The fourth annual Driver’s Championship at Tioga Downs is rounding into shape as the stakes season rolls on. The top seven money-winning drivers in North America, along with the top money winning driver at Tioga Downs, and one sponsors exemption will battle out in Nichols, New York on Sunday, Aug. 1, for more than $43,000 in prize money.
The winner of the event will take home $25,000, second place $5,000, third place $4,000, and places four through nine will each receive $1,500. As in years past, the Drivers’ Championship has always been a theme, and this year is themed around super heroes.
The top seven money-winning drivers as of the morning of Sunday, July 26, will be given and invitation to participate.
If the field were set today the following drivers would be competing in the 2010 Driver’s Championship:
Tim Tetrick: ($5,099,662): “The Bionic Man” has been on a roll and heading into stakes season has mounts such as Put On A Show and One More Laugh. With more than $5 million in earnings Tetrick leads the way more than halfway through June.
George Brennan: ($4,585,168) :“The Minister of Speed” has been on fire at the Meadowlands in 2010, and with stakes season rolling in to form Brennan steers the best Free For All Pacer in the business with Shark Gesture.
Jason Bartlett: ($3,893,564). 2009 Defending Drivers’ Champion, Jason Bartlett is the leading driver at Yonkers Raceway and is in perfect positioning to defend his crown. The fourth annual Drivers’ Championship will also feature a Jason Bartlett bobblehead giveaway in honor of his 2009 victory.
Ron Pierce: ($3,791,981). Ron Pierce has participated in all three of the Drivers’ Championships, and was a win away from capturing it in 2009 until he was beaten in the 5/8ths mile Dash For the Cash.
Brian Sears: ($3,744,475). Sears was co-champion with Yannick Gingras in 2007 in the inaugural Drivers’ Championship, and has competed in all three at Tioga Downs.
Dave Palone: ($3,488,459): Palone has been the leading driver at The Meadows in Southwestern Pa. for more than 20 years and will be the newest inductee into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York in July.
Yannick Gingras: ($3,334,722): Gingras was co-champion with Brian Sears in 2007, and took home the outright title in 2008. Gingras has steered top free for all pacer Foiled Again to victory on many occasions in 2010 and will continue to be a threat in the top events.
Bruce Ranger: Tioga Downs' leading money-winning driver thus far in 2010. Ranger currently leads Corey Braden by $17,000. This is the first year that Ranger has made his summer stop at Tioga Downs.
There is plenty of racing left to be done and plenty of money to be won, stay tuned to see which nine drivers compete for more than $43,000 in prize money on Sunday, Aug. 1, at Tioga Downs.
Tioga Downs would like to thank our sponsors who make this event possible: Accumark Digital, Allerage Farms, All Events Engraving, Big Dee’s Tack and Vet Supplies, Binghamton Senators, Bow River Jewelry, CGL, Clear Channel Community Press Paper, Delaware County Fair, The Horseman and Fair World, Hub International, Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, LP Ciminelli, L.V. Harkness & Company, Maine Source, Oakdale Mall, Roberts Communication Network, STHHA, Stueben Farm, Tele-photo Technologies, Tioga Downs, and Winbak Farm. (Tioga Downs)