With the season coming to an end last week, it’s time to see if anyone had what it takes to knock Cody Kelley off the top of the Power Rankings, or if he continued his dominance at the top. A couple drivers have made a charge at him late in the season, but was it enough?:
10. Jeff Hoggard / Russell Berry – Last Week’s Rank: 8th (-2) / NR
Jeff entered the final week of the season with 6 top ten finishes in his previous 7 starts, and he started off week 12 with a 3rd in the Legends race, but then in the SK Modified race and the Pro Late Model race, he ended up with a pair of 15th place finishes. For Russell, he entered the week with 5 out of 7 top ten finishes, and he did more of the same in the week 12 with a pair of 10th place finishes and then a pair of 6th’s to finish the week off. Jeff drops a couple spots, and Russell enters into the Power Rankings with some very similar numbers, averaging a finish of about 8.4 for each of them over the final three weeks of the season to put them both at 10th in the rankings to close the season.
9. Clay Snider – Last Week’s Rank: NR
Clay’s up and down season started off rough in the early weeks, but as the season went on, his finishes continued to improve and were more consistently inside the top ten and top five. He had a couple finishes outside the top ten in Week 11, but in Week 12 he rebounded with a 4th in the Legends race and a 6th in the SK Modified race at South Boston, which moves him back into the rankings. Clay didn’t run a full season in any division which hurt his chances in any of the points, but it was nice to see some of that same consistency in his finishes later in the season which won him a championship a few seasons ago.
8. Jarrett Lawrence – Last Week’s Rank: NR
A few seasons ago, Jarrett once posted 25 straight top ten finishes in the league. He’s had a little bit of tough luck since then, as well as some improved competition, but this past season we saw some more of Jarrett running up front like we had gotten used to. Over the final three weeks of the season, he posted 6 straight top ten finishes to close things out, including a 5th in the Pro Late Model finale and a 7th in the Street Stock finale at SoBo. His strong runs in the PLM division all season long earned him a 3rd place finish in the standings, which tied his best finish in points in the division.
7. Ty Spearman – Last Week’s Rank: 4th (-3)
Ty had a very strong season overall in the Spring Season, which put him 2nd in the Super Late Model standings. But he drops down a few spots in the rankings to close out the season, as he had four straight finishes outside the top ten to close things out. At SoBo, he had finishes in the Pro Late Models and Super Late Models of 18th and 19th respectively. Surely that wasn’t the way Ty wanted to close out the season, but he showed all season long that he can contend for a title, and he picked up a win earlier in the year, so he could be someone to mess with heading into the Summer Season.
6. Jacob Linkiewicz – Last Week’s Rank: 10th (+4)
After his brother James was penalized after Week 9 in the season, we saw Jacob in more races late in the season and he showed he could run up front. In his final 7 races of the season, he picked up 6 top five finishes including a win at Thompson in Week 11. At SoBo in Week 12 he posted finishes of 4th in the Super Late Model race and a 5th in the Street Stock race which shoots him up these rankings to 6th. Jacob is a former SLM champion so it was definitely no surprise that he ran well to close out the season, but it was nice to see him finally pick up a win as he closed out the season on a strong note.
5. David Krikorian – Last Week’s Rank: 6th (+1)
David ran in just three races over the final three weeks of the season, but he made them count. Out of those three races, he didn’t finish any worse than 3rd. He finished 2nd in the Week 10 Pro Late Model race, 3rd in the Week 11 Super Late Model race, and then finished his season off with another 2nd place finish in the PLM race at SoBo to close out the season. Most of his career wins in the league have come on road courses, but with some of the finishes he’s put up this season on ovals as well, he should be considered a threat every time out, and not just on the road courses.
4. Matt Rolfe – Last Week’s Rank: 5th (+1)
Matt’s very consistent season came to close with some strong finishes as he had 4 top fives and 5 top tens in the final week of the season at SoBo, as he posted finishes of 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, and 9th. And over the final three weeks of the season, he raced in all 15 races and only finished outside of the top ten twice. Those kind of numbers put him into points finishes of 2nd in Legends, 2nd in Street Stocks, 3rd in SK Mods, 3rd in Super Late Models, and 4th in Pro Late Models. Matt is the all-time SARA leader in top tens and top fives, which he had plenty of all season long.
3. Ryan Borges – Last Week’s Rank: 2nd (-1)
Ryan was someone to watch all season long, and despite dropping a spot in the rankings, he certainly didn’t have a bad week to close out the season. He picked up the victory in the Legends race at SoBo which clinched his first career SARA title, and then to close out the week he finished 4th, 7th, and 3rd. Over the final three weeks of the season, Ryan extended his current streak of top ten finishes to 13 races, where he had four wins in that span. Ryan showed what it takes to win a title, but with the Legends gone next season, he’ll have to look for a different championship to chase down.
2. Bill Martin – Last Week’s Rank: 3rd (+1)
Much like Ryan, Bill had quite the streak to end the season which moves him up into the number two slot in these rankings. Over the final three weeks of the season, in 10 races, Bill had one 5th place finish, and the other nine finishes were all 1st or 2nd, which is pretty impressive. He won the season ending SK Modified race to claim his 4th SARA championship (in four different divisions), and then finished the week off with a pair of 2nd place finishes in the Street Stocks and Super Late Models. Now with 4 titles in the past two seasons, the only division he has left to claim is the Super Late Models, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him battling for that title if he chooses to do so.
1. Cody Kelley – Last Week’s Rank: 1st (+0)
It’s hard to bet against this guy when he had 36 straight top ten finishes to start out the season. That did finally come to an end however in the final week of the season with a 12th place finish in the Super Late Models, but then he rebounded in the Street Stock race to pick up the victory there, to go along with his victory in the Pro Late Model finale as well. Over the final three weeks of the season, Cody picked up 5 wins and a 3rd place finish in 7 races. Oh, and he also picked up three SARA championships in the process of all that too as he took the SLM, PLM, and SS titles all in the same season. Entering the Spring Season, Cody had four wins to his name, but added 15 more thought last season which kept him atop these rankings starting in Week 3 and he never dropped after that. Look for much of the same from Cody in the Summer Season.
New This Week: Jarrett Lawrence, Clay Snider, Russell Berry
Dropped Out: Derek Robinson, Patrick Hahe