“What if” you owned a Dirt Late Model team and wanted to hire a young driver?


From time to time it’s fun to play the “what if” game in your own mind or even in discussions with others. “What if” you won the lottery, what would you do with the money? Or, “what if” you could have your dream job, what would it be?

Recently, I took to Twitter to ask a “what if” question of sorts.

This “what if” dealt with the ownership of a Dirt Late Model team. Imagine that you have the money to buy a full scale race team and you also have the sponsorship in place to go out on a tour with the very best of equipment. At the same time, you are dedicated to remaining in the sport for a long time so you decide to pick a young driver to put in your seat.

Granted, there are plenty of very talented young racers out there but Twitter limits the choices in a poll to four. As a result, I offered four choices of drivers under the age of 30 who have enjoyed some success at the national level by winning feature races on one or both of the top tours.

Hudson O’Neal received the most votes

Specifically, the question asked- “You’re now the owner of a Dirt Late Model team and you have sponsorship in place. You are committed to staying in the sport for the long haul.

What driver under the age of 30 are you going after?”

The choices provided based on the fact that they are each under the age of 30 and have won races at the national level were Tyler Erb, Devin Moran, Hudson O’Neal and Bobby Pierce. And just for the record, Brandon Overton doesn’t fit the criteria listed because he just recently turned 30 and the question was for drivers under 30.

Also, Brandon Sheppard is 28 but he is the only current driver under the age of 30 with national touring series championships AND multiple crown jewel wins. I left him out because his list of achievements would rank him more with the likes of Jimmy Owens, Jonathan Davenport and Tim McCreadie even though those drivers are a bit older. In other words, he has already achieved what these other young competitors hope to achieve.

Out of the 491 respondents, O’Neal garnered the highest percentage of votes with 40.3%. Moran accumulated 25.9% while Erb and Pierce received 17.5% and 16.3% respectively.

One-fourth wanted Devin Moran as their driver


As I said before, there are any number of other drivers who could have been added to this list but four is the limit and those are the four I chose. Talent wise, I honestly don’t think a car owner could go wrong with either of the four as well as multiple others out there.

But as has been demonstrated time and again, driving talent isn’t the only issue involved in picking a driver. Team chemistry is very much a part of the equation and even the most talented of drivers and crew members have struggled when in the wrong situation. The wheelman is only one part of the story.

That said, it’s still fun to play the “what if” game, especially when there is no wrong answer.




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