While the rest of the sport mod field may have become a bit frustrated last summer by Tony Dunker’s dominance, what he accomplished was to give the series an identity — and something to shoot for in years to come.
The first full season of the sport mods belonged lock, stock and barrel to Dunker’s No. 3 team. The 15 features alone that he won were enough to earn him the Stevie Dirt Driver of the Year award in this class, but even more importantly he became the face of the series. All successful racing classes need that, from NAASCAR on down — otherwise it’s a ho-hum collection of individual talents. Someone has to stand out, to make people interested — and Dunker has always been tremendous at that.
Look at the feud between Dunker and blog contributor “flyby” (plus a few others). I think we all loved it. Admit it, we all looked forward to any post slugged ‘TEAMFOURBOSS” or “flyby.”
Dunker’s future is uncertain. He loves to race, but he also loves his young son, who has some serious baseball commitments lined up for 2013. I’m sure we’ll see Dunker at the track (at least) on occasion — and hopefully full-time if his schedule permits — but whatever he does in 2013 will be impossible to compare to 2012. Some day, looking back, this will probably be engraved as his “career year.” It will also be the season the sport mods established themselves at Quincy Raceways — thanks to Dunker.
1st STEVIE DIRT SPORT MOD ALL-DIRT TEAM
DRIVER OF THE YEAR
2012: Tony Dunker
2012: Bobby Anders, Joe Bliven
2012: Brad Holtmeyer, Tanner Klingele