COPPER HILL, VA :: We continue our look at this Summer’s Power Rankings with a look at the top Street Stock racers in the region. Street Stock racing usually provides some of the best racing at just about any racetrack and we honor their best drivers here.
Jason Warsing & Jeff Melton: Here’s two guys who travel but only have scored wins on one track this season. However in their travels they’re among the top drivers in every race and could easily pick up multi track wins before the season concludes.
Chris Tunnell: Always a front runner at Lonesome Pine and Kingsport Speedway, Chris Tunnell is one of the top Street Stock guys anywhere. The fact that he hasn’t won a race this season shouldn’t keep him from being feared by his competition. He could break through to win anytime now.
Mike Ganoe & Cory Purnell: Although Mike Ganoe has a “real” Street Stock and by that we mean a car that is the true meaning of Street Stocks. Ganoe picked up his only win of the season at Shenandoah Speedway recently against a field of more or less Limited Late Models. Purnell on the other hand has four Street Stock wins but his car just isn’t really a Street Stock (of course none of the ones racing at Orange County under the Street Stock banner are) but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve a mention for his Orange County Speedway victories.
15. Nick Cole
While other drivers have more wins than Nick Cole does, not many face the caliber of drivers he does week in and week out. Three of Cole’s competitors are above him on this list and yet the driver still has three wins this season. Cole could easily compete at any track and run competitively and that makes him one of the toughest drivers in the region.
14. John Mamph
While it’s not one of the most familiar names in Street Stock racing John Mamph is well known in Eastern Tennessee and he’s been getting the job done this season. He’s collected four wins at Newport Speedway showing his dominance on the bullring.
13. Motor Mile Race Winners
At some tracks one guy just dominates or two drivers share the victories but Motor Mile Speedway has staged four Street Stock races this season and four different winners have emerged. The guy at the top of this list won the season opener but from there Matthew Gusler, Scooter Hollandsworth and Doug Williams have shared victory lane. We think they all deserve a spot in the Power Rankings.
12. Greg Barnett
Southern National Motorsports Park hasn’t posted big car counts but Greg Barnett has been taking advantage of the field at every turn. He’s won five races at Southern National this season making him one of the top ten winningest drivers of the season to date.
11. Kevin Eby
In a season dominated by Kevin Townsend, Eby is finding his way back to victory lane regularly recently. He has picked up four wins so far this season and looks to be a contender for victories until the season is over. Of course he’s been one of the top Street Stock guys in the region for years and his success comes as no surprise.
10. John Harrell
While no one has really dominated the season at Kingsport Speedway, John Harrell has certainly made a case as the driver to beat. He’s racked up five wins on the tough concrete track while his rivals have split wins throughout this season.
9. Ricky Locklair, Jr.
Yep it’s another Locklair making the list as Ricky Locklair, Jr. has been winning his share of races at Dillon Motor Speedway. Locklair certainly elevated his position on this list with a victory in the first of three Mid-Atlantic Championship Street Stock (MASS) races at Dillon on July 5th. If he’s able to win at Ace Speedway this weekend in the second MASS event he’ll certainly rocket up this list.
8. Rob Austin
Rob Austin has been a constant name in Street Stock racing at Lonesome Pine Raceway for a long time. This year he’s picked up wins at both Lonesome Pine and Kingsport Speedway making him just one of six drivers to pick up wins at multiple tracks.
7. Jeremy Clay
Jeremy Clay has made a name for himself this season winning six races at Caraway Speedway and running competitively at other venues around the region including Ace and Franklin County. Clay could be a contender in some of the bigger races as the season winds down.
6. Kevin Benton
It’s hard to overlook Kevin Benton in this conversation as the driver has raced to five victories at two tracks. With wins at Southern National and East Carolina already this season he certainly has put himself in the conversation and could move up with a few more trips to victory lane.
5. Danny Bush
Normally a one-track jack, Danny Bush had to step out of his comfort zone at Franklin County Speedway and did so by winning in his first ever race at Ace Speedway on July 4th. Bush has been a mainstay in victory lane at Franklin County Speedway for over a decade and now he’s wheeling with the best of them at Ace as well. He has five wins on the season to date.
4. Kirby Gobble
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Mini Stock, a Street Stock or a Late Model. Kirby Gobble can make a trip to victory lane in almost anything. He’s won seven times this year at Lonesome Pine Raceway dominating the season thus far.
3. Wayne Locklair
Wayne Locklair is taking care of business in the PeeDee region of South Carolina. He’s collected nine trophies so far this season at Dillon and Florence. He’s part of a big racing family and their all winners with Wayne leading the pack.
2. Kevin Townsend
Kevin Townsend has been tough this season racking up ten wins at two different tracks. He’s got wins at Hickory and Tri-County this season and could be a threat to win in any race around the region.
1. Gary Ledbetter, Jr.
Unquestionably the #1 Street Stock competitor in the Southeast region. He’s collected 12 victories at just six venues. He’s picked up wins at Ace, East Carolina, Dillon, Franklin County, Motor Mile and Southern National this season. He’s also not finished outside of the second position in but two races during the 2014 season. It’ll take a lot of effort for someone else to gain momentum to be better than Ledbetter.