The top 10 drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will take center stage on Saturday as they compete in a five-race challenge for their share of a $5,000 prize in the inaugural 2014 Champion Driver Series. The first of its kind, the 2014 Champion Driver Series will pit the top 10 drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against one another in a five-race challenge not once, but twice, throughout the season with the champion driver driving away in a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
The 10 coveted spots in the first round of the series were based upon wins at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Qualifying for the 2014 Champion Driver Series began on Friday, March 28, and ended at the conclusion of the live racing card on Saturday, July 12.
Atop Hoosier Park's leader board is driver Trace Tetrick who secured his number one position with 147 victories. Tetrick will lead the stellar cast of drivers that includes Sam Widger, Ricky Macomber Jr., Brad Hanners, Andy Shetler, LeWayne Miller, Ross Leonard, Ed Hensley, Trent Stohler and Mike Peterson.
In each of the five races of the challenge, the drivers selected the horses they wanted to drive via a draft system in front of a packed house at a community luncheon held at Hoosier Park on Thursday, July 17. In the first race of the challenge, Tetrick had the first pick and selected Fox Valley Barbosa as his mount from post six at odds of 7-2. Next, the second ranked driver, Sam Widger, opted to drive Indelible from post three at odds of 20-1 and the selection process continued through all 10 drivers.
For the second race of the challenge, the selection order was inverted and the No. 10 driver, Mike Peterson chose first. Peterson chose Paso's Star off the rail for trainer Karlee Roach at odds of 3-1 as his top choice. The drafting system continued in this order through all five races of the challenge.
Racing fans will have an opportunity to get in on the action and participate in a special $10,000 guaranteed pick-5 pool for the five consecutive races of the challenge. The Pick-5, which offers a 50-cent minimum wager, will begin in the sixth race and will continue through the tenth race. Approximate post time for the first leg of the wager, the sixth race, is 6:55 p.m. (EDT).
Points will be awarded in each of the five races ranging from 15 points for the winners down to 1 point for the 10th-place finisher. After the dust settles and the points have been tallied from each of the five races, one driver will be walking away with his share of $5,000 and a secured spot in the second round of the series.
The top eight finishers from the first challenge will return for round two on Saturday, September 27 with the final two positions being determined by the official Hoosier Park standings at the conclusion of racing on Saturday, Sept. 20.While the second challenge will be conducted in the same manner as the first challenge, the winner of the final challenge will be awarded a one-year lease of a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
The evening will also be complimented by the $22,000 Invitational pace and $22,000 Invitational trot. Hoosier Park's ‘Family Fun Days' return this Saturday and will continue each weekend throughout the entirety of the Standardbred meet. Activities will include a bounce house, face painting, jugglers, live entertainment, games and winner's circle giveaways. (Hoosier Park)