2017 eKartingNews.com Driver Rankings Powered by Bell Racing USA – Stock Honda – Final
French, Musgrave and Dickinson make up the top-three for 2017
The 2017 season was another exciting year for karting in North America and around the world. The sport remains as the purest form of motorsports, with the opportunity to groom the future stars of the profession. Stock Honda, or any shifterkart for that matter, is the closet you can get to feeling like a Formula One driver. Those who are able to tame the six-speed beast prove to be among the best drivers in the sport. The proof is in the numbers as Jake French earned the Driver of the Year title for the Stock Honda division, finishing the eKartingNews.com Stock Honda Driver Rankings powered by Bell Racing USA as #1.
French (DKC / Sodikart) was able to secure his first SKUSA Pro Tour title in 2017, ripping off six podium finishes including three victories. Add in the runner-up at the SuperNationals 21, and it was a podium season for the Texan. One driver that kept French honest throughout the 2017 season was Billy Musgrave. Three straight years with at least one victory on the SKUSA Pro Tour, Musgrave (MRC / Aluminos) finished the year on top with his victory at the SuperNats. It was the second of his career, winning S2 in 2012. There was no question who the top S2 driver was throughout 2017 – Riley Dickinson. The Texan nearly matched the results of his DKC / Sodikart teammate French with three wins on the season, scoring the SKUSA Pro Tour championship, adding in a SuperNationals podium to close out his S2 career.
Jumping up to the fourth spot to end 2017 is veteran Nic LeDuc. An emotional first SKUSA Pro Tour victory at his home track in Sonoma was the highlight of the season. The Cambrian Go-Karts / Sodikart driver finished the SKUSA Pro Tour fifth in the standings, finishing the year with a seventh in Las Vegas to produce his seventh race of the EKN Driver Rankings. That elevated him 25 spots to fourth. His move dropped 2016 SKUSA Pro Tour S2 champion Austin Wilkins down to fifth in the standings. Wilkins carried the graduating #1 plate in S1 for his rookie season, producing a best finish on the year of sixth-place twice. It is enough to finish the year as the top S1 rookie in the EKN Driver Rankings. The SuperNationals did not pan out as Mathias Ramirez hoped for. Entering Vegas third in the EKN Driver Rankings, Ramirez (Andersen / BirelART) was quick however was not able to produce a strong result on SuperSunday. That combined with the loss of his S2 victory from a year ago dropped him sixth. The Florida driver is now going into the new season, working with Parolin USA.
Hunter Pickett (Aluminos) and Kyle Wick (RPG / CRG) each fell down the order to close out the EKN Driver Rankings for 2017. Pickett won at the inaugural WinterNationals event, and finished the season one spot off the championship podium in his rookie campaign. One spot back in eighth is the second S2 driver in the top-10 Wick. Just 30 points kept him from stealing the championship from Dickinson with five podium finishes including two victories. The Washington driver moved up to S1 for the SuperNationals, suffering a DNF after running in the top-10 all week. Hunter Kelly moved over to Cambrian Karting / Sodikart for the SuperNationals, placing 16th in a deep field and ended the season ninth in the rankings. Closing out the top-10 is former SuperNationals winner Brian Keck (CRG). His best finish on the year came at the SpringNationals, placing sixth on Saturday. Skyler Finley (DKC / Sodikart) dropped from the top-10, only losing one spot to 11th.
Stock Moto #1 – Jake French
You could not have scripted the SKUSA Pro Tour season any better than what Jake French did in 2017. A run of six straight podium finishes for the DKC / Sodikart driver is something we have not seen on the national level since Gary Carlton in the Stars of Karting days. French went on to win three times, including the inaugural WinterNationals main event and sweeping the SummerNationals to put the cherry on top for his first SKUSA Pro Tour championship. It would have been a perfect season had French conquered the SuperNationals, placing runner-up to Musgrave. His string of podium finishes dates back to the SKUSA SummerNationals 2016. Now the mark is set, and French will be the target throughout the 2018 season.
SKUSA WinterNationals ’17 #1 – S1,9.5,1,1084
SKUSA WinterNationals ’17 #2 – S1,9.5,2,1073
SKUSA SpringNationals ’17 #1 – S1,9.5,3,1063
SKUSA SpringNationals ’17 #2 – S1,9.5,2,1073
SKUSA SummerNationals ’17 #1 – S1,9.5,1,1069
SKUSA SummerNationals ’17 #2 – S1,9.5,1,1069
SKUSA SuperNationals 2017 – S1,10,2,1165
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 1.71
Average Points: 1085.1
Total Points: 7596
Stock Moto #2 – Billy Musgrave
Overall, the 2017 season was the best yet for Billy Musgrave. While the MRC / Aluminos driver finished on top of the EKN Driver Rankings in 2015, the collective results for Musgrave is what sets this year apart. Musgrave was consistently at the front of the field throughout 2017, winning at the SpringNationals and finishing five times inside the top-five on the year to end up second to French in the championship standings. The now four-time California ProKart Challenge champion capped the year off with a stellar performance at the SuperNationals, earning his first in the S1 division to go with his S2 victory in 2012.
SKUSA WinterNationals ’17 #1 – S1,9.5,2,1073
SKUSA WinterNationals ’17 #2 – S1,9.5,9,997
SKUSA SpringNationals ’17 #1 – S1,9.5,5,1041
SKUSA SpringNationals ’17 #2 – S1,9.5,1,1084
SKUSA SummerNationals ’17 #1 – S1,9.5,5,1026
SKUSA SummerNationals ’17 #2 – S1,9.5,2,1058
SKUSA SuperNationals 2017 – S1,10,1,1177
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 3.57
Average Points: 1065.1
Total Points: 7456
Stock Moto #3 – Riley Dickinson
New Braunfels, Texas
The S2 Semi-Pro division provides drivers in Stock Honda competition to develop as a driver, and prepare to take on the best in the country. Riley Dickinson has proved that he’s ready with a solid 2017 season. Dickinson was able to win three times on the SKUSA Pro Tour, once at each event. He landed on the podium in all but one race, placing fourth, to finish the year as the 2017 SKUSA Pro Tour S2 champion. Capping the year off with a third-place performance at the SKUSA SuperNationals, Dickinson moved up to the third spot to close out the 2017 season strong. Now moving up to the S1 division, we will see if the success in the S2 class can transfer over to the top level in the sport.
SKUSA WinterNationals ’17 #1 – S2,9,1,1025
SKUSA WinterNationals ’17 #2 – S2,9,2,1015
SKUSA SpringNationals ’17 #1 – S2,9,1,1032
SKUSA SpringNationals ’17 #2 – S2,9,3,1011
SKUSA SummerNationals ’17 #1 – S2,9,1,1052
SKUSA SummerNationals ’17 #2 – S2,9,4,1020
SKUSA SuperNationals 2017 – S1,9.5,3,1122
Inside the Stats
Average Finish: 2.14
Average Points: 1039.6
Total Points: 7277
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 Stock Honda 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 2017, the SKUSA SuperNationals will receive a score of 10 in its initial weighting in the TaG and Stock Honda categories. A base ranking of 9.5 is set for the US Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals and the SKUSA Pro Tour, while a base ranking of 9 goes to the United States Pro Kart Series, Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max Challenge and Rok Cup, Challenge of the Americas, Rock Island Grand Prix and California ProKart Challenge. Other national and regional program races were given a base ranking of either 8.5 or 8.0.
The EKN staff reserves the right to adjust the rankings of each event throughout the year. A minimum entry total for any event to be 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, we calculate each driver’s overall score and subsequent ranking.
EKN Driver Rankings Powered by Bell Racing USA – Stock Honda – Final Standings
21.,16,-5,Rory van der Steur,11,6597
24.,23,-1,Robert Heck Jr.,20,6440
35.,36,1,Antonio de Lis,8,5719
54.,44,-10,Ryan P. Lewis,5,4268
150.,-,-,Paolo De Conto,1,906
153.,159,6,Joshua de Losier,1,884
175.,183,8,Hadrien le Flanchec,1,802
181.,191,10,Daniel De La Calle,1,792
186.,-,-,Jorge Ortiz Sr.,1,778
196.,207,11,Christopher de Lis,1,734
200.,213,13,Joe di Vito,1,715