Fan Voice Friday // Fans Choice 2017: Hard Charger
Fans Choice voting rolled on last week with our GRC Lites Rising Star poll, and much like the on-track action, it was a close battle between a number of talented young drivers. In the end, it was DirtFish Motorsports’ Conner Martell who took the honors over Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Christian Brooks, in a battle of three-win drivers from this season.
This week’s poll is all about the drivers who climbed through the field to regularly finish higher than they qualified in 2017. We’ve got a mix of Supercar and Lites drivers on our Hard Charger radar, and all four of them had average finishes well over a position higher than their average starts. Be sure to make your choice below:
Average start 5.42, average finish 3.83
With two victories and seven podiums, Arpin had his best season statistically since leaving stock cars for Supercars. In five of his podium runs, including the popular victory in Ottawa, the series’ lone Canadian driver qualified seventh or worse and carved his way through the field in heats, semifinals, and the final to earn a trophy.
Average start 9.00, average finish 6.27
The largest jump from average start to finish on this list, Dyne actually scored more points in finals in 2017 than three-time podium finisher Patrik Sandell. In his first year with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the Californian won heats in Louisville, Seattle, and Los Angeles on the way to ninth place in the final standings.
Average start 6.08, average finish 4.50
Two of PeCoy’s first three podiums of the 2017 season came after starting from the back of the pack. After qualifying ninth in New England I, the Lites sophomore climbed to third at the end of the final on a treacherous track. In Indianapolis, the home event for his Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team, he placed third after qualifying in last.
Average start 8.75, average finish 7.17
Keatts finished better than he started in 10 of 12 races this season, including each of the last nine rounds of the year. On four separate occasions, he climbed at least three positions over the course of the event—including the first Seattle round, where he qualified eighth and finished fourth to equal his season-best result.
Photo credit: Louis Yio