Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Dirt Network's Crate List- Western PA Crate Late Model Rankings

 "The Crate List" May 2014

 Welcome to The Dirt Network's monthly crate late model rankings page. When I first thought of compiling this rankings section, I knew there would plenty of drivers to pull info from as crate late model racing is a popular option these days in many regions of our great country and some of the best will race right here in Western PA. The proof is in the pudding, or drivers that have grown from the division recently. Will someone on " The Crate List" be the next Max Blair, or Mike Pegher Jr? 

The Crate list will follow this format, I will be looking at weekly and touring race results for the crate tracks in this area with emphasis on the Fastrak and RUSH series.  Wins will carry more weight for a touring race for example versus a weekly win. A "stacked" weekly track win will help the driver cause more than a low car count night, and so on. That being said, here's The Crate List!

1. Chad McClellan -  He started off 2014 with a big RUSH series win at Winchester. Add in a win, and a top 5 at Roaring Knob and Chad McClellan gets the top spot in the initial rankings. Chad seems to travel to other tracks without a set schedule so look for wins from the #119 at a few different tracks this year. Currently sits in 2nd place in the RUSH weekly points chase.

2. Michael Lake - He already has 2 wins at Roaring Knob in his pocket, along with a strong 3rd place run. Tough to bet against him as the early favorite to win the points title at Roaring Knob. We all were a little nervous seeing him at 11 and 12 years old out on the track. He is showing lots of potential and even won his heat race this past week in the Super Lates. Michael is the curent point leader in the Rush series weekly points.

3. Dennis Lunger Jr.- Tip of the cap to the driver of the 71L from Conneaut, Ohio for making the trip north to New Humberstone and taking the Rush series win. Dennis also clicked off a win and a 2nd place to Alan Dellinger at Sharon speedway.

4. Chad Ruhlman- Always a threat to win in his 604 crate car, no matter where he shows up, Chad has been a force at Mckean County raceway with a win and always impressive 2nd place to Max Blair so far. If Max does not race crates much, its going to be hard to unseat Chad in the 4s car from victory lane.

5. Josh Holtgraver- The field at PPMS has been stout and Josh has been Mr. Consistency, a very hard thing to do at that monster 1/2 mile + track with all the talent there weekly. The #00 has a win, a 2nd place, and a 3rd place finish there this year.

Honorable Mention

Keep an eye on these drivers, they are knocking on the top 5's door!

1. "Flyin" Ryan Montgomery - RUSH series winner, former "futures cup" champion and Western Pa "rookie of the year" award winner.

2  Will Thomas - 2nd and 3rd place at Sharon. Wont be long till he gets a win, believe me.

3. George Kowatic - fast riser this year, been impressive at Roaring Knob with 3 top 5's.

4. Ben Policz- Mr. hard luck, finally got win #1 at PPMS this year. That team earned it.

5. Nico Dibecco - Young and fast, a win and a 2nd at PPMS. Sits at 3rd place in RUSH touring points.

Well thats it, thats The Crate List! At least for this month, as many tracks such as Dog Hollow and Marion Center "unsanctioned" have yet to get any green flag, on-track action. Touring races for Fastrak and RUSH series races will be very competitive and will produce some ranking changes to be sure when the start up.

Who do you think should be in the rankings? Let's hear your thoughts and comments!  I cant wait for the #65 Compton Racing crate car to hit the track this weekend at Lernerville for RUSH series action(weather permitting) and rub doors with all these great Western Pa wheelmen! Come on down and say hello sometime. See Yinz at the races! - Brian "Dobie" Compton

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