Late Model Driver of the Year: Jason Frankel

October 27, 2008 16 Comments

Jason Frankel Act
Jason Frankel is going to have a difficult time duplicating his 2008 late model racing season. Track championships at Quincy and West Burlington, an IMCA national title, a Deery Brothers Summer Series tour victory — and a Stevie Dirt Regional Rankings crown. What more could a guy ask for?

So it's no great revelation Frankel is the inaugural Stevie Dirt Late Model Driver of the Year. But what I find most interesing about Frankel's season are two things:

1. He Came, He Saw, He Conquered: Frankel was the target of much preseason hype, but he never let it detour him. He accomplished everything — and then some — expected of him. Not once did he ever show any signs of wilting under the pressure.

2. Problems? What problems?: Frankel's championship runs were not without mishap, however. There were engine woes and other mechanical problems at different points, but he simply considered those part of the overall equation and never used any as an excuse if things were not going well for a week or two. 

Hopefully, what we have in the making for the next decade or so is a dandy rivalry between Frankel and 14-time track champ Mark Burgtorf. And don't forget to throw in the likes of Lonnie Bailey, Denny Woodworth and a host of young guns headed by Justin Reed.

We may very well be entering the golden era of late model racing at the Broadway Bullring.

STEVIE DIRT DRIVER OF THE YEAR PROFILE: JASON FRANKEL

Jason Frankel
Residence: Quincy, Ill.
Track points: 556, 1st
Total victories: 11, 2nd
Feature victories: 5, 2nd
Second places: 3
Heat victories: 4, 3rd-tie
Top 5s (points races): 10, 1st-tie
Top 10s (points races): 14-1st
Feature points: 542, 1st
Second-half points: 349, 2nd
Heat points: 14, 6th-tie
Herald-Whig Performance Points: 164, 2nd
Driver Dominance Index: .862, 1st
Driver Dependability: .896, 6th
Feature laps led: 129, 1st
Notable: Before
this season, the last time Frankel raced full-time at Quincy was 1997.
He finished second to Mark Burgtorf that year. This time around the
roles were reversed.
Comment:
The last driver not named
Burgtorf to win back-to-back track titles was Steve Fraise (1989-90).
Frankel will try and add his name to that list in 2009.

STEVIE DIRT ALL-DIRT FIRST ROW: Mark Burgtorf, Justin Reed

Mark Burgtorf

Residence: Quincy, Ill.
Track points: 531, 2nd
Total victories: 18, 1st
Feature victories: 6, 1st
Second places: 3
Heat victories: 7, 1st
Top 5s (points races): 10, 1st-tie
Top 10s (points races): 12, 2nd
Feature points: 514, 2nd
Second-half points: 354, 1st
Heat points: 17, 3rd
Herald-Whig Performance Points: 211, 1st
Dominance Index: .823, 2nd
Driver Dependability: .943, 2nd-tie
Feature laps led: 96, 2nd
Notable: For
the math geeks in the crowd, you may note Burgtorf finished 25 points
behind Frankel. You may also remember Burgtorf missed a points weekend
early in the season. Burgorf averaged 37.9 points on the points weeks he was there. Add that average on to his final point total. Interesting, eh?
Comment:
The last time Burgtorf went back-to-back seasons without a track championship was … never.

Justin Reed

Residence: Quincy, Ill.
Track points: 515, 3rd
Total victories: 4, 9th-tie
Feature victories: 1, 5th-tie
Second places: 2
Heat victories: 3, 6th-tie
Top 5s (points races): 6, 3rd
Top 10s (points races): 9, 5th-tie
Feature points: 503, 3rd
Second-half points: 314. 3rd
Heat points: 12, NR
Herald-Whig Performance Points: 102, 4th
Driver Dominance Index: .799, 3rd
Driver Dependability: .943, 2nd-tie
Feature laps led: 43, 4th
Notable: Reed is the No. 9-ranked driver in the IMCA era (since 1998) and has a golden opportunity to climb higher in 2009.
Comment:
It
will be interesting — if the opportunity presents itself — to see if
Reed opts for double duty again in '09. He showed he knows how to
handle a modified, too, driving Tony Dunker's second car full-time the
latter half of '08. Reed was sixth in second-half modiied points.

STEVIE DIRT ALL-DIRT SECOND ROW: Lonnie Bailey, Jason Perry

Lonnie Bailey

Residence: Quincy, Ill.
Track points: 492, 4th-tie
Total victories: 7, 4th-tie
Feature victories: 2, 4th
Second places: 0
Heat victories: 4, 3rd-tie
Top 5s (points races): 4, 5th-tie
Top 10s (points races): 10, 3rd-tie
Feature points: 478, 4th
Second-half points: 292, 6th
Heat points: 14, 6th-tie
Herald-Whig Performance Points: 59, 8th
Driver Dominance Index: .763, 4th-tie
Driver Dependability: .888, 7th
Feature laps led: 13, NR
Notable:
The 2004 track champ is 67 track points shy of becoming the third driver in the IMCA era to reach 5,000 career points. Burgtorf and Denny Woodworth are the others.
Comment:
Bailey may have provided a hint of what to expect in 2009 by winning two of the final five features at 8000 Broadway.

Jason Perry

Residence: Payson, Ill.
Track points: 492, 4th-tie
Total victories: 6, 5th-tie
Feature victories: 0
Second places: 0
Heat victories: 3, 6th-tie
Top 5s (points races): 1, NR
Top 10s (points races): 10, 3rd-tie
Feature points: 476, 5th
Second-half points: 293, 5th
Heat points: 16, 4th-tie
Herald-Whig Performance Points: 33, NR
Driver Dominance Index: .763, 4th-tie
Driver Dependability: .926, 5th
Feature laps led: 1, NR
Notable: Even though Perry failed to win a feature, his steady
diet of top finishes, particularly in the first half of the season, is
reflected in his fifth-place standing in the money won department. Only Burgtorf, Frankel, Reed and Bailey had bigger bank accounts.
Comment:
Perry should be a title contender in '09. He has improved each year behind the wheel and looks ready to take the next step.

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Comments (16)

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  1. Top Row says:

    Good calls on all of the drivers of the year and first and second “rows.” I thought Jason Perry was a great pick. he seemed to have some trouble near the end of the season, but overall did a great job.

  2. Top Row says:

    Good calls on all of the drivers of the year and first and second “rows.” I thought Jason Perry was a great pick. he seemed to have some trouble near the end of the season, but overall did a great job.

  3. race dog says:

    I hope woodworth races fulltime at QR next season. I think he could make it a great 3-man race for the championship. Anyone heard anything about his plans? I heard he’s ordered all new IMCA stuff.

  4. race dog says:

    I hope woodworth races fulltime at QR next season. I think he could make it a great 3-man race for the championship. Anyone heard anything about his plans? I heard he’s ordered all new IMCA stuff.

  5. Bleacher bum says:

    will the track lights be better next season? there were some bigtime dark areas i would think made it pretty tough to drive out there. i thought those new lights were supposed to be so much better.

  6. Bleacher bum says:

    will the track lights be better next season? there were some bigtime dark areas i would think made it pretty tough to drive out there. i thought those new lights were supposed to be so much better.

  7. LML says:

    I agree with the comment about the lights. The track looked great the second half of the season, but the lights were horrible.

  8. LML says:

    I agree with the comment about the lights. The track looked great the second half of the season, but the lights were horrible.

  9. sparky says:

    I think they need taller poles. I’m no electrician, but I know at Burlington and other tracks the light poles are taller than the new ones at Quincy. Something was definitely wrong, whatever it was.

  10. sparky says:

    I think they need taller poles. I’m no electrician, but I know at Burlington and other tracks the light poles are taller than the new ones at Quincy. Something was definitely wrong, whatever it was.

  11. Top Row says:

    just start the races about 3 oclock so they will be done before dark. then the lights wont be a problem. ha!

  12. Top Row says:

    just start the races about 3 oclock so they will be done before dark. then the lights wont be a problem. ha!

  13. eye's in the pits says:

    TO RACE DOG, in regards to Woodworth’s plans for next year, whoever you heard the rumor about him buying all new IMCA stuff is incorrect. He is not running a full season at QR it may be a hit n miss kinda thing. Likes the open wheel racing and is going to be doing that next season again.

  14. eye's in the pits says:

    TO RACE DOG, in regards to Woodworth’s plans for next year, whoever you heard the rumor about him buying all new IMCA stuff is incorrect. He is not running a full season at QR it may be a hit n miss kinda thing. Likes the open wheel racing and is going to be doing that next season again.

  15. Dave Eighinger says:

    I heard Stevie Dirt’s brother was a dirt tracker.

  16. Dave Eighinger says:

    I heard Stevie Dirt’s brother was a dirt tracker.

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