Aerial View of Bowman Gray Stadium.

With the 70th season of Bowman Gray Stadium kicking off in 2 days with practice and qualifying, I figured it’s time to make my championship picks. Normally I don’t let my picks be known by the public, but this year I felt like I would let them be known for the Platinum Anniversary. Also, I included a dark horse pick for each division so it’ll give people a person to watch out for. Without further ado…here’s my championship picks for 2018!Modifieds

Burt Myers – The Modifieds are seemingly the easiest division to pick from, because for the past 22 seasons (with the exception of 2014 when Danny Bohn won) the champion has either been Junior Miller, Tim Brown or Burt Myers. So with it being the easiest division in the past, I think this season is the best opportunity to see a new champion. With all of the star power that’s coming in it would be hard to choose a single driver because there are eight to ten drivers could win on any given night. I think Burt Myers will capture #9 and make his second career three-peat.

Bobby Measmer Jr. (Dark Horse Pick) – After talking with him this offseason and hearing his confident answers, I think he’ll be a driver to watch for sure. He finished second 4 different times last year and he almost won the first 100 lapper, but a mechanical failure hurt his chances. It’s only his second season at the Madhouse, but don’t be surprised to see him steal a win or two this year.


Michael Adams – How many times will you hear Michael Adams hasn’t won the championship yet?. I’m not taking anything away from the two time and defending champion Derek Stoltz or the record-tying winner John Holleman IV, but I think Michael is due for one as this will mark his 10th season running in the division and I think it’ll change this year as I think he’ll be a front-runner in every event and challenging for the wins.

Dylan Ward (Dark Horse Pick) – Yes it’s weird saying Dylan is a dark horse after finishing 5th in points with two wins last year, but you have to think he’s never had a brand new ride at the track and with the duo of Tim Triplett & Gene Bowers giving him a great ride and DWR burning the midnight oil to get done, Dylan could turn some more heads like last year and by the time August rolls around we could be talking about him having a legit shot to win the title.

Street Stock

Brian Wall – It’s a cliché pick because you know most would probably say his name after four consecutive years of coming close to winning it, but on the flip side he’s finished in the top 5 the past 5 seasons and has gone into the season finale every year with a great shot to win the title, so why wouldn’t you pick him? Yes, Derrick Rice and Jac Creed shocked everybody with their first titles at the expense of Brian losing it, but it doesn’t take an outstanding number of wins to win a title, especially this year, it’ll take luck and consistency to win it and I think Brian could do it.

Taylor Robbins (Dark Horse Pick) – Taylor has shown some muscle in the years she’s raced and even picked up the Top Gun Award in 2016, but wrecks and collected in other people’s messes have really affected her overall performance every year. I think with a beautiful new wrap, an always positive attitude, and better-prepared offseason than she’s ever had, this young lady could get back to her ways from 2016 and do good.

Stadium Stock

A.J. Sanders – I’m not picking him because he’s the all-time wins leader or because I did an interview with him recently, I’m picking him because he’s a great racer that’s a two time champion and knows what it takes to survive chaos and how to get to the front and challenge drivers like Wesley Thompson, Chase Hunt, Chuck Wall, Billy Cameron Jr. & The Jason Keaton Racing cars. With the competition getting tougher by the race and at a couple of times the top cars were literally nose to tail like train cars, it’s hard to pick a champion, but with A.J. already nabbing 5 wins in the first third of the year, there’s no telling how good he could be if he starts clicking off the wins or top 5 finishes.

Grayson Keaton (Dark Horse Pick ) – The reigning and defending Rookie of the Year had a spectacular year and even stealing a win from A.J. Sanders last year. He had a couple bad races and it took him out of the hunt for the title and I think with the new things the team did this winter the 17-year-old driver could have a stake for the title and don’t be surprised if he gets another win or two.