Rookie Battle Shaping Up to be a Classic
You thought last year’s Coors Light Truck Rookie of the Year battle was good?!
Get ready for Round Two.
On the heels of the Cory Leonard, Matt Vaughan, Adam Carter and Marc MacMillan tilt for the top newcomer in the Truck division, this year presents us with another great show. On paper, this Rookie of the Year show we’re anticipating is as unpredictable as previous years, with three drivers with no previous eight-cylinder experience making huge jumps to the class.
So, who do we have, so far, running for Rookie of the Year?
The 2014 four-time Mini Stock champion in New Brunswick was the first to make intentions clear that he was on the move up in 2015.
JR Lawson of Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia acquired Marc MacMillan’s truck even before the 2014 season was completed. With MacMillan moving back to the Lightning class in 2015, a division he was champion within in 2013, Lawson becomes one of the next to move up from the Four Cylinder ranks to the Truck.
Lawson, who got his start in the same Lightning class back in 2010 at Scotia Speedworld, had been on the road for most of 2014. While he did make some Thunder car starts at the Speedworld, he was a winner in New Brunswick, taking track championships at the CENTRE For Speed and Petty Raceway, along with the NB Big Dawg Challenge and Atlantic Championships titles in his #81 Honda Civic.
While Lawson may come in as the most decorated of the three drivers who have thrown their name in the ring so far, it will be interesting to watch how he transitions to a truck. Keep in mind, he’s jumping from a front wheel drive, four cylinder Honda Civic to a rear wheel drive Chevrolet with a 305ci. engine within it. If that transition is seamless, he’ll be a dangerous threat for not only the Rookie of the Year Award, but for victory lane before the season is out.
If Vegas was putting odds on this Rookie of the Year battle in the Truck class, Megan Parrott, who is not old enough to gamble, might be considered the longer shot of the three on this list.
Here’s why she should be near the top of your list.
The Bandolero standout, like Lawson did in Lightning, began her racing career at the Speedworld in 2010. The Bandolero car has been a great training tool for those moving up through the ranks. You don’t need to look far to see Dylan Blenkhorn’s Atlantic Cat 250 victory or Cole Butcher’s fourth place run on the Parts for Trucks Tour in 2014. The skills that Parrott has learned in the Bandolero, like others before her, will most certainly help her on the way up and into this Truck division.
Megan will also make history by becoming the first female driver to run full-time in a Truck at the Speedworld since their inception in the 2010 season. Yes, Marie Brown has been known to hop into a truck on a one-off substitution start for brother Vernon, but this will be the first female driver in the class in her own truck.
With her talent, Parrott is a perfect fit for the Truck division and will be fun to watch her progress throughout the 2015 season.
RICHIE and TERRY MOORE
Here’s another duo that should be tough to beat for not only the Rookie of the Year championship, but could be contending for race wins before long.
The last two years have seen a “first time winner” on the second night out on the season (Robbie Watts in 2013, Cy Harvey in 2014), and the duo of Richie and Terry Moore may be candidates to strike out of the box early.
Richie Moore is probably best known for his Lightning car career, winning two features in 2014, including the Lightning main feature on Atlantic Cat 250 weekend. Terry Moore has pinch hitted a few times for Richie in the Lightning car, but hasn’t run a regular schedule since the last year of the Hobby Stock class back in 2009, one year before the Truck class came to formation. Richie also ran in the class in that 2009 season before heading to the Lightning division.
Again, the transition from the Lightning car to the Truck, much like Lawson, will be difficult but with previous Hobby Stock experience, may be a bit easier for the pair. They purchased the former Chris Ainsworth truck, which showed promise with Ainsworth behind the wheel. Add the quality of truck with the talent of the Moore family, and it’s a combination that may be tough to beat.
Of course, this class is subject to change without notice. We could add or subtract drivers before we go racing, things can change in sixty something days, but this is a pretty stout list so far. They will get a little “baptism by fire” this year though, with veterans like Dan Smith, Jason Fenton, Jim MacMillan, Jeff Campbell and Jamie Creamer along with young shoes like Vaughan, Carter, Leonard and newer faces to the class like Kevin Clark Jr., Cy Harvey and more, this will be a year to remember!
We’re getting closer folks, think warm thoughts and maybe we’ll lose some of this snow!
Until then, keep the hammer down and we’ll see you at the track!
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