#TCMBestof2020 – “Power Surge;” Logan Power Picks Up 2020 Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Award
In a season where Rookie of the Year Awards were almost non-existent at a track and series level in Atlantic Canada, the panel at Tim’s Corner Motorsports still came together to honor some of the region’s top freshmen in the Seventh Annual Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Award. With several drivers appearing in new rides in 2020, the field was narrowed down to five from the regular ten finalists and put to the fans to help decide the award. Keeping the original score system from previous seasons, the fans definitely had their say in determining the winner of the Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Award in 2020.
Here is how it all broke down…
SCORING EXPLANATION – Breakout Performer of the Year/Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Award
With a shortened COVID-19 Season at several of the region’s top tracks, we have narrowed our lists of nominees for both awards to five finalists as opposed to ten in previous years. Our five panelists will rank the finalists on their ballot. 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 will be awarded ten points, second on the fan vote will receive eight points, third will get six and so on with sixth place on back receiving zero from the fan vote. The fan vote essentially carries 30% weight on the overall ballot.
A perfect score is 35 points (five from each panelist plus ten from the fans).
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 combined panel score will determine a winner.
Please note, while several race tracks are holding rookie statuses to 2021, we narrowed our finalists down for our Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Award based on drivers who competed full time or on a regular basis throughout the region for the first season in their new division.
THE TOP FIVE
5th – #15 Daniel Atyeo – Chipman, NB – Nine Points
Photo by Michelle Roy
Daniel Atyeo paid his dues in his freshman season behind the wheel of a Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter. His successful rookie season earned him a nod as a finalist for the Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Award.
While Atyeo traveled early and often throughout the Province of New Brunswick, he shined at his home track with three top five finishes and six top ten runs in as many starts at Speedway 660. Of those finishes was a podium run to kick off SpeedWeekend 2020 – not too bad for the biggest event of the season at his home track in his first full time foray behind the wheel!
Look for big things out of the No. 15 car as he continues to sharpen his skills at Speedway 660 in 2021!
4th – #7 Tristin Harris – Harvey, NB – 20 Points
Photo from Mike Francis
For the first time since 2015, the reigning Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year returned to defend their title after winning the award the year prior.
Tristin Harris won the Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Award in 2019 on the strength of his Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter division championship at Speedway 660. This season, Harris transitioned to the Street Stock ranks, putting his skills to the test against some of the best within the Atlantic Bubble that battled within New Brunswick provincial borders. Among his 2020 accomplishments, Harris scored a podium finish at Speedway Miramichi in September, a fourth place finish in the Urquhart Construction 75 at Speedway 660 in August and top ten runs in marquee races including the Mike Stevens Memorial at Petty Raceway and the Very Best Fall Shootout at Speedway Miramichi.
Like Alexandra O’Blenis in 2015, a year after Harris captured the Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Award, he places fourth. Harris had the support of the fans, finishing second for the second consecutive season in the Fan Vote. Harris garnered a dozen points from the panel, including one second place vote.
3rd – #83 Cory Hall – Jolicure, NB – 24 Points
Photo by Mike Francis
To compete against the top talent in the premier division in Atlantic Canada is not easy. While he has dabbled in Pro Stock competition in select races in the past, Cory Hall proved he belongs with his first full season, or as full as it could be in a pandemic, in 2020.
Hall, who was primed to race his own car on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour prior to the COVID-19 pandemic halting the Tour schedule, would take part in some of the biggest events in New Brunswick when the Atlantic Bubble was formed. While he did not park his No. 83 car in victory lane, he did everything but. Hall was third in the second Bubble Buster 150 event at Petty International Raceway and followed that up in September with a fourth place run in the Mike Stevens Memorial. A pair of second place runs highlighted a trio of starts at Speedway 660, led by a runner-up finish to Ashton Tucker in the Riverview Ford Lincoln 100 and a second place effort to Ryan Messer on Fog City Auto Spa Night.
A former TCM Power Performer of the Year Award recipient for his Legend car accomplishments, Hall scored one first place ballot from the panel and was third in the Fan Vote for the Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Award in 2020.
2nd – #94 JJ MacPhee – Yarmouth, NS – 25 Points
JJ MacPhee came thiiiiiiiiis close to becoming the first driver based out of Lake Doucette Motor Speedway to win a TCM Best of Racing Award.
Racing at one of the only tracks in Atlantic Canada recognizing their top rookies for 2020, MacPhee was able to take home top freshman honors in the newly formed Honda class at the high banked half-mile. The youngest driver of the MacPhee Racing family, JJ was able to finish third overall in a class comprised of many drivers who have more years behind the wheel of a race car than MacPhee has on earth. Among those include his father Steve, who won the championship in the Honda class. JJ also impressed at Scotia Speedworld, taking two Thunder car wins, including one in a combined field with Lightning cars where he finished third and a standalone Friday night feature on Jim Hallahan 250 weekend.
JJ MacPhee scored the most points of his peers in the Panel Vote, taking 21 of a possible 25 points which included three first place votes. The Fan Vote was his ultimate downfall as he finished a distant fourth. The combined score left him two short points of his ultimate goal of winning the Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Award.
In a typical season, based on scoring of this award, MacPhee may have done enough to win this award, but as we’ve all seen, 2020 was not a typical season. Chances are we will see him back here in the future though as he climbs the racing ladder.
Enter the Champion…
CHAMPION – #10 Logan Power – Riverview, NB – 27 Points
Photo by Tanya Everett Photography
Considering the year 2020 has been, it only seems fitting that Logan Power finds his way to the top of the Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Award with the season he had on the Atlantic Modified Tour.
Power won the first two races he sat in a Modified. Driving a car owned by Greg and Darrell Butler, Power made a late race run at the CannaConnect 35 at Petty International Raceway in August, passing eventual champion Yves McCray for the victory. The win at his home track saw the partnership reunite the next Saturday evening at Speedway 660 where Power drove the No. 10 car to Riverview Ford Lincoln Victory Lane. Almost a month between point races for the Series, Power drove an overheating car to a second place effort to McCray at SpeedWeekend at 660 during the Krown Rust Control 35.
On paper, it appeared to be a dream season was forming with two victories and a second in the first half of the point season. The on track partnership between Power and the Butlers would fizzle following off track events on SpeedWeekend, leaving Power without the opportunity to continue his championship chase. The performance by Power proved the versatility of the Riverview, New Brunswick driver to jump from his familiar Street Stock ride to race up front with the Mod Squad in the Province.
Power scored 17 points in the Panel Vote but it was his fans who helped put him over the top for his first TCM Best of Racing Award. Power won the Fan Vote by nine votes over Harris to score a total of 27 points in the award scoring, ultimately putting him ahead of Hall and MacPhee in a virtual drag race to the finish.
Fan Vote Results
1st – #10 Logan Power – 27%
2nd – #7 Tristin Harris – 25%
3rd – #83 Cory Hall – 22%
4th – #94 JJ MacPhee – 14%
5th – #15 Daniel Atyeo – 12%
Photo by Michelle Roy
Previous Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Champions:
2020 – Logan Power of Riverview, NB
2019 – Tristin Harris of Harvey, NB
2018 – Deven Smith of Lakeside, NS
2017 – Matt Vaughan of Bedford, NS
2016 – Jacob Logan of Harvey, NB
2015 – Courtney O’Blenis of Boundary Creek, NB
2014 – Alexandra O’Blenis of Boundary Creek, NB
About Kings County Performance:
Locally owned and operated in the Sussex region by Larry Sommerville, Kings County Performance specializes in windshield replacements, stone chip repairs, auto body and mechanical repair, and rust prevention. Celebrating fourteen years in business, KCP is your go to shop for all your automotive needs.