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Young Guns to Watch in 2012

By Ken de la Bastide

(January 25, 2012) – On a weekly basis racing fans in central Indiana are afforded the opportunity to watch talented veteran drivers battle at Anderson Speedway in a variety of racing divisions.

Over the years drivers start as raw rookies on the lightning fast quarter-mile banked oval and learn the set-ups and secrets of Anderson Speedway to compete for victories on a weekly basis.

Drivers like Josh Poore, Josh Myers, Ronnie Rose, Rob Allman, Curtis Chapman, Nick Warner, Josh Tharp, Lonny Burton, Hannah Lundy, Terry Cater and Jeff Lane have left their mark at Anderson Speedway.

But one thing I look forward to on an annual basis is that driver looking to discover what it takes on a weekly basis to be a contender. What’s needed are a quality ride and a top notch crew willing to perform the necessary work each week to prepare for competition. Drivers need talent and to show patience that allows them to climb the next step on the racing ladder.

As the 2012 season approaches, these are the drivers I believe will continue to show improvement.

Trey Craig had a difficult start to his first season in a late model, but with Brett Robinson as a teammate, he showed marked improvement during the year.

I expect both Craig and Danny Trent to be in a position to battle for wins this year.

In the EDCO Welding Street Stock division, Frankie Oakes appeared to get stronger on a weekly basis in a tough division. Tyler Marsh will be another driver to keep an eye on during the season.

After starting in the Pure Stock Division, Rob Noel advanced to the WMDH ThunderCar division in 2011 and appeared to be adapting to level of competition by year’s end. Despite demolishing his primary car, Noel completed the season and could be on the verge of that elusive first feature win.

Front Wheel Drives are always two difficult divisions for a new driver to get a handle on. In the Oval ranks the two drivers to beat every week are Jeff Williams and Jerry Dane, but Marshall Clark showed marked improvement by the end of the season.

In the Figure-8 Division, it just seemed toward the end of 2011 that Zachary Kendall was starting to make all the right moves. With a little patience, Kendall could be a contender for the championship in 2012.

There are a number of other drivers to watch in 2012. Will Josh Poore run more Late Model races this year, along with his continued competition in the EDCO Welding Street Stocks?

Will Hannah Lundy return to the WMDH Thunder Car ranks to defend her championship?

I expect Jeff Williams to step-up to the WMDH Thunder Cars on a full-time basis along with his driving duties in the FWD Oval division.