The 2016 Spring Season is officially in the books, and it’s time to hand out some virtual hardware. First of all, we want to thank all of the drivers that competed with us this past season. Many drivers will not be recognized in these awards, but they don’t go unnoticed as every driver plays a big role in what this league has become and what it will be in the future. We’re gearing up for the Summer Season, but first, let’s hand out some awards!
Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series
First off, we’ll start with the Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series.
Street Stocks Champion – Tommy Burns – 13 starts, 12 top tens, 10 top fives, 2 wins – Tommy started off his season in the number one spot when he picked up a win at USA, and ended the season in the number one spot by picking up the championship as well. Tommy battled for most of the season with Hunter Combs, and then had to hold off a charging Ty Spearman to secure the title. The championship for Tommy, was his 1st career SARA championship.
Street Stocks Pole Award – Tim Bills and Ty Spearman – 3 poles – Tim picked up three straight poles this past season, earning poles at Langley, Martinsville, and South Boston. Ty also picked up three straight earlier in the season as well by earning poles at Concord, Southern National, and Oxford.
Street Stocks Winners Circle Award – Ty Spearman – 6 wins – Ty picked up six wins this past season, with victories at New Smyrna, Concord, Oxford, Stafford, Langley, and Martinsville.
Street Stocks Rookie of the Season – Tommy Burns (80 out of a total possible 80 rookie points) – 13 starts, 12 top tens, 10 top fives, 2 wins – As stated above, Tommy had an impressive season as he not only picks up the Rookie of the Season honors, he also grabbed the championship. Tommy’s season was highlighted by a pair of victories at USA and Thompson, and proved he could be a threat at any track all season long as he only finished outside of the top ten once, showing plenty of consistency.
NEO Racing News SK Shootout Series
Next up is the NEO Racing News SK Shootout Series.
SK Modifieds Champion – Bill Martin – 12 starts, 9 top tens, 7 top fives, 2 poles, 2 wins – For most of the season, the talk was about who was going to finish 2nd in the standings behind Ty Majeki, but when he wasn’t able to make all of the races, it was Bill who led the way. Bill went on to take over the standings late in the season, and held on for his 3rd career SK Modified championship, and his 7th career title.
SK Modifieds Pole Award – Ty Majeski – 7 poles – Ty scored the pole seven times this past season, at Phoenix, Lanier, Oxford, Southern National, Concord, Bristol, and Irwindale.
SK Modifieds Winners Circle Award – Ty Majeski – 7 wins – Ty also picked up a series’ best seven wins this past season, including victories at Iowa, Phoenix, Lanier, Oxford, Southern National, Concord, and Bristol.
SK Modifieds Rookie of the Season – Eric Block (69 out of a total possible 80 rookie points) – 13 starts, 6 top tens – Eric’s first season in the SK Modified division showed a lot of improvement as the season progressed. He started off the season with a 25th place finish, but after that never finished worse than 15th, and he picked up six straight top tens through the middle portion of the season.
MRolfeDesigns Pro Late Model Series
The MRolfeDesigns Pro Late Model Series is up next.
Pro Late Models Champion – Ty Spearman – 12 starts, 9 top tens, 8 top fives, 2 wins – After missing a race and having a couple of bad finishes early in the season, Ty rebounded with some strong runs in the second half to join the title fight. Ty’s strong run to close out the season resulted in clinching the title by 82 points. The championship for Ty would be his 1st career SARA championship.
Pro Late Models Pole Award – Ty Majeski – 6 poles – Ty picked up the pole six times, including at USA, Oxford, Lanier, Southern National, Concord, and Phoenix.
Pro Late Models Winners Circle Award – Ty Majeski – 3 wins – Ty also topped the win category once again, with wins at Oxford, Concord, and Phoenix.
Pro Late Models Rookie of the Season – Tom Wetmore (72 out of a total possible 80 rookie points) – 9 starts, 7 top tens, 4 top fives, 2 wins – Although Tom didn’t run enough races for a full points schedule, he did run a full Rookie season by having at least 8 starts, and he ran up front in most of them. Tom won the season opener at USA, and then fended off Majeski for his 2nd win of the season in an intense duel at Lanier.
RB Performance Super Late Model Series
Finally we have the RB Performance Super Late Model Series.
Super Late Models Champion – Ty Spearman – 12 starts, 12 top tens, 9 top fives, 1 pole, 1 win – The championship battle in the Super Late Model division was one that lasted all season long, between Camaron Hamilton and David Krikorian, and then when the drop weeks were taken out, Ty found himself right back in the mix of things. Ty’s consistency at the front of the field led him to winning his 2nd championship in as many nights, as he picked up both the PLM and the SLM championships in the Spring.
Super Late Models Pole Award – Ty Majeski – 4 poles – Ty picked up poles at Irwindale, Concord, Southern National, and Milwaukee.
Super Late Models Winners Circle Award – Ty Majeski – 6 wins – Ty added six victories to his total this season with wins at Irwindale, Concord, New Hampshire, Southern National, Milwaukee and Martinsville.
Super Late Models Rookie of the Season – James Wenzel (74 out of a total possible 80 rookie points) – 8 starts, 5 top tens – James came into the league during the Spring Season as an unknown driver, and quickly began to impress with solid finishes towards the front of the field, all while doing it cleanly and quietly. He proved he could battle inside the top ten with many of the leagues best, and although he had no SLM top fives to show for it, he was someone to watch for in the races he was in.
Overall Pole Award
Awarded to the driver with the most overall poles across all divisions this past season.
Ty Majeski – 17 poles – With an impressive 17 poles this past season, Ty increased his lead atop the all-time poles leader category, and now sits at 68 career poles. Ty added four Super Late Model poles, six Pro Late Model poles, and seven SK Modified poles.
Overall Winners Circle Award
Awarded to the driver with the most overall wins across all divisions this past season.
Ty Majeski – 16 wins – Even more impressive than the total amount of poles last season, Ty picked up 16 victories, bringing his total up 65 career SARA wins which is most all time as well, 27 wins ahead of the next driver in line. Ty won six Super Late Model races, three Pro Late Model races, and seven SK Modified races.
Virgin Winner Awards
Awarded to drivers who picked up their first career SARA victories this past season.
Tommy Burns – Sportsman Street Stock victory at USA
Camaron Hamilton – Super Late Model victory at Stafford
TJ Hays – Pro Late Model victory at Richmond
James Wenzel – SK Modified victory at Bristol
Michael German – Pro Late Model victory at Langley
Austin Yarbrough – Sportsman Street Stock victory at Richmond
Darik Bourdeau – SK Modified victory at Stafford
Tyler Hudson – SK Modified victory at South Boston
Safe Driver Discount Awards
Awarded to the drivers that have the most incident-free races across the league this past season.
Overall Safest Driver – Ty Spearman – Ty had the most incident-free races, with a total of 17. Matt Rolfe (11), Russell Berry (9), Dale Owen and Ty Majeski (7) rounded out the top five.
Street Stocks – Russell Berry – Russell had 5 incident-free races. Chuck Smith, Hunter Combs, Tommy Burns, and Ty Spearman (4) rounded out the top five.
SK Modifieds – Dale Owen, Ian Layne, Ty Spearman – Each of these three drivers had 3 incident-free races. Followed by Eric Block, Matt Rolfe, Matt Eddy, and Ty Majeski (2).
Pro Late Models – Cody Kelley, Dale Owen, Matt Rolfe, Russell Berry, Ty Spearman – Each of these drivers had 3 incident-free races.
Super Late Models – Ty Spearman – Ty had 7 incident-free races. Camaron Hamilton (6), David Krikorian (5), Chuck Sweeting and Ty Majeski (4) rounded out the top five.
Consistency Is Key Awards
Awarded to the drivers that picked up top ten finishes in the points standings in three or more divisions.
Ty Spearman – 1st in Super Late Model points, 1st in Pro Late Model points, 2nd in Sportsman Street Stock points
Ian Layne – 7th in Super Late Model points, 5th in Pro Late Model points, 2nd in SK Modified points, 8th in Sportsman Street Stock points
Matt Rolfe – 4th in Super Late Model points, 7th in Pro Late Model points, 3rd in SK Modified points, 4th in Sportsman Street Stock points
Russell Berry – 6th in Super Late Model points, 3rd in Pro Late Model points, 6th in Sportsman Street Stock points
Bill Martin – 5th in Super Late Model points, 6th in Pro Late Model points, 1st in SK Modified points.
Michael German – 4th in Pro Late Model points, 5th in SK Modified points, 5th in Sportsman Street Stock
Iron Men Awards
Awarded to the drivers that compete in the most overall races over the course of the season across all divisions.
Matt Rolfe – 51 total starts
Ian Layne – 50 total starts
Russell Berry – 42 total starts
Ty Spearman – 40 total starts
Michael Baxter – 38 total starts
Other drivers with 25 or more starts include Michael German (36), Bill Martin (35), Clay Snider, Dale Owen, Matt Eddy (28), Eric Block (27), Mark Royer (26), and Ty Majeski (25).
Hard Luck Award
Awarded to the driver that ran into some bad luck this past season, and their season didn’t go the way it could have.
Ty Spearman – It sounds odd giving this to someone who had so much success this past season, but Ty picks up this award from his bad luck in the Spring Shootout events. Rewind back to last fall in the Fall Brawl, and Ty had the dominant car before getting caught up in a wreck after getting tires late. Coming into the Spring Shootout this past season, Ty had to be one of the favorites for both the SK Modified race and the big Super Late Model race. However Ty would get turned on lap 1 of the SLM race, and also wrecked out early in the SK race, leaving him no chance at a good finish in either. Now that Ty has a pair of titles, maybe his luck can turn around in the next two events in the Big 3 Series.
Lucky Dog Award
Awarded to the driver that had some good luck on their side this past season.
Michael German – Last Fall, Michael picked up the Hard Luck Award, and this season he picked up his first career SARA victory, when he scored the win at Langley in the Pro Late Model division. But, he did it without leading a single lap, and technically crossed the line in the 3rd position. When a couple of penalties were handed out, it was Michael that was credited with the win. Certainly some other circumstances help with the win, but a little bit of luck made it happen for him to eventually be in the right spot at the right time for the victory.
Most Improved Driver Award
Awarded to the driver that shows the most improvement over the course of a season, or shows improvement from one season to the next.
Russell Berry – We’re giving this award to Russell, solely on his performance in the Pro Late Model division. Entering the Spring Season, Russell had never finished better than 9th in the final points standings for the division. Fast forward to the end of this past season, and Russell scored himself a 3rd place finish in the standings, greatly improving his previous results. He also led the standings for 4-5 weeks during the season, as he consistently picked up top ten finishes while also having the lowest inc/race average for the season.
Late Surge Award
Awarded to the driver that comes on strong over the second half of the season.
Ty Spearman – Heading into the late stages of the season, Ty was playing a little bit of catch up after missing a week earlier in the season. But once the drop races were factored in, Spearman charged his way up late to a pair of championships. A lot of that had to do with the 19 top five finishes, and the 22 top tens he had during his final 23 races of the season, and 13 of those were on the podium including four wins.
Awarded to a driver who embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement. A driver who races with respect, races cleanly, and represents what this league is all about.
Camaron Hamilton – Camaron is fresh off of an impressive run in the Super Late Model division last season, but came up just a little short after being one of the top contenders for the title all season long. Late in the season when the drop weeks came into play, they didn’t necessarily help him out any as it just brought others closer to him in the title hunt, but Camaron continued to battle hard but did it cleanly. When he messed up, he was quick to claim his cautions, and when others messed up, he kept quiet on the radio and kept running his own race. Camaron has become one of the toughest competitors in the Super Late Model division, but has become respectable when racing against him, and he should be a force next season.
Driver of the Season
Awarded to the driver that had the best overall performance of the season.
This was a tough one to choose. Ty versus Ty. More wins and poles, versus a pair of championships. Both drivers had some impressive numbers over the course of the season, and each picked up a number of wins. This season’s Driver of the Season is….
Ty Spearman – 40 starts, 33 top tens, 28 top fives, 23 podium finishes, 9 wins, 4 poles, 707 laps led, 2 championships – As stated above, this decision was tough to choose which Ty deserved this award more, and when it came down to it, championships became the deciding factor. There’s been no doubt that Ty Spearman is one of the best in the league and one of the toughest competitors, but the one thing he’s been missing in his SARA career has been a championship. He finally got that this past season when he picked up not one, but two titles in our two toughest divisions, and he nearly picked up a 3rd as well as he put down an impressive performance down the late stretch of the season in multiple divisions.