We've gotten past the halfway mark of the race for the 2010 Speed51.com / ARBodies.com Late Model Most Popular Driver competition and while the votes counted have extended well into five digits, there has been one driver has nosed ahead into the current lead.
PASS South competitor Trey Mitchell might have had a challenging season in 2010, with the low point coming when his race trailer was broken into and parts were stolen, but his fans have put him into first place so far in the race for the MPD award.
The 21-year-old from Texas has a little bit of homestate competition right in his mirror though. Texas Super Racing Series regular JT Schild is ranked second and looking to take the lead away as this race down the homestretch. As of now, California driver Matt Scott, who calls All-American Speedway his racing home, rounds out the podium runners - showing that the is no “West Coast Bias” working against him in this race.
Those podium spots are fragile ones though as a number of other drivers from all across the country are gathering plenty of votes and are not far away from cracking into the top three themselves.
The remainder of the top ten, in no particular order, is a combination of touring and weekly series drivers. They are racers who run all over the map - from Michigan Superpro driver Claude Plante to Seekonk Speedway hotshoe Tom Scully, Jr. Virginia is represented by Brandon Dean from Motor Mile Speedway and Lee Pulliam from South Boston Speedway. Gulf Coast fan favorite Bubba Pollard is still in the running as is Midwestern Big 8 driver Wayne Freimund. Also in the top ten currently is White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH) Late Model champion Quinny Welch, who also runs a limited schedule of ACT Late Model events.
Interestingly, there are some surprises that are ranked outside the top ten currently. Chase Elliott, Ross Kenseth and Ryan Blaney might have household names, but they aren't quite in the lead pack at this point of the race. PASS North champion Johnny Clark has gotten votes from the United States and Canada, but he's currently outside the top 10 as well - along with his Southern counterpart Preston Peltier, who recently wrapped up the PASS South and PASS National Super Late Model titles. CRA Super Series champion Johnny Van Doorn is another driver who will need a late season charge to make it into contention as will the Gulf Coast's favorite racing daughter, Johanna Long.
All in all, there have been hundreds of drivers who have received votes and dozens of drivers who are still very capable of jumping ahead to the top spot when voting ends in December.
This competition is based solely on the fans of Late Model racing across the United States and Canada.
For the fourth-straight year, ARBodies.com is presenting the Speed51.com Late Model Most Popular Driver Award. As in years past, drivers from several regions of the country and various weekly racing venues will be included on the ballot and Speed51.com, the most trusted website for asphalt short track racing news, will host the MPD voting. The balloting process began in July and continues through the Snowball Derby weekend at Five Flags Speedway (FL) from December 1st - 5th.
The MPD program began in 2007 with Florida and Alabama Pro Late Model regular Andy Pugh taking the fans' vote. The 2008 voting, ASA Midwest Tour regular Nick Murgic received the most votes. In 2009, the MPD voting expanded from Pro Late Model, Super Late Model and Late Model Stock touring series to include weekly tracks that have Late Model divisions that utilize the Approved Body Configuration (ABC) body style. Ross Kenseth, son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Matt Kenseth, took in the most votes in a close vote with another Cup Champ's kid, Chase Elliott and Texan Dillon Spreen.
In 2010, the voting process includes all ABC-body touring series and weekly divisions at tracks throughout North America, as well as the Sunoco National Tour. Votes are cast on Speed51.com, with the winner being announced after the Snowball Derby.
This year's winner will receive an ABC “Package A” kit from ARBodies.com, the leader in short track racing bodies.
AR Bodies has become an innovative leader in the ABC body field, which was developed several years ago to help create a uniform set of body rules for Late Model series and tracks throughout the country, while also offering the bodies at an economical price for racers. But one lucky racer won't have to worry about shelling out the bucks for a new body, as the MPD this year will receive one courtesy of AR Bodies.
For a driver to be included on the ballot he or she must be in the top 10 in points in their respective late model touring series or the top five of their local track series prior to the cut-off date of July 6th. If a track is not listed in the balloting, Speed51.com did not receive information from that specific facility.
For more information on AR Bodies, visit them online at www.arbodies.com.
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