With January coming to a close, Speedweeks is just around the corner as we get deeper into a new season of short track racing. That season will provide plenty of breakout performances, and some drivers are already tipping their hands towards being among those candidates.
Earlier this month, Speed51 offered a list of 10 drivers to keep an eye on with intriguing storylines in the 2020 season. Here is our list of 10 breakout candidates in 2020.
Ricky Weiss – Canadian Ricky Weiss has already shown some of the potential he could display in the 2020 season, winning a feature during the Battle at the Border at Vado Speedway Park (NM) in January.
Weiss finished third in World of Outlaws Late Models points for 2019 and scored a preliminary night win during the Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals. Currently second in World of Outlaws points following the Battle at the Border, Weiss hopes to carry that momentum throughout the season.
Sam Rameau – Last year, Sam Rameau earned NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Rookie of the Year honors. The Massachusetts driver will hope to build on that in his sophomore season with the Tour.
Rameau is a former race-winner with the Modified Racing Series, and scored three top-10s during the 2019 NWMT season. With a full season under his belt, Rameau will be aiming for greater success in the new year.
Jake Garcia – Garcia attracted plenty of attention to close out 2019, as the 14-year-old backed up an Allen Turner Pro Late Model championship at Five Flags Speedway (FL) with a runner-up finish in the 52ndAnnual Snowball Derby.
Garcia put a strong foot forward at CRA SpeedFest, rebounding from an early incident to finish sixth at Crisp Motorsports Park (GA). What will Garcia have for an encore as he competes more frequently in Super Late Models this season?
Ty Gibbs – Ty Gibbs made noise in 2019 with his first wins in stock cars as well as a big Late Model Stock win to start the year. While Gibbs is still not old enough to forge a full ARCA Menards Series campaign, he will look to build on that success with several ARCA national and regional appearances.
Gibbs opened 2019 by winning the Icebreaker 125 at Myrtle Beach Speedway (SC), then scored a pair of wins with both the ARCA Menards Series and the former NASCAR K&N Pro Series. While he won’t be competing for a championship, he will be gunning for wins every time he’s on the track.
Stephen Donahue – The American-Canadian Tour always packs stout fields, but Stephen Donahue put together some strong showings against that competition and could be a name to watch in 2020.
Donahue had a pair of runner-up finishes with the series in 2019, including one in the ACT race during Oxford 250 weekend at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME). He also led 84 laps during a second-place finish at White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH) in August.
Logan Roberson – “Thugg Nasty” is a former FASTRAK World Champion, winning that prestigious Pro Late Model event in 2018. Now, the Virginia native is setting his sights on more Super Late Model racing in 2020.
Roberson already has several events planned for the 2020 season, starting with a trip south to Georgia and Florida with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series for Speedweeks. With appearances at the World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte (NC) and the Gateway Dirt Nationals to close out 2019, Roberson has had some time to work out the bugs with the new car and enter 2020 with his best foot forward.
Carson Macedo – Teamed up again with Kyle Larson Racing after winning the World of Outlaws’ Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year title in 2019, Macedo hopes to insert himself in the championship battle in 2020.
Macedo scored four wins as a rookie with the Outlaws, including a preliminary night win in the Jackson Nationals. The California native finished sixth in series points, and will look to improve on that this year.
Tyler Fabozzi – While victory lane eluded Fabozzi during his rookie season with the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series, he tallied three top-five finishes and finished fourth in the points chase to earn Rookie of the Year honors. Fabozzi will look to improve on a consistent 2019 season as he once again chases the SRL title.
Fabozzi closed out 2019 with a runner-up finish at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, leading 29 laps in a race won by Derek Thorn. Only missing out on the top 10 twice during the SRL season, Fabozzi established the consistency to be a title contender if he can score an elusive win or two in 2020.
Daniel Dye– Daniel Dye won the Pro Late Model track championship at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) in 2019. Now with eyes set on Super Late Model competition, Dye has already made an impression in the 2020 season.
Along with his track title at New Smyrna, Dye finished fourth in the “Baby Rattler” at South Alabama Speedway last year. The Florida driver has started 2020 with top-five finishes in the Super Late Model portion of the Red Eye 50/50 as well as the CRA SpeedFest 200.
Cannon McIntosh – The Oklahoma young gun turned heads at the Lucas Oil Chiil Bowl Nationals, finishing behind a pair of NASCAR Cup Series drivers for a podium finish. That strong audition has earned McIntosh a full-time Keith Kunz Motorsports Midget ride for 2020.
McIntosh finished third in his maiden voyage at the extremely competitive Chili Bowl, behind Kyle Larson and three-time Chili Bowl winner Christopher Bell. After that strong showing, McIntosh will now race the full USAC and POWRi Midget seasons with KKM, which will give him many opportunities to rack up wins this season.
-Text by Speed51 Staff
-Photo credit: Speed51Photos.com