Coming in to the final two points events of the season, Michael Hale (No. 01) finds himself staring down the barrel of what very well could be his second championship in three years.

Back in 2009, the Hunter Machine Racing Team hoisted the Maverik Modified championship trophy high at Rocky Mountain Raceways. And it appears on paper they could very well end up equaling that feat.

Now, before we get ahead of ourselves, Hale leads Tyler Whetstone (No. 00) by just 31 points heading into the final points races of the 2011 season, which will take place on 09/05/11 and 09/10/11 on the American First Credit Union Super Oval.

(Note: The Torch 100 on 09/17/11 is a non-points race)

That point advantage is not comfortable and anything could still happen between now and when the champion is crowned on 09/10/11.

To give you an idea let us take a step back in time to 08/13/11. The 01 team had a 29-point lead coming into the night’s activities. However, that all went awry, as on just the third lap of the fifty-lap affair, Hale suffered a catastrophic engine failure.

That allowed Whetstone to close the gap. In fact at one point in the main event, the 00 was up to fourth before being passed by Lynn Hardy (No. 4), putting the former Super Stock driver back to fifth.

The problem was that would not last, as Whetstone had to take the car to the attention of his team.

While Whetstone returned to the race track, he ended up finishing a very disappointing eleventh.

As a result, Hale lost just nine points to Whetstone on that particular evening.

Now we fast forward to the present with Hale and company realizing this is their championship to lose.

Can the 01 team hold on? If history repeats itself, certainly. But, this is racing. And anything is possible.

Russ Sala Jr.

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