It’s mid-November, and that means it’s time for our first predictions for the new season. We’ll start with those wild and crazy sport compacts, which for the second straight season were Austen Becerra’s world and the rest of the drivers were simply passing through.
Here’s how we see 2014 shaking out — at this point in time:
SPORT COMPACTS 2014
The champ: Austen Becerra will be favored to make it two straight titles. How can you pick against a guy who has won 19 features in 1 1/2 seasons? How long until some car owner puts Becerra in a modified, or even a late model?
The runner-up: We see Kim Abbott finishing second for a third straight season, again coming up just short in her quest to be the first female track champ in Bullring history.
Third place: Brandon Lambert. I’m anxious to see if he can maintain how strong he looked the last six weeks or so of this season. If he does, he might be a solid pick for the runner-up position.
Dark horse: We’re waiting to hear about two-time series champ Seith Woodruff’s 2014 plans. If he does return to this class, we’ll pencil him in as the No. 3 selection. Also keep an eye on the continued development of Alex Baker.
Disclaimer: These picks are based on Pat Dunker and Lightning Laine Van Zant moving to sport mods. If those plans change, we’ll revise these picks down the road.