#TCMBestof2017; Breakout Performer of the Year Award Results
The results are in for the Tim’s Corner Motorsports Breakout Performer of the Year and it came down to the slimmest of margins between two of the rising stars in Maritime stock car racing.
SCORING EXPLANATION – TCM Breakout Performer of the Year/Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Award
Each of the three panelists, who have been to the race tracks, seen the racers and have read/heard plenty about them, was given the list of ten nominees and a brief list of each of their accomplishments. They were asked to rank their favorite five. Their top picks each received five points, second pick received four points, third received three, fourth got two points and their last pick got one point.
The fan vote winner was awarded five points, with each of the top five in the fan vote receiving the same point scoring as if the fans were a panelist.
Simply put, each “panelist” carried 25% weight in determining the winner of these two awards. Drivers could score five points from each, meaning a perfect score would be 20 points.
Ties are broken by the amount of ballots a driver appears on, followed by the amount of top votes they received. Should drivers still be tied following that, the panel will come together to determine a winner.
Feature Photo by John Miller Photography
MISSING THE TOP FIVE
#00 Matt Crocker – Matt Crocker had a season of ups and downs in his first full season in Street Stock competition in New Brunswick but the ups were quite big. At his home track of Speedway 660, Crocker took home four wins including the Street Stock 50 on SpeedWeekend. In addition, Crocker finished sixth in the LJ Patterson Street Stock 100 at Speedway Miramichi.
#1 James “Hollywood” Matchett – A name who has dabbling in Street Stocks for many years, Matchett finally had a breakout season with four feature wins at Petty International Raceway, including the Mike Stevens Memorial in September. Matchett was on the podium during the Street Stock 50 on SpeedWeekend at Speedway 660 and the Atlantic Championships at the CENTRE For Speed. He was a force in the LJ Patterson 100 at his home track of Speedway Miramichi before a mechanical problem forced him pit side.
#3 Chris Cooper – Cooper had been on the cusp of coming home with his first Legend win at Eastbound Park heading into 2017 and was able to finally get that checkered flag during Hickman Night in July. Cooper came home third in a tight point race within the division.
#4 Shane Bridges – Bridges came out of the gate hot in 2017. Scoring a total of three feature wins in the Oyster Bed Speedway Outlaw division, he quickly became a household name in the weekly series at the Island oval. He hopes to continue the run next year as he moves up to the competitive Street Stock class at the track.
#51 Jesse Deveau – Deveau was on the cusp of winning a feature this season in the tough Thunder division at Scotia Speedworld. Scoring seven top fives in his second season on the Speedworld asphalt, Deveau also scored a podium finish at the CENTRE For Speed in the East Coast Mini Stock Tour finale and won the previous week in the TJ Greenlawn Dirt Clash at Valley Raceway.
THE TOP FIVE
5th Place – #23 Brandon McFarlane – Placentia, NL – Five Points
Eyes were on Brandon McFarlane as he entered his second year of racing at Eastbound Park in the NAPA Auto Parts Sportsman division. With just a dozen Late Model races under his belt at his home track and fresh off his Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour debut in the Nova Truck Centres 150 at Scotia Speedworld, it was McFarlane who turned heads in victory lane. Driving the No. 23 Wing ‘n It Chevrolet, McFarlane won his first Late Model Race as a part of Canada 150 celebrations at Eastbound Park.
While a couple of stumbles eventually took him out of the championship conversation in Avondale, McFarlane and team established themselves as a threat to win in the top division at the track.
The rising star won the fan vote by just two votes, giving him five points in the award scoring.
4th Place – #48 Waylon Farrell – Conception Bay South, NL – Eight Points
Photo by McCarthy Photographic
Now, to be fair, Waylon Farrell had made a name for himself in Legend cars prior to this season. Farrell and his team took home the Maritime League of Legends Tour championship in 2016 and another solid effort by Farrell in 2017 brought the title back to the Conception Bay South shop.
Farrell stepped up his game in 2017 by winning three features at Scotia Speedworld late in the season, including the Maritime League of Legends Tour season finale. The final win of the season capped off a touring year where Farrell finished seven of the nine races in the top three. When the dust settled, Farrell won his second straight MLOL title by a comfortable 33 points. On the weekly Scotia Speedworld side, he raced to a 96 point handicap – fourth of those that raced 80% or more of the Friday night races.
Farrell also scored a podium run in his first Scotia Speedworld Late Model start during the Affordable Fuels Sportsman 150. All told, his 2017 season placed him sixth overall out of over 650 drivers in the TCM Power Performer Championship presented by Quinn Flooring standings.
3rd Place – #80 Amanda Wheatley – Warren Grove, PE – Nine Points
Photo by McCarthy Photographic
Amanda Wheatley enjoyed a breakout season in the Street Stock division in 2017 at Oyster Bed Speedway.
The former Eastern Super Mini Cup Series Champion visited victory lane in the No. 80 Street Stock twice on the season and was ultimately crowned champion of the division after all the dust settled from the season finale. Along with their weekly point and Super Series finishes, the team also finished fifth in the inaugural Maritime Street Stock Showdown in June and was tenth in the TCM Power Performer Championship presented by Quinn Flooring standings.
Wheatley had the fan support behind her, finishing second in fan voting to McFarlane by just two votes. She also appeared on two of the three panel ballots, giving her a total of nine points in award scoring.
2nd Place – #06 Alex Sheehan – Oyster Bed Bridge, PE – 13 Points
Alex Sheehan has been on the radar of many over recent years but turned up the heat in 2017.
Sheehan had five feature wins at his home track, including the prestigious David Lambe Memorial at Oyster Bed Speedway. He then took his hot hand across the Confederation Bridge and towed back home with the Atlantic Championships for Street Stocks at the CENTRE For Speed in Grand-Barachois, NB. His success also placed him ninth overall in the TCM Power Performer Championship presented by Quinn Flooring standings and was the top Prince Edward Island driver in the inaugural championship.
Sheehan was the only driver to find scoring from all four panelists in award scoring. Sheehan was fourth in the Fan Vote and even picked up one first place vote from one of the three panelists.
WINNER – #32 Ashton Tucker – Lyttleton, NB – 14 Points
Photo by Michelle Roy/Speedway 660 Photos
Two Time Champion – Won Award in 2015
For the second time in three years, Ashton Tucker is the TCM Breakout Performer of the Year.
Tucker won the award in 2015 for his Bandolero performance and will have a second banner to hang in Lyttleton, New Brunswick after his sophomore Pro Stock season at Speedway 660.
The now 17 year old won two Re/Max Group Four Realty Pro Stock features at Speedway 660 in 2017 for his first Late Model victories. He was consistent all season and it showed in the standings as he finished just ten points out of the championship.
He wasn’t done there though. Tucker finished third in the Best of the Best Pro Stock 150 to two of the biggest names in the State of Maine – Cassius Clark and Ben Rowe. He followed that up by driving through the field to finish second in the McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250 in September. Not to mention, he also had two victories at Speedway Miramichi with the Atlantic Modified Tour driving for Jerry Stafford – including an impressive feature win at the ‘Chi City Showdown.
Unlike his 2015 win where Tucker won the Fan Vote going away, Tucker failed to register a point on the Fan Vote (sixth place) in 2017. The panel backed Tucker this year, as he received an almost perfect score from the three person panel with 14 of a possible 15 points being obtained.
Tucker will receive a Tim’s Corner Motorsports Awards Banner for his win in the TCM Breakout Performer of the Year category. The presentation will be made in January at the Speedway 660 Awards Banquet.
FAN VOTE RESULTS
1st – #23 Brandon McFarlane – 17%
2nd – #80 Amanda Wheatley – 17%
3rd – #3 Chris Cooper – 16%
4th – #06 Alex Sheehan – 14%
5th – #48 Waylon Farrell – 12%
6th – #32 Ashton Tucker – 7%
7th – #4 Shane Bridges – 7%
8th – #00 Matt Crocker – 4%
9th – #51 Jesse Deveau – 4%
10th – #1 James Matchett – 1%
TCM Breakout Performer of the Year Award Winners
2017: Ashton Tucker of Lyttleton, NB
2016: Sara Thorne of Chance Cove, NL
2015: Ashton Tucker of Lyttleton, NB
2014: Dylan Blenkhorn of Truro, NS