#TCMBestof2020 – Seventh Annual TCM Breakout Performer of the Year Award Results
In previous seasons, the TCM Breakout Performer of the Year Award has produced winners that can be seen as a Who’s Who of rising stars in the region. This year saw five finalists in a COVID-19 season that each fit the bill of drivers that have seen their stocks rise through the shortened year of racing. Which one of the five took home the Seventh Annual TCM Breakout Performer of the Year Award? Find out here…
Featured Photo by Michelle Roy/Speedway 660
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.
Seventh Annual TCM Breakout Performer of the Year Award Results
FIFTH PLACE – #66 Jeffrey Breen – Antigonish, Nova Scotia – Nine Points
From having a fire extinguisher inadvertently thrown at his car to victory lane at his home track, Jeffrey Breen had quite the season.
Driving for Chris McCormick, Breen was able to race his way to the win during the only NAPA Sportsman Series race of the season in September at Riverside International Speedway. The win was his first, on one of the biggest stages of 2020 in Nova Scotia, during the only race at Riverside on the year. Breen also made select appearances at Scotia Speedworld and Petty International Raceway which included several top five runs in a shortened Speedworld season. Breen also had a fire extinguisher strike his car after the flying object was directed at another driver and ended up bouncing off the No. 2 car, making him a part of one of the most viral moments from the track in 2020.
While it was an abbreviated season, Breen made the best of it. His stock continues to rise as one of the up and coming stars of the sport as 2021 draws closer!
FOURTH PLACE – #39 Chase Livingston – Springhill, Nova Scotia – 21 Points
The standout among the Beginner Bandolero competitors in 2020, Chase Livingston found his way to victory lane more times than not this past season.
Livingston, racing in only his second full time season, swept all Beginner Bandolero races at Petty International Raceway under the Atlantic Bubble and took all but one Beginner feature at Scotia Speedworld. The win on the 56th River Glade International weekend stands out as the team had to scramble after a Friday evening practice accident damaged their No. 39 car ahead of the Saturday feature. Not missing a beat, Livingston rallied in the late laps to take home the win on the big stage. He also took part in the TCM Bandolero Blast at Speedway 660 in September, placing sixth in a combined field featuring Outlaws, Bandits and Beginners.
In just two short years, Livingston has established himself as one of the future stars of this sport. Keep your eye on the Springhill, Nova Scotia driver as we enter 2021!
THIRD PLACE – #08 Nicholas Naugle – Dartmouth, Nova Scotia – 23 Points
Even though it was only a two race season on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour, Nicholas Naugle’s first Tour victory landed him a nomination for the TCM Breakout Performer of the Year Award.
While Naugle had a consistent season in New Brunswick, which included top five finishes in the River Glade International and the Mike Stevens Memorial, it was the two Tour stops in Nova Scotia that had him turning heads. The No. 08 Brycon Construction Camry led the most laps and finished third in the Jim Hallahan 250 at Scotia Speedworld before heading to Riverside International Speedway two weeks later. Naugle was able to capitalize on a late race caution, getting by Greg Proude on a restart with 13 to go and held off all challenges from the No. 29 car for his first Tour win. It was a win that bookended 2020 after the team started off with a victory at the World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna Speedway.
Naugle scored two first place and one second place votes from the panel, scoring a total of 23 points in the Breakout Performer of the Year Award scoring.
SECOND PLACE – #54 Clark Moore – Saint John, New Brunswick – 25 Points
Photo by Mike Francis/Racin Photos
It was only a matter of time before Clark Moore drove to Riverview Ford Lincoln Victory Lane at Speedway 660.
After showing promise over the past few seasons and some raw speed to kick off the 2020 season, his knock on the door to victory lane at his home track was finally answered in mid-August during the Gunslinger weekend. Moore pulled away early in the 40-lap feature that night and left the field with heavy hitters such as Rodgers, Collins and Atkinson to battle for second behind the No. 54 car. Moore would close the 660 season with a win in the Sportsman division on the undercard for the Ricky Bobby 150.
While the fields in the Sportsman division at Speedway 660 may have been smaller than others on a weekly basis, the argument could be made that the talent in those races were deeper than most Sportsman fields in the region. In fact, in six Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman races at the track in 2020, the division produced five different winners. The only repeat winner? Clark Moore.
A personable youngster, Moore won over the fans this season and it showed online as well as he took home the Fan Vote for the Breakout Performer of the Year. He also nabbed three second place votes from the panel to land him with a very respectable 25 points in the final tally.
CHAMPION – #0 Tanton Wooldridge – Summerside, Prince Edward Island – 27 Points
Photo by Michelle Roy/Speedway 660
For the fourth time in the seven years of this award, a Bandolero driver has picked up the TCM Breakout Performer of the Year Award.
Sure, most everyone by now knows the name Tanton Wooldridge. While his family lineage runs deep within the sport, the youngest of the racing family has been building quite the resume of his own. While most of his wins in a Bandolero and on the Eastern Super Mini Cup Series in recent years have been tied to Oyster Bed Speedway or within a Beginner Bandolero division, 2020 was the year he made a name for himself virtually every track he went to.
Wooldridge won at all six tracks he visited in 2020. Among those wins included some pretty big events, including the TCM Bandolero Blast Off at Speedway Miramichi, the Thanksgiving Thunder at Sydney Speedway and the first of two features at the TCM Bandolero Blast at Speedway 660. He also captured wins at Scotia Speedworld and Petty International Raceway, the traditional homes for Bandolero racing within the region. By our record, no driver has won a Bandolero feature at six different tracks in Maritime in the same season, though this also may have been the first time six different tracks in the Maritimes have contested Bandolero races in a single season.
While no champions were crowned for Bandoleros when it came to full seasons in the Maritimes and none of the tracks that contested Bandolero races were INEX sanctioned in 2020, one would have to believe Wooldridge would have added extra trophies to his case with his accomplishments in a regular season. It was a season that even earned Wooldridge a couple of mentions in our annual TCM Power Performer of the Year Award conversation.
Wooldridge scored three first place votes from the five panelists and a second place nod from the fans to put a total of 27 points on the board. The win is Wooldridge’s first TCM Best of Racing Award and the first in the Breakout Performer category for a driver from Prince Edward Island.
Congratulations to Tanton Wooldridge and the No. 0 team on their accomplishments in 2020!
1st – #54 Clark Moore – 31%
2nd – #0 Tanton Wooldridge – 21%
3rd – #39 Chase Livingston – 17%
4th – #08 Nicholas Naugle – 17%
5th – #66 Jeffrey Breen – 14%
TCM Breakout Performer of the Year Award Winners:
2020: Tanton Wooldridge of Summerside, PE
2019: Emily Chisholm of Antigonish, NS
2018: Emily Meehan of Rawdon Gold Mines, NS
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
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