Home Dirt Late Model News Mike Ruefer’s Super Late Model Performance Ranking “Top 25”

Mike Ruefer’s Super Late Model Performance Ranking “Top 25”

Brandon Sheppard – Mike Ruefer photo

May 2020 “Back to Racing Edition”

What a long strange trip it’s been my friends since we left the Winter Nationals. In our wildest dreams we wouldn’t have thought we’d be in the situation we’re in but here we are. The good news is that in many areas of the country we’re Back to Racing. It feels good and even though many events have started without fans, our great sport is alive. With so much negative news surrounding us I want to be positive knowing that we all will get to take be part of the sport we love very soon.

Just a reminder from the February edition is the name change. I’ve decided to brand my own title all while continuing to appreciate the heritage that the original A-Team built, going back to 1996. I think the new title better reflects what I do and better suited for my future plans. During the off season I worked to rebuild past racing seasons and now have “Top 100” rankings going back to 2013. It’s very interesting (at least to me) to see the success and struggles that some drivers have over time. One thing for sure is that racing success is not easy! Every year is different.

So let’s re-kick things off for 2020 and recap the Top 10 for the second edition of the SLMP Ranking.

Brandon Sheppard continues to lead the country in the #1 position. He had a 10 race gap between wins but his consistency is what sets him apart from fellow competitors.

Another driver that just gets better and better is Ricky Weiss who is 2nd. He’s starting to pick off wins and on most nights is driving toward the front. I expect him to see Victory Lane more as the season unfolds.

Jimmy Owens had one heck of run with six wins over seven races and that catapulted him into the 3rd position. So far so good for the Newport Nightmare.

A driver that is raising his consistency game is Tim McCreadie who lands in 4th. T-Mac is all the way back my friends. He’s a contender to win each and every night.

Home cooking for Devin Moran has been good for him. He looks and drives with confidence and that has him firmly in 5th position this month.

Mike Marlar hasn’t raced very much since the lock down. His performance early still has him in 6th. I expect him to get things rolling shortly and don’t expect him to falter in performance.

Our 7th place driver is in my opinion the most improved since I’ve been tracking performance. Kyle Bronson just looks good and is driving better than I’ve ever seen him.

Wrapping up the rest is Shane Clanton in 8th who is firmly grounded on the Lucas tour. Jonathan Davenport has been a little off his normal performance and rests in 9th. Brandon Overton is only in 10th for now. If he raised his average finishes to go along with his wins he’d be even higher.

That wraps up May my friends and in June we should see more race tracks open up. Remember that later in the summer now, when the regional drivers get into the rating system, the completion for the SLM Performance Ranking gets very interesting.

The current event qualifier number for May was 7 features and will now go up by two each month and top off at 15-17 in September. It all just depends on how many shows take place as the year goes on. Currently 63 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 392 drivers currently being tracked since January 1st, here is the SLM Performance Ranking “Top 25” for May. It’s still the early season “Best of the Best” from around the country.


1          Brandon Sheppard

2          Ricky Weiss

3          Jimmy Owens

4          Tim McCreadie

5          Devin Moran

6          Mike Marlar

7          Kyle Bronson

8          Shane Clanton

9          Jonathan Davenport

10        Brandon Overton

11        Bobby Pierce

12        Ricky Thornton Jr.

13        Josh Richards

14        Ross Bailes

15        Tyler Erb

16        Billy Moyer

17        Chris Madden

18        Donald McIntosh

19        Cory Hedgecock

20        Rick Eckert

21        Mason Zeigler

22        Brian Shirley

23        Dale McDowell

24        Chase Junghans

25        Kyle Strickler

What is the Super Late Model Performance Ranking? The SLM Performance Ranking has its origins from the A-Team Ranking developed by Sam Holbrooks in 1996 and printed in “Behind the Wheel” and Late Model America.” The SLM Performance Ranking 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 SLM Performance Ranking 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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