A crash that wasn’t that driver’s fault.
Problems in a heat race that ended a night.
Those are just three of countless reasons a driver might miss a feature, or even a few laps on any given Sunday night. That’s why only nine drivers in five years have run every lap of their series’ scheduled main events. We started tracking this in 2008, and I have to admit it’s one of my favorite stats.
The following are your true iron men of the Bullring. Before the 2013 starts, I’ll give you the season leaders in each class and career leaders in laps run, etc. It will be easy to pick out why certain drivers are always in the middle of the points chase come late in the season — they manage to keep their cars on the track.
Oh, and make sure you read the note below about Jerry Jansen.
RING OF IRON 2008-2012
The following drivers completed all feature laps in the following seasons:
2012: Terry Houston, stock cars (297) track champion
2011: Jerry Jansen, stock cars (262)
2011: Jake Powers, hobby stocks (340)
2011: Nathan Anders, hobby stocks (340)
2010: Denny Woodworth, late models (380 laps) track champion
2010: Jerry Jansen, stock cars (270)
2009: Lonnie Bailey, late models (560) track champion
2009: Mike Wiley, hobby stocks (370)
2008: Chris Wibbell, stock cars (380)
— No modified driver has run all of the scheduled feature laps in a season during thes period. The closest was Steven DeLonjay in 2008, when he completed 98.1 percent (413 of 421).
— Sport mods have run just one complete season (2012), with Tony Dunker leading the way with 95.7 percent (354 of 370).
— In two years of sport compacts, Seth Woodruff’s 2011 season (98.6 percent, 213 of 216) came the closest.
— Jerry Jansen deserves some sort of special mention. He missed by one lap in 2012 of a third consecutive season of perfect lapness (not sure if that’s a word or not). Jansen ended up one lap down in a late-season feature, meaning he did not complete all of the laps that evening, ultimately costing him a third straight 100 percent season.