Strickland, an acclaimed bracket racer with seven national event victories on his resume, has regularly finished in the Division's top 10 in either Stock, Super Comp, or both, last season ending 10th in Stock and 5th in Super Comp. His most recent previous first-place finish was in Super Comp in 2006, and this year he took home third-place honors in Stock and the big Southeast win in Super Stock.
The Red Bay, Ala., competitor posted triple threes as a closing points total, 43 marks ahead of second-best Jeff Adkinson and 44 points in the lead over third-place Joe Tysinger Jr. Former national champ Kevin Helms wasn't far behind, logging 278 marks. Mike Crutchfield, the Montgomery, Ala., resident who was second in the area last season, rounded out the five best of the year with an out-of-division win in Bowling Green, Ky.
Strickland only competed in a total of five divisional events, counting points for each. He exited early at his lone out-of-division effort (Bowling Green), but went to the quarterfinals at the last meet for the region, held at Silver Dollar Raceway, and that was enough. Adkinson recorded equal points at the event and was done for the year, and Tysinger traveled to Noble, Okla., and enjoyed a promising victory, but his title run ended with a second-round loss in Las Vegas. Helms stayed alive for a spell with a win at Belle Rose but his run ended when he failed to pick up any rounds at his last two divisional events.
The journey towards the Southeast Stock title began for Bogacki without glamour but shined up quickly; a first-round loss at Bradenton was followed by a runner-up at Gainesville, then a runner-up in Atlanta, and then another runner-up, this time at the North Central event at Route 66 Raceway. By early August, the fine-tuned driver had wheeled his A/SA '69 Nova to enough rounds to rack up an effective 282 points.
Shaw, of Bowdon, Ga., won Gainesville over his rival but had a big challenge ahead to make up the difference in overall marks and was ultimately unsuccessful, with quarterfinals and semifinals performances completing his run for the money. Helms, No. 1 in 2009, won at Texas Motorplex but was unable to capitalize at future competitions, and Strickland was the victor at Silver Dollar Raceway, but it was too late to catch the blazing Bogacki.
Other event victors in the division were Troy Williams Jr., who got the best of Bogacki in the Gainesville money round and Edmond Richardson, who beat Jeff Brooks at the second Atlanta Dragway meet.
Multi-class competitor Tatum kept his racing dexterity in fine shape pulling double duty in the division. He scooped up a few Super Comp round wins at a handful of regional events and cleared a reasonable finish in the category, but his big win was the Super Gas division title, earned with a solid scorecard that included three consecutive victories in the middle of the season. Tatum, a regular top 10 competitor in the division, inched his way up to this season's glory after reeling in third place in 2007 and second in 2008.
Tatum made some noise in his '05 Cavalier at the first Atlanta Dragway meet, cutting a remarkable .003 light and using the difference to cash-in at the top end with a 9.945 to 9.925 victory over Bruce Duncan. The success was a happy precursor for the Palmetto, Ga., racer, and he loaded up his operation and headed out to the North Central Division and up to Route 66 Raceway, where he registered another triumph before moving on to score at Bowling Green.
The second event at Atlanta Dragway was awarded to Rusty Cook, of Cynthiana, Ky., and Sherman Adcock Jr. rounded out his defending title season with a win at Silver Dollar Raceway, but the crown was already in the bag for Tatum. His final count was 429 points, with Adcock in second with 321 marks, and Connolly third with 290. Duncan (4th) and Michael Ruff rounded out the top 5.
Though Skala got the nod in the Gainesville Raceway final on the basis of a red-light start by Greg McInerny, he put together a neat package to make his point, recording a .014 reaction and driving his '70 Nova to a 10.903 on the 10.90 index.
David Owens, of Laurens, S.C., took the early lead in the region when he scored at the Bradenton kick-off, and his final result of 277 marks were good for the division's No. 2 spot, while a victory at Bowling Green aided in a third-place finish for Ken MacNicol. Bobby Taylor Jr. was in the No. 5 position at the end of the year, sandwiched between Atlanta 1 winner Donnie Gibbs Jr. (4th) and Atlanta 2 victor Mike DeSio, the Southeast Division's 2009 Super Street champion, who ended the season holding down the No. 6 spot.
Division Two Super Stock Top Ten Point Standings Pos Driver Points Events 1 Jeff Strickland 333 5 2 Jeff Adkinson 290 8 3 Joe Tysinger Jr. 289 5 4 Kevin Helms 278 10 5 Mike Crutchfield 235 6 6 Gary Coccaro 223 5 7 Pat Clifford 217 4 8 David Simmons 205 4 9 Mike Tueffel 186 3 10 James Hill 182 5 Division Two Stock Top Ten Point Standings Pos Driver Points Events 1 Luke Bogacki 343 8 2 Robbie Shaw 331 8 3 Jeff Strickland 287 5 3 Jim Marshall 287 7 3 Kevin Helms 287 9 6 Jeff Adkinson 253 8 7 Brenda Grubbs 233 7 8 McNeal Freeman 223 6 9 David Rampy 204 4 10 Peter Noriega 192 5 Division Two Super Comp Top Ten Point Standings Pos Driver Points Events 1 Luke Bogacki 482 8 2 Raymond Miller III 340 8 3 Jim Perry Jr. 235 6 4 Wes Avant 234 5 5 Ronnie Siani 232 7 6 Sherman Adcock Jr. 222 6 7 Troy Williams Jr. 217 3 7 Otis Henry 217 3 9 Larry Roberts 214 5 10 John Taylor 213 4 Division Two Super Gas Top Ten Point Standings Pos Driver Points Events 1 David Tatum III 429 8 2 Sherman Adcock Jr. 321 6 3 Dave Connolly 290 7 4 Bruce Duncan 277 7 5 Michael Ruff 266 6 6 John Taylor 255 5 7 Steven Furr 245 7 8 David Watson 234 7 9 Tom Joseph 215 4 10 Billy Crenshaw 214 6 Division Two Super Street Top Ten Point Standings Pos Driver Points Events 1 Joseph Skala 366 7 2 David Owens 277 7 3 Ken Mac Nicol 259 4 4 Donnie Gibbs Jr. 257 6 5 Bobby Taylor Jr. 256 6 6 Mike DeSio 247 6 7 Leland Poppell 246 7 8 Ronnie Maggart 245 5 9 Brian Funderburk 236 8 10 Charles Fitzsimmons 225 7
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