Before heading into the Sim Auto Racing Association’s 2015 Summer Season, here are a number of drivers to keep an eye on as we move into a new season.
First off, our champions from the 2015 Spring Season. These drivers put together some strong runs to earn their titles, and they’ll be looking to defend them in the new season:
– Cody Kelley – Our driver of the season from the Spring, Cody racked up three out of the five championships, along with picking up 15 wins and 7 poles. Cody was the car to beat most nights out, and we should see much of the same this season.
– Bill Martin – Bill picked up his 4th SARA championship in just the past two seasons as he dominated the SK Shootout Series with 6 poles and 4 wins in 8 races. The only division Bill has yet to win a title in, is the Super Late Model Series, so maybe we’ll see him go for the 5-peat.
– Ryan Borges – Ryan won his first SARA championship in the Legends division last season. But with that division gone, we’ll have to see which division he could possibly contend for another title in, and he has shown he has the speed to do that in any division.
Here are a number of other drivers to keep an eye on during the 2015 Spring Season (ABC order by last name):
– Ken Belanger – Just 1 start away from 350 career league starts, KB will again be a familiar face in each division. We saw him pick up more top ten finishes and he should continue to be consistently battling for those finishes once again.
– Mike Belanger – Like KB, Mike is another long time league member. He started to run up front more last season but didn’t always have the finishes to show for it. But with some more luck, we should see more strong runs from this former league champion.
– Russell Berry – Russell has been around for a while, and last season showed some strong improvements which led to a 4th place finish in the SLM standings. With that newly found speed, we expect him to be picking up more strong finishes again this season.
– Tim Bills – Tim has shown plenty of speed before and had a mix of good and bad finishes last season. With some more consistent finishes, he could be a contender in any division if he runs a full season.
– Stan Bragg – Stan started off the beginning of last season with some bad luck, took a long break off, then rejoined us at the end of the season with some good finishes. This former SK champion should continue to have solid runs.
– Tyler Breeding – A former SLM champion rejoined us last season for a few races and had a couple of good runs, but if he races more often, we should see more of those strong runs we saw in his title run a few seasons back.
– Justin Brooks – We know Justin is going to be a contender for wins in every single race he joins. He’s a former SLM champion as well and if he gets a full season in, he could be one of the top contenders for another title.
– David Carpenter – Last season we saw David pick up five top ten finishes in 7 races, and he was getting better as the season went on. Look for him to carry that momentum into the Summer Season with some more strong races.
– Anthony Celentano – Anthony considers the Pro Late Model division to be his best division, but he went on to pick up two SK Modified victories last season. He could be in contention in both divisions if he runs like he did last season.
– Scott Dunlap – Scott is closing in on 200 career starts, and towards the end of last season he was picking up a number of top ten finishes. Scott has always been consistent so look for him to keep picking up those solid finishes.
– Matt Eddy – Matt was another driver last season who got off to a slower start than he probably wanted, but then started picking up better finishes and more top tens as the season went on. He could be a sleeper to pick up a strong points finish in any division.
– Raymond Emmons – Raymond started just four SK Modified races last season, and was contending for top ten finishes in those races, so with a few races under his belt now, look for him to pick up the pace more and get some more good finishes.
– Michael German – We saw Michael in only 8 races at the beginning of last season, but a bunch of bad luck made him take a step back for a while. But he plans to run more often this season and he’s shown plenty of speed before to be running near the front.
– Patrick Hahe – With the Legends division now gone, Patrick’s focus will be on the SK Modified division where he picked up 6 top ten finishes in 8 races last season. Look for much of the same from him as he should continue to get plenty of solid finishes.
– Camaron Hamilton – Camaron finished 2nd in points in our first SLM season, then took a few seasons off before joining us again late last season. If he can run like he did back then, he could be a contender for a title as well this season.
– Jeff Hoggard – Jeff has shown a lot of improvement since he first joined the league a couple seasons ago, and picked up a bunch of top five and top ten finishes last season. Look for him to pick up more of those kinds of finishes as he continues to improve.
– Trey Jarrell – We know Trey is a threat to win each time he races and he showed that by winning the season finale in the SLM division last season. If we see more of Trey this season, especially a full season, he could be contending for a title this season.
– David Krikorian – David is someone who always shows enough speed to run up front each time out. We know he’ll be the favorite when the Pro Late Models go to Watkins Glen, but we could see him in victory lane more than just that one race.
– Jarrett Lawrence – Jarrett has always been consistently strong in the Pro Late Model division, and he showed more of that last season, and also did the same in the SK Modified division. Don’t expect him anything different from him this season.
– Ian Layne – Ian is another driver who has shown steady improvement since joining the league and that resulted in a top five finish in the SLM points. Look for him to continue improving all around and for him to get some more solid finishes.
– Jacob Linkiewicz – Jacob had some good finishes at the start of last season, took a few weeks off, then picked up his first career win later in the season. He’s fast every time out so he could pick up some more wins this season as well.
– James Linkiewicz – James is still looking for that first win, but he was a threat each time out before getting into some trouble later in the season. But we think he’ll finally make it into victory lane and could be a contender for a title in one of the divisions.
– Ty Majeski – We all know Ty is one of the guys to beat every time out as he had 17 poles and 10 wins last season, and we’ll be seeing a lot of the same this season from the league’s most winningest driver with 34 career SARA wins.
– Justin Mullikin – Justin put in a full season in the Street Stocks last season and ended up with five top tens and an 8th place points finish. And now that he has that season under his belt, he should see plenty of improvement and more solid finishes from him.
– Derek Robinson – Derek had 11 top ten finishes in 13 races last season, and was running near the front in most of those. He’s a former Pro Late Model champion with 19 career wins, and we could see him return to victory lane this season.
– Matt Rolfe – Matt continuously picked up top five and top ten finishes all season long in the Spring Season as he competed in every single event. Look for much of the same from him as he should also pick up more solid finishes across the board.
– Todd Sipe – Todd had an up and down season with some strong runs but had a bunch of bad luck as well. If that luck turns around, we could see plenty of good finishes all around from him. He’s been strong in the Street Stocks before and could be a contender for a title.
– Clay Snider – Clay is another driver who is always consistent every time out in any division. He started off last season a little slow, but then picked up 15 top ten finishes in his last 19 races. Look for more of those consistent runs this season.
– Ty Spearman – Ty seemed to be the only one who could keep up with Cody Kelley in the SLM division last season but came up a little bit short. He ran well in every division that he chose to run in, and we could be seeing up front quite a bit this season.
– Parker Traves – Parker picked up a couple of wins last season and was running up front across the board quite a bit before getting into some trouble late. But we expect him to be back and for him to be a strong contender each night once again.
There are a large number of other drivers who could have been on this list as well. We could potentially see some new names in victory lane during the Summer Season with a number of strong newcomers, and plenty of others who have come up just short in reaching victory lane. The new season starts up on Monday night, and we’ll see how all of these drivers do during the 2015 Summer Season.