Auto Racing

Enjoying the present, looking ahead to 2018

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Aug. 12, 2017 12:15 am

We've got a little more than a month left on the dirt-track schedule at Quincy Raceways, so let's see who has enjoyed the top individual seasons.

Super late models

Driver of the year: Ricky Frankel is making a second-half push for his first track title and has emerged as the driver to beat on a weekly basis.

Driver to watch for 2018: Alan Wesling was one of the top surprises early in the season until engine problems sidelined his program. I would expect him back -- and even stronger -- next season.

Crate late models

Driver of the year: If Tommy Elston wins another feature Sunday night, he will likely have the upper hands in his season-long battle with Denny Woodworth.

Driver to watch for 2018: Hands, down Brandon Savage should make that two-way title scramble a three-car affair.

Modifieds

Driver of the year: Michael Long will probably not win the track championship, but his track-leading seven victories is difficult to dismiss.

Driver to watch for 2018: Spencer Havermale gets stronger each year. Next season should be no different.

Sport mods

Driver of the year: Brandon Lennox is not (yet) the points leader, but there's little question he's been the top overall driver this season in the track's biggest class.

Driver to watch for 2018: There are numerous candidates in this deep, strong and young series. I have a feeling that Tanner Klingele's elusive first track title may materialize next season.

Stock cars

Driver of the year: Brian Hoener established his presence early in the season and has not been seriously challenged.

Driver to watch for 2018: Abe Huls should be talkin' dirty again next season. He was eliminated early from this year's points race. I doubt if that happens two years in a row.

Sport compacts

Driver of the year: Craig Bangert not only has the best-looking car in this series, he has the best car period. Bangert has owned this series since late in the first half of the season.

Driver to watch for 2018: Two-time defending track champ Kim Abbott will be the leading candidate next season for comeback driver of the year.

Sunday night

Although not originally on our schedule, Sunday night is a race night at 8000 Broadway.

"We are racing this as a makeup of a couple of cancellations earlier in the season," track promoter Ken Dobson said.

On the starting grid will be the crate late models, modifieds, sport mods, stock cars and sport compacts.

Grandstands open at 4:30 p.m., with hot laps at 6 and racing at 6:30-ish.

Adult admission is $12, seniors $9, ages 11-16 $5, kids 10-under free.

Picks to click

Here's our carrs to watch this week:

Crate late models

Pick to click: The title looks like Tommy Elston's to lose, and a feature win Sunday night would give him at least a 20-point advantage of Denny Woodworth with just four more nights of crate racing remaining.

That's a fact, Jack: The only driver other than Elston and Woodworth to lead a crate late model freature lap this season is Brad Denney. He led one lap.

Modifieds

Pick to click: Michael Long, who despite a limited schedule, can still finish with a doule-figure feature victory total. A win Sunday night would give him eight.

That's a fact, Jack: The first year Long led the modifieds in features won was 2007 when he collected 16 checkered flags.

Sport mods

Pick to click: Right now, you can't stop Brandon Lennox, you can only hope to contain him.

That's a fact, Jack: Tony Dunker, a five-time track champion, is eligible to return to racing Sunday night at Quincy Raceways, following a month-long suspension.

Stock cars

Pick to click: This season belongs to Brian Hoener. Sunday night should be no different.

That's a fact, Jack: The stock cars are wrapping up their 10th season at the Bullring. Anyone remember the inaugural champion? If you guessed Jeff Mueller, you were correct.

Sport compacts

Pick to click: Another victory for Craig Bangert.

That's a fact, Jack: Using average car counts and the sizable advantage he currently owns as a barometer, Bangert could clinch his first track title right around Labor Day weekend.