffaw, Greg Kimmons and Jim Moon.
In the UMP Modified class, Mike Harrison got the win followed by Bobby Bittle, Paul Bauman, Tyler Ratajczyk and Venhaus. Aaron Kleine did not race, but still got the track championship.
In the UMP Sportsmen class, Mark Schaefer led all 15 laps to claim his third feature win of the year, while Jon Ripperda won the track championship.