Who Were The Busiest Dirt Modified Driver’s in the Northeast In 2016?
Story By: Pete MacDonald/RacersGuide.com – Photos By: RacersGuide.com Photo Staff
The 2016 Northeast DIRT Modified season has finally come to a close. What started off at Volusia in February and ran all the way through The Gobbler at Accord in December saw 883 different drivers competed in 630 events during the 2016 campaign. 2015 saw 924 different drivers compete in 657 events showing that Mother Nature was clearly not a race fan this past season.
So, Who had the most starts?
1) Stewart Friesen – 88 Starts, yes we know he ran some Sprint Car races and some NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races but we’re talking dirt modifieds. Friesen’s stats for 2016 include 88 races, 17 wins, 51 Top-5’s and 67 Top-10’s. Not too shabby at all for the 33 year old out of Sprakers, NY.
2) Danny Johnson – 87 Starts. “The Doctor” tied with Erick Rudolph for second on this list for 2016. Danny was one of, if not the only driver to compete in the very first race back at Volusia and the last race at The Gobbler. DJ’s stats for 2016 include 87 races, 7 wins, 40 Top-5’s and 56 Top-10’s.
2) Erick Rudolph – 87 Starts. “The Firestarter” took a different approach to 2016 as compared to years past. Erick ran quite a bit on the Ohio/Western PA circuit in addition to running as much as he could anywhere else. Rudolph’s stats for 2016 were 87 races, 21 wins, 57 Top-5’s and 67 Top-10s.
4) Mike Mahaney – 82 Starts. In his first year with the Buzz Chew team Mike Mahaney ran quite a bit, including his first full time stint on the Super DIRTcar Series. The King Ferry, NY native amassed 3 wins, 26 Top-5’s and 49 Top-10’s in 82 starts in 2016. Mahaney and the Buzz Chew team plans to tackle Volusia come February.
5) Matt Sheppard – 80 Starts. “Super Matt” headed out on his own in 2016 starting his own team from scratch and he proved that he was a contender everywhere he unloaded. In just his second start at Volusia he parked his blue No. 9 in Victory Lane. Sheppard managed to rack up an incredible 29 wins, 57 Top-5’s and 66 Top-10s in 80 races, meaning Sheppard won roughly 36% of the races he entered in 2016.
6) Brett Hearn – 77 Starts. “The Corporate Jet” is still firing on all 8-Cylinders at the age of 58. Hearn’s run from the B-Main to win at Volusia back in February where he managed to pass every single car on the racetrack under green was nothing shy of incredible. Hearn racked up 9 Wins, 30 Top-5’s and 53 Top-10s during his 2016 season.
7) Larry Wight – 76 Starts. “Lightning Larry” is really coming into his own as a driver, the maturity he has showed over the last few years truly is something compared to his first few years in the game. Wight’s numbers for 2016 include 7 Wins, 36 Top-5’s and 58 Top-10s in 76 races.
8) Pat Ward – 75 Starts. “The Genoa Giant” who has been at the helm of John Wight’s No 42p for over 10 years now proved that he has no intention of slowing down any time soon. Ward ran 75 races in 2016 with 3 wins, 20 Top-5’s and 52 Top-10’s.
9) Mario Clair – 74 Starts. “Super Mario” pretty much has Canada covered, at least in 2016 he did. The Quebec native rallied to win 5 races in 2016 to go along with his 24 Top-5’s and 49 Top-10 finishes.
10) Ryan Watt – 69 Starts. “The Electric Company” was kind of a surprise on this list but when I sit back and think about it, he seemed to be everywhere in 2016. The Pennsylvanian managed to pick up 6 wins, 27 Top-5’s and 54 Top-10s during his 2016 season.
There you have it folks, the Top-10 drivers that had the most DIRT Modified starts during the 2016 season. Some familiar names and a couple surprises made the list this season. What do you think?
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or found on Twitter @PMacDonald51. Thanks for reading!