(This is the second of a four-part series involving the 2011 Stevie Dirt championship picks for Quincy Raceways. The season begins Sunday, April 3.)
Without question, the most difficult series to handicap is the stock car class. We simply don’t know who is going to run full-time and who is not, which morphs into the real story this season. Will the stock cars draw enough entries to survive?
Track officials seem confident we’ll have a season average in double figures. I’m keeping my fingers crossed about that because I simply have no idea. By my count, I see eight full-timers that I’m pretty confident about, and one of those likely won’t be there opening night. That does not count drivers I have not heard from or know about yet.
My best guess is there will be an average about 10-12 drivers each week, including 2-4 coming from drivers such as defending champ Terry Houston (who is not going to campaign every week, at least at this point) and Jeff Mueller. Mueller and a few other Iowa drivers will probably be there on more of a regular basis in 2011 if they like the “new” track.
We’ll probably have to give this class a month or so to shake out to see who we have — and who we don’t.
HOW WE SEE THE STOCK CARS FINISHING — AT THIS POINT
1. Aaron Brocksieck: If Brocksieck, who won the 2008 hobby stock championship, can keep that new pink ride on the track he’ll probably be tough to keep out of victory lane. Brocksieck was beset by all sorts of misfortune in 2010 after a promising rookie season the year before. We look for his luck to change, and if that happens he’s guaranteed to be in the title hunt.
Why he’ll win: Brocksieck has had two full years in this series. He’s seen the best of times and the worst of times. I think the pendulum swings back toward the positive this summer.
Why he won’t: More bad luck.
2. Kevin Tomlinson: No. 49’s fate might be decided in the first month of points racing. If Tomlinson gets off to a fast start and can avoid having to play catch-up all season he can win his first track title. Patience is not necessarily one of his strengths, so keep an eye on him in traffic.
3. Steve Steinkuhler: “Scuba Steve” has finished in the top four in points twice in the series’ first three years. What he needs to take the next step is finding the podium a bit more often. He’s won “just” four points features in those three seasons.
Dark horse: Andrew Griffin. I think this is the year he figures out how to win on Sunday nights that are not Mother’s Day. (Both of his main event victories have come on Mom’d Day.)
Comeback of the year: Brocksieck.
2010 POINTS LEADERS
Terry Houston, 448
Abe Huls, 436
Steve Steinkuhler, 432
Jerry Jansen, 424
Andrew Griffin, 416
STOCK CAR TRACK CHAMPIONS
2010: Terry Houston
2009: Abe Huls
2008: Jeff Mueller