Not often do you find a core of drivers who were as successful as this threesome was in their first race season in their division, including 2 who had never raced before. Craig Smith (Super Streets), Chris Colburn (Limiteds), and Dr. Sam Giveen (Wildcats) each enjoyed different levels of success during their 2017 seasons to be crowned Rookies of the Year.
Unity’s Craig Smith joined the Super Street ranks after a successful Wildcat career with 5 wins during the 2016 season and a 4th place finish in points. Smith adapted quickly to the rear wheel drive with two top 10’s in his first 3 events. His first podium finish, a runner-up, came in Week 4 with his first career win recorded in Week 8. Smith finished 4th in points with one win, four podium finishes, six top five’s, and 11 top ten’s. Smith’s average finish was 6.57 (4th), led 30 feature laps (7th), and logged five heat race wins (T-1st).
The Limited Sportsman Rookie of the Year, Chris Colburn, is no stranger to being around race cars. His father, Gary, was a former track champion having turned the keys over to his son to begin the 2017 season. The younger Colburn nearly pulled off a track championship but fell short to Tyler Janovsky by four points. Colburn’s season started inauspiciously due to a radiator hose mishap sending his mother to the hospital for treatment during Week 1 prior to Colburn finished sixth. Colburn caught fire starting in Week 4 with this first of 7 podium finishes on the season. A runner-up and then his first career win followed on June 9th. He finished with three feature wins (T-1st), 11 top five’s, and 13 top ten’s. Colburn led 68 laps (1st), won three heat races (T-1st), and his average finish was 3.31.
Dr. Sam Giveen waited until his 60th birthday to get behind the wheel of a race car and was awarded Wildcat Rookie of the Year honors by finishing 8th in points, only 2 points ahead of Zachary Morse. Giveen ran in 11 events during the race season, his best finish being a 4th on July 7. Giveen finished with eight top 10’s on the season, led 10 laps (7th), and recorded an average finish of 8.67. A gentleman racer and one who spent many a Wednesday night improving his ability behind the wheel, Giveen raced for the fun and we hope he returns to pilot the 41 next season.