COPPER HILL, VA :: As the 2014 regular season winds down, we take another look at who’s hot with our Limited Late Model Power Rankings. The Limited division remains competitive and our Power Rankings have, once again, shuffled up dramatically as new faces have graced victory lane in recent weeks and familiar faces have started to put exclamation points on their championship seasons.
Mother Nature: This very wet summer has prevented many drivers from racing over the past month. A handful of tracks have had to cancel several races during the summer – especially South Boston. It seems all it does in Virginia is rain. Hopefully, this trend is changing and South Boston Speedway, along with every other track, will be able to close out their seasons without interruption from Mother Nature.
Chris Chapman: Chapman is one of the more recent winners in Limited Late Model competition, scoring a victory over some very tough competition at Southern National Motorsports Park on August 16th.
Carl Auman: Auman scored a victory in the Limited Late Model division on August 15th, his second win of the season. It’s likely Auman will have at least one more visit to victory lane this season at Caraway as they still have a lot of racing left, so keep an eye on him.
15. Casey Pierce
Casey Pierce has scored two victories this season against some very stout competition at Hickory Motor Speedway. His most recent victory came in their most recent race. Pierce sits third in points and has certainly been hot in the summer months.
14. Daryn Cockram
While Cockram hasn’t raced in previous weeks due to weather and commitments with his day job, his accomplishments on the season still keep him in our Power Rankings. Cockram has a win at Motor Mile, second place finishes at South Boston and Franklin County and scored a top-five his first time out at Southern National – a race he probably should have finished inside the top-two in. Cockram will be back, likely this weekend, and as competitive as ever.
13. Michael Tilley and Zach Clifton
Michael Tilley and Zach Clifton share the #13 spot. Both drivers race regularly at Bowman Gray Stadium and came on strong in the final weeks at the Madhouse. Tilley scored four wins on the season with his most recent win coming on August 16th. Clifton also scored four wins on the season, half of those coming in the final two weeks of the season. We’ll see if Tilley continues to travel and if Clifton races elsewhere now that the season is over at Bowman Gray.
12. Danny Willis, Jr.
Willis is another driver who hasn’t gotten to race recently because of Mother Nature’s plans. However, his three wins and points lead at South Boston say he should stay in the rankings. Willis had been hot before the Mother Nature induced Summer Break at South Boston and, when racing resumes this weekend, Willis will continue to rack up podium finishes as he tries to seal the deal and secure his third Limited Sportsman championship at South Boston.
11. Scott Lancaster
It’s so hard to rank Motor Mile Speedway Limited Sportsman competitors because most of them don’t travel elsewhere, drivers from other tracks don’t travel to Motor Mile and Motor Mile runs a limited schedule. That said, it’s undeniable that the competition at Motor Mile is some of the toughest anywhere. Lancaster has scored three wins there and holds a healthy points lead with two races remaining. It’s hard to make the argument that he doesn’t belong on here.
10. Trevor Ward
Trevor Ward is certainly one of the standout talents in Limited Late Model competition. On August 15th, he finally put his name on the list of winners this season with a victory at Ace Speedway and, in the process, earned himself a spot on the RACE22.com Power Rankings.
9. Haley Moody
Haley Moody returns to the Power Rankings and inside the top-10 for the first time after scoring her second win of the season at Southern National. After hitting a slump earlier in the summer, she’s managed to string together several top-five finishes and now appears destined to win the division championship at Southern National – the first championship of any kind for the Limited Late Model rookie.
8. Taylor Stricklin
Taylor Stricklin debuts on our Power Rankings in the eighth spot with two wins at Hickory Motor Speedway, where he leads the division standings. Both of Stricklin’s wins have come in the summer with the most recent one coming on August 16th. Stricklin, who is the son of former NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Hut Stricklin, has been tough and consistent all year. Watch for Stricklin to continue to score victories and move up the ranks in the years ahead.
7. Dylan Ward
Dylan Ward has scored two wins and been a consistent top-three driver at Ace Speedway in the summer months. Ward continues to be a threat to win races every time he competes and that’s not likely to change as the Ace Speedway season starts to wind down.
6. Mack Little
Mack Little has been red hot in recent weeks, scoring wins at Caraway Speedway in two of the last three races in their Limited Late Model division. He also ran at Ace Speedway on August 16th and scored two podium finishes against a very strong field of champions and rising stars.
5. Boo Boo Dalton
Boo Boo Dalton is arguably one of the best drivers around in Limited Late Model competition today. He has scored three wins across two different tracks this season (Ace Speedway and Caraway Speedway). Recently, Dalton’s been competing at Southern National and, while winless at the track, he’s been giving Haley Moody and Rusty Daniels fit. In the last race at Southern National, he scored back-to-back podium finishes, holding back challenges from Moody (in the first race) and Daniels (in the second race) who both had faster cars than him. Dalton’s proven he can compete just about anywhere he goes and will likely continue to do so for some time.
4. Andrew Grady
Andrew Grady ranks in fourth with five wins on the season at two different racetracks (Southern National and Wake County Speedway). Grady’s remained a consistent threat to win races at Southern National where he scored his most recent victory back on August 16th. A mid-summer injury couldn’t slow Grady down. It’s not likely anything will. Grady, who is mathematically eliminated from championship contention at Southern National, will race wide open and will probably knock off a couple more wins before the season ends.
3. Louis White
Louis White joins Haley Moody and Scott Lancaster as drivers who have essentially emerged as presumptive champions at their home tracks. White has completely dominated at East Carolina Motorsports Speedway where he has eight wins on the season and hasn’t slowed down one bit. In fact, in 12 starts at ECMS, he’s only been denied four times and only by two different drivers. East Carolina still has a few more races remaining, which means White could end the season with a double digit tally in the win column. The veteran driver ranks in at number three on our list.
2. Rusty Daniels
Rusty Daniels remains in position number two on our Power Rankings. Daniels now has five wins on the season with his most recent coming in one of two twin races at Southern National on August 23rd. He capped that performance off with a podium effort in the second race. Daniels has dominated at Southern National in the summer months but a handful of technical infractions have knocked him out of championship contention. Southern National isn’t the only track Daniels has scored wins at. He also picked up a victory earlier this season at East Carolina. Haley Moody might be leading the points and poised to win the championship, but when drivers go to Southern National, they’re chasing Rusty Daniels.
1. Bradley McCaskill
We keep Bradley McCaskill at number one on our rankings for the same reason we put him there. McCaskill races anywhere and everywhere he possibly can. He’s a contender every single time he races and, with five wins at three different tracks and added to his win total since the last time we updated our Power Rankings, adding two more victories at East Carolina to his résumé. If you’re a Limited Late Model driver and you see Bradley McCaskill show up at your track, you know it’s time to grease your knuckles and get up on the wheel because McCaskill, who just might be the best in the business, is going to be tough to beat.
So, there’s our updated look at the Limited Late Model Power Rankings – which are sure to shuffle up again over the coming weeks as championships are decided and teams begin preparing for some of the big races on the horizon, such as the Mischa Sell Memorial at Ace, the Mid-Atlantic Championship at Caraway, upcoming Southeast Limited Late Model Series races, Myrtle Beach and the Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National.