Championship Drive: Melissa Weaveradmin
Entering 2019, Melissa Weaver, perennial title contender and most popular driver, was used to running all alone out front. But 2019 saw Weaver contend with her stiffest competition yet in fellow female racer Daytona Wurtz.
The Wurtz-Weaver battle began lap one, night one, with Wurtz beating Weaver to the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe by less than half a second. Weaver came roaring back, scoring the night two victory and setting in motion a year-long battle for the title.
With the point battle so tight, both Weaver and Wurtz had the division’s three double-feature nights circled. True to form, Weaver and Wurtz split these six main events, each tallying one victory each night. Though Weaver and Wurtz split the six main event victories, it was Weaver who scored highest in her non-winning runs, outscoring Wurtz 405-329.
The reason for such a vast disparity came from mechanical gremlins that dogged Wurtz through the second half of the season. Most frustratingly was during August 24’s Hot August Race 4 Hunger Night, where Weaver was forced to a backup car–her son Taylor’s Teleperformance Street Stock–after a crash in practice. Wurtz was out front with a handful of laps to go when a red flag stopped the field on the back stretch. When the cars fired back up Wurtz’s machine would not, and she would fall to a back-of-the-pack finish.
Wurtz would come back to score a victory in the division’s next event, but it was too little, too late as Weaver piloted her Marv’s Tire Service, Dillon Performance Engines, Graphics by Rhonda Kellerer machine to another class championship by a final tally of 932-781.