Story by: Langley Austin ~ [email protected]
Salisbury, NC(May 31, 2011) — When RACE22.com releases a new set of Power Rankings, people are quick to check them out and sometimes even quicker to question why a guy is as high as he is, why a guy they think is great doesn’t appear or how so and so got ranked there.
If you are a long time follower you know that we’ve tried to explain how the rankings are done, the process, how we think when we’re ranking them. We’ve admitted that a lot is based on wins, how many tracks a guy races and wins at(or atleast competes for a win), plus all the other factors that go into the voting. Today, I’m not going to explain all of that again, but what I am going to try and do is make you understand how things work when it comes to your home track.
I’m also not defending our picks … they need no defending, they stand for themselves … unlike other sites who do this same type of thing, we don’t need to write a story after the fact about why our #1 pick is deserving … either he or she is or they are not. But, many of you who only travel to and keep up with a couple of tracks around your area might not know who some of the people on our Power Rankings lists are … especially when it comes to the Limited Late Models.
First, you have to understand that we don’t just look at the tracks right around you, while you may live minutes from South Boston Speedway and keep up with Motor Mile, Orange County, Ace and a handful or less of other tracks, we look at the bigger picture. The fact is we are keeping up with people from all over Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, which is where the majority of Late Model Stock Car and Limited Late Models race at. On the Super Late Model side we’ve got even more to keep up with, but that’s another story for another time.
So, when you see a guy who you don’t even know or have never heard of toward the top of the list, just know that we’ve done our research and we’re watching everyone. Some tracks don’t even have guys who make the list, while others like Motor Mile and South Boston, which are the two tracks everyone would admit has the best competition in Late Model Stock Cars and Limiteds, has a handful of people listed.
I know on the Limited Late Model side of things, a lot of people at Motor Mile and South Boston(mostly fans) were upset not to see their favorite at or near the top of the list. But, if you look at Motor Mile, not one driver has won more than one race this season in Limiteds and there’s easily 10-12 guys who could win before that streak of no repeat winners is up. It’s clearly the most competitive crop of Limited Late Model drivers anywhere and it’s hard to rank one of those drivers toward the top of the list when they aren’t winning big and showing they are dominant.
At South Boston, you have two guys who are hot this season, they’ve each won three races. One started the season hot and the other is finding his groove now, but you’ve got a good six cars that could win on a given week with last years hot driver in the region lurking in the shadows of the top two guys so far this season. Plus, there’s a rookie there, who once he gets past third place and starts winning, won’t likely stop.
Then down South in South Carolina, where our number one driver came from, you have three tracks competing against one another practically every Saturday night and still the car counts have been among the highest at two of those tracks. At Florence and Dillon Motor Speedway, they have had solid car counts and boast the highest payouts for Limited Late Models that we have seen on a regular basis. After all it’s their premier division as they don’t run Late Model Stock Cars and it shows with solid car count and one driver standing above them all with two wins on each track in less than ten starts.
Hopefully on the Limited Late Model side that helps shed some light on the subject, but if I know these passionate race fans like I think I do … my logic and explanation still won’t do. On the Late Model Stock Car side, I’ve had a whole bunch of other questions, but with all these guys fairly well known, it’s a whole different set of questions.
The biggest thing I want to explain is one question I received via email last week and it refers to the points leader not being ranked, but the 7th place guy in points making the top 22. This explanation is easy … this list isn’t about consistency … it’s about Power. It’s easy for anyone to be consistent and lead the points, but we’re not looking for that, we’re looking for someone with the brute power to win races and be dominant.
We look at the driver and his performances at face value, we NEVER look at the points standings and we always look at wins first, then top five finishes and their performances at more than one track. Being the “king” at one track is one thing, but to be toward the top of this list you need to master more than one track. And, again, just to reiterate this … Points Standings mean NOTHING.
The next issue I want to tackle is disqualifications. I know fans think that everytime a guy gets disqualified that he was cheating BIG TIME and that what he was doing was making him win. That in fact is rarely the case, in fact most of the time a guy gets tossed out, it is for something minor that had no performance enhancement whatsoever. So, with that in mind we take those infractions and kind of toss them aside … usually we dig to the bottom of a DQ and find out what it was for and how much of an advantage it was.
So, while those infractions hurt these guys in the “points”, we typically don’t hold that against them and let their performances on the track dictate how we rank them in the FDJ Motorsports Power Rankings. Hopefully this helps clear things up for anyone wondering and thanks for all the comments both on our FaceBook page and via email, we appreciate you caring enough to question us or thank us for what we’re doing. Good or bad we want to hear from you.
To the racers out there, wondering how to get themselves on the list or up the list … go compete for wins, go win races, go dominate, go travel to other tracks. It’s simple make yourself standout for one reason or another and we’ll take notice.