One of the pleasant surprises during the offseason has been the number of conversations I have found myself in regarding the second Quincy Raceways Hall of Fame class. Who will be inducted later this year to following the inaugural round of Mark Burgtorf, Steve Fraise, Hank DeLonjay, the Scott Family, Don Hummel and Refreshment Services Pepsi?
Judging from the names I most often hear, coupled with one or two I also feel deserve conversation, I would guess — and believe me, it is only a guess — the leading candidates would be (in alphabetical order) Lonnie Bailey, Steve Carlin, Eddie Dieker, Tony Dunker, Terry Gallaher and Denny Woodworth. There are at least another dozen-plus possibilities I have also included.
Let’s be honest. That 2011 class was a virtual slam dunk, but now we get into the start of the great debate(s), and that’s one of the pivotal reasons for a Hall of Fame like this. It stirs great interest.
Two names I have not included on the following list are Michael Long and Steven DeLonjay, for what I presume are obvious reasons. I kind of use the loose guideline of having had to race at least 10 full years at the track, unless there would be an obvious exception — which there is in the case of Dieker. He raced less than 10 years, but won four track championships. He was the Sandy Koufax of the bombers — he wasn’t around long, but he will never be forgotten.
The following list is also dealing primarily with drivers, for the exception of a couple of “families” and a car builder I have added to the discussion. I am not qualified to talk about longtime track employees or sponsors. I’ll leave that up to the track officials. Today I am simplky starting the discussion about the drivers.
I haven’t talked yet with Hall of Fame Executive Director Charlie Bryson, but I would guess there would again be three drivers selected. If that’s the case, the decision(s) will be mighty difficult.
I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts.
2012 HALL OF FAME POSSIBILITIES (listed alphabetically)
THE CASE FOR BAILEY
— No. 4 in all-time late model rankings (1975-2011).
— No. 2 in IMCA Era rankings (1998-2011), and one of only two drivers to win two or more tiles in that period. Burgtorf won 8, Bailey 2.
— One of 10 drivers in track history with three or more total championships. He also won a sportsman title before entering the late model series.
— Has finished second in track points six times in a late model career that started in 1988, including five runner-up finishes since 2002.
— No. 5 in all-time Deery Brothers Summer Series tour rankings at Quincy Raceways, trailing only Burgtorf, Denny Woodworth, Rob Toland and Boone McLaughlin.
— No. 5 in the all-time “Dirty Thirty” rankings, which encompasses all classes.
— Ranks second in both late model total wins (98) and features won (23) since statistics started being tracked in 1999.
— No. 3 in track points during the IMCA Era behind Burgtorf and Woodworth.
THE CASE FOR CARLIN
— No. 1 in all-time (1987-2011) hobby stock/bomber rankings.
— No. 1 in hobby stock era (since 2007) rankings.
— Only non-late model/modified driver to win three or more consecutive track championships.
— His five track titles trail only Burgtorf (14), Hank DeLonjay (13) and Steve Fraise (9) in track history.
— Has won his five track titles since 2003, which is more than any other driver in that period.
— Is four victories shy of the 100 mark for his career.
— Holds class record for total races (23) and features (12) won in a season.
— No. 6 in the all-time ‘Dirty Thirty” rankings, which encompasses all classes.
THE CASE FOR DIEKER
— Won four track titles before the age of 26.
— No. 2 in all-time (1987-2011) hobby stock/bomber rankings.
— Remains the career leader for features won (39) in the hobby stock/bomber series since stats started being kept in 1999.
— Led the hobby stock/bomber series in races won five times in a seven-year span.
— Despite retiring in 2006, he is still third in all-time series career points for the hobby stock/bomber division.
— No. 11 in the all-time ‘Dirty Thirty” rankings, which encompasses all classes.
— Won more Herald-Whig Performance Points titles (4) than any other hobby stock/bomber driver.
THE CASE FOR DUNKER
— No. 2 in all-time (since 1988) modified rankings.
— No. 4 in one-class (since 2006) modified rankings.
— Was No. 1 in “B” modidfied career rankings when they were retired following the 2005 season.
— One of six drivers in all classes in track history to finish in the top five in points nine or more consecutive seasons.
— No. 8 in the all-time ‘Dirty Thirty” rankings, which encompasses all classes.
— Has a modified record 12 straight seasons in the top 10 in points.
— One of four drivers to win 100 or more races since 1999.
THE CASE FOR GALLAHER
— No. 2 in all-time late model track rankings (1975-2011).
— His four late model track titles trail only 2011 Hall of Famers Mark Burgtorf (14) and Steve Fraise (9).
— One of seven drivers with four or more championships.
— One of three drivers to ever win two or more consecutive late model titles.
— Holds the track record for most consecutive top-five points finishes with 21, a streak that ended in 2000.
— Gallaher also had 21 straight years in the top 10 in points, second only to a 25-year streak by Burgtorf.
— No. 4 in the all-time “Dirty Thirty” rankings, which encompasses all classes.
THE CASE FOR WOODWORTH
— One of two drivers (Justin Reed being the other) to win a track title in both a late model and modified.
— No. 6 in all-time late model rankings (1975-2011).
— No. 3 in IMCA Era rankings (1998-2011)
— No. 2 in all-time Deery Brothers Summer Series tour rankings at Quincy Raceways, trailing only Burgtorf.
— No. 10 in the all-time “Dirty Thirty” rankings, which encompasses all classes.
— Ranks third in both late model total wins (91) and features won (22) since statistics started being tracked in 1999.
— No. 2 in track points during the IMCA Era behind Burgtorf.
— Only driver besides Burgtorf to win more than one Herald-Whig Performance Points late model title. Burgtorf has nine, Woodworth two, Bailey one and Gallaher one.
ADDITIONAL DRIVERS WHO COULD BE CONSIDERED BY THE HALL OF FAME’S VETERANS COMMITTEE
— Dick Crane, late models
— Jim Swank, late models
— Sonny Findling, late models
— Brent Slocum, late models
— Sam Burgtorf, modifieds
— Lonnie Carter, modifieds
— Gary Dreyer, modifieds
— Greg Uppinghouse, modifieds
— Mike Karhoff, modifieds/late models, track owner
— Dave Wietholder, bombers/modifieds
— Bill Genenbacher, bombers
— Jerry Powers, car builder
— Wilson family racing
— Powell family racing