RACING SCENE – (2017 Season Recap) – By Tim Kennedy
LOS ANGELES – It is interesting to recap the results for many different types of racing organizations during 2017 before the 2018 season gets underway. As last year, we have included numerous oval and road racing, paved and dirt track racing, four and two wheels organizations. The 52 organizations are a cross-section of major and regional series of interest.
Arrayed alphabetically by series name, data includes (when available) total races, track type, states or nations visited, number of different winners, names of champions, number of victories by champions, and points difference between champions and runners-up. The data shows how competitive various series were last season and how dominant some 2017 champions were.
AMA PRO FLAT TRACK MOTORCYCLES: 18 races in 13 states ... six winners (one first-time) ... Champion Jared Mees (10 feature wins) .. won by 89 points over Bryan Smith.
AMA LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS: Champion Eli Tomac (four wins) ... won by 17 points over Marvin Musquin.
AMA MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS: Champion Ryan Dungey (three wins) ... won by five points over Eli Tomac.
AMA SPEEDWAY BIKES @ INDUSTRY (CA) SPEEDWAY: Champion Max Ruml (four wins) ... won by 34.5 points over Aaron Fox.
ARCA STOCK CARS: 20 races in 13 states ... 11 winners (three first-time) ... Champion Austin Theriault (seven wins) ... won by 330 points over Dalton Sargeant.
ARCTIC CAT ALL-STAR CIRCUIT 410 SPRINT CARS: Champion Chad Kemenah (three wins) .. won by 446 points over Ryan Smith.
ARDC-USAC MIDGETS: Champion Ryan Greth (one win) ... won by 130 points over Alex Bright.
ASCS LUCAS OIL 360 SPRINT CARS (WINGED): Champion Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (15 wins) ... won by 376 points over Aaron Reutzel.
ATLANTIC FORMULA CARS: Champion Peter Portante (eight wins).
BADGER MIDGETS (WISC.): Champion Robbie Ray (two wins) ... won by 160 points over Scott Hatton.
BCRA MIDGETS (NOR CAL): Champion Maria Cofer (no wins).
CIVIL WAR WINGED SPRINT CARS (NOR CAL): Champion Andy Forsberg (three wins) ... won by 95 points over Geoff Ensign.
CALIFORNIA LIGHTNING SPRINTS (CLS): Champion Bobby Michnowicz (eight wins) .. won by 79 points over Jarrett Kramer.
FIA FORMULA E: Champion Lucas Di Grassi (two wins).
FIA FORMULA ONE: 20 races in 20 countries. ... five winners (one first time) .. Champion Lewis Hamilton (nine wins) ... won by 46 points over Sebastian Vettel.
INDY LIGHTS: 16 races in eight states & Canada. Champion Kyle Kaiser – (three wins) won by 20 points over Santiago Urrutia.
IRA SPRINT CARS: Champion Bill Balog – won by 270 points over Scotty Thiel.
KING OF THE WING SPRINT CARS: nine races in five states ... six winners (two first time) .. Champion Johnny Giesler (no wins) ... won by 22 points over Jason Conn.
KING OF THE WEST (WINGED) SPRINT CARS: Champion Bud Kaeding (two wins) .. won by five points over Giovanni Scelzi.
LUCAS OIL DIRT LATE MODELS: Champion Josh Richards (11 wins) ... won by 65 points over Tim McCreadie.
LUCAS OIL MODIFIEDS: 11 races in four western states ... six winners (no first timers) ... Champion Taylor Miinch (four wins) ... won by 123 points over Dylan Cappello.
LUCAS OIL OFF-ROAD – PRO 2): Champion Jeremy Mc Grath (four wins).
LUCAS OIL OFF-ROAD – PRO 4: Champion Kyle Le Duc (five wins).
MUST SEE RACING XTREME (MID-WESTERN) WINGED SPRINT CARS: Champion Jimmy Mc Cune (nine wins) ... won by 114 points over Anthony Mc Cune.
NASCAR MONSTER ENERGY CUP STOCK CARS: 36 point races in 20 states .. 15 winners (three first time) ... Champion Martin Truex, Jr. (eight wins) ... won by five points over Kyle Busch.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES STOCK CARS: 33 races in 23 states ... 17 winners (six first time) ... Champion William Byron (five wins) ... won by five points over Elliott Sadler.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: 23 races in 18 states & Canada ... 13 winners (six first time) ... Champion Christopher Bell (five wins) ... won by one point over Johnny Sauter.
NASCAR K & N EAST STOCK CARS: 13 races in 11 states ... six winners three first time) ..;. Champion Harrison Burton (five wins) ... won by eight points over Todd Gilliland.
NASCAR K & N WEST STOCK CARS: 14 races in seven states ... five winners (one first time) ... Champion Todd Gilliland (six wins) ... won by 29 points over Chris Eggleston.
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR: Champion Doug Coby (one win) ... won by six points over Timmy Solomito.
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN WEEKLY RACING SERIES: Champion Lee Pulliam (19 wins) ... won by three points over Trevor Huddleston.
NATIONAL SUPERMODIFIED ASSOCIATION: Champion Jon Mc Kennedy (one win).
NMRA-TQ MIDGETS: 14 races in one state (CA) ... five winners (one first time) ... Champion Chuck West (10 wins) ... won by 97 points over West Evans.
PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE GT SPORTS CARS: Champion Patrick Long (two wins).
POWRi LUCAS OIL NATIONAL MIDGET SERIES: Champion Logan Seavey (two wins) ... won by 170 points over Tucker Klassmeyer.
PRO MAZDA SERIES: Champion Victor Franzoni (seven wins).
RACECAR FACTORY SPEC LATE MODEL STOCK CARS: nine races in one state (CA), three winners (two first time) ... Champion Robby Hornsby (seven wins) ... won by 40 points over Craig Yeaton.
RED BULL GLOBAL RALLY-CROSS: Champion Scott Speed (four wins).
ROCKY MOUNTAIN MIDGET RACING ASSOCIATION (RMMRA): Champion Keith Rauch (two wins) ... won by 159 points over Bob Harr.
SPEARS MANUFACTURING SRL SOUTHWEST STOCK CARS: nine races in four states ... seven winners (three first time) ... Champion Derek Thorn (three wins) ... won by 134 points over Ricky Schlick.
SPEED ENERGY STADIUM SUPER TRUCKS: Champion Matt Brabham (five wins).
TRANS AM CARS: Champion Ernie Francis, Jr. (10 wins).
USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CARS: 10 races in five states ... five winners (two first time) ... Champion Kody Swanson (four wins) ... won by 88 points over Jerry Coons, Jr.
USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL 410 SPRINT CARS: 38 races in 10 states ... 13 winners (one first time) ... Champion Chris Windom (four wins) ... won by six points over Justin Grant.
USAC NATIONAL MIDGET SERIES: 23 races in seven states... 12 winners (five first time).... Champion Spencer Bayston (three wins) ... won by 56 points over Shane Golobic.
USAC-CRA AMSOIL 410 SPRINT CARS: 23 races in two states (CA & AZ) ... 12 winners (five first time) ... Champion Damion Gardner (five wins) ... won by 67 points over Brody Roa.
USAC WESTERN MIDGETS: 13 races in one state (CA) ... 11 winners (two first time) ... Champion Ronnie Gardner (three wins) ... won by 117 points over Frankie Guerrini.
USAC SOUTHWEST 360 SPRINT CARS: Champion R. J. Johnson (seven wins) ... won by 125 points over Charles Davis, Jr.
USAC WESTERN 360 SPRINT CARS: Champion Jake Swanson (two wins) .. won by 68 points over Austin Liggett.
VERIZON INDY CAR SERIES: 17 races in 13 states & Canada ... 11 winners (no first timers) ... Champion Josef Newgarden (four wins) .. won by 13 points over Simon Pagenaud.
WORLD OF OUTLAWS CRAFTSMAN DIRT LATE MODELS: Champion Brandon Sheppard (18 wins) ... won by 366 points over Chris Madden.
WORLD OF OUTLAWS CRAFTSMAN 410 WINGED SPRINT CARS: 84 races in 24 states & Canada ... 20 winners (four first time) ... Champion Donny Schatz (20 wins) ... won by 210 points over Brad Sweet.
Footnote: Most versatile drivers in 2017 to knowledgeable race watchers (on TV and in person) would be Christopher Bell, Kyle Larson and Chase Briscoe. They were impressive on dirt or paved tracks, and in diverse racing vehicles. They usually ran up front and won their share against tough national competition. All three drivers raced each other in late November in the USAC Turkey Night Midget Grand Prix at Ventura. Bell and Larson swapped the race lead, but Bell edged Larson narrowly in a 98-lap classic duel.