MANSFIELD, Ohio (Aug. 29) — After claiming his first Northern Division title since joining the USAR Hooter’s Pro Cup Series, two-time ASA world champion Gary St. Amant has a clear strategy in place for the upcoming five-race championship series. “I’m not going to change a thing,” St. Amant said.

After finishing the regular season with a win, four third-place finishes, one fifth-place result, and a 10th- and 12th-place ending in eight starts, St. Amant was able to successfully hold off hard-charging former champion Benny Gordon to win the Northern Division.

“I think the thing I’m most proud of is the fact we were the only car to complete every lap of every race in the regular season,” St. Amant said. “That’s a real credit to this crew for giving me a great car each week. We barely got a scratch on our Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

“The big difference has been our qualifying efforts. A year ago, I’d bet our average starting spot was 15th-20th place. This year we’ve been in the top 10 or the top five every week. It’s allowed us to avoid a lot of the pile-ups that have slowed down some of our opponents. My dad (Bud St. Amant) has really been making some horsepower and it’s helped us tremendously.”

St. Amant enters this weekend’s Sears Auto Center 250 at Mansfield Motorsports Park tied with Southern Division champion and good friend Mike Ritch. Because they won their respective divisions, the two men are tied for first place in the new championship rankings with a 20-point advantage on the rest of the field

“Hopefully, we’ll continue to qualify well, avoid the big wrecks, and hang around long enough to make a run at the win when the race gets down to the final 20-30 laps,” said the 44 -year-old St. Amant from his Delaware, Ohio, home. “We need to win one or two of these final five races to win the championship and Mansfield would be a great place to get started. We’ve always been fast there and it’s in Ohio, my home state.”

The Sears Auto Center 250 will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. with professional qualifying scheduled for 4:30 p.m. There is an autograph session at 5:45 p.m. with pre race ceremonies beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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