(Today continues a week-long look at different aspects of competition at Quincy Raceways as we head toward opening night on Sunday.)
It’s always fun to speculate when it comes to sports, and racing is no different. We’ve spent a lot of time in the last year breaking down who the top drivers were in each class during the just-completed decade. Well, what about the decade coming up, starting Sunday night? Between now and the final checkered flag of 2019, who are the most likely candidates to rule their respective series at the Bullring? Here are my picks:
Late models: The coming decade might very well belong to Justin Reed, who is not yet even close to reaching his peak. He eats, sleeps and breathes racing, especially the late model variety, and establishing his (championship) presence on his home track is extremely important to him. He’ll obviously have to deal with the usual suspects like Mark Burgtorf and a few others, but Burgtorf, in particular, seems intent on spreading his wings at other venues a bit more in the years to come. That could open the door for a likely successor to the throne at 8000 Broadway, and I think it could very well be Reed.
Modifieds: When I whittled down my list in this class, I kept coming back to one name — Steven DeLonjay. He appears to have the talent and desire to make a run at his dad’s modified accomplishments. “Little Crank” has already started to leave his own mark, changing the longstanding color scheme of the No. 35 ride to a blue-and-goldish look, rather than his dad’s familiar red and white. You know what the scariest aspect — from his opponents’ perspective — of about a possible DeLonjay Era II is? At the end of the coming decade, Steven won’t yet be 30 years old. The modified record book is likely to take a serious beating in the coming years.
Stock cars: Honestly, this division is almost impossible to project, with the series only entering its third season. But again, just like in the modifieds there was one name that I kept coming back to — in this case, Aaron Brocksieck. Examining what he has already accomplished in a relatively young career, I think the proverbial stock car sky could be the limit for him.
Hobby stocks: I always hate to split anything like this between two drivers, but I have to make an exception with this series. I see no reason for Steve Carlin to slow down in his pursuit to be considered the No. 1 all-time driver in this division. He’s an easy pick among the young veterans who figure to race (at least most of) the next 10 years. But I also have to pick young Tanner Klingele, the teenager who burst onto the scene in 2009 and earned the respect of drivers, fans and officials alike. Klingele reminds me a lot of a young Eddie Dieker, and we all know what he accomplished in this class.