There’s now more than one way to win a title

March 7, 2014 0 Comments

21+3 logoIt’s been awhile since we’ve had back-to-back championships in the late model division at Quincy Raceways. Not since 2006-07 when Mark Burgtorf turned the trick has a driver won two titles in a row.

For those not good in math, that means we’ve had six different champions in the last six years, and I look for that trend to continue this season — which gets underway April 6. Ironically, it will be Burgtorf, the last man to go back-to-back, who will keep the back-to-backless streak alive.

Mark Burgtorf

Mark Burgtorf

Recent late model track champions
2013: Denny Woodworth (UMP)
2012: Jason Perry (UMP)
2011: Justin Reed (IMCA)
2010: Denny Woodworth (IMCA)
2009: Lonnie Bailey (IMCA)
2008: Jason Frankel (IMCA)
2007: Mark Burgtorf (IMCA)
2006: Mark Burgtorf (IMCA)

That doesn’t mean it will be a cakewalk to the title for Burgtorf, especially in this UMP Super Late Model world where we now live. During Burgtorf’s halcyon days in the IMCA era of the track he simply overwhelmed the field with one feature win after another. But have you noticed how the titles have been won the first two years of the UMP period at the track? Both Jason Perry (2012) and Denny Woodworth demonstrated a championship could be won with top-five consistency. The two of them COMBINED won a single feature over the past two summers.

What this all proves is it is no longer necessary to have to establish a world record for victories in order to win a title. With the UMP points system it is easier to overcome a bad week (or two) and still be in the thick of the hunt. That was not possible in the IMCA system. If a driver crashed out in a heat race or — heaven forbid — missed a week, he was pretty much toast as far the championship was concerned.

In the UMP scoring system it is possible to make up 30 to 40 points in a week. It was virtually impossible to make up that much ground in a season with the IMCA scoring system. To me, that was the most frustrating part of the IMCA affiliation.

Here’s how I see the 2014 Super Lates:

Champion: Mark Burgtorf. Mark Nation has been waiting the btter part of a decade for that 15th track title, That wait may end this season.

Runner-up: Jason Perry. No driver works any harder from Sunday to Sunday getting his car ready than Racin’ Jason.

Third place: Denny Woodworth. The 2013 champ will be in the running all season.


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 are broken by number of championships, second-place points finishes, top five points finishes, top 10 points finishes, etc.

1. Jason Perry, 22 points (1 title)
2. Denny Woodworth, 19 (1)
3. Mark Burgtorf, 18
4. Michael Long, 13
5. Dustin Griffin, 10
6. Justin Reed, 7
7. Ricky Frankel, 6
8. Jim Moon, 6
9. Jared Schlipman, 5
10. Clint Kirkham, 5

Other active drivers, minimum 2 points
Ron Elbe, 4
Bill Genenbacher, 2

1. Mark Burgtorf, 293 points (14 titles)
2. Terry Gallaher, 232 (4)
3. Steve Fraise, 178 (9)
4. Lonnie Bailey, 148 (2)
5. Dick Crane, 104.5 (1)
6. Denny Woodworth, 103 (2)
7. Jim Swank, 73.5 (1)
8. Sonny Findling, 70.5
9. Brent Slocum, 64 (1)
10. Justin Reed, 62 (1)

Other active drivers, minimum 5 points
Jason Perry, 47
Ron Elbe, 43
Bill Genenbacher, 24
Michael Long, 8
Clint Kirkham, 8
Ricky Frankel, 6
Jared Schlipman, 5

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