Ohio battle: Dayton vs. Northfield drivers
November 09, 2019
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Ten of Ohio's best reinsmen will compete head-to-head on Friday night, Dec.13, in a team contest to determine- -for one night at least- -whether Northfield Park or Hollywood Dayton Raceway has the strongest drivers colony.
The real winner, however, will be the Dayton Disaster Relief Fund, which was created by the Dayton Foundation to aid in rebuilding infrastructure and families following two horrific local events earlier this year--a devastating tornado on Memorial Day and the Oregon District mass shootings in early August.
Hollywood Dayton Raceway, in conjunction with the Ohio Harness Horsemens Association, is pleased to earmark $3000 in prize money for the "Battle of the Buckeyes," and the members of both the north and south squads have agreed to donate the entire prize money pool to the Disaster Relief Fund. The winning team will donate $2500 and the losers, although there are no losers in an event like this, will chip in their $500 in proceeds.
Team Northfield will be captained by their dash leader, Aaron Merriman, who is also the reigning National Dash Champion. Each team will be comprised of the top five in the track's dash standings. If the contest were today, Northfield would be represented by Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Kurt Sugg, Chris Lems and Ryan Stahl in addition to Merriman.
Team Hollywood Dayton will be headed by Brett Miller, who currently holds a 20 race advantage in the host track's standings. Barring a huge rally by another driver in the next month, the local squad would also include Tyler Smith, Jeremy Smith, Dan Noble and Kayne Kauffman.
The Buckeye Battle will feature eight races on the December 13 program, with each team getting an equal amount of even and odd numbered post positions and each individual driver getting approximately even post positions over the course of the contest. Once the driver's post positions have been pre-decided, the horses will be drawn randomly into the races to determine their pilots.
Points will be awarded 30-20-15-13-11-9-7-5-3-1 for first through tenth place finishes in each race. At the conclusion of the competition, either Team Northfield Park or Team Hollywood Dayton will be deemed the Buckeye's Best for 2019, with the outlook good for this becoming an annual event. (Hollywood Dayton)