The 2017 Spring Season has come to a close, and it’s time to hand out our first award of the off-season.
With the NFL draft currently going on, plus NASCAR and Speed51 putting out their versions of some racing drafts, we figured we would join in on the fun and put together the list of the top ten drivers in SARA competition this season. We compiled a list of all drivers that scored at least 1 win, or 1 pole, and then narrowed down the list to 10. Here’s who made the list as the top ten drivers this season:
2017 Spring Season Driver of the Season Results
10 Starts. 4 Poles, 1 win, 5.5 avg start, 8.1 avg finish, 4 top fives (40%), 8 top tens (80%), 185 laps led
Derek has always shown he has the speed in qualifying, once again scoring the most poles in the Super Late Model division for the second straight season (tied for the most this season in SLM). After a couple tough races early on, Derek rebounded to pick up a victory at Milwaukee and finished with 7 straight top tens to bring him up to a top five finish in points.
14 starts, 2 wins, 16.9 avg start, 6.3 avg finish, 9 top fives (64.3%), 11 top tens (78.6%), 175 laps led
Unlike the other Derek, Derek Robinson showed once again he doesn’t do very well in qualifying, but continues to be one of the best hard chargers in the league which is evident by his +10.6 positions gained per race on average. Derek had the highest top five average of everyone on this list, and if he hadn’t missed a week due to the birth of his second child, he might have been the SLM champion.
15 starts, 3 poles, 1 win, 3.7 avg start, 8.5 avg finish, 8 top fives (53.3%), 11 top tens (73.3%), 27 laps led
After a couple tough seasons, David finally got the monkey off his back in the SLM division, and was able to reel in multiple top ten finishes in a row to close out the season. He’s also been quite solid in qualifying having the 2nd best average starting position out of eligible drivers on this list. His lone win came in the only road course race of the season in the Street Stocks, which was no surprise.
15 starts, 1 pole, 4 wins, 7.4 avg start, 7.7 avg finish, 9 top fives (60%), 12 top tens (80%), 209 laps led
Josh came in technically as a SARA rookie, but proved he wasn’t a rookie at all. He had an impressive stretch earlier in the season, sweeping a pair of Southern Series wins before added a Super Series win the same week. Josh then added his 4th win later in the season in the closing laps of the SLM race at Oxford. With real racing starting up for Josh, we’re not sure how much we’ll see him next season, but if/when he does show up he’ll be a threat to win each time out.
17 starts, 2 wins, 10.6 avg start, 5.4 avg finish, 10 top fives (58.8%), 15 top tens (88.2%), 300 laps led – The Button Box Shop Super Series Rookie of the Season
As a rookie, Matt came so damn close to coming in and grabbing the Super Series championship away from the regulars, but came up just short by 2 points. The impressive part about that is he didn’t have any drop weeks to fall back on which shows how consistently good he had to be. Matt’s average finish of 5.4 led all drivers on this list, and if he did this as a rookie, everyone better watch out next season.
28 starts, 2 poles, 5 wins, 6.3 avg start, 8.3 avg finish, 15 top fives (53.6%), 18 top tens (64.3%), 462 laps led – Dunleavy’s Modified Series Champion
This is definitely not the first time that Bill’s been in contention for Driver of the Season, as he’s picked up the award before. Bill once again was able to put up a championship run, dominating the Modified Series where he did most of his damage in the stat categories, and ended up adding his 8th SARA title..even after sitting out the two final races of the season. Bill’s 8th title puts him in a tie with Matt Rolfe for the most all time in SARA.
31 starts, 13 poles, 5 wins, 4.7 avg start, 7.9 avg finish, 15 top fives (48.4%), 21 top tens (67.7%), 346 laps led
Although Tim didn’t run quite enough races in any division to be a serious title contender, each time Tim shows up to race he is a threat to win. He was also a threat to take the pole each night too apparently, as his 13 poles led the entire league this season. The impressive part about Tim’s stats is that he was consistent in all four divisions we ran, picking up poles in all four, and winning races in three out of the four.
48 starts, 1 pole, 6 wins, 7.1 avg start, 7.0 avg finish, 27 top fives (56.3%), 39 top tens (81.3%), 570 laps led – Callaway Investments Sportsman Series and The Button Box Shop Super Series champion
Matt had probably his best career season as he finished it out with 27 straight top ten runs. Those strong finishes throughout the second half, plus some clutch wins late in the season in both the Street Stocks and Super Late Models propelled him to win both championships, and brought him up to a tie with Bill Martin for the most career SARA titles at 8. Matt had the second highest amount of top tens and top fives out of all drivers in the league this season.
Joe Schaffer Jr.
33 starts, 10 poles, 9 wins, 3.6 avg start, 7.7 avg finish, 19 top fives (57.6%), 23 top tens (69.7%), 706 laps led
At the top of these results, this was the toughest decision to make. Two drivers were the clear favorites based on their stat lines, and the decision could have gone either way.
Joe ends up at #2 on the list after his impressive season. His 10 poles were 2nd in the league, and despite saying he’s usually not the best qualifier, he nearly doubled his career pole total this season. Joe’s 9 wins on the season were the most in the league, and much like Tim Bills, Joe did it across the board scoring wins in all four divisions this season, as well as having poles in each division also. Joe’s average starting position was also the highest in the league. A couple “off weeks” early in the season kept Joe out of any title fights, but we think he’ll be back to championship form next season.
47 starts, 1 pole, 7 wins, 7.6 avg start, 5.4 avg finish, 30 top fives (63.8%), 43 top tens (91.5%), 743 laps led – HidesPride.com Souther Series Champion
With the top two drivers being so close at the top of these results, again, it could have gone either way. The nod goes to Trevor who is awarded the Driver of the Season in just his 2nd SARA season.
While Trevor only scored one pole on the season, his stat line across the board in all other categories were top notch. Trevor placed in the top two out of all drivers in every single category except for average starting position and poles.
Trevor had the 2nd highest amount of wins, 2nd best average finish, and was 2nd in top five %. He led all drivers in total top fives, total top tens, top ten % and laps led. Out of 9 categories we looked at, being in the top two of 7 of those categories in damn impressive.
Trevor also added his 4th career SARA championship in the Southern Series, and nearly added two more, finishing 2nd in both the Modified Series and Sportsman Series.
Congrats to Trevor Edwards, the 2017 Spring Season Driver of the Season!