It’s the start of another racing season. From the January adventure to Arizona and the Wild West Shootout to the Georgia and Florida Speed Weeks, the racing has been fantastic. There is a direct correlation to starting early if you can and how that helps with season long success. For the full time pros that call the national traveling series their workplace, it’s vital to start fast and get good results.
It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure out that Team Rocket and Brandon Sheppard are blasting off fast. Brandon was good in Arizona with his family car and also in the Rocket House Car at Lucas events. He was great with the Outlaws at Volusia and has the early rate and ranking lead. The reemergence of Darrell Lanigan is nothing more than what I expected. It’s good to have him back and running up front in the familiar Back 29.
The same can be said about Shane Clanton and his very good Speed Weeks. If this is an early indicator, then Shane should be top performer. Now let’s dive into JD. There may be other contenders for the Lucas Crown but the way I see it, it’s his to lose. That “Fast 49” Team has all the talent and resources to win races and win championships.
Coming home and getting back in the family car will be nothing but great for Bobby Pierce. Arizona was only a small peak into what will be common in the Land of Lincoln and Midwest later this year. The 32 will be seeing many victory lanes.
Now I want to mention a few others really quick, that finish off the top 10. I like Terbo. The young driver is exciting to watch and has that little WWE flare in his interviews. He’s maturing before our eyes and might just be the next big star. Earl Pearson Jr. and the Black Diamond Team in one year have consistently improved and will challenge for wins. The “Most Improved” driver is Chase Junghans. Something different is going on in the 18 camp and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chase win a big race later this year. I think Josh Richards and Don O’ Neal in the Rocket cars could transform Clint Boyer’s Team into the winning column. Last but not least is Chris Madden. He’ll be back toward the top in the Capitol Race Car very soon.
Well folks this is only the start to a very long racing years. As I learned last year with the A-Team ranking, is there will be comers and goers in the monthly ranking. There will also be very strong regional racers that will compete for their spot amongst the best. See you next month.
The current event qualifier number for February was 6 features and will go up by two each month and top off at twenty in September. Currently 38 drivers have met this threshold. All results are tracked via DirtonDirt. Without them and their attention to detail because they’re the best, I couldn’t do this and have this much fun.
With 148 drivers currently being tracked since January 1st, here is the A-Team “Top 25” for February. It’s the early season “Best of the Best” from around the country.
What is the A-Team Dirt Late Model Ranking? The original A-Team was developed by Sam Holbrooks in 1996 and printed in “Behind the Wheel” and Late Model America.” The A-Team is a national ranking for Open Motor events that pay a minimum $2000 to win. Each driver who makes a feature event will earn a mathematical formula based rate built on performance, competition and durability. The final ranking is based on rate and logic rules that reward racing more. Nothing in the rate, rank or logic is subjective. It’s just all numbers, math and rules. The A-Team isn’t about who is best but who is having the best year. If you think that makes the driver “The Best” that’s ok with me.