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Poll Position: DirtonDirt's Top 25 driver rankings

May 17, 2011, 2:00 pm

Welcome to one of the newest DirtonDirt.com features, Poll Position, as DirtonDirt.com staffers Michael Rigsby, Todd Turner and Joshua Joiner rank the nation's top 25 Dirt Late Model racers by consensus. Future rankings will appear every Tuesday at DirtonDirt.com.

1. Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, Tenn.

  • Comment: Kicking himself after failing to nab record-setting fifth straight Lucas Oil victory, but still rolling. Series points: First (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: NA.

2. Billy Moyer, Batesville, Ark.

  • Comment: Limited starts since victorious Arizona and Florida trips; still up to speed with victory at Farley. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: NA.

3. Darrell Lanigan, Union, Ky.

  • Comment: Roared back after Speedweeks health issues; has only two 2011 finishes worse than third. Series points: 3rd (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: NA.

4. Jimmy Owens, Newport, Tenn.

  • Comment: Steady on Lucas Oil tour but buoyed by three non-Lucas Oil victories near home in mid-April. Series points: 2nd (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: NA.

5. Steve Shaver, Vienna, W.Va.

  • Comment: Part-time Rumley Enterprises team has had full-time success and is one flat tire away from four victories. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: NA.

6. Rick Eckert, York, Pa.

  • Comment: Winning two of three recent WoO events is first such streak since reeling off four victories in a row in 2006. Series points: 1st (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: NA.

7. Josh Richards, Shinnston, W.Va.

  • Comment: Two-time champ in WoO points mix, but winless over last 12 events, matching longest dry spell of 2010. Series points: 2nd (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: NA.

8. Don O'Neal, Martinsville, Ind.

  • Comment: Made rare Lucas Oil start in Moring car at 34 Raceway; three wins in 20 starts. Series points: 3rd (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: NA.

9. Chris Madden, Gray Court, S.C.

  • Comment: Two victories at Volunteer Speedway in his last two starts at the Bulls Gap, Tenn., oval. Series points: 7th (Ultimate). Last week's ranking: NA.

10. Brian Birkhofer, Muscatine, Iowa

  • Comment: After near-miss at West Liberty, Birkhofer halts Bloomquist's streak at 34 Raceway. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: NA.

11. Jonathan Davenport, Blairsville, Ga.

  • Comment: Barry Wright house car driver seldom goes a month between victories, but he's winless since April 2. Series points: 4th (Ultimate). Last week's ranking: NA.

12. Ronnie Johnson, Chattanooga, Tenn.

  • Comment: The 55-year-old Hall of Famer threatening to post another 20-victory seasons. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: NA.

13. Austin Hubbard, Seaford, Del.

  • Comment: Teen question's WoO publicist's description of him as "goofy;" three top-five finishes in 10 WoO starts. Series points: 4th (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: NA.

14. Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y.

  • Comment: Rocket Chassis veteran posts best WoO finish of season in 3-year-old Victory Circle of teammate Vic Coffey. Series points: 5th (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: NA.

15. Shannon Babb, Moweaqua, Ill.

  • Comment: Gets chance to run new Victory Circle Chassis for big money at tracks where he's won big money in the past. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: NA.

16. Steve Francis, Ashland, Ky.

  • Comment: Impressive career debut in MasterSbilt Race Car with third-place finish at 34 Raceway. Series points: 5th (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: NA.

17. Earl Pearson Jr., Jacksonville, Fla.

  • Comment: Two of his three top-five finishes in 2011 has come in last three races for four-time Lucas Oil champion. Series points: 4th (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: NA.

18. Eddie Carrier Jr., Salt Rock, W.Va.

  • Comment: Often under-rated driver has clicked off two victories in quest to match 12-victory campaign of 2010. Series points: 1st (O'Reilly All Stars). Last week's ranking: NA.

19. Al Purkey, Coffeyville, Kan.

  • Comment: Impressive victories two of the past three weeks, including the $10,000 Sunflower State Showdown. Series points: 1st (MLRA). Last week's ranking: NA.

20. Bub McCool, Vicksburg, Miss.

  • Comment: Leading Lucas Oil rookie losing early-season shine with longest streak without a top-10 finish. Series points: 8th (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: NA.

21. Billy Moyer Jr., Batesville, Ark.

  • Comment: Son of Hall of Famer gears up for major regional events around home. Series points: 2nd (Comp Cams). Last week's ranking: NA.

22. Jesse Stovall, Galena, Mo.

  • Comment: Steady performances in regional series events for driver of Steve Rushin-owned car. Series points: 3rd (MARS). Last week's ranking: NA.

24. Jimmy Mars, Menomonie, Wis.

  • Comment: Mostly quiet since solid Volusia outings in February, but knocked off two season-opening victories near home. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: NA.

24. Jason Feger, Bloomington, Ill.

  • Comment: Runner-up WoO finish at Hartford following impressive Speedweeks. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: NA.

25. Dennis Erb Jr., Carpentersville, Ill.

  • Comment: Clarksville's Tuckassee Toilet Bowl Classic winner still up-and-down in Bloomquist Race Car. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: NA.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: Clint Smith (44), Senoia, Ga.; Ray Moore (93), Haughton, La.; Josh Putnam (212), Killen, Ala.; David Breazeale (54), Four Corners, Miss.; Will Vaught (1), Crane, Mo.; Mike Marlar (36), Winfield, Tenn.; Brady Smith (2), Solon Springs, Wis.; Bobby Hogge IV (2x), Salinas, Calif.; Chub Frank (1*), Bear Lake, Pa.; Chip Brindle (21B), Chatsworth, Ga.; Brad Looney, Republic, Mo.

DirtonDirt Top 25

1. Scott Bloomquist
2. Billy Moyer
3. Darrell Lanigan
4. Jimmy Owens
5. Steve Shaver
6. Rick Eckert
7. Josh Richards
8. Don O'Neal
9. Chris Madden
10. Brian Birkhofer
11. Jonathan Davenport
12. Ronnie Johnson
13. Austin Hubbard
14. Tim McCreadie
15. Shannon Babb
16. Steve Francis
17. Earl Pearson Jr.
18. Eddie Carrier Jr.
19. Al Purkey
20. Bub McCool
21. Billy Moyer Jr.
22. Jesse Stovall
24. Jimmy Mars
24. Jason Feger
25. Dennis Erb Jr.

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