Tier 1 Season Wrap Up
Here we are, the end of Season 3, not much has changed at the top of the standings. Rick James just ran away with this season. The only shake up since the last time we checked in happened at third where McQueen overtook Tuck. Congratulations on a dominating season victory to Rick James.
So instead of rehashing all of that, let’s take a look at some of the guys lower in the standings, guys that we haven’t discussed much, if at all.
Ryan Perlman was a favorite to win this season and while he didn’t win, he definitely improved leaps and bounds from last season when he found himself in 42nd place. This season he had nine top tens including six top fives on his way to sixth in the standings. ToysRUs might be out of business but TRU Racing is still going strong as long as Perlman is on the team. His season had its ups and downs but the ups far outweighed the downs. His best finish on the year was third, which happened twice, once at North Wilkesboro and once at IRP. He even won the pole at Myrtle Beach Speedway making this an all around great season for Perlman.
Randy Trombone is another driver who put it all together after struggling last season. Trombone found himself in fifth this season after stringing together six top tens in a row to close out the season and completing 100% of the laps on the year. Last season he was 23rd with 5 DNFs so the turnaround is huge this year. I don’t think he was really on anyone’s radar to finish top five in points but that just goes to show you that you can never count anyone out.
Someone else who deserves a shout out this season is Greg Santos. He is a true rookie this year and still managed to put together a great season. Finishing 12th in the standings is no small feat for a newcomer with all the talent that we have at the top. Santos started the year off with a top 10 at Martinsville Speedway and the pole at Kern County Raceway in races one and two. He stumbled a little bit after that before returning to the top 10 in back to back races at North Wilkesboro Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway. I’ll be keeping my eye on Santos next season as he continues to get better.
Another driver I’ll be keeping my eye on is Richard Physt. Physt finished 23rd this season but continues to make improvements. And anyway, we have seen someone jump from 23rd one season to fifth the next (Trombone), so I would not be too worried about Physt’s struggles in just his rookie season. His season peak was back to back top 10s at 5 Flags Speedway and I-70 Speedway and he continued on from there with a couple top 15s.
It was a great season for everyone who competed despite what the standings show. James took the lead and really never looked back so when (if?) he makes the jump to Tier 2 next season, I would expect Tier 1 to be anyone’s game.