Smoke em if ya got em?
The All Star Circuit of Champions begin their 2017 season at Bubba Raceway Park this Thursday through Saturday which would be more than enough reason to dance like a whirling dervish. What in the hell is that? We're not sure. But anyhow, this year's edition of the All Star Sprints will require you to have a lineup card at the ready as 18 drivers which include a whopping number of new full time drivers will hit the track this week.
And this weekend, Tony Stewart will make his debut on dirt for the coming season. He's been anxiously awaiting this moment, for all his life to quote Phil Collins,(forgive that reference although his drumming was legendary). Nevertheless, Smoke has been testing at BRP in advance and will look to get his season started off on the right foot and has to be considered a favorite coming into the weekend, and probably just about anywhere he races in 2017.
It's a brave new world for Tony Stewart's All Stars. Following Chad Kemenah's tour title in 2016 and Dale Blaney's subsequent departure to Central, PA in 2017 Former tour regular Danny Holtgraver will be racing in other places in 2017, as will Sheldon Hudenschild who will take up ranks with the World of Outlaws. But although the landscape has changed, the fields taking shape are intriguing. Let's look at some of the returning and new followers
The veteran Ohio pilot will be looking for back to back titles in 2017 and will be the odds on favorite to do so this year.
Capable of overtaking Kenemah if the chips fall the right way for him and will take his fair share of feature victories this year
Central PA's Smith has had success versus other versions of the ASCoC and in their backyard as well, plus a win against the World of Outlaws in 2015. Odds are he winds up on the podium in 2016
If we had to pick one driver for a breakout year, this would be one of the guys. By the end of 2017, he'll be a name known to many in the Sprint Car world, and beyond. He'll probably capture a few feature wins in 2017, and could challenge for a podium spot when all is said and done.
The great unknown. Stambaugh has shown flashes of brilliance and has accumulated some wins. He's a two time NRA Sprint Invaders runner up and could wind up in the top five by the time October rolls around, and perhaps a few big wins too.
Ohio wheelman can get it done with these guys, look for a few feature wins.
Parker Price Miller:
If Stambaugh is the great unknown, consider Parker Price Miller the ultimate "x" factor. This young Indiana wheelman has one of the strongest upsides in Sprint Car racing perhaps. He's won the Canadian Sprint Nationals, besting a stout field of the best 360 sprinters in the world, and can get it done with the wing on or off. He's won ASCoC features before, and if he can find some consistency, could be a darkhorse pick for the podium at the end of the year.
Newcomers to watch for and notes:
- Lernerville regulars Brandon and Brent Matus, Brandon Spithaler and John Garvin Jr. join the tour in 2017. Brandon Matus has one ASCoC win in his career.
- John Hunter and Jordan Mackison join the party in 2017
- According to sources the Pete Grove #70 driver seat that graces the tour from time to time is completely open as of right now
- Ryan Linder, Tyler Esh, Bradley Howard, Danny Lorenc and Caleb Armstrong will also tour full time in 2017 with ASCoC
- The Florida portion of the All Star tour will not preclude drivers from participating on the whole tour should they elect not to or are not able to attend this weekend at BRP