Now that we’re into the second half of the season, and we’ve gotten through the first off-week as well, things will start to get intense over the final five weeks. Championships battles will start to shape up, and drivers look to either keep up their strong performances, or in some cases, drivers will be looking to turn their seasons around. Let’s take a look back at the Week 7 Power Rankings:
10. James Linkiewicz & Anthony Celentano – Last Week’s Rank: NR
Both James and Anthony have been in the power rankings this season, but have been right on the cusp of staying inside the top ten consistently. For James, he’s been fast and has been running up front, but some bad luck seems to find him and he hasn’t always gotten the finishes he deserves. His past two Street Stock finishes have been 18th or worse, but his other finishes over the past two weeks have been a pair of 8th place finishes, a 3rd, and a 2nd place finish in last week’s Super Late Model race after leading late. For Anthony, he’s also been quick this season, and as long as he doesn’t get caught up in anything, you can usually find him inside the top ten, and he broke through in the SK Modified race last week to pick up his 2nd career win. For both drivers, the off-week could be just what they both needed to gear up for the remainder of the season, so we’ll look to see if they can kick it up a notch.
9. Patrick Hahe – Last Week’s Rank: 9th (+0)
Patrick has been running pretty solidly on Monday nights the past few weeks, and is actually currently on a 9-race streak of top ten finishes. Last week, he picked up a 3rd in the Legends race and then backed it up once more by working his way towards the front of the field near the end of the SK Modified race at Bristol to finish 3rd again. Patrick now sits in tie for 2nd place in the SK standings, and we’ll be looking to see if he can keep up his streak, and keep himself near the top of those standings as the begins to wind down.
8. David Krikorian – Last Week’s Rank: 7th (-1)
David ran just one lone race last week, but he made it count with another top five finish in the Super Late Model race at Lanier. He ran up front all race long, and got up as far as 2nd before getting shuffled back in the closing laps. In his last five starts, he’s either won the race (on road courses) or finished 5th (on ovals). There’s no road courses on the schedule for Week #8, but we’ll look for David to pick up another 5th place finish at least, or better.
7. Ty Majeski – Last Week’s Rank: NR
Ty has been away for a few weeks, but his presence was definitely known when he returned by picking up a trio of wins last week to launch him back up in the rankings. Not just wins though, dominating wins. He led all 75 laps for the Street Stock win. He led 77 laps of the Pro Late Model race for the win, and then led 97 laps total after regaining the lead late for the Super Late Model win. We’re not sure how Ty’s upcoming schedule looks since his real racing season is already going on, but if he continues to run each week, that could mean trouble for the rest of us.
6. Ty Spearman – Last Week’s Rank: 5th (-1)
Ty continues to be a contender each week in the Super Late Model division, and picked up a solid 6th place finish which keeps him 2nd in points. But he drops down a spot in the rankings this week after a pair of unusually low finishes for him, with an 18th in the Pro Late Model race, and 20th in the Street Stock race. It’s clear that Ty is focused on the SLM championship, averaging a finish of 4.6 over the past three weeks, but in the PLM and SS divisions, his average finish has been 15.75 in his las four races. Look for Ty to stay hot in the SLM races, and rebound in the other divisions during the second half of the season.
5. Matt Rolfe – Last Week’s Rank: 6th (+1)
Matt sneaks up a spot this week in the rankings and posted some decent finishes across the board last week. He picked up four top tens, including a strong 4th place finish in the Super Late Model race. Once again though, he got caught up in a Pro Late Model wreck, this time on lap 1 which gave him another low finish in that race with a 16th. With the exception of his last two PLM races, Matt has averaged a finish 6.4 over the other 12 races he’s been in during the past three weeks. Consistency will be the key for Matt over the final five weeks of the season, so look for some more solid top ten finishes each race.
4. Parker Traves – Last Week’s Rank: 4th (+0)
Parker has been on quite the hot streak lately, and if it wasn’t for a blown motor in the Pro Late Model race around lap 50 last week, he could have possibly jumped up some in these rankings. Before that blown motor, he had seven straight top ten finishes during the last three weeks, which included five podium finishes and two wins. Last week’s results also included an 8th in the SK Modified race after being up front for most of the race, and he got 2nd in the Legends race and led 23 laps. If Parker can continue to run like he has been, he should be a mainstay near the top of these rankings, and could see a couple more wins come soon to him.
3. Ryan Borges – Last Week’s Rank: 3rd (+0)
Ryan is another driver who is close to knocking off the top two guys in these rankings. He does have wins in four straight weeks on Monday nights, including his win last week in the Legends race. But he also had a couple of finishes outside of the top ten with a 12th in the Super Late Model race, and a 13th in the SK Modified race. But in addition to that win, he also got a 5th and a 7th last week as well. So Ryan has proven that he can be a contender each night out, and there’s no doubt he’ll continue to find his way up front, and if he can avoid some of the incidents he’s gotten caught up in lately, he should continue to put the pressure on in these rankings. Ryan is also the points leader in the Legends divisions, so look for him to finish off the season strong.
2. Bill Martin – Last Week’s Rank: 2nd (+0)
Bill ran just two races last week, but a 2nd and a 3rd place finish isn’t too bad. He led a majority of the SK Modified race at Bristol before pitting, and came up just short on his charge back to the front when he ended up 2nd. And then started out back in the Street Stock race before climbing all the way up to 3rd in that race. Bill also continues to lead the SK standings, and sits 2nd in the Pro Late Model standings as well. Now that we’re heading into the final five weeks of the season, look for Bill to kick it up another notch to see if he can clinch another SARA title, if not two of them if he can finish strong.
1. Cody Kelley – Last Week’s Rank: 1st (+0)
Cody holds on to the top spot in the rankings after another very solid performance last week. He posted finishes of 4th in the Street Stock race, 2nd in the Pro Late Model race, and 3rd in the Super Late Model race. If we look further back at his numbers, that’s seven straight top five finishes (just one of those not on the podium), and then if we go back even further throughout the entire season, Cody has yet to finish outside of the top ten even once. That’s 23 races this season, 23 top ten finishes with 21 of those being top five finishes. And if you go all the way back to last season, that’s 32 straight top ten finishes. That’s impressive. It’s clear Cody is one of the main guys to beat each night, but it’s going to take a lot to knock him off the top spot in these rankings.
New This Week: Ty Majeski, James Linkiewicz, Anthony Celentano
Dropped Out: Cody Thompson, Clay Snider