By Gregg Paul
(Slinger, WI) Dominance can be measured in a number of ways. Normally in racing it is measured by wins and consistent top finishes. Yet in a points based system, consistency always seems to be rewarded more so than the number of wins. The 2008 season found Aaron Cain leading the way with 8 feature wins, but he fell short of clinching the championship. The 2009 season revealed that Cain was the epitome of dominance in a variety of ways. Although his win total dropped to 5 feature wins, his overall consistency led to his capturing the track championship.
A total of thirty drivers would attempt to race in the Thunderstock division. The eighteen feature events saw 7 different drivers capture the checkered flag with Aaron Cain and Eric Lingford leading the way with 5 wins apiece. Ryan Farrell would take home 3 wins while Al Stippich won twice in limited action. Stephanie Losiniecki, Jerry Kulas Jr., and Troy Martingilio would each take home a single victory.
Aaron Cain dominated qualifying by winning the pole in 17 of the 18 events. Al Stippich was the only one to break that string and it took the last day of racing for that to occur. Stephanie Losiniecki was also able to out qualify Cain on that last day.
Here is a more detailed look at the top five in points for the Thunderstocks:
Aaron Cain Thunderstock Champion #5
Some would say that slipping from 8 feature wins to 5 is a step backwards. When in reality it merely showed that perhaps the competition was catching up and leveling the playing field. Still Cain’s 5 wins tied for the division lead. Despite routinely starting deep in the field due to the invert, Cain not only had the 5 wins, but an astounding 17 top five finishes, 13 of which were top three finishes. Cain would also dominate in qualifying. His 17 out of 18 poles went a long way toward padding his point total in capturing the championship.
Eric Lingford #87
Most people would consider 5 wins, 9 top three finishes, and 14 top 5 finishes to be worthy of contending for the championship. If it weren’t for Aaron Cain, Eric Lingford might very well have won the championship. Still it was a great year for Lingford by coming home second in points. His 8 top three qualifying efforts made him a threat in every event.
Stephanie Losiniecki #27
The only woman to run a Thunderstock, Stephanie was a force to be reckoned with every week. Her gradual improvement throughout the season was evident. Her efforts paid off when she captured her first career Thunderstock win on August 16th. Along with her one feature win, she was able to bring home 7 top three finishes and 11 top five finishes. She also qualified in the top three on 10 occasions helping her to a third place finish in the points.
Rick Schaefer #31
Schaefer’s consistency was just a notch below the top three in points, but he didn’t have the radical swings like others might have. Despite not capturing a win in the 2009 season, Schaefer was able to score 3 top 3 finishes with 9 top 5 finishes. He was also able to qualify in the top 3 on 2 occasions.
Andy Welter #32
Andy was able to run up front almost every week, but just didn’t have the results to justify his efforts. Many nights saw him with a chance to capture a feature win only to have something prevent him for finishing the job. Despite not being able to win a race, he was able to mount seven top five finishes, of which 3 were top three finishes.
This article was posted to the website on October 26th, 2009