Posted on 05 May 2011.
By Anthony Leek – With the quickly approaching racing season, it is time to check out last year’s top ten in the standings and find out what we might be able to see throughout the season. As per the 2010 preview, we will look at stats from their previous season, what their appearance on a weekly basis may be, and who could be the favourite to win the 2011 season championship. First off, is the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds starting with the tenth place finish of 2010:
10. #60X Chuck Lambert – Best Finish 1st (Twice), average finish 6.20. Not having run for points in 2010, Lambert was able to concentrate on feature wins garnering two throughout the season including one during the Friday night of the Emo Fall Fair. Three top 5s and one top ten capped out his year of a total of ten shows at the track. As for 2011, there is a good chance he will be running at least the same, if not more than in 2010. If he does run a full season, expect to see him near the top three for a championship run and at least a few feature wins.
9. #95 Matt Mutz – Best Finish 3rd, average finish 7.46. Mutz started in 13 of the 16 shows getting four top 5s and six tops 10s. It is not known what they are planning to do in 2011, but hopefully they are able to get to the track and make a run for the championship. He has yet to get a feature win, but has come close over the past couple of years. Watch out for Mutz to be a forerunner throughout the season if he is able to make it out.
8. #09 Steve Nordin – Best Finish 4th average finish 8.19. Nordin had a rough season in 2010, several mechanical issues and unfortunate accidents led to a frustrating season overall. Consistent attendance put him in a good finish in the standings and he did have five top 5 finishes. It seemed to be an average year with some good runs through the season. Unfortunately, the news is he will not be returning for a full season in 2011, although there is a slight chance he will at least make a few shows, especially for Fair weekend in August.
7. #06 Mike Wilson – Best finish 1st (Twice), average finish 8.88. If there was one driver that had a checkers or go home situation was Mike Wilson. The driver had a tremendous showing in 2010 with two features wins (his first one ever and a nice closing win at the end of the season). Of the entire top ten in the standings, Wilson had the worst average feature finish. Accidents and mechanicals problems plague the majority of his season except for two amazing nights where he cleaned up both heats and features. They were bittersweet highlights in a season of DNFs. Expect a stronger return for the driver in 2011 with getting at least one win. If he is able to finish more races this season, expect a run for a top 3 overall.
6. #17 Christopher Leek – Best finish 2nd, average finish 7.94. A DNS during the season opener left Leek behind the 8 ball off the start for a shot at the championship. However, the driver finished second several times throughout the year, his highest finish so far in his four years of racing, and ended in the top five for five weeks in a row in June/July. Eight top 5s (a 50% rating) and four top 10s helped him stay within the middle of the points. He also earned the most amount of heat wins out of all drivers. Who knows what will happen in 2011, but expect a close run at a win or two.
5. #11 Anthony Visser – Best finish 2nd, average finish 7.69. Seven top 5s was a decent year for Visser who had a winless streak for 2010. After winning a race in 2009 for the first time in four years, there was plenty of hope for a return to the winner’s circle. Transmission problems during a couple key races put Visser on the back burner for the points. A solid top five finish worked out okay for the driver, but after several years of being further up, it was a little disappointing. There is a chance he will return to the winner’s circle at least once. He also has a good chance with minimal mechanical problems that he could get another Midwest Modified championship.
4. #33 Kendal Gamsby – Best Finish 1st (Three Times), average finish 5.60. Right off the top, it is always a good bet that Gamsby will win the championship in 2011, or any year for that matter. The three time champion in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds took home several checkered flags in 2010 but was unable to stay in the hunt due to not making the feature on one of the fair nights. Five top 5s and six top 10s kept him in a good spot when the season was over. Barring from any problems, expect Gamsby to take 2-3 wins, and probably be at least runner up in the points.
3. #55 Tylar Wilson – Best finish 1st (Three Times), average finish 6.63. A rookie in the Midwest Modifieds, but no rookie to racing, Wilson converted from Street Stock to the open wheel quite nicely taking three wins, five top 5s and four top 10s. He was a contender for the win quite often and rarely missed a good finish. Expectations for Wilson will be higher this year as his rookie season has set the bar high. There is a good chance he will win another three in 2011 and finish in the top 5 in points.
2. #19 John Hettinga – Best finish 1st, average finish 5.44. Returning to a full season did wonders for Hettinga who had an excellent year with a win and claiming second in the points, only 8 behind the winner. Hettinga won’t be at the track for a full season in 2011, but will be out hopefully by mid-June. He is always a factor on the track and there are high expectations for a win or two.
1. #50 Brady Caul – Best finish 1st (Twice), average finish 5.00. This young driver has impressed a plenty with many wins under his belt with only five years of racing. Winning his first championship was only a matter of time. Caul was the only driver to have a top 5 AVERAGE finish with nine top 5s and only finishing once outside of the first five (still a top 10 finish). For 2011, expect much of the same with at least a couple of wins and plenty of top five finishes…. Maybe even another championship.
Notable Mentions for 2011:
#14C Cody Ossachuk – Starting out at the end of July, Ossachuk has some natural talent as he took second during a heat at the Emo Fall Fair only a few weeks after his opening race. In fact, he led most of it until the last lap when Kevin Monteith got underneath him. He was also solid in Greenbush at the end of the year. Keep an eye out for him.
#18 Cody Drennan – Another rookie in 2010, Drennan was only able to race the first half of the season before having to head out west to work. By his last race, he was starting to pick up speed and was able to hold onto the back of the pack. Expect continued improvement in 2011.
The opinions reflected herein are solely those of the above commentator and are not necessarily those of OntarioOval.com. Please direct comments or concerns to Anthony Leek at firstname.lastname@example.org.