Keith Pratt fans voted No. 33 the most likely to win a late model track championship from a list of 10 of the younger — in tems of both age and experience — drivers at the Bullring.
Pratt edged Matt Bailey, 35.2 percent to 33.9 percent, in what may have been the closest online poll result this blog has seen since it debuted more than two years ago. There were 227 ballots cast by the time we shut off the voting Friday morning. The poll was open for about two weeks.
I purposely removed drivers like Mark Burgtorf, Jason Frankel, Lonnie Bailey and Justin Reed from the equation. Three of the four are veterans of more than a decade of competitive racing and all have already won at last one track title at 8000 Broadway. The fourth, Reed, was runner-up this season and has firmly established himself as an annual top-five threat.
I wanted to see how the fans viewed the next tier of drivers attempting to crack the upper echelon at the track. Plus, Burgtorf and Frankel will likely not be actively competing for the 2010 title, preferring again to test the weekend waters outside Adams County.
NOW IT’S THE MODIFIEDS’ TURN
Starting today we’ll do the same thing with the modifieds. I have not included some of the established powers such as Reed, Steven DeLonjay and Tony Dunker. (I find it kind of ironic to eliminate DeLonjay from this list when he’s still a teenager, but I don’t think anyone will argue that he is already an elite driver.)
I have included some drivers — Robbie Reed, Vance Wilson, Wyatt Lantz — who have won past track championships. I put Reed on the list because since his 2006 title he has not been a fulltimer, but what if he would be again? The thinking was similar with Wilson. He showed us what he was still capable of in 2009 after not running full-time in Quincy since 2001. Lantz has run sporadically at Quincy since winning a”B” mod title earlier in the decade, but has not yet run a full season in the single-class mod division.
I believe it’s 21 weeks until the first green flag at Quincy Raceways, but who’s counting?