Numbers tell story after 18 Speedweeks races
By Todd Turner and Joshua JoinerDirtonDirt.com
A by-the-numbers review of Georgia-Florida Speedweeks action for Super Late Models, made up of Feb. 11-25 action at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga.; Waycross (Ga.) Motor Speedway; Golden Isles Speedway in Brunswick, Ga.; East Bay Raceway Park in Gibsonton, Fla.; Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla.; and Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.:
1: Alligator captured on the Volusia grounds; the nearly 5-foot creature was picked up by animal control.
3: Drivers to compete at five of six Speedweeks track, Billy Moyer and Jason McBride compete at Screven, Waycross, Golden Isles, Ocala and Volusia. Brandon Sheppard entered events at Screven, Golden Isles, East Bay, Ocala and Volusia. No driver entered events at all six tracks.
3: Victories by Steve Francis, the most by any driver.
4: Drivers who won a Speedweeks-high six preliminary races (heats or consolations) Steve Francis, Shannon Babb, Darrell Lanigan and Don O'Neal.
6: Flip or rollover accidents with Tim Fuller and Mike Collins getting upside down at Ocala while John Lowrey, Ryan Unzicker and Larry Wright went over at Volusia. Royce Bray got upside down during time trials at Screven Motor Speedway. None were seriously injured.
6: Multiple-race winners, likely an all-time record for Super Late Model action. The drivers: Jonathan Davenport (Waycross and Golden Isles), Don O'Neal (two at East Bay), Darrell Lanigan (Screven and Ocala), Steve Francis (two at East Bay and one at Volusia) Dennis Erb Jr. (East Bay and Volusia) and Billy Moyer (two at Volusia).
8: Top-five finishes for Steve Francis and Dennis Erb Jr., most of any Speedweeks entrant.
9: Days that Josh Richards was alone atop the World of Outlaws all-time victories list after winning at Ocala victory Feb. 17 before Billy Moyer pulled back even with his Feb. 26 victory at Volusia.
11: Cars that pitted for fresh right-rear tires under a lap-27 caution during the East Bay finale Feb. 18. It was a rare case of planned pit stops in a Dirt Late Model race.
12: Consecutive seasons where Hall of Famers Scott Bloomquist and/or Billy Moyer have won Speedweeks events.
13: Feature starts for Dennis Erb Jr., most of any Speedweeks driver and a perfect 13-for-13 at three tracks.
13.938: Seconds, Darrell Lanigan's track qualifying record at Ocala set during Feb. 17 World of Outlaws action.
15: Cars that were involved in or received damage from a lap-37 pileup during East Bay's finale. The turn-two wreck was spurred by contact between Randy Korte and John Blankenship, who were battling among the top five at the time.
18: Complete race programs contested, the most since 2008.
19: Total number of lead changes in 18 Speedweeks feature events. The high was four in Ray Cook's Feb. 15 victory at East Bay while seven races were won green-to-checkers.
21: Entries at Waycross, fewest of any Speedweeks event.
24: States represented by Speedweeks drivers, not including Canadians Don Gordon, Jim Fletcher and Charlie Sandercock, all of Ontario.
31: Drivers posted at least one top-five finish, five more than last year. Of the 31 drivers, 13 had just one top-five finish.
35: Years that statistician Jean Lynch as been at East Bay's Winternationals before missing this year's event while recovering from injuries sustained in a highway accident last summer.
41: The average age of Georgia-Florida Speedweeks winners during a stretch when half of the winners were 44 years old or older.
43: Average car count at East Bay, 19 fewer than the 62-car average in 2011.
45: Number of Speedweeks drivers who didn't make a single feature lineup, three more than last year.
52: Average Super Late Model car count for 18 Speedweeks events, six fewer than 2011.
68: Average car count at Volusia, virtually the same as last February.
79: Entries for the Feb. 17 World of Outlaws event at Volusia, the highest Speedweeks car count.
147: Total drivers to enter at least one Georgia-Florida Speedweeks event, 10 more than last season. The all-time record was 175 drivers in 2004.
50,700: Dollars earned at Speedweeks by Lanigan, the most by any driver.
Correction: Fixes number of rollover accidents and number of drivers competing at five tracks.