Four first-time winners highlight the 10th annual Herald-Whig ZZ Top Sharp-Dressed Man Awards for the best-looking cars in the four classes of competition at Quincy Raceways.
Jason Frankel in late models, Jared Schlipman in modifieds, Jeff Mueller in IMCA stock cars and Bobby Anders in hobby stocks are the sharpest of the sharp in the opinion of a one-man panel. That would be me, of course.
Also in line for some notice are those cars with the Most Improved Look from a year ago: Dustin Neese in late models, Frankie Wellman in modifieds and Mike Wiley in hobby stocks. There is no MIL award for the stock cars since this their first year of operation at the Broadway Bullring.
Here’s a look at all of the category winners, with a comment about each of this year’s honorees:
ZZ TOP SHARP DRESSED MAN AWARD
2008: Jason Frankel (Easy to spot at any point on the track with that huge No. 0, Frankel’s car possesses the classic black look with a blue front end that punctuates a great design.)
2007: Lonnie Bailey
2006: Terry Gallaher
2005: Mike Dyche
2004: Brent Slocum
2003: Jamie Wilson
2002: Jamie Wilson
2001: Denny Woodworth
2000: Mark Burgtorf
1999: Terry Gallaher
2008: Jared Schlipman (Jared’s dad, former late model driver Terry Schlipman, always drove some sweet-looking rides. Like father, like son. The central color yellow looks great under the lights.)
2007: Tony Dunker
2006: Shawn Deering
2005: Ted Allen
2004: Robby Warner
2003: Michael Long
2002: Steve Grotz
2001: Ryan Meyer
2000: Bob Dale
1999: Steve McCarley
2005: Tony Dunker
2004: Wyatt Lantz
2003: Tony Dunker
2002: Tony Dunker
2001: Joe Hooper
2000: Rob Carter
1999: Greg Uppinghouse
2008: Bobby Anders (The black, white and orange work well together. Fans should see quite a bit of this car in 2008 at the head of the pack.)
2007: Todd Reichert
2006: Michael Larsen
2005: Todd Reichert
2004: Jim Powell
2003: Jim Powell
2002: Brent Chapman
2001: Eddie Dieker
2000: Eddie Dieker
1999: Rock Coats
IMCA STOCK CARS
2008: Jeff Mueller (There are several potential ZZ Top cars in this class, but Mueller’s gets the nod. You can never go wrong with well-crafted flames.)
MOST IMPROVED LOOK
2008: Dustin Neese
2007: Bill Genenbacher
2006: Justin Reed
2005: Terry Gallaher
2004: Terry Schlipman
2003: Mike Dyche
2002: Keith Pratt
2001: Joey Gower
2008: Frankie Wellman
2007: Shawn Deering
2006: Brandon Lennox
2005: Jim Powell
2004: Danny Lake
2003: Tim Warning
2002: Brandon Brown
2001: Les Harding
2005: Wes Mayfield
2004: Wes Mayfield
2003: Rob Carter
2002: Bill Baker
2001: Rob Carter
2008: Mike Wiley
2007: Bruce Hatfield
2006: Aaron Brocksieck
2005: Steve Carlin
2004: Steve Carlin
2003: Brian Kenning
2002: Richie Wagy
2001: Brent Chapman
ALL-TIME BEST LOOKING CAR
Jamie Wilson’s 2002 late model with the silver, green and black color scheme remains the best of them all. Wilson always had a great knack for putting together a winning look.
Runner-up would be Mark Burgtorf’s 2000 blue late model, which was used sparingly in Quincy. Burgtorf’s rides always possess a traditional look, subtle yet commanding. The blue car stood out so much because all of Burgtorf’s other cars in the 10-year history of this award have been red.
Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., continues to dominate the Gary Jacob Memorial National Rankings, solidifying his hold over Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., and Steve Francis of Ashland Ky.
The rankings record every race in the United States and Canada that pays a minimum $3,000 to win. Each race awards the top six finishers 9-6-4-3-2-1 points, respectively. A second tier has been added for 2008, races that pay $10,000 to win or more will offer 1 1/2 times the points. Double points are awarded in the national rankings for events that pay $25,000 to win or more.
This week’s rankings, which can be found at www.latemodelracer.com, again feature no Illinois or Missouri drivers in the top 10:
1. Billy Moyer, Batesville, Ark., 164 points (10 wins)
2. Jimmy Owens, Newport, Tenn., 118.5 points (5 wins)
3. Steve Francis, Ashland, Ky., 96.5 points
4. Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, Tenn., 74 points
5. Earl Pearson, Jr., Jacksonville, Fla., 61.5 points
6. Josh Richards, Shinnston, W. Va., 57 points
7. Terry Casey, New London, Wis., 43 points.
8-tie. Clint Smith, Senoia Ga., 40 points
8-tie. Jimmy Mars, Menomonie, Wis., 40 points
8-tie. Don O’Neal, Martinsville, Ind., 40 points
Other Notable Drivers
13. Dennis Erb Jr., Carpentersville, Ill.
14. Shannon Babb, Moweaqua, Ill.
25. Chub Frank, Bear Lake, Pa.
30. Darren Miller, Chadwick, Ill.
36-tie. Donnie Moran, Dresden, Ohio
36-tie. Wes Steidinger, Fairbury, Ill.
ERB WINS WDRL EVENT
Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., a name familiar to Quincy area race fans, outlasted the field as he drove to the World Dirt Racing League win last Sunday at Quad City Raceway in East Moline, Ill.
Darren "The Thriller" Miller of Chadwick, Ill., who won the WDRL season opener at Davenport, Iowa, Speedway on April 16, started fourth and raced in the top five through the entire main event. Miller eventually found himself on Erb’s back bumper, but he was unable to get by and settled for second.
Wes "The Fairbury Flyer" Steidinger of Fairbury, Ill., had an impressive run to the front. After starting 18th, Steidinger put himself into the top five by mid-race, and he was battling for the lead just past the halfway point. Steidinger finished third.
Another driver who fought his way from the back of the pack to the front was Steve Lance of Cuba, Ill., another driver who usually frequents Quincy at least once a season for a UMP event. Starting 20th, Lance quietly worked his way through the field to finish fourth. "Flyin’" Brian Harris of Davenport, Iowa, rounded out the top five.
For more information on the World Dirt Racing League or the latest WDRL Late Model Series schedule, check out the World Dirt Racing League’s Web site.
OUTLAWS vs. MARS
The traveling stars of the Dirt Track Late Model Racing World Of Outlaws will be heading to the high-banks of the Lebanon I-44 Speedway in Lebanon, Mo., on May 3 to battle the Cars-N-Stars of the MARS Racing Series in the Silver Anniversary Challenge.
Heading the roster for the Outlaws will be defending Series Champion Steve Francis, Billy Moyer, "Kid Rocket" Josh Richards, Rick Eckert and "Chubzilla," Chub Frank.
Leading the list for the MARS CARS-N-Stars will be Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., defending MARS Champion Bill Frye of Greenbrier, Ark., Brandon McCormick of Lebanon and Jeremy Payne of Springfield, Mo.
NUTS AND BOLTS
Quincy’s Mark Burgtorf was seventh last Saturday in the 21-car outlaw feature at Lincoln Speedway near Clinton, Ill. Steve Sheppard Jr., of New Berlin, Ill., garnered the checkered flag ahead of Matt Taylor of
Springfield, Ill. … Erb warmed up for his WDRL win last Sunday with a victory in the Don Bohlander 100 in Peoria the night before … Chub Frank had never flipped a car during his 30-year racing career, until last Saturday night in the World of Outlaws main event in Concord, N.C. While biding his time running 11th on lap 45 of the 100, Frank�s machine bicycled onto its right side between turns three and four and went flipping. He got some serious air time before the car landed on its wheels in turn four. "It felt like when you’re watching a crash on those in-car cameras, when the camera is behind the driver. At one point I was standing on my nose and looking right at the ground, and I’m thinking, ‘This ain’t gonna be good."