Maybe we can call this the Mark Martin Award. Martin is the consensus pick among NASCAR fans as the best driver to never win a Winston, Nextel or Sprint Cup cahmspionship.
Here are my picks for that same distinction over the past decade at the Bullring:
Late models: I don’t think I’ll get too many arguments by selecting Denny Woodworth. Only 14-time trak champ Mark Burgtorf has earned more points. Only Burgtorf and 2004 champ Lonnie Bailey have won more total races, features, heats and dashes.
And honestly, it’s probably doubtful if ol’ D.W. will ever win a track title because much of his racing time is now spent away from the track running more of a regional schedule.
Modifieds: I’d lean toward Dave Wietholder in this series, who seems to get stronger each season but has yet to bring home the gold ring. Before switching full-time to modifieds, Wietholder won a bomber title in 2001, so he obviously knows what it takes to reel in a championship. And he has been a consistent contender in the mods, but was first stuck behind the Hank DeLonjay juggernaut and then along came some guy named Michael Long.
Hobby stocks: Hands down, this pick goes to Adam Birck, who finished second in points three straight years (2004-06) when the class was still known as “bombers.” No other driver in track history in any series ever finished second in points three straight seasons. I think that was the final straw of frustration for Birck, and possibly what sent him to the modifieds in 2007, where he has struggled.
Stock cars: We’ll have to wait a few more years on this class. This is only the stocks’ second season at Quincy.