Content by: Langley Austin ~ [email protected] (@langleyaustin on twitter)
List Compiled by Staff and Industry Experts

Copper Hill, VA(December 27, 2011) — With the end of 2011 just days away, we thought it was time here at to start unveiling the “Best of” for the past year in racing.

With that, we start with the Top Drivers of the 2011 Season, another version of our ever popular and much talked about FDJ Motorsports Power Rankings.  This time instead of our magical number of “22” on the list, in honor of the past year being 2011, we’ll have the Top 11 Drivers of the season.  This ranking is for the Late Model Stock Car division drivers and doesn’t include any other divisions, but does include both the ASA and NASCAR Sanctioned Late Model Stock Cars and the UARA-STARS Series drivers.

So, here we go with our picks for the Top Drivers of the past year in the Late Model Stock Car division …

11 – Jesse LeFevers

It’s easy to pick Jesse LeFevers among the Top 11 drivers of the past season, after all, not many people can call themselves champions of one of NASCAR’s most historic tracks, Hickory Motor Speedway.  And, while he didn’t exactly dominate the entire season like we saw with Philip Morris at SoBo and Lee Pulliam at Motor Mile, but LeFevers did excel when it counted most.  With eight wins on the season, he eclipsed his closest pursuers more than doubling their totals and put himself in elite company as a Hickory Motor Speedway Late Model Stock Car track champion.


10 – Brennan Poole

Brennan Poole might well have been the number one driver on this list this season, after starting the season winning three of the first four UARA-STARS Series races and four of the first seven.  It was an amazing start to the season, but a lack of ‘big names’ in the series as the season progressed and Poole eventually slowing down dropped him down this list as the season went on.  He was the number one ranked driver in our April 2011 FDJ Motorsports Power Rankings, but number 10 is where he’ll likely finish his Late Model Stock Car career.  On the heels of his championship in the UARA-STARS Series, Poole is moving up the ranks, planning to compete full-time in the ARCA Racing Series in 2012.


9 – BJ Mackey

Another driver who could have easily ended the 2011 season at or near the top of the board was BJ Mackey.  The Rock Hill, SC driver started the season in fine fashion winning nine straight races before having his streak snapped late in the season.  Caraway Speedway was his home track this season and Mackey made the most of it in a limited number of starts, however as the season was drawing to a close, so was his strength.  On August 13th, Garrett Campbell beat the veteran driver and Mackey never visited victory lane again.  He would have a strong car at Martinsville, but had engine troubles and finished in the top five at Myrtle Beach in the big race, but was disqualified.  A disappointing ending to an otherwise great season for a veteran driver, but he would land among the Top 11 drivers of the 2011 season.


8 – Barry Beggarly

The “Southern Gentleman” as he’s often referred to as, Barry Beggarly showed the Late Model Stock Car racing world that age was nothing, but a number this season as he, at over 60 years old, raced to five wins, a track and National championship.  Winning five times at the ultra tough, Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, NC against the likes of Rodney Cook and Jason York was a tough task, but he added to that by celebrating first the track championship and then later celebrated the ASA National Championship.  Beggarly would become the first driver to win both the NASCAR and ASA National Titles, winning the NASCAR title back in 1993.  What other reason do we have to have him in the Top Drivers …. He’s Barry Beggarly, a legend in these parts.


7 – Anthony Anders

Anthony Anders isn’t a name many of you may be familiar with.  After all, he’s not exactly a region wide star, but at Greenville Pickens and Anderson Speedways in the UpState region of South Carolina, he emerged this season to be one of the ‘big dawgs’.  He won only two races at Anderson, but claimed the track championship and at Greenville, he missed out on the championship due to some disqualifications, but claimed a staggering 13 wins, more than doubling the win total of the runner-up finisher.  He was a powerhouse in the UpState and while he didn’t fair that well outside of his home region, he was one of the Top Drivers of the 2011 season.


6 – Nate Monteith

Here’s another driver, who wasn’t really impressive outside of his home track, but what Nate Monteith did at his recently reopened home track of Kingsport Speedway, was nothing short of impressive.  Monteith, who is a young driver, but also a veteran as it seems he’s been racing for 30 years, but yet he’s only 30 years old.  At Kingsport this season he raced like a veteran, surviving an early season rivalry with one of the best drivers in the region, Lee Tissot and out dueling the veteran later for the championship.  Along the way he picked up ten wins on the concrete track and solidified his place on the list.


5 – Ronnie Bassett, Jr.

I know many of you are wondering how a guy, who only won four races this season and didn’t win a championship is ranked so high … we often debate this same thing, but how do you argue with the success anyone has on a touring series versus racing one or two tracks all season?  Ronnie Bassett, Jr. may have only four trophies(yeah, I still count the one he was robbed of at Anderson) sitting in his trophy cabinet, but the fact that he won them at three different tracks is the impressive part.  Winning at tough, gritty race tracks like Anderson Motor Speedway in Williamston, SC(twice), Tri-County Motor Speedway in Hudson, NC and Hickory Motor Speedway in Newton, NC has to outweigh some of these one track jacks.


4 – Garrett Campbell

Three wins at Caraway Speedway and one win each at Greenville Pickens Speedway, Newport Speedway, Myrtle Beach Speedway and Ace Speedway(albeit he didn’t keep the win due to a bogus disqualification) speaks to the kind of season that Garrett Campbell had in a limited number of starts in a Late Model Stock Car.  The Greenville and Newport wins came in the UARA-STARS Series and the Myrtle Beach win came in the seasons biggest race paying $10,000 to win.  Campbell also captured the seasons biggest win at Caraway in the Mid-Atlantic Championship.  His success, which started early on in the season after having to sit out the first few races with a head injury, was impressive for a driver that had seen victory lane before, but was never a regular visitor.


3 – CE Falk III

CE Falk III’s stats over the past three seasons speak for themselves.  In 2010, he and Justin Johnson were the class of the Late Model Stock Car division and this past season he shared the spotlight with two more drivers, who were dominant.  Falk won 11 races this season at Langley Speedway, his home track and the home of the last three straight track championships for the young driver.  He has fended off veteran racers like Mark Wertz and the Edwards Brothers(Danny and Greg) as well as the likes of Philip Morris at his home track and though he didn’t have a win outside his home track this season, he did run impressively strong in starts at South Boston Speedway.  If winning races and championships makes you one of the best drivers in the region, then CE fits in just fine.


2 – Lee Pulliam

If not for a post race fracas at South Boston Speedway’s last race of the season with rival Philip Morris, Lee Pulliam would have closed out the 2011 season and lived out a dream.  He won a record 16 races at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, VA, something his rival had never done and he also claimed a single win at both South Boston and Caraway.  He also capped off his dominant season with a win in the Late Model Stock Car divisions biggest race, the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 on the biggest stage at Martinsville Speedway.  It was a dream season for the young driver and although he was slightly outdone by his rival, he won’t soon forget the thrills of success he had in 2011 and the lessons learned.


1 – Philip Morris

I’d say it’s hard to go against Philip Morris these days.  With 20 wins in one season at South Boston Speedway and a lone victory at Motor Mile Speedway this season as well as his record tying, fourth NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Championship, the veteran could ride off into the sunset and no one would ever question him.  His record is impressive, his legend forever cemented and Philip Morris, the proclaimed “King” of Late Model Stock Car racing was once again the “Best of” the 2011 season and he’s not likely going anywhere anytime soon.


So, there you have it … our Top 11.  Hopefully you enjoyed that list and if you were looking for your favorite driver, who had a great season, maybe he just missed the cut, so look for him on the list below.

Missing the Cut ….

Not everyone can make the list, but these guys came close. (In no particular order)

– Frank Deiny, Jr.

– Randy Porter

– Josh Berry

– Harrison Rhodes

– Dexter Canipe, Jr.

– Peyton Sellers

– Mike Darne

– Kyle Moon

– Lee Tissot

– Austin McDaniel