Another season of racing is set to begin for the Sim Auto Racing Association as we head into the 2015 Spring Season on Monday night. There was plenty of action, drama, and great racing last season, and much of the same is expected as we get 2015 under way. Here are some drivers to keep an eye on this season:
First off, our champions from the 2014 Fall Season. These drivers put together some strong runs to earn their titles, and they’ll be looking to defend them in the new season.
-Bill Martin – Bill put together one heck of a season, picking up 3 different championships, 14 poles, and 12 wins during the Fall Season. It was a breakout season for him as he only had 1 win and 1 pole previously. With the domination we saw last season, we expect much of the same from Bill in 2015, as he looks to continue his winning ways.
-Justin Brooks – The winningest driver in SARA history, Justin earned himself his first SARA championship after overcoming a midseason penalty in the Super Late Model division last season. He picked up 4 poles and 5 wins, and led almost 600 laps more than anyone else in the division. We wouldn’t expect anything less from Justin as he’ll be sure to find his way to victory lane some more to increase his impressive stats.
-Stan Bragg Jr. – Stan picked up his first career SARA victory, and then went on to pick up his first career SARA championship in the SK Mod division last season. Stan has been no stranger to running up front in every division he runs in. In his last 19 league races across all divisions, he only finished outside of the top 10 once. Consistency has been key for Stan, and we’ll look for him to build off of his championship momentum.
Here are a number of other drivers to keep an eye on during the 2015 Spring Season (in no particular order):
-Cody Kelley – Cody broke through for 3 Pro Late Model wins and 1 Super Late Model win last season. He should continue to run up front, and should be in contention for the Pro Late Model title once again.
-Jarrett Lawrence – Jarrett ran full time in the Pro Late Models last season, coming home 7th in points. But he has the speed to be battling within the top 5 or top 10. He should continue to run near the front and possibly improve his points finish.
-James Linkiewicz – James finished 4th in points in all three divisions that he ran for points in, but he had plenty of bad luck as well. We look for him to continue to run up front, and maybe even finally break into the win column.
-Parker Traves – Parker picked up a couple of wins in the beginning the season, and often ran up front in the Acceleration Series. Look for much of the same for Parker this season.
-Todd Sipe – Todd found himself in contention for the Street Stock title over the second half of last season, running as close as just 1 point out of the lead, before finishing 3rd in points. With a little more consistency, he should be in contention once again.
-Ryan Borges – Ryan was a surprise to us last season by going on a tear and finishing in the top 10 in 31 out of 37 races, and picking up a Legends win. He has a knack for running up front, and if he runs full time in any division, he could very well be in contention for a title.
-Mike Belanger – Mike has run into plenty of bad luck over the past couple seasons, but did end up 4th in Pro Late Model points. Look for this former SARA champ to pick up some better finishes this season.
-Clay Snider – Clay has always been consistent and often runs up in the top 10 in any car he races in. We should see much of the same this season for the leader in all-time SARA top 10 finishes.
-Fred Moreau – Fred led the Super Late Model points throughout the second half of last season, but came up short in the standings. If he runs another full schedule, he should be in contention for the title once again.
-Kevin J Myers – Kevin finally picked up his first SARA win last season, and looked to battle for the SK Mod championship before running into some bad luck. With a little more luck, Kevin could very well be a Spring Season champion.
-Anthony Celentano – Anthony tied his best points finish in the Pro Late Models by finishing 3rd, and was often running within the top 5 or top 10. If he can run more consistently up front, look for another solid points run for Anthony.
-Patrick Hahe – Patrick is another consistent driver, but surprised us with a win in the Clash event in a SK Mod. Perhaps he hit on something and could be a contender in the SK division this season, as well as the Legends.
-Travis Warling – Travis had a great season in the Legends division with 6 wins, but came up just short in the points. Look for him to have another strong season, and for him to be the top contender for the Legends title in the Spring Season.
-Matt Rolfe – Matt is another driver who can often be found inside the top 5 or top 10 in any division. We expect much of the same for Matt in the Spring Season, and could possibly be in contention for another title.
-Ty Spearman – Ty finished 3rd in Super Late Model points, despite only racing in 9 races. If he puts together a full season, he could be right in the thick of things and in contention for the championship.
-Ian Layne – Ian was a newcomer in SARA last season and worked his way into some solid finishes. With one season under his belt, look for Ian to continue to improve and pick up some more good finishes.
-Ken Belanger – KB led the Street Stock points for a few weeks last season, which was his first time leading the points. He’s also closing in on 300 career league starts, and should eclipse that mark within the first two weeks of the season.
-Josh Kotten – Josh picked up a win in the first week of last season in the Legends division, but we didn’t see much of him until a late season appearance. We believe he is set to make a run at the Legends points, and could be another contender if he does.
-Ray Farlow – Ray had some solid finishes last season, but plenty of other races where he ran into trouble. But as he closes in on 100 career SARA starts, we look for Ray to put up some good finishes as a member of the 100-start club.
-Tim Bills – Tim ran part time last season, but was often found running near the front of the pack. We could see him at the front some more this season and contending for more wins.
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 Spring 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 tonight, and we’ll see how all of these drivers do during the 2015 Spring Season.