This is one of the rare weeks when I have to try and be as fair as possible to the classes that were not scheduled, yet reward the drivers who did race. And then there is the wild-card factor tied to the drivers whose classes were in action but did now show up for one reason or another. Anyway, I tried my best …
1. Michael Long: Iron Mike has run three races to completion in the first two weeks and finished no lower than second in any of them. (And he was leading in the fourth when he had mechanical problems.)
2. Dave Wietholder: Dave’s not far behind — he’s run four, and though he has yet to reach victory lane his worst finish is third.
3. Jason Perry: Maybe Racin’ Jason is going to try for two track titles in a row after all … ??
4. Jerry Lierly: Jerry should be back in the pits Sunday night to see if he can reclaim the No. 1 position.
5. Robbie Reed: Do you get the feeling the UMP Modified class might be the most intriguing of all this season?
6. Steven DeLonjay: Well, if you didn’t, consider that four of our top six and five of the first nine drivers on this list are UMP Mods.
7. Tony Dunker: Probably by this time next month, our favorite villain will be the third-winningest driver in the modern era (since 1999) of the Bullring.
8. Terry Houston: Memo to Terry, My wife and I spent last Saturday in Mount Sterling, but failed to run into the No. 97 car.
9. Shawn Deering: Ahh, another modified contender.
10. Denny Woodworth: Hopefully, he can get the No. 45 late model back on the track this week.
11. Abe Huls: Is it just coincidence that both Honest Abe Lincoln and Honest Abe Huls both have/had beards? In the years to come, we may discover that the original Honest Abe was once a stock-car driver, too. (The horse-and-buggy version, of course … or should that be “stock” buggy?) )
12. Clint Kirkham: The pits weren’t the same without Clint and sidekick Jeff Carter.
13. Bobby Anders: Judging by the look on his face Sunday night, I think young Mr. Anders wished he was behind the wheel instead of watching from the sidelines.
14. Mark Burgtorf: He’s still working out the kinks in that new ride.
15. Chris Spalding: We hear there’s a new member of the Spalding family on the way.
16. Justin Reed: Raise your hand if you feel it’s time for No. 1st car to return to the front of the field.
17. Pat Dunker: Is the guy with the cool hair now the man to beat in the four-cylinder cars?
18. Keith Pratt: Just wasn’t the same without The Kool Kat in the starting grid.
19. Joe Bliven: No more changing light bulbs this week, it’s back to driving The Deal Deal.
20. Robby Warner: Once he gets that new car dialed in, No. 79 should be fun to watch in those late model features.
21. Jake Powers: The Snake keeps waiting for more of his old hobby stock buddies to join him in the stocks.
22. Kim Abbott: If Kim wins the track title this season, does that mean she will move to a new class in 2014?
23. Craig Bangert: Craig, you had the out-of-town officials completely confused with the blonde No. 99.
24. Jake Griffin: Fireball will be MIA this week, he’s heading east to race.
25. Austen Becerra: Don’t worry about Austen, he’s still one of the guys to beat in the sport compacts.
26. Bill Genenbacher: Hats off to Wild Willy. If there’s a race at Quincy, he’ll be there.
27. Russ Coultas: The Big Five (Long, Wietholder, Delonjay. Deering, Reed) get most of the hype in the mods, but this guy can drive, too.
28. Ricky Frankel: Will look to improve on that ninth-place feature finish from April 14 when racing returns to normal Sunday.
29. Bryce Baker: The Bullet has had all sorts of issues the first two weeks, but still managed two top-five showings.
30. Brandon Lambert: He needs to transfer some of that heat-race success toi the main event.