Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Results – Three Fan Votes The Difference
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 unless otherwise indicated
MISSING THE TOP FIVE
#1 Ryan Messer – The Atlantic Modified Tour Rookie of the Year turned heads this season by not only winning four feature races but also winning the series championship in his freshman year. His accomplishments, which included feature wins at Shediac’s CENTRE For Speed, Petty Raceway and Spud Speedway, garnered two fifth place nods from our panelists and a fourth place finish in the Fan Vote, missing out on third by three votes.
#23 Drew Greenlaw – Coming into the season, the Speedway 660 Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman Rookie of the Year battle was the one most in the industry had their eyes on. When the season closed, it was the consistency of Eastport, Maine’s Drew Greenlaw who took away the prestigious award. Greenlaw, who was ranked sixth in the 2014 TCM Short Track Draft, continues to turn heads every time he hits the track and will be looking for that “breakout performer” type of Sportsman season in 2015!
#48 Waylon Farrell – The only Newfoundland based driver to be nominated in the TCM Best of Maritime Awards had the province behind him! While missing out on the panel ballots, Farrell, who won the Hanlon Realty Legends Rookie of the Year between Eastbound Park and Thunder Valley Raceway, finished second in the Fan Vote, taking 14% of the over 1,290 votes cast. Farrell, who had one win at Eastbound Park in his freshman Legends season, has his eyes set on INEX Winter Nationals at Orlando Speedworld in February.
#84 Levi Rossiter – In an ultra competitive Bandolero division in New Brunswick, rookie Levi Rossiter did not look out of place. The former karter from Salisbury did not miss a beat in his transition and was well in contention by the mid way point of the season at all tracks he competed at. Rossiter would walk away with Rookie of the Year at both Petty International Raceway and Speedway 660.
#88 Kody Quinn – Kody Quinn made the long haul each week from Cape Breton pay off. Racing in his first year of Mini Stocks, he won the Rookie of the Year Award at both his home track of Cape Breton Miners Memorial Speedway in Sydney, NS and at Petty Raceway in River Glade, NB, where feature wins came to the #88 car. He also competed in races at Speedway Miramichi and Oyster Bed Speedway.
5th – #198 Steve Matthews – 6 Points
To enter one of the most competitive Mini Stock classes in the region and win on one of the biggest stages just a few races into the season? It rarely happens.
That is, unless you’re Steve Matthews.
Matthews won his first career Lightning car race at Scotia Speedworld on June 21st, on the undercard for the Lockhart Truck Center 150 Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour race. The feature was just the third in his own race car and put him in early contention for the overall championship in the class, which saw numbers of over 20 cars per meet in the first half of the season.
Later in the season, Matthews cashed in by winning the second leg of the Twin 50s for Lightning cars, one of the biggest races of the season for the class. Combined with the Lockhart Truck Center 150 undercard, Matthews collected two of the biggest checkered flags in the division in his first season.
Matthews scored a maximum five points on one of the panelist ballots and added one more point on another to finish fifth overall in the Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year Award.
4th – #00 Cole Boudreau – 7 Points
Photo by Michelle Roy/Speedway 660
After moving to a Pro Stock/Super Late Model at the end of the 2013 season, all eyes were on Cole Boudreau in 2014 to see how the young hotshoe would progress to in his first full time season in the car at his home track of Speedway 660.
Needless to say, the Chipman, New Brunswick driver turned some heads.
Boudreau placed fifth in the RE/MAX Group Four Realty Pro Stock division at Speedway 660, which included collecting the Rookie of the Year Award and his first career feature win on June 28th. In that race he bested a field of 15 cars and was chased to the line by Kevin Moore and Brad Mann – two veterans of the sport who have more years in the seat of a Pro Stock than young Boudreau has on this earth.
While the #00 team did not do much traveling in 2014, they did score a top five run in the first Pro Stock race at Speedway Miramichi since 1999 and the team ran well at the Atlantic Championships before a mechanical problem put them out of their final race of the season. In short, they made the best of their opportunities when at the track.
Not to mention, Boudreau is a well spoken young man and can charm race fans and sponsors alike.
Boudreau appeared on two of the three panel ballots, along with receiving one point for finishing fifth in the Fan Vote.
3rd – #88 Nicholas Naugle – 12 Points
Setting his goals as top five finishes at the start of 2014, Nicholas Naugle exceeded even his expectations.
The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia driver, who moved from Bandoleros in 2013, picked up five feature wins on his rookie season in Legend cars, three on the Maritime League of Legends Tour (two at Petty Raceway, one at Scotia Speedworld), along with two on the Strictly Hydraulics Weekly Legends series at Scotia Speedworld. The success landed him two second place finishes in each of their respective point standings, including a close finish with eventual champion Justin MacNeill on the Maritime League of Legends Tour, which saw them enter the season finale at Atlantic Motorsports Park tied for the championship.
If he wasn’t on your radar before, he definitely should be now with the season he had. The panel each gave him second place nods on all their ballots, but missing out on points on the Fan Vote put Naugle third after the tiebreaker in the Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year chase in 2014.
2nd – #32 Sarah McKay – 12 Points
To run with the big boys in the most prestigious short track touring series in Canada is something to be proud of.
Sarah McKay competed in her first full time Pro Stock season in 2014, racing on the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour. While last year’s Rookie of the Year battle in the series was huge and McKay went uncontested for the top newcomer in 2014, she progressively picked up the race car and showed speed throughout the season. Her season highlights on the Tour, which comes through the back gate each week with a dozen or more drivers that could win each feature, is a top ten finish at her home track of Speedway 660 and a heat win at Petty International Raceway.
While she did well on the Tour, she really excelled in open competition. McKay turned heads at the Re/Max 250 by running well within the top five during the race before falling to seventh at the checkered flag and put up a solid effort in the Best of the Best 100, both at Speedway 660. She also scored a top five run at Petty International Raceway early in the 2014 campaign.
Along the way, she earned the respect of fellow racers, including Maine legend Ben Rowe, among others, and fans alike. The fans came out in droves for McKay in the Fan Vote portion of this category, giving McKay an 11% win in the overall vote. She also received one first place vote from one of our panelists and a fourth place result, giving her 12 points and the second place position on a tiebreaker over Naugle.
Aaaaaand the winner is….
Alexandra O’Blenis photos by Michelle Roy/Speedway 660
1st – #74 Alexandra O’Blenis – 13 Points
Continuing the O’Blenis legacy in stock car racing in New Brunswick, it appears we have another star driver on our hands with Alexandra O’Blenis.
O’Blenis, who was the only driver to appear on all four ballots in the Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year voting, including one first place win with the panel and edging out third place in the Fan Vote by three votes, is tops on our chart for 2014!
Entering 2014, O’Blenis was up against a stacked field of rookies at Speedway 660. No competition she hadn’t seen before with fellow Bandolero drivers Drew Greenlaw and Dawson McIntee by her side, but still tough competition that would test her to her limits on the track. While she may not have won the Rookie of the Year Award in the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman race, she did win one feature in August and came close to another feature win in May, which was ultimately picked up by McIntee. The difference in points between her and Greenlaw for the top freshman in the class? Ten points, or the equivalent of five feature positions over eight point paying races. Overall, she finished fifth in the standings.
Down the road at Petty International Raceway, O’Blenis picked up the NAPA CMax Sportsman Rookie of the Year Award in the Sportsman division, racing with her father Dave O’Blenis in four of the races in the series. Did we mention she beat him twice en route to podium finishes?
After a Street Stock championship at Petty Raceway in 2013, combined with her accomplishments in a Late Model Sportsman in 2014, her stock continues to rise and will be one to watch for many years to come.
For her victory, O’Blenis will receive a Tim’s Corner Motorsports Awards Banner from Infinite Creative Solutions for her win in the Kings County Performance Rookie of the Year category. The presentation will be made in January.
Big thanks to Kings County Performance of Sussex, New Brunswick for partnering with the Rookie of the Year Award in 2014, and our panelists whose input was used to bring us to a winner.
FAN VOTE RESULTS
1st – #32 Sarah McKay – 25%
2nd – #48 Waylon Farrell – 14%
3rd – #74 Alexandra O’Blenis – 11%
4th – #1 Ryan Messer – 10%
5th – #00 Cole Boudreau – 10%
6th – #23 Drew Greenlaw – 7%
7th – #84 Levi Rossiter – 6%
8th – #88 Nicholas Naugle – 6%
9th – #88 Kody Quinn – 6%
10th – #198 Steven Matthews – 4%