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Mike Ruefer’s A-Team “Top 25” Dirt Late Model Ranking

Brandon Sheppard – Jim DenHamer photo

March 2019

Since winter didn’t really want to quit in the Midwest, there was still enough of a warm up in the south to make March an interesting month to follow. There are a few comers and goers in the ranking and a few new additions. Something very important for all new readers of the A-Team is that it is a total race result ranking. Ranking is based on an earned average rate with factors and rules applied to the achieved final rank. A driver might have won recently but if they had previous poor results, they still might not have earned a high rank based on their overall rate average. It’s not what you did last week but what you’ve averaged all year.

So let’s get into the results.

Brandon Sheppard continues to set a very fast pace and has a commanding rate lead. He lost a bit with his 14th place finish at the Thaw Brawl but he kind of has money to burn right now.

Jonathan Davenport had a good month with a win and very consistent high finishes. Late last year it was nip and tuck and almost a photo finish between JD and Shepp. It’s shaping up already this year to be the same between these two outstanding drivers, crews and owners.

Tyler Erb keeps getting better and is fun to watch. The LaSalle Speedway Victory Lane was a little Wrestle Mania and added a low rate to his score. I can hear it now, “Can you smell what the Terbo is cooking?”

Let’s not forget the Georgia Bulldog. Shane Clanton is back folks! He is running up front and is contending. Overall he’s averaging very well. I’m expecting him to win a few races this year.

The top 5 driver who jumps into the ranking with a bang is Dale McDowell. If last year is an indicator, once Dale gets going, he keeps going with excellent high level consistency in his region and at the big shows.

Well folks this continues to only be 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. April is a big month of racing.

The current event qualifier number for March was 8 features and will go up by two each month and top off at twenty in September. Currently 39 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 379 drivers currently being tracked since January 1st, here is the A-Team “Top 25” for March. It’s the early season “Best of the Best” from around the country.

1 Brandon Sheppard
2 Jonathan Davenport
3 Tyler Erb
4 Shane Clanton
5 Dale McDowell
6 Earl Pearson Jr.
7 Darrell Lanigan
8 Chase Junghans
9 Kyle Beard
10 Billy Moyer
11 Ricky Weiss
12 Josh Richards
13 Scott Bloomquist
14 Michael Page
15 Bobby Pierce
16 Chris Madden
17 Devin Moran
18 Austin Hubbard
19 Brandon Overton
20 Hudson O’Neal
21 Don O’Neal
22 Cade Dillard
23 Dennis Erb Jr.
24 Brian Shirley
25 Tim McCreadie
26 Tanner English

 

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.

 

Mike Ruefer

Photographer & Writer

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11 comments

  1. Once brian Shirley shakes that little bit of bad luck off watch out

  2. Yeah I don’t have much faith in this ranking lol, to have Pierce and Moran that close is BS

  3. Kendra Manns Kalia Clark Edward Yost