(Mike Ruefer Photo)
January 31st, 2018 – With the month of January coming to an end, let’s take a look at how everyone ranked based on wins, Top 5s and Top 10 finishes.
#10 – Ryan Gustin
Ryan Gustin made the annual trip out to Arizona Speedway for the Wild West Shootout. With an up and down week of racing, he earns the 10th spot for the month of January. Night 1 in Arizona saw Gustin finishing outside the top 10. Night 2 was a solid rebound for Gustin, earning a top 5 finish. Losing a tire during the b-main on night 3 meant no show for him. The roller coaster ride in the Wild West continued for Gustin on Night 4. He found himself airborne during heat race action. Dropping out of a transfer spot. Unfortunately, he also missed a transfer spot during the b-main. Night 5 would be a complete turn around for Gustin earning a top 3 finish. The final night of the Wild West Shootout would be a solid ending for Gustin during an up and down week. Finishing 6th on the final night. Recapping the 6 nights of racing for Gustin earns him 10th in the Dirt Unlimited Power Rankings for January.
#9 – Chris Simpson
Chris Simpson made the yearly haul to Arizona for the Wild West Shootout as usual. His week started off strong. Right where he left off the previous year. Night 1 would be a 2nd place finish for him. Like Gustin though, Simpson too would have an up and down performance in Arizona. Night 2 proved so with a disappointing 22nd place finish. Night 3 would be a rebound night for Simpson, finishing solidly inside the top 10. The 4th night would show more improvement, finishing 4th. The 5th night would a struggle. Coming through the B-Main, Simpson would finish 14th in the feature. The final night proved to be the upset of the weekend for Simpson. Timing in 2nd quickest in qualifying, he retired on lap one of the heat with rear end issues. Swapping to the back up car, he’d also retire from the b-main and not make the feature event. Simpson’s rocky up and down Wild West Shootout performance earns him the 9th spot in the Dirt Unlimited Power Rankings for January.
#8 – Cade Dillard
Cade Dillard kicked off his 2018 campaign in the Wild West Shootout at Arizona Speedway. Starting the week of racing off on the right foot was Dillard with a 6th place finish on Night 1. Night 2 was off to a good start with Dillard climbing to 3rd in the feature but would pull off after only 9 laps with brake issues. Crediting him with a 25th place finish. Night 3 was set for redemption after his night before. 12 laps into the feature, Dillard was set to win it. While leading, he tangled with a lap car that sent Dillard spinning out of the lead. Dillard finished the night 24th. Night 4 would be Dillard’s redemption, finishing just out of the Top 5 in 6th. Continuing the redemption, Dillard would grab the runner-up position for Night 5. Capping of the weekend, Dillard would earn another Top 5 for the Wild West Shootout finale. Another up-down Wild West performance, Cade Dillard earns the 8th spot in the Dirt Unlimited Power Rankings for January.
#7 – Ronnie Johnson
Ronnie Johnson would start the year off with a win on Night 1 of the Talladega Short Track’s Ice Bowl. Night 2 would see another stellar performance by Johnson as he put up a Top 5 finish. A great start to 2018 with a win and a Top 5 put Ronnie Johnson 7th in the Dirt Unlimited Power Rankings for Janaury.
#6 – Michael Page
Michael Page started the 2018 season off in almost a perfect fashion. Night 1 of the Talladega Short Track’s Ice Bowl saw Page putting on a show. Page would finish the night as the runner-up. Night 2 for the big show of the Ice Bowl saw differently. Page would not be denied earning the win for the Ice Bowl XXVII. The near perfect start to 2018 earns Michael Page the 6th spot in the Dirt Unlimited Power Rankings for January.
#5 – Bobby Pierce
Bobby Pierce’s first night out in the new ride wasn’t bad by any means. Night 1 of the Wild West Shootout in Arizona would be a 12th place finish for Pierce. Night 2 looked as if Pierce had the car all figured out. Swapping spots for the lead, Pierce would ultimately finish runner-up to Don Shaw. Night 3 was deja vu. Pierce once again swapped spots for the lead with Don Shaw and would be defeated for the 2nd straight night. The 4th Night out West would only be slightly different from the previous 2 nights. Pierce would claim a 3rd place finish. Night 5 would be an uphill climb for Pierce. Starting 16th in the feature, he’d only climb to 12th. The finale of the Wild West Shootout would see Pierce back in the Top 10 finishing 7th. With 3 Top 5s, 1 Top 10 and 2 12th place finishes, Bobby Pierce earns the 5th spot in the Dirt Unlimited Power Rankings for Janaury.
#4 – Brandon Sheppard
Brandon Sheppard would put in 6 solid finishes during the Wild West Shootout at Arizona Speedway. Kicking off the week was a 4th place finish. Night 2 saw Sheppard finishing 5th. Night 3 he’d move up to 3rd. The next two nights Sheppard would finish 8th before capping the week off with a win. 1 win, 3 Top 5s and 2 Top 10s earns Brandon Sheppard the 4th spot in the Dirt Unlimited Power Rankings for January.
#3 – Ricky Weiss
Ricky Weiss kicked off the 2018 season with a win at the Wild West Shootout at Arizona Speedway. Looking for a back-to-back victory, Weiss would tangle with Pierce while battling for the lead. The incident sent Weiss sliding out of control towards turn 1, the pit exit. Weiss’ car slid into the tire barrier, damaging the car and giving him a 23rd place finish. Weiss looked for redemption on the 3rd night as he set quick time during qualifying. However, he smacked the wall on his second lap causing him to miss his heat race. Breaking a driveshaft in his b-main would end his night. Redemption was achieved on Night 4 of the Wild West Shootout as Weiss would finish runner-up to Mike Marlar. Night 5 saw Weiss improving one position better, winning his second night out West. Capping off the week in Arizona, Weiss would finish 3rd on the 6th Night of the Wild West Shootout. Claiming 2 wins, and 2 podium finishes earns Ricky Weiss the 3rd spot in the Dirt Unlimited Power Rankings for January.
#2 – Don Shaw
Don Shaw of Minnesota made the trip to Arizona for the 2018 Wild West Shootout. Kicking off the week of racing during Night 1, Shaw would grab a solid 6th place finish. Don Shaw would make his mark on Night 2. Swapping the lead with Bobby Pierce and ultimately coming out on top with the win. Proving it wasn’t just a fluke, Shaw would out-duel Pierce once again to win back-to-back on Night 3. Shaw would start deep in the field for Night 4 and only climb to a 12th place finish. Night 5 would be a Top 5 finish for Shaw. Finishing off the week of racing, Shaw would finish 4th. Grabbing 2 back-to-back wins, 2 Top 5s and 1 Top 10s earns Don Shaw the 2nd spot in the Dirt Unlimited Power Rankings for January.
#1 – Mike Marlar
Mike Marlar put in one of the best performances of those out West for the Wild West Shootout. Marlar would start the week off with back-to-back 3rd place finishes. Night 3 would see him slide one spot back to 4th. The 4th night would be Marlar’s night as he would be victorious. The 5th night, he’d drop back to 4th once again. The Finale would be the runner-up for Marlar behind Brandon Sheppard. Mike Marlar’s stellar performance out West, never falling outside the Top 4 and grabbing 1 win put him on top of the Dirt Unlimited Power Ranking for January.
Rankings by the numbers
(Wins = 5, Top 5s = 3, Top 10s = 1)
- Mike Marlar 18
- Don Shaw 17
- Ricky Weiss 16
- Brandon Sheppard 14
- Bobby Pierce 10
- Michael Page 8
- Ronnie Johnson 8
- Cade Dillard 8
- Chris Simpson 7
- Ryan Gustin 7
All finishing positions are credited to DirtonDirt.com