A true night of champions
at Old Dominion Speedway, let�s start with the Winning Edge
Performance & Graphics Speedway Sportsman Division. First a
tip of the hat to Winning Edge, the Gaston�s have always been
big supporters of ODS and as fans we appreciate their
support. Jamie DeMattio of Brookeville, MD owned this
division all season long. With 11 wins, Jamie had this title
locked up early and now the question is what will he do next
year. This is a driver that I�d really love to see in a Grand
Stock. I think Jamie has the ability to be a winner right out
of the box. Let�s hope he can find the funding in the
off-season to make the move.
What�s on tap for these
guys next year? Many thought the division would soon be gone
but that is NOT the case. There will be some changes for next
year; the Speedway Sportsman will run an 8 race season with
the idea of bringing the total cost for a season down. This
should allow more drivers to race the full season and increase
the size of the fields. So who will be the guys to beat?
Mike Watson in the 46 didn�t have a win this season but was
consistently one of the fastest, if he chooses to come back
next year, the wins will follow. Joe Edwards showed great
potential this year and should easily find victory lane next
year. David Smith and Mark Averi both got a win this season
and if they return to the division, I imagine they would be
the pre-season favorites to win it all. Of course, if Jeff
Sisak ran all of the races, he would be tough to beat as
well. The Speedway Sportsman division should be something
special next year.
The Kay Jennings
Springfield Toyota Mini Modifieds belonged to Colt White this
year with 11 wins and a championship. Somebody get this guy
into a Late Model, I think he�s ready. Ken Datesman picked up
a win in the final race of the season and could dominate next
year. Scott Roux missed victory lane this season but should
get there next season and if we handed out a Goody�s Headache
Award in this division it would have to go to Sean Ballentine,
if he can shake away the bad luck, he will win the
championship next year. If you look at the top ten in points,
anyone of those guys could be the champ next year and if Bobby
Able ran the entire season he could give �em all a run for
The Redman Fleet Services
Grand Stocks provided more high drama this season than a whole
year of The O. C.; the championship was decided by 2 points.
Willard Lawrence is a deserving champion. Michael Hardin is
the heir apparent, if he stays in Grand Stocks for next year.
Look for both of these guys to run a late model in the ODS Big
One and if they can find the support, run a full season of
Late Model next year. This was a hard fought championship,
this was competitive, this was fun to watch. Both teams drove
hard and at the end of the season they were the first to
congratulate each other. So if Willard and Michael go Late
Model racing, what happens to the Grand Stocks? I look for a
ton of cars, and a wide open championship.
Ron Jardine and Les
Miranda would have to be early favorites. Chris Donnelly
announced that he would run selected races next year in Grand
Stock so he should be a factor and Mark Miller should pick up
some wins next year in the number nine. There was a great
field this past Saturday night and that bodes well for next
year. Don�t forget, the Grand Stocks will be part of the ODS
Big One in October.
The Legends still have one
points race left (at the Big One) and Jason Miller and Ryan
Ellis are within 6 points of each other. We�ll re-cap their
season after the Big One.
U-Cars will be a ton of
fun next year, look for 20 U-Cars by the time the season
And that leaves the Late
Models. First of all congratulations to Brandon Butler the
champion, it was not an easy season and surely didn�t go as
the Bailey�s Team had planned but in the end the goal is
reached. Brandon: as a fan of ODS I hope you are back next
year with a goal of winning a regional or even a national
Danny Fair is Old Dominion
Speedway. Old Dominion Speedway without Danny Fair isn�t Old
Dominion Speedway. My hope is to see the #1 Dodge back next
year and see Danny racing for a championship.
Jack Bailey and Andreas
Kestermann will be hard to beat in 2005; heck, they were hard
to beat in 2004. The last month of the season Jack Bailey was
THE man to beat and will be next year as well. Kestermann saw
victory 4 times this year and will be back on the top of his
game after a hard wreck a week ago.
Here are a few more things
to consider for next year: Will it be Boswell�s break-out
season? How will Willard and Michael do? If Collabucci drove
the entire season in one car how good would he be? Gunter,
Carter, Southard and Lucas all finished in the top ten in
points, can they move forward next year? Will Bucher run the
full season in his new Dodge? How good can Jimmy Hardin be if
he runs the full season? Can Brandon repeat? Can Danny
return to form? You can look at the top 20 in Late Model
points this season and find 20 drivers who could win a race
next season, that�s pretty good.
The ODS Big One on October
23rd should give us a little peek into what next
season holds in store; I�ll see you there.