2015 eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings – Stock Moto – Final Standings
Musgrave finishes season with top score over veterans Leesmann and White
2015 is coming to a close, and it is time to review the best moments, events, and drivers from the previous season. The EKN Stock Moto Driver Rankings helps to determine who was the most successful driver on the season, to finish the year as the #1 driver. Southern California driver Billy Musgrave propelled himself onto the podium at the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals XIX, moving him up to the top position for the final standings in 2015.
You may be thinking, why wasn’t Superkarts! USA Fikse Wheels Pro Tour champion Rick Dreezen at the top of the Stock Moto Driver Rankings. While he is certainly among the best in the world in shifterkart racing, the answer is simple. Our program is based on recording six races towards the program to help encompass the entire season of work, and not just what happens on the Pro Tour. In 2015, Dreezen competed in just the SKUSA events, which adds up to just five races. With no sixth event, his point total can not match those who have at least six events to the record. The Belgian finished the season 42nd with just his five races.
This is the second time Musgrave has finished as the top driver in the Stock Moto Driver Rankings. In 2013, Billy climbed to the top of the standings as an S1 rookie, finishing the SKUSA Pro Tour championship chase in fourth behind Wimsett, Bray and Leesmann. That year, Musgrave went winless in his rookie season, and remained shut out of the win column until this year’s SummerNationals. A fourth place podium performance at the SuperNationals by the MRC/Praga driver put him as the top Fikse Wheels Pro Tour regular and secured the vice-champion position behind title winner Rick Dreezen.
The promotion of Musgrave demoted former Pro Tour champion Fritz Leesmann (Diede Racing/CRG) to the second spot in the standings, out of first by 34 points. The 2010 and 2012 series champion got off to a poor start at the SuperNationals, classified 29th after issues with one of his MG Tires. It was recovery mode the remainder of the week, finishing up with a respectable sixth after starting 14th against a stout 31-driver field. Veteran Ron White (CRG) was also unable to improve on his score at the SuperNationals, holding on to finish the season in the third position. The Ron White Racing driver/owner overcame a rare poor qualifying effort to climb up to finish SuperSunday in the 12th position, once again posting his fast laps of the race toward the end of the 25-lap battle, ending the season fifth in the championship standings.
Kolton Griffin (Pure Karting/Tony Kart) ended 2015 as the top S1 rookie in the Stock Moto Driver Rankings and the top rookie at the SKUSA Fikse Wheels Pro Tour. The Arizona driver produced enough points on the season to finish fourth, thanks to his California ProKart Challenge and Pro Tour performances and without racing at the SuperNationals. His move up one position in the Driver Rankings was due to fellow S1 rookie Jarred Campbell losing his 2014 S2 SuperNationals victory from his point total. Campbell finished the season as the champion at the California ProKart Challenge, beating out two-time defending champ Musgrave. The Praga driver struggled at the Pro Tour level, missing out on the podium all season long. Jonathan Kotyk finished right there behind his fellow S1 rookie classmates. The Top Kart pilot finished on the podium at the SummerNationals, and a respectable 13th for his first SuperNationals in the headline category.
The rest of the top-10 include the standout drivers in the S2 Semi-Pro division in 2015. Carter Williams (Phil Giebler Racing/FA Kart) clinched his first Fikse Wheels Pro Tour title at the SuperNationals, remaining seventh in the Driver Rankings. He and vice-champion Miguel Lopez (GP) will be among the top graduates moving up to the S1 division in 2016. Jumping into the top-10 are S2 drivers Hunter Pickett and Luke Shanahan. Pickett (Muscle Milk/Aluminos) had his best ever showing on the Pro Tour at the SummerNationals, landing on the podium once, and showed top-10 speed at the SuperNationals, ending the season sixth in the Fikse Wheels Pro Tour championship chase. Shanahan (MSquared Karting/Tony Kart) was quick throughout the season, just not consistent enough to finish higher than seventh in the Fikse Wheels Pro Tour standings.
The ‘On the Move’ driver for the final edition of the 2015 EKN Stock Moto Driver Rankings was Kyle Kalish. The Franklin Motorsports/Merlin transfer over from TaG, Kalish ended up moving up to the 13th position to finish 2015 among the top S2 drivers, finishing fifth in the SKUSA Fikse Wheels Pro Tour championship standings. Kalish competed in just four event weekends in 2015, making just six main event starts in 2015. Troy Diede (CRG) matched the advancement of Kalish, coming up to 11th after just reaching the top-50 last Driver Rankings release.
The ageless Bonnier Moulton (MSquared Karting/Tony Kart), who has graduated to the S4 Master ranks at the SuperNationals, reaching his 19th straight start this November. During the summer, he continues competing in the Stock Moto Lite division at the Utah Kart Championships, which has him ranked 24th overall. Other S4 drivers inside the top-50 include Jordon Musser (32nd), Gearup F-Series Stock Moto champion Christian Bouhuys (35th) and Chris Jennings (37th).
Since moving up to the S1 headline division, Billy Musgrave has been among the top contenders and 2015 was no different with an astonishing top-four result in all SKUSA Fikse Wheels Pro Tour starts, including a fourth-place performance at SuperNationals XIX. It was a 2012 SuperNationals victory that launched Musgrave onto the national scene and promoted him into the top division after five years in the sport. Musgrave went on to win the California ProKart Challenge title the next two years, missing out on the crown this year to the latest rising star and Praga teammate – Jarred Campbell. Since his big SuperNats win, Musgrave went winless on the national circuit until this SummerNationals. It was not a gifted victory, but one Billy earned on and off the track. The 23-year-old is not only improving himself as driver each and every weekend, but helping the sport grow with the family-owned MRC company that continues to add new karters from the Southern California area to its roster each month.
|SKUSA SpringNationals ’15 #1 – S1||9.5||3||1032|
|SKUSA SpringNationals ’15 #2 – S1||9.5||4||1022|
|SKUSA California PKC ’15 #4 – S1||8.5||4||960|
|SKUSA SummerNationals ’14 #1 – S1||9.5||4||1029|
|SKUSA SummerNationals ’14 #2 – S1||9.5||1||1061|
|SKUSA SuperNationals 2015 – S1||10||4||1141|
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 3.3
Average Points: 1040.8
Total Points: 6245
Over the past decade, Fritz Leesmann has established himself as the most decorated shifterkart driver in North America. A rising talent at the Stars of Karting program and the CKI championship series, Leesmann moved his skills over to Superkarts! USA to become the inaugural champion in 2010. Fritz is the only driver to contend for all six Pro Tour championships, earning two championships and finishing a worst position of seventh in 2011 after missing the SummerNationals. Leesmann led the standings throughout the season, only to drop from the top position after finishing two spots behind Musgrave in a recovery effort at SuperNationals XIX. The Saturday main event at the SummerNationals really cost Leesmann the top position in the EKN Driver Rankings, failing to finish the main event after contact on the opening lap and not recording five races over the 1000 mark. Now the question is, will Fritz return in 2016 to go for a record third Pro Tour title or a first SuperNationals victory that has eluded him?
|SKUSA SpringNationals ’15 #1 – S1||9.5||2||1043|
|SKUSA SpringNationals ’15 #2 – S1||9.5||2||1043|
|California ProKart Challenge ’15 #4 – S1||8.5||1||990|
|SKUSA SummerNationals ’15 #2 – S1||9.5||2||1050|
|California ProKart Challenge ’15 #6 – S1||8.5||2||968|
|SKUSA SuperNationals 2015 – S1||10||6||1117|
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 2.5
Average Points: 1035.2
Total Points: 6211
No one can doubt the talent and natural ability of veteran Ron White. The 2012 SuperNationals winner continues to compete at the top level of the sport, racing against drivers younger than half his age. White’s return to full-time karting thanks to re-establishing the Ron White Racing operation put him back behind the wheel, as he rose back up to the top of the sport a decade after leaving as one of the best. White attempted to move up the racing ladder, trying to build momentum in the open wheel ranks. In 2006, White began racing the Pro Mazda Championship as a privateer, and eventually signed on with a team. In two season, the NorCal native recorded five wins and finished top-five the championship chase both seasons. Funding eventually took White away from his continued advancement, however, it has been a gift for karting as Ron is helping to mold the next new karting stars from the NorCal area while keeping himself sharp for that eventual move to the Master category years down the road.
|SKUSA SpringNationals ’15 #1 – S1||9.5||6||1001|
|SKUSA SpringNationals ’15 #2 – S1||9.5||8||980|
|SKUSA SummerNationals ’15 #1 – S1||9.5||6||1008|
|SKUSA SummerNationals ’15 #2 – S1||9.5||5||1019|
|SKUSA California PKC ’15 #6 – S1||8.5||3||958|
|SKUSA SuperNationals 2015 – S1||10||12||1047|
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 6.67
Average Points: 1002.17
Total Points: 6013
EKN Driver Rankings Calculation Process
The EKN Driver Rankings are calculated using a driver’s best finishes in major North American races. Assembled using events from the previous 12 months from the current date, we use a driver’s best seven finishes in TaG and six in Stock Moto to determine their overall current point total. With each new release, results posted from more than one year ago are discarded. To deliver our ranking list, we tabulate the results of all the national programs and selected regional programs. We have included the results for the major one-off events such as the SKUSA SuperNationals, the US Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals, the Rock Island Grand Prix, and the Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix.
Each race is initially weighted based on the prestige and history of the event or series with a score of ten (10) being the highest attainable base ranking. For 2015, the SKUSA SuperNationals and US Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals receive a score of 10 in their initial weighting in the TaG category while the SuperNationals is the lone event in the Stock Moto division. The SKUSA Pro Tour series events draw a base ranking of nine (9), as does the United States Pro Kart Series, Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max Challenge, Rotax Challenge of the Americas. Other national and regional program races were given a base ranking of either 8.5 or 8.
The EKN staff reserves the right to adjust the rankings of each event throughout the year. A minimum entry total for any events considered for the Driver Rankings program is five (5). If an event does not have at least five (5) drivers starting the race, those results will not be tabulated toward the Driver Rankings.
Added to these initial rankings are two variables that help confirm the true importance of an event to the ranking process – field size and field strength. A percentage of one weighting point is added for the size of the field, while the number of existing top 50 drivers entered offers another full point or fraction of a point. The sum of these numbers becomes the overall ranking for any race. Following a race, drivers receive points based on their finishing positions with 100 points earned for a win. Each subsequent position drops by one point with 99 points given to the second place driver and so on throughout the field. These points are then multiplied by the overall ranking to produce a driver’s final point total from each event. Using a driver’s best seven races in TaG, six for Stock Moto, we calculate each driver’s overall score and subsequent ranking.
EKN Stock Moto Driver Rankings – 2015 Final Standings
|51.||61||10||Fernando Casillas Jr.||5||4727||945|
|65.||64||-1||Daniel De La Calle||4||3549||887|
|85.||100||15||Max Di Bella||3||3006||1002|
|90.||112||22||Salvador de Alba||3||2809||936|
|116.||108||-8||Joshua de Losier||2||1692||846|
|142.||143||1||Eric Van Der Steur||2||1575||788|
|164.||-||-||Robert Heck Jr.||1||905||905|
|172.||-||-||Manuel Vazquez Camarasa||1||848||848|