Earlier in the year, we came out with a list ranking the top 10 current Outlaw Super Late Model racers. With the 2020 season behind us, we now take a look at the top competitors throughout the year.
2020 was a trying year for Outlaw Super Late Model racing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Kalamazoo Speedway and Flat Rock Speedway both were unable to host events due to COVID restrictions, while fellow Michigan tracks Owosso Speedway and Springport Mid-Michigan Speedway had their seasons dramatically altered. Tracks in Ohio also saw their seasons affected, with racing being all but shut down in the state for a few weeks during the summer.
While the virus affected multiple tracks that host Outlaw Super Late Model racing, we also saw new life brought to a pair of Michigan tracks. Galesburg Speedway hosted their biggest Outlaw race in several years with the Smitty Memorial, while the wedge bodies also made their return to M40 Speedway after several years in what was a full revival of the D-shaped oval.
Next year looks to be promising for Outlaw Super Late Model racing, led by two Kalamazoo Klash events at Kalamazoo, the latter of which will pay $15,000 to win. Anderson Speedway has an Outlaw SLM show scheduled, with a promoter to be announced.
Before we head to 2021 though, we’ll take a look at the top Outlaw SLM drivers from this season.
#1) Tyler Roahrig – You could flip our top two drivers on this list and you wouldn’t be wrong, but what settled it for us is the fact that Roahrig had one more win during the season. He won his record-extending fifth Summer Sizzler at New Paris Speedway, while also picking up big wins at South Bend Motor Speedway in the Jim Blount Memorial and So Long Summer 75.
#2) Steve Needles – Needles’ starts in 2020 were limited, but his trips to victory lane were not. After several near-misses, he finally won the Glass City 200 at Toledo Speedway while also adding the Ron Hauser Memorial trophy at Owosso.
#3) Andy Bozell – When you only run one race during the year, you have to do something special to be ranked this high. That’s exactly what ’12-Time’ did, winning the Smitty Memorial at Galesburg while nearly lapping the entire field in the process.
#4) Corey Ryman – Ryman was one of the drivers to beat when it came to big races at South Bend. He won his first-ever race at the quarter-mile in The Gambler, then later added a South Bend Showdown triumph with the open competition Outlaw.
#5) Brandon Short – The Ohio driver further cemented himself as one of the next big Outlaw Late Model stars by going six-for-seven in features at Midvale Speedway, while also scoring a win at Lorain County Raceway. Short also showed his strength away from home with strong runs at Owosso and the Glass City 200.
#6) Jeff Ganus – While he spent the majority of 2020 in a Sportsman and with son Brock’s rookie year in a Street Stock, “The Constantine Comet” still made time to collect trophies with the wedge body. Ganus put on a clinic in Outlaw racing’s return to M40 Speedway Labor Day weekend before winning the Michigan Cup at Springport Mid-Michigan Speedway once again.
#7) JR Roahrig – The elder Roahrig may have been snakebitten at times during the season, but “The Doctor” was still able to pick up a win in the Old Glory 75 at Springport on July 4th. He also finished third in the Summer Sizzler to put himself within one of Jack Landis for most top-fives in event history.
#8) Adam Terry – The defending Kalamazoo Speedway track champion could have also been considered “Mr. Runner-Up” after finishing second in the Jim Blount Memorial and Summer Sizzler. He and Tyler Roahrig have finished 1-2 in four marquee races since the start of 2019, with Terry getting the upper hand in the Intimidator 100 last year.
#9) Steve Stacy – “Noisy” won another track championship at South Bend on the back of two wins, including in the season finale to earn him the title over Rich Boal. While he’s made his name at South Bend and New Paris over the years, he ventured north to Galesburg for the first time in June and finished third in the Smitty Memorial.
#10) Cayden Lapcevich – While he and car owner Bobby Blount expanded their Template Late Model program to include several marquee events such as the Winchester 400 and Snowball Derby, the “Sweet 16” was still a fixture in the Midwest. The former NASCAR Pinty’s Series champion finished second at The Gambler and third in the Glass City 200.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo