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DirtonDirt.com exclusive

Poll Position: Richards jumps O'Neal after win

November 15, 2011, 7:26 am

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. Jimmy Owens, Newport, Tenn.

Comment: Rides off into the sunset after third consecutive victory in Charlotte’s World Finals finale. Series points: First (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: 1st (nc)

2. Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, Tenn.

Comment: All-or-nothing mentality bites Bloomquist at East Alabama’s National 100. Series points: Second (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: 2nd (nc)

3. Josh Richards, Shinnston, W.Va.

Comment: Bounces back from WoO heartbreak with season-ending victory at Hagerstown. Series points: Second (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: 4th (+1)

4. Don O'Neal, Martinsville, Ind.

Comment: Best career season has wrapped up for winner of three 2010 crown jewels. Series points: Third (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: 3rd (-1)

5. Jonathan Davenport, Blairsville, Ga.

Comment: Adds another victory to his late-season hot streak with his second National 100 triumph. Series points: none. Last week's ranking: 5th (nc)

6. Steve Shaver, Vienna, W.Va.

Comment: Finishes sixth at East Alabama. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 6th (nc)

7. Rick Eckert, York, Pa.

Comment: WoO champ fades late at Hagerstown after running as high as second. Series points: First (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: 7th (nc)

8. Darrell Lanigan, Union, Ky.

Comment: Looking for a new crew chief for 2012 after Randall Edwards’s departure. Series points: Third (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: 8th (nc)

9. Billy Moyer, Batesville, Ark.

Comment: Looking to regroup for next season after an up-and-down year in 2011. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 9th (nc)

10. Brian Birkhofer, Muscatine, Iowa

Comment: Has more time to watch his Steelers play after wrapping up his season at Magnolia. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 10th (nc)

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

Comment: Wrapped up 2011 with a top 10 in World Finals finale at Charlotte. Series points: Second (O'Reilly All Stars). Last week's ranking: 11th (nc)

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

Comment: Mechanical woes spoiled Madden’s top-five run at East Alabama. Series points: First (Southern Nationals). Last week's ranking: 12th (nc)

13. Steve Francis, Ashland, Ky.

Comment: Ends his winless year with a runner-up National 100 finish. Series points: Fourth (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: 13th (nc)

14. Scott James, Lawrenceburg, Ind.

Comment: Done for 2011 after a solid first season with Riggs Motorsports. Series points: Second (Summernationals). Last week's ranking: 14th (nc)

15. Jimmy Mars, Menomonie, Wis.

Comment: Team settles in for winter to catch up on Mars Race Cars business. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 15th (nc)

16. Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y.

Comment: Finishes fifth at East Alabama in Warrior house car. Series points: Fourth (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: 16th (nc)

17. Brady Smith, Solon Springs, Wis.

Comment: Using the offseason to focus on his fledgling open-wheel modified chassis business. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 17th (nc)

18. Chub Frank, Bear Lake, Pa.

Comment: Finishes 11th in first National 100 start. Series points: Fifth (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: 18th (nc)

19. Shannon Babb, Moweaqua, Ill.

Comment: Hunting season replaces racing season for third-time Summernationals champ. Series points: First (Summernationals). Last week's ranking: 19th (nc)

20. Dale McDowell, Chickamauga, Ga.

Comment: Doubleheader weekend at Cleveland and Cherokee will wrap up McDowell’s 2011 campaign. Series points: 11th (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: 21st (+1)

21. Jared Hawkins, Fairmont, W.Va.

Comment: His breakout season ran out of steam at Charlotte. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 20th (-1)

22. Jeep Van Wormer, Pinconning, Mich.

Comment: His stateside season is over; he's heading to Australia for January miniseries. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 22nd (nc)

23. Jared Landers, Batesville, Ark.

Comment: Struggles to 17th-place finish in first trip to East Alabama. Series points: Fifth (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: 23rd (nc)

24. Jason Covert, York Haven, Pa.

Comment: An early pileup knocked Covert out of contention at Hagerstown. Series points: First (Three State Flyers). Last week's ranking: 24th (nc)

25. Jamie Lathroum, Mechanicsville, Md.

Comment: Posts a solid third-place effort in Hagerstown’s finale. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 25th (nc)

DROPPED OUT: None

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: Dan Stone, Klint Byars, Chad Simpson, John Blankenship, Robbie Blair.

DirtonDirt Top 25

1. Jimmy Owens (nc)
2. Scott Bloomquist (nc)
3. Josh Richards (+1)
4. Don O’Neal (-1)
5. Jonathan Davenport (nc)
6. Steve Shaver (nc)
7. Rick Eckert (nc)
8. Darrell Lanigan (nc)
9. Billy Moyer (nc)
10. Brian Birkhofer (nc)
11. Eddie Carrier Jr. (nc)
12. Chris Madden (nc)
13. Steve Francis (nc)
14. Scott James (nc)
15. Jimmy Mars (nc)
16. Tim McCreadie (nc)
17. Brady Smith (nc)
18. Chub Frank (nc)
19. Shannon Babb (nc)
20. Dale McDowell (+1)
21. Jared Hawkins (-1)
22. Jeep Van Wormer (nc)
23. Jared Landers (nc)
24. Jason Covert (nc)
25. Jamie Lathroum (nc)

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