Home Dirt Late Model News Mike Ruefer’s Super Late Model Performance Ranking “Top 50”

Mike Ruefer’s Super Late Model Performance Ranking “Top 50”

Brandon Sheppard – Mike Ruefer photo

July 2020 “The Nationals Edition”

The Summer Nationals. The Southern Nationals. The Silver Dollar Nationals. Put Nationals on the end of any series or special event race and I get excited. There is just something cool about adding Nationals. Sorry if I regress but I’m just a little kid at heart and simple things and names like Nationals make me feel good.

In an effort to refrain from the current political and health issues that are impacting our states and ultimately our racing environment all I can say is, Thank You!  My dearest appreciation goes out to all the promoters, series management, race teams, drivers and fans who are making the best out of a challenging situation. The only place that feels like it should in the world is at the race track right now.

Race by race and week by week I track the results and add them into my formula. It’s actually a surprise to me on the finishing order, except for Brandon Sheppard who just keeps separating himself from the field. The rate differential between positions is close. Many are only a few thousands or even hundredths that separate drivers. I’m amazed every month when I get to finalize the ranking. At times I’m nerdy and this is kind of nerdy I admit.

So let’s get things going for July 2020 and recap the “Top 10” for the fourth edition of the SLMP Ranking.

I get the impression that Rocket1 and Brandon Sheppard are on a mission to win them all. It’s a well-oiled machine and right now, no one is better.

Jimmy Owens comes in at #2 and is having a phenomenal season. The “O Show” continues to be the major contender to challenge Sheppard during their head to head matchups.

Sure seems like every year about this time Max Blair jumps into the ranking in a big way. He is sitting at #3 and for a regional driver that’s huge. It means he is the best in Pennsylvania and continues to dominate his regional schedule.

No surprise here with Ricky Weiss landing at #4. His average finish in comparison to others continues to be north of the border.

Some weeks Brandon Overton is the hottest driver in America. He sits at #5 and could even rise higher with better and more consistent finishing positions. Never count him out because he is always a contender for the win.

Coming in at #6 is Josh Richards. If there is a Mr. Consistency that would be Josh. He continues to be one of the best drivers in the sport.

Nothing like home cooking. Chris Madden returns in a big way and comes in this month at #7. The split from Team Zero and opportuning to race the Southern Nationals in the Millwood ride paid off handsomely. Good to be home.

Ross Bailes is the Big Frog and leaps to #8. Jesse Stovall is still Hot in #9 and Bobby Pierce is sharp at #10. That folks wraps up July. It’s going to stay very busy in August I hope. If we can race where we can or where allowed that’s okay with me this year. It’s crazy out there but let’s be happy when we go racing.

There are many more drivers that are on the cuff of making the ranking. When they do, they will make a splash to claim their spot. The rating system gives the regional drivers a chance to be ranked with the full time touring pros. It’s what I like about this. Hope you do too.

The current event qualifier number for July was 11 features and will now go up by two each month and top off at 15-17 in September. It just all depends on how many shows take place as the year goes on. Currently 112 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 938 drivers currently being tracked since January 1st, here is the Super Late Model Performance Ranking “Top 50” for July. It’s a strong list of the “Best of the Best” from around the country.

1          Brandon Sheppard

2          Jimmy Owens

3          Max Blair

4          Ricky Weiss

5          Brandon Overton

6          Josh Richards

7          Chris Madden

8          Ross Bailes

9          Jesse Stovall

10        Bobby Pierce

11        Tyler Erb

12        Ryan Unzicker

13        Tim McCreadie

14        Dale McDowell

15        Jonathan Davenport

16        Payton Looney

17        Shane Clanton

18        Cory Hedgecock

19        Ricky Thornton Jr.

20        Rick Eckert

21        Kent Robinson

22        Devin Moran

23        Spencer Hughes

24        Kyle Bronson

25        Mike Marlar

26        Brian Shirley

27        Gregg Satterlee

28        Cade Dillard

29        Shannon Babb

30        Tyler Carpenter

31        Jimmy Mars

32        Dennis Erb Jr.

33        Frank Heckenast Jr.

34        Darrell Lanigan

35        Timothy Culp

36        Mason Zeigler

37        Chris Ferguson

38        Chase Junghans

39        Jon Mitchell

40        Billy Moyer

41        Michael Page

42        Jason Feger

43        Donald McIntosh

44        Logan Martin

45        Tanner English

46        Chad Simpson

47        Kyle Strickler

48        Josh Putnam

49        B.J. Robinson

50        Jason Covert


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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