Ahhh, The Points Race! Ultimately it’s the points that we’re all racing for, isn’t it?
Why do you race? What do you win at these races? … Points!!!
If you ask any Stock Outboard racer why he/she races you will probably get responses like: I just love it, the competition, the adrenaline, or most common I just like being around the people at the races and participating. In all honesty, I doubt you would hear “I’m racing for the points” very often. But hidden in the back of everyone’s mind, in almost a secret way the points are a factor. It’s how we measure ourselves against other racers across the country; those that we get to see on the course at local races, those that we only see here and there and those in far away regions that we may never get to match up with on the course. I can remember as a kid, before the internet and social media, literally running in from the mailbox with the propeller magazine in hand ready to review it cover to cover; and a major part of that was the points. I’d look for everyone I knew to see where they stood in the national lineup, practically memorizing the points races between those I knew, those I had only heard of and those who I could only imagine.
Whether it’s top of mind and openly discussed or not, I guarantee the stats and the high points race is a factor for every stock outboard racer. If you don’t believe me, just wait until about mid-September, take a look at racers who usually run local races or maybe travel just a bit to neighboring regions, now pick out the one that has had the most successful season and is ranking high in the points battle for his/her class and watch what happens. Over the years I have seen time and time again; racers who normally race at a local level find themselves with a shot at the points battle and pack up to travel to gather as many as they can, often travelling well out of their normal area to try to add their name as a contender. I also know that there are others that have the 2-US badge and/or the 1-(region) and the points battle clearly on their mind at each race. The high point designation, whether it be at the club level, your region, or the coveted national high point is the measure of your season long effort and your success.
So let’s talk about it, celebrate it, have fun with it! Stats are and always have been a huge part of all sports, people love to follow them to understand what the larger implications are of the competition going on immediately in front of them and to see how teams can endure over an entire season.
* Disclaimer: This is an attempt at an as up-to-date as possible summary of the projected points battle including race results that have not been officially reported by APBA. If it helps distinguish; consider the standings below, my personal “power rankings”. The rankings shown below include points officially reported on the APBA site and estimated points reported from various unofficial sources which may be incorrect or incomplete. My intent is to provide the most up-to-date projections of what I think the points races look like, demonstrate how upcoming races may affect these rankings/projections as well as the actual APBA points races, have fun and promote Stock Outboard and competition. If you see something that you believe is incorrect, please comment in the message box and I will update my tabulations accordingly. The American Power Boat Association is the only organization that tabulates and reports the official points race and high point awards for Stock Outboard racing sanctioned by APBA. The official posted points can be viewed under the resources tab on the APBA web site.
Setting the stage:
It is very early! At this point only a handful of races have been run and many have run only a limited number of classes, many regions have barely melted out and haven’t held a race yet, many more racers have yet to pull the equipment out of winter storage and pack the trailer.
Certainly, EVERY points race is still up for grabs but lets see where we stand:
Racers in the Southwest have had three days of racing in Parker, AZ; two late last fall after the points calender fliped over for the new year and one day early this year.
The Southeast has seen a limited schedule event at the Orange Cup in Lakeland, FL and two full days (including winter-nationals bonus points) in Jesup GA with attendance from many out-of-region; East Coast, Northeast and Mid-West, drivers
Millville, NJ opened up the race season for the East Coast last weekend with two full days of racing.
Yelm, WA opened the Northwest schedule last weekend with two days of limited schedule racing.
It’s about to blow wide open!
Over the next three weekends we are going to see the season opener in Ohio (if mother nature cooperates) ***Ohio Race canceled due to flooding while this post was in progress *** the second round in the Northwest, this time with a full schedule, the Southeast Divisional Championship in Tabor City North Carolina and then The Northeast and Wisconsin join the party with the Northeast Divisional Championships in Standish, ME and races in Pell Lake, WI. It’s about to get wild!
What to watch for class by class:
I show JSH racers in the southeast have taken advantage of the early races to jump out front. However, I know I am missing Yelm results (feel free to post in the messages below). I show the following top three but with Yelm results and Castle Rock this weekend, this is sure to change:
- Carson Fabbro: 1250
- Fisher Dyle: 900
- Tyler Price: 800
So far I have only results for JSR from Jesup, GA and I don’t see any indications of JSR being run in WA or OH this weekend
- Fisher Dyle: 800
- Carson Fabbro: 600
- Emily Hutchinson: 450
AXH is already a battle! AXH racers from FL, CA and NJ are already in the mix and the races in Washington should only bring more to the party. Casey Jones has grabbed the lead by running all three races in AZ. Gordon Jennings and John Wlodarski have both swept a weekend of racing and Carson Fabbro & Erin Pittman alternated firsts and seconds at Jesup. I am anticipating all five of these drivers to be idle this weekend leaving the door open for AXH drivers in WA to join the battle.
- Casey Jones: 900
- Gordon Jennings 3rd & John Wlodarski: 800 *unofficial (Millville)
- Carson Fabbro & Erin Pittman: 700
Becky Nichols has taken full advantage of the early races in the Southeast and she has started strong. Competing in two days of racing at The Orange Cup and two days at Jesup she has only been beaten once and in that race she posted a close second. Carson Fabbro has competed strong in all four days of racing in the southeast as well and shows up second. And the one person to beat Nichols so far? Well that was Colin Smith who came all the way from Michigan to compete in the Winter-Nationals and drove home with a first and a second. Smith shows up third in our standings for his efforts. All three will be idle this weekend but Nichols racing has already indicated that they plan to attend the Southeast Divisionals in Tabor City in two weeks as well as The Nationals at Moses Lake and the Northeast Divisionals is a possibility as well. As expected, Nichols is setting the bar high for AXR drivers once again this year:
- Becky Nichols: 1500
- Carson Fabbro: 1050
- Colin Smith: 700
At the Winter-Nationals in Jesup, Abby Pond flexed her muscles and was the class of the field in her Sidewinder powered ASH. Last weekend at Millville however; Max Acierno said not so fast and took the win over Abby on Saturday, she came back and posted another first on Sunday, but the weekend dashed any hopes of a perfect season. At this early point in the season Abby’s lead looks enormous but keep in mind she is the only ASH driver to compete in 4 days of racing so far. Nicole Knudson and Casey Jones have both competed in all three days of racing at Parker AZ and both have enjoyed a win which gets them into 2nd and 3rd position in the points race. I anticipate all three of these racers as well as Acierno to be idle this weekend which will allow a Washington driver the opportunity to add their name to the mix, but Pond will likely attend Tabor City NC the following weekend for the Divisionals, possibly Acierno as well and both have made the trip to Standish ME in the past. The next race for Knudson and Jones is likely Lake Minden at the end of the month.
- Abby Pond: 1500 *unofficial (Millville)
- Nicole Knudson: 795
- Casey Jones: 640
In my opinion ASR was the most exciting class at Jesup. Watching some of the top drivers in the nation go head to head competing with motors produced from three different motor manufacturers made for exciting racing with different story lines unfolding as the race went on. I show Billy Simmons and Sidewinder with a big lead thanks both to strong runs at Jesup including Winter-Nationals bonus points and an extra weekend of racing, in Millville, over his nearest competitors. I show last year’s national high point champ; Manny Diaz in second representing OMC and Colin Smith and Mercury in third. All of these drivers should be idle this weekend so the door is open to join the party. Simmons is likely to race in Tabor City NC and both Simmons and Diaz are probable in Standish ME.
- Billy Simmons: 1900 *unofficial (Millville)
- Manny Diaz: 850
- Colin Smith: 769
In Jesup it was Abby Pond with Callie Shensky nipping at her heels heat after heat in BSH, while Ryan Runne battled motor issues. When the Millville results came in, however Runne must have got his motor issues ironed out as he swept the weekend over Pond. All three drivers are idle this weekend but likely at Tabor City and possible at Standish ME. Will a west coast driver throw his/her hat in the ring in Sidewinder’s flagship class?
- Abby Pond: 1400 *unofficial (Millville)
- Ryan Runne: 800 *unofficial (Millville)
- Callie Shensky: 600
No Races run yet for this class
It is with great regret that I say I know my tabulations in two of the largest and most competitive classes (20ssh & CSH) are incomplete. Specifically, I do not have the full results (beyond 1-3) at Yelm. I would greatly appreciate if someone could post them below and we can work together to get this more exact. Even with my incomplete results I can guarantee 20ssH is a “horse race” as it is most years. I don’t show anyone having reached two wins yet; Lisius has achieved 1000 points courtesy of one win and a second which included the Winter-Nationals bonus and Holt has 800 with a win at the Winter-Nationals; his only day of racing. Fuller, Hale and Kelly all have posted a win and a second. I was anticipating Holt to run in Ohio and a serious early battle looked like it was taking shape this weekend. But with the Ohio race cancelled it looks like Kelly has a chance to take over the lead and other northwest racers the chance to advance into the top slots at Castle Rock; there are already more than 12 other drivers within 400 points of this top three battle. Castle Rock should heat things up and then we can sit back and watch things just plain explode as buss-loads of other Yamato drivers enter the race weekly at Tabor City, Standish, Pell Lake etc … always an exciting competitive class!
- Robert Lisius: 1000
- Dana Holt: 800
- Chip Fuller, David Hale & J. Michael Kelly: 700 *unofficial (Millville & Yelm)
25ssR has only run at Jesup so far and it was Nuccio, Affholter, Weber both days. The standing are likely to get shaken up weekly before they even start to sort themselves out, as drivers around the country get going in this popular class:
- Tom Nuccio: 800
- Mike Affholter: 600
- Tim Weber: 450
Dana Holt has amassed 1200 points after completing only one entry blank in CSH. By sweeping his elimination race and the Winter-Nationals finals and collecting those valuable bonus points he has done everything he needs to do so far in this young season to set himself up for a high point run and he has set the bar high for other CSH drivers. Jessie Rhueling has landed himself in second by competing in the most days of racing in CSH (or any other class) to date. Rhueling raced both days at the Orange Cup and CSH elminations, finals and day two at Jesup. Rhueling’s 5 days of racing is more than any other driver so far in 2014. Charlie Pater matched Holt’s elimination win at Jesup and than came in second to him in the final to show up third in our rankings. After two days of racing in the books Jeffrey Conant and J. Michael Kelly both are still in the running to post the perfect season, can they do it and challenge Holt? Like 20SSH, this weekend in CSH had the makings for a serious battle, but with the Ohio race cancelled, Holt will be idle along with Rhueling, Pater and Conant leaving the opportunity for Kelly and other Northwest divers to close the gap or flip the standings board. I project all three top spots will change this weekend. … and again in the coming weeks … just grab your popcorn, settle in and enjoy the show. If Tabor City, Standish and Pell Lake are bringing buss-loads of 20’s to the party, as I said above, well it’s probably more like a jumbo jet full when it comes to CSH
- Dana Holt: 1200
- Jessie Rhueling: 1027
- Charlie Pater: 825
- Jeffrey Conant & J.Michael Kelly: 800 *unoffical (Yelm)
An East Coast / West Coast Flip-Flop is likely to be flipped this weekend to the West and possibly Flopped back East next. The Florida guys at the top of the standings have an extra weekend of racing on the Northwest guys with the Orange Cup and Jesup. The Northwest guys will even the race tally and are poised to take over the top spots at Castle Rock, then Tabor City will offer points back East … then Standish to the Notheast, and Pell Lake for WI and on and on … I love this stuff!
- RC Hawie: 1150
- Chris Fabbro: 1059
- Greg Fabbro: 1032
- Jessie Swain: 800
- Kyle Bahl & Kyle Lewis: 700 *unofficial (Yelm)
The top spot in DSH is currently held by a non-DSH driver who drove a borrowed boat to the Winter-Nationals win. Vanover is unlikely to run a full schedule of D this season so the top spot is up for grabs. I am assuming D is on the schedule for this weekend at Castle Rock so the points race should heat up, not sure about Tabor City or Pell Lake but I can assure you a full class will be run at Standish ME for the divisionals. At this point DSH is wide open!
- Austin Vanover: 800
- Tie: Alex Poliakoff / Brent Walbrun: 525
At this point no races have been run in this class
302ssH ran two days at Jesup and National Champion Jeff Brewster swept the weekend. Robert Lisius recorded two seconds and Tom Johnston 2 thirds. All drivers will be idle this weekend and I’m not sure when 302ssH shows up on the schedule again.
- Jeff Brewster: 800
- Robert Lisius: 600
- Tom Johnston: 450
Well if you made it all the way to the end congratulations and thank you. I hope you enjoyed. I plan to incorporate much, much more in the way of stats to this site as time goes on. I have some very big ideas and not nearly enough time (or in some cases technical knowledge) to implement them. At some point I plan for the stats page to change from the blog look that the rest of the site has and become more interactive but that is proving to be very time consuming. Until then, I’ll do my best to crank out this type of content on as regular a basis as possible. Like I said above, this is meant as fun and to promote competition. I certainly make mistakes. If you find one please speak up and I’ll promptly fix it. Also, drivers if you want a different picture of you or your boat featured let me know. Finding each of the drivers proved more time consuming than I imagined. If I have a boat posted incorrectly. let me know here or on the facebook page. And Hey! if you like this stuff and would like to see more, comment that as well!!! Again, Thank You and I hope you enjoy!