The 2016 Fall Season is now in the rear view mirror, but before we officially move on, it’s time to hand out some virtual hardware. First of all, we want to thank all of the drivers that competed with us this past season. Many drivers will not be recognized in these awards, but they don’t go unnoticed as every driver plays a big role in what this league has become and what it will be in the future. We’re gearing up for 2017, but first, let’s hand out some awards!
SK Shootout Series
First off, we’ll start with the SK Modifieds.
SK Modifieds Champion – Trevor Edwards – 10 starts, 8 top tens, 7 top fives, 2 wins – Trevor had to play catch up for most of the season after missing the first race of the season, but once drop weeks were factored into the standing he was able to draw closer to the lead. After the misfortune of the other front runners late in the season, Trevor put himself within reach of the title heading into the finale and had a strong run to clinch the title. The championship would become Trevor’s first career SARA title.
SK Modifieds Pole Award – Bill Martin – 3 poles – Bill scored the pole three times this past season, at Stafford, Bristol, and Southern National.
SK Modifieds Winners Circle Award – Trevor Edwards and Bill Martin – 2 wins – With 9 different winners in 11 races, both Trevor and Bill were able to pick up two wins each. Trevor won at Irwindale and Stafford, Bill won at South Boston and Southern National.
SK Modifieds Rookie of the Season – Trevor Edwards (75 out of a total possible 80 rookie points) – Trevor’s season was impressive as a rookie, which obviously led to the championship, but it also earned him Rookie of the Season honors as well. His season was capped off with 6 straight top five finishes to close out the season.
Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series
Next up is the Sportsman Street Stocks:
Street Stocks Champion – Trevor Edwards – 11 starts, 10 top tens, 5 top fives – Trevor was in contention for the championship all season long as he rolled off top tens all season long. It wasn’t until late in the season after drop races were factored in that it looked like the title might slip away to Tim Bills, up until some personal issues prevented Bills from making the season finale. The gave the edge back to Edwards, and he would end the season by picking up the championship, which was his second of the week and 2nd career SARA championship.
Street Stocks Pole Award – Tim Bills – 3 poles – Tim picked up three poles during the season at Oxford, Five Flags, and Martinsville.
Street Stocks Winners Circle Award – Tim Bills – 3 wins – In addition to his three poles, Tim grabbed three wins as well, at Oxford, Five Flags, and Irwindale Inner.
Street Stocks Rookie of the Season – Trevor Edwards and Jeremy Adams (71 out of a total possible 80 rookie points) – Trevor grabbed his second Rookie of the Season as well as picking up the title, but he would have to share the rookie honors with Jeremy Adams. Jeremy also had a solid season with 7 top tens and 5 top fives, as he would end up 2nd in the final point standings to make it 1-2 for rookies in the championship.
GMPartsXperts.com Pro Late Model Series
The Pro Late Models are up next.
Pro Late Models Champion – Trevor Edwards – 11 starts, 8 top tens, 7 top fives – Down the late stretch of the season, it looked like it was Ian Layne’s turn to finally get a SARA championship, but Trevor was hot on his heels and once again put himself in position heading into the finale to have a shot at the title. Ian ended up getting into trouble, which give Trevor the chance at his own fate and he scored a good enough finish to steal away the Pro Late Model title, making it his 3rd championship of the Fall Season for his 3rd career SARA title.
Pro Late Models Pole Award – Tim Bills – 3 poles – Tim won the pole starting spot three straight times during the second half of the season at Martinsville, Iowa, and Lucas Oil.
Pro Late Models Winners Circle Award – Cody Kelley – 5 wins – Cody was on a tear early in the season winning 5 of 6 races at Richmond, Stafford, Southern National, Irwindale and Phoenix.
Pro Late Models Rookie of the Season – Trevor Edwards (80 out of a total possible 80 rookie points) – Trevor made it three in a row with Rookie honors with a max rookie score of 80 points. He once again had a strong surge late in the season with 5 straight top five runs to end his rookie season.
GMPartsXperts.com Super Late Model Series
Finally we have the Super Late Models.
Super Late Models Champion – Joe Schaffer – 11 starts, 7 top tens, 7 top fives, 2 poles, 2 wins – Joe was strong thoughout the first 2/3 of the season which put him in a good spot late in the season when bad luck struck. However he had built himself a big enough points lead where that wouldn’t matter, and Joe would go on to lock up the SLM championship making it back-t0-back titles, for his 4th career SARA championship.
Super Late Models Pole Award – Derek Holzhausen – 5 poles – Derek was strong in qualifying all season, picking up 5 poles at New Hampshire, Richmond, and the final three races of the season at Southern National, Stafford, and South Boston.
Super Late Models Winners Circle Award – Bill Martin – 3 wins – Bill picked up a trio of wins, at Lanier, Milwaukee, and South Boston.
Super Late Models Rookie of the Season – Trevor Edwards (73 out of a total possible 80 rookie points) – Trevor made it a full sweep of Rookie honors with another strong season in the Super Late Models. He finished 5th in the final standings with 7 top tens and 2 top fives.
Overall Pole Award
Awarded to the driver with the most overall poles across all divisions this past season.
Tim Bills – 7 poles – Tim picked up three Pro Late Model poles, one SK Modified pole, and three Street Stock poles. Tim now sits 7th all time on the career SARA poles list with a total of 22 poles.
Overall Winners Circle Award
Awarded to the driver with the most overall wins across all divisions this past season.
Cody Kelley – 8 wins – Cody scores this award despite being part-time this past season, winning 5 Pro Late Model races, 1 Super Late Model win, 1 SK Modified win, and 1 Street Stock win. Cody is currently tied for 2nd all time in career SARA wins with 48 victories.
Virgin Winner Awards
Awarded to drivers who picked up their first career SARA victories this past season.
Derek Holzhausen – Super Late Model victory at New Hampshire
Trevor Edwards – SK Modified victory at Irwindale
Jeremy Adams – SK Modified victory at Oxford
Tyler Price – Sportsman Street Stock victory at Langley
Safe Driver Discount Awards
Awarded to the drivers that have the most incident-free races across the league this past season.
Overall Safest Driver – Matt Rolfe – Matt had the most incident-free races, with a total of 14. Matt Eddy (12), Russell Berry, Ian Layne, Bill Martin, and Trevor Edwards (11) also had more than 10 incident-free races.
SK Modifieds – Matt Rolfe – Matt led the SK Modified division with 4 incident-free races.
Street Stocks – Russell Berry – Russell had 5 incident-free races in the Street Stock division.
Pro Late Models – Ian Layne & Matt Eddy – Both Ian and Matt had the most incident-free races in the Pro Late Models with 6.
Super Late Models – Matt Rolfe – Matt added 6 incident-free races in the Super Late Models to lead the division.
Consistency Is Key Awards
Awarded to the drivers that picked up top ten finishes in the points standings in three or more divisions.
Trevor Edwards – 1st in SK Modified points, 1st in Street Stock points, 1st in Pro Late Model points, 5th in Super Late Model points
Dale Owen – 2nd in SK Modified points, 6th in Street Stock points, 8th in Super Late Model points
Matt Rolfe – 3rd in SK Modified points, 3rd in Street Stock points, 7th in Pro Late Model points, 6th in Super Late Model points
Joe Schaffer – 5th in SK Modified points, 3rd in Pro Late Model points, 1st in Super Late Model points
Iron Men Awards
Awarded to the drivers that compete in the most overall races over the course of the season across all divisions.
Trevor Edwards – 42 total starts
Matt Rolfe – 41 total starts
Clay Snider – 37 total starts
Dale Owen, Joe Schaffer, Ian Layne – 32 total starts
Other drivers with 25 or more starts include Michael German, Russell Berry, Bill Martin, Ty Spearman (31), Scott Dunlap, Tim Bills (30), Matt Eddy (28), Darrell Hamlin (26), and Jeremy Adams (25).
Hard Luck Award
Awarded to the driver that ran into some bad luck this past season, and their season didn’t go the way it could have.
Tim Bills – Early on in the season, Tim was often running up front, but there were plenty of races where Tim got knocked out early while having a good car. Tim started hitting his groove mid-season, picking up a number of wins and poles, and put himself in a position to pick up back-to-back Street Stock titles. But once again some bad luck struck when some personal health issues prevented him from running the final week of the season, handing over the championship to another driver. While personal health is always more important than this league, if it wasn’t for some tough luck Tim would have another championship to his name, and we expect him to be in contention for another one very soon.
Lucky Dog Award
Awarded to the driver that had some good luck on their side this past season.
Trevor Edwards – We didn’t officially keep track of this stat, but it often seemed like Trevor was the beneficiary of our random inverts which always seemed to put him in a good spot to run up front. And he definitely took advantage of some good starting spots when he finished off the season with a solid string of top tens and top fives, which put him in position to pick up his 3 championships. But a little bit of luck late in the season helped with those titles, as other front runners in the points had some tough races in the closing weeks, leaving the door wide open for Trevor to sneak in and steal the titles away.
Most Improved Driver Award
Awarded to the driver that shows the most improvement over the course of a season, or shows improvement from one season to the next.
Ian Layne – While Ian is no stranger to running within the top ten and top five, he proved this past season that he can do it on a consistent basis. He’s come close to winning an SK championship before, but this past season he nearly took the Pro Late Model championship and was strong all season long, consistently running at the front of the field and leading the points for the second half of the season up until one incident knocked him out of contention. Ian has shown improvement each season since he joined the league, and it seems like he’s finally in a position to compete against some of the best on a weekly basis, and if he continues this trend there’s no reason why he won’t be competing for more titles soon.
One Lap Hero Award
Awarded to the driver that qualifies at the front of the field, but doesn’t always convert them to wins.
Derek Holzhausen – Calling Derek a “one lap hero” isn’t meant to be a negative award of any kind as Derek consistently ran up front this past season in races, but it more importantly shows how strong of a qualifier Derek was this past season. Running in just the Super Late Model division, Derek picked up 5 poles, and qualified in the top six positions in 9 out of 11 races which was quite impressive. He did pick up his first win this past season, so we’ll give him that, but he gets this award for his 5:1 pole to win ratio. We expect Derek to continue to qualify at the front of fields in 2017, which hopefully he can convert into more wins as well.
Hard Charger Award
Awarded to the driver that doesn’t always qualify well, but finds his way to the front by the end of the race.
Derek Robinson – If you tuned into our Super Late Model broadcasts throughout the season, a common theme was hearing Derek being called a “hard charger”, as he often qualified outside of the top ten, but was then able to work his way forward for some strong finishes. He actually only qualified in the top ten twice for an average starting spot of 16th, and ended up with an average finishing position of 8th as he picked up 9 top tens and 3 top fives which translated to a 3rd place finish in points. If Derek could hit his mark on a hot lap on a more consistent basis, he could be a serious threat for more wins without having to charge through the field.
Awarded to a driver who embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement. A driver who races with respect, races cleanly, and represents what this league is all about.
Mark Royer – Mark has been around for a few seasons now, racing primarily in the Pro Late Model division with some starts mixed in the other divisions as well. He might not always pick up the stats that he’s looking for, but he has definitely embodied what our league is about. It’s the little things that Mark does on the track that goes a long way as far as gaining respect from other drivers, such as driving cleanly, giving room when needed, he never causes issues but owns up to his mistakes when they do rarely happen, and he goes about his business without us having to worry about anything. Mark has been helpful off the track as well, providing ideas from time to time, and supporting the league by helping us land a sponsor that will be returning in 2017. Mark isn’t always in the spotlight, but it’s drivers like Mark who make this league what it is.
Driver of the Season
Awarded to the driver that had the best overall performance of the season.
Bill Martin – 31 starts, 22 top tens (73.3%), 19 top fives (63.3%), 6 wins (20%), 5 poles (16.7%), 681 laps led – It’s been no secret that Bill is one of the best drivers in the league, which is evident by being top three in all-time poles and wins in the league. This season, Bill had another strong season and added to his statistics by adding 6 wins and 5 poles, and led more laps than any other driver by nearly 250 laps. While Bill came up short on adding another championship to his total, he clearly showed no signs of slowing down, and proved in the final week at South Boston that if he puts in the effort to go out to try and win every race, he’s a force to be reckoned with.
Two other drivers were up for consideration for Driver of the Season, Trevor Edwards and Joe Schaffer, the 2016 Fall Champions, but when it came down to the statistics, Bill Martin edged out the other drivers with better percentages across the board.
Congrats to Bill Martin, the 2016 Fall Season Driver of the Season.
Now it’s onto 2017! More information coming soon.