TCM Best Of Maritime Award Results – Breakout Performer of the Year
You voted – we listened!
Over the next few weeks, we will be releasing results for the Tim’s Corner Motorsports Best of Maritime Awards. Fans voted through three rounds on nine different categories, with the nominees for the TCM Power Performer of the Year to be announced in early November.
A panel of three had an influence in the TCM Breakout Performer of the Year and the Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Awards, while twenty judges narrowed the 2014 Finish Line Vinyl Design Best Looking Car Award to five cars. Fan voted categories included Favorite Tracks (Weekly, Monthly, Special Event) and Touring Series, Favorite Staple Race Track Food and the prestigious TCM Most Popular Driver Award.
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.
Photos by McCarthy Photographic
MISSING THE TOP FIVE
#5 Jillian Gregory – Gregory, who races in the Oyster Bed Speedway Mini Stock division, broke through in a part time sophomore season to score two feature victories at the end of the 2014 season. With the hot hand she held at the end of the season, one would think she would be a favorite for a championship in the class in 2015!
#9 Derek Christie – In the words of one fan who sent in his nomination for Speedway 660 Pro Stock driver Derek Christie – “he gave Dave O’Blenis a lot to handle, and then some!” Christie finished third in the standings at Speedway 660 by a single point while collecting one feature win in the six regular point paying races. One bad night on August 16th set him back to that third place spot in the standings, the difference between what could have been a championship season and a podium finish for Christie.
#55 Mackenzie Brewer – Mackenzie Brewer experienced a breakout season in which he scored his first two career feature victories and two third place finishes in eight races at Speedway 660 in the Bandolero class. His strong season in the #55 car placed him third in the standings – and in turn gained him some fans. Brewer was fourth in the Fan Vote for the Breakout Performer of the Year!
#81 JR Lawson – Every big Mini Stock race this season seemingly had JR Lawson a part of it. Lawson collected feature wins at Shediac’s Centre for Speed and Speedway Miramichi, while winning championships at the Centre for Speed and Petty International Raceway, along with the NB Big Dawg Challenge. He also scored the prestigious Atlantic Championships victory at Shediac and chalked up a second place run at the Jay’s Chicken and Ribs 35 at Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway.
#188 Darrell Sullivan – Under the watchful eye of Smith Brothers Racing, Sullivan developed himself into a threat for the checkered flag in his first full time season in the Scotia Speedworld Lightning division. Sullivan collected his first feature win on August 22nd and would wind up fourth in the overall standings!
5th – #48 Courtney O’Blenis – Five Points
A pair of early season feature wins, one at Speedway 660 on May 31st that was followed up with one at Petty Raceway on June 8th, really set up Courtney O’Blenis for her breakout season in the Bandolero division. While a sixth place finish in points is not indicative of how she ran throughout the season at Petty Raceway, she kept the guys on their toes with a second place finish in the standings at Speedway 660.
Her fans spoke up too, as Courtney finished third in the Fan Vote, less than ten votes behind the second place driver.
Watch for Courtney next year as she makes her move to the competitive Street Stock class, where she got her feet wet in 2014 to the tune of a Semi win at Speedway Miramichi and a third place finish at the Atlantic Championships Street Stock 100 this past Fall.
4th – #13 Drew MacEachern – Eight Points
“The Ironman” brought his “A” Game to Scotia Speedworld this season.
In a season where the Thunder class went through rule changes with a spec-tire and a new to the class generation Civic, MacEachern reminded the class that the elder statesman was not to be reckoned with.
MacEachern picked up three feature victories, which tied him for most feature wins in the class for 2014. Two of those wins came on the biggest weeks of the season, the undercard for the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour Lockhart Truck Center 150 and the Thunder on the Hill 50 on Labour Day weekend.
MacEachern was awarded with two second place ballots from two of the three panelists, giving him eight points out of a possible 20.
3rd – #29 Amanda Wheatley – Eight Points
Where did she come from?
While James Matchett was dominating the Eastern Super Mini Cup Series in 2013, Amanda Wheatley was making her first laps in the series.
We’re not sure if anyone saw six wins in a seven race season coming.
In a field laced with veterans that have been in the series since its inception and a couple of relative new comers to the Tour, Wheatley scored all but one win that was on the table this season in the Eastern Super Mini Cup Series. She collected wins at Speedway Miramichi, CENTRE For Speed, Petty Raceway and her home track of Oyster Bed Speedway en route to the series championship.
Like O’Blenis, she is planning on moving to Street Stock in 2015. Could we see these two slugging it out next year for the Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Award on TimsCorner.ca?!
Wheatley edged out O’Blenis in the fan vote, taking second by less than ten votes. She also appeared on two panelist ballots, receiving a high of third from one of the panelists, for a total of eight points.
PHOTO BY TANYA EVERETT PHOTOGRAPHY
2nd – #08 Cory Hall – Ten Points
If you talk to Cory Hall, he is pretty quiet, and lets his driving on the track do his talking.
Let’s say he was quite LOUD in 2014!
Hall won Bandolero feature races at Oyster Bed Speedway, Speedway 660, Scotia Speedworld and Petty International Raceway on the 2014 season, combining for eight feature wins on the season and what appears to be an INEX Canadian Outlaw Bandolero championship. He also snagged his first track championship, winning the title at his home track of Petty International Raceway on the strength of not finishing outside the top five once in the seven race schedule.
His season turned the heads of our panel as he received points from all three panelists (including a second place nod from one of them) along with a single point for finishing fifth in the Fan Vote.
What is in store for Hall next season? They haven’t announced it yet, but you better believe whatever the kid steps into, he will be fast!
Aaaaaaaand the winner is……
1st – #67 Dylan Blenkhorn – PERFECT SCORE – 20 Points
No contest here, Dylan Blenkhorn is your undisputed winner in the TCM Breakout Performer of the Year category!
Blenkhorn swept all three panel first place votes, and was tops in the fan vote by just over 50 votes, taking 20% of the total vote.
After winning the Exide Batteries Rookie of the Year Award and taking the top pick in the Tim’s Corner Motorsports Atlantic Canadian Short Track Draft, Blenkhorn lived up to the hype by winning three races on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour and setting fast time in Time Trials five times in 12 races. Blenkhorn won back-to-back races at Scotia Speedworld and Petty Raceway before winning the Atlantic Cat 250 in August after a battle with Northeast racing legend Ben Rowe.
Keeping the veterans honest, and earning their respect at the same time, Blenkhorn finished sixth in the standings on the 12 race Tour. After the season was complete, Blenkhorn went to Petty Raceway where he led the most laps in the Mike Stevens Memorial Pro Stock 150 before finishing eighth in the end.
Congrats to Dylan Blenkhorn on sweeping the TCM Breakout Performer of the Year Award. For his win, Blenkhorn will receive his TCM banner from Infinite Creative Solutions and McCarthy Photographic at the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour Banquet on November 22nd, at the Ramada Burnside in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia!
FAN VOTE RESULTS
1st – #67 Dylan Blenkhorn – 20%
2nd – #29 Amanda Wheatley – 16%
3rd- #48 Courtney O’Blenis – 15%
4th – #55 Mackenzie Brewer – 12%
5th – #08 Cory Hall – 10%
6th – #5 Jillian Gregory – 9%
7th – #9 Derek Christie – 6%
8th – #81 JR Lawson – 5%
9th – #13 Drew MacEachern – 4%
10th – #188 Darrell Sullivan – 3%