Golden age of the modifieds?

September 27, 2012 4 Comments

Steven DeLonjay

Steven DeLonjay has raced his way into the modified all-time top 10 driver rankings. The 20-year-old DeLonjay’s second straight track championship, which also represented his fifth straight modified season of finishing third or higher in the points, has moved him among the track’s elite in this series.

DeLonjay, the son of 13-time track champ Hank DeLonjay (who won 10 of his titles in an “A” modified), now has 56 rankings points and a No. 7 position in the all-time top-10. Various classes of modifieds have raced at 8000 Broadway for the past 24 years.

Three other all-time top 10 drivers improved their ranking points total, but stayed in their same ranking position: No. 2 Tony Dunker, No. 3 Michael Long and No. 5 Dave Wietholder.

DeLonjay is the new No. 1-ranked driver in the modifieds since 2006. That was the year the track went to one series in that class through 2011. The track returned to two classes of mods this season with the introduction of the sport mods on a full-time basis. The sport mods had run a four-week schedule in 2011.

ARE WE IN THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE MODS?

Take a closer look at those all-time rankings. Are we living in the golden age of the mods at the Bullring? Dunker, Long, Wietholder, DeLonjay … those guys are all in their prime, or in the case of DeLonjay still about a decade away. It’s something to think about. We get to watch some of the best in track history on a weekly basis, and I think some fans may take that for granted.

I’ve also included several other sets of rankings for you to peruse, all using the same format that has been employed since all of this craziness began almost 15 years ago. What I find most interesting about the “retired” rankings involving the old “A” and “B” mod classes is only two of the 20 drivers listed — Dunker and Long — are still active on a full-time basis.

ALL-TIME MODIFIED DRIVER RANKINGS
Includes all modified divisions

Drivers receive ranking points on a 15-10-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale for their position in the final top 10 points standing each season. Ties broken by number of championships, second-place points finishes, top five points finishes, top 10 points finishes, etc.

1. Hank DeLonjay, 220 points (10 titles)
2. Tony Dunker, 125 (3)
3. Michael Long, 97 (2)
4. Sam Burgtorf, 81 (3)
5. Dave Wietholder, 67
6. Lonnie Carter, 57 (2)
7. Steven DeLonjay, 56 (2)
8. Vance Wilson, 56 (1)
9. Mike Karhoff, 55
10. Bob Dale, 51

Other drivers active in 2012 (minimum 30 ranking points)
Joe Bliven, 41
Robbie Reed, 39
Jared Schlipman, 37
Shawn Deering, 36

MODIFIED DRIVER RANKINGS SINCE 2006
Premier modified series only

1. Steven DeLonjay, 56 points (2 titles)
2. Michael Long, 49 (2)
3. Dave Wietholder, 49
4. Tony Dunker, 39
5. Jared Schlipman, 37 (1)
6. Shawn Deering, 36
7. Robbie Reed, 31
8. Justin Reed, 21 (1)
9. Hank DeLonjay, 20
10. Jake Griffin, 12

MODIFIED DRIVER RANKINGS SINCE 2009
When series became UMP sanctioned

1. Steven DeLonjay, 48 points (2 titles)
2. Jared Schlipman, 37 91)
3. Dave Wietholder, 28
4. Shawn Deering, 23
5. Justin Reed, 21
6. Michael Long, 19
7. Tony Dunker, 14
8. Jake Griffin, 12
9. Donovan Lodge, 7
10. Vance Wilson, 7

Other drivers active in 2012 (minimum 3 ranking points)
Robbie Reed, 6
Todd Reed, 5
James Leffew, 4
Russ Coultas, 3
Trent Grotz, 3

RETIRED “A” MODIFIED RANKINGS (1988-2005)

1. Hank DeLonjay, 200 points (10 titles)
2. Sam Burgtorf, 81 (3)
3. Mike Karhoff, 55
4. Michael Long, 48 (2)
5. Vance Wilson, 46 (1)
6. Mark Van Winkle, 39 (1)
7. Darin Walker, 35 (1)
8. Brandon Brown, 35
9. Jeff Waggoner, 32
10. Gary Wilson, 30

RETIRED “B” MODIFIED RANKINGS (1993-2005)

1. Tony Dunker, 61 points (2 titles)
2. Lonnie Carter, 57 (2)
3. Bob Dale, 51
4. Greg Uppinghouse, 46 (2)
5. Gary Dreyer, 45 (2)
6. Kelly Bartz, 45 (1)
7. Wyatt Lantz, 40 (1)
8. Jim Leffew, 31
9. Jerry Poor, 29
10. Joe Hooper, 26

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Comments (4)

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  1. STEALTH says:

    COME ON HERE DIRT MAN: LETS GET IT STARTED ON CHEATERS NIGHT.
    I HEAR THAT LITTLE DONKER HAS THAT ENGINE THAT BIG DONKER WOULD NOT LET-EM PUMP AND WHISTLE IS GOING TO BE IN THE 5 4-I MEAN 8 BANGER THIS WEEK…………

  2. seighinger says:

    if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.

  3. seighinger says:

    at least that’s what old friend kenny pratt always told me.

  4. seighinger says:

    key word there was “old.” bwahahahahahah…

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