Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Spade Racing Presents The Sophomores: FINAL 2021 RANKINGS

Last year Spade Racing took a look at the six drivers competing for Rookie of the Year.  This year we continue to look at that vaunted class (sans John Hunter Nemechek and Brennan Poole) as they strive to establish themselves while avoiding the “sophomore slump”.  Returning for 2021 is the PRETTY grade: Performance Relative to Equating Team’s Typical Year (its pretty much how well each driver is doing considering their equipment).  Here’s how things look now that the season has ended:

1. Christopher Bell (Joe Gibbs Racing).  Best finish: 1st (Daytona Road Course).  PRETTY grade: B.  C.Bell had a fantastic start to the season, followed by a solid if not spectacular rest of the year.  Kinda like most of my relationships.

2. Tyler Reddick (Richard Childress Racing).  Best finish: 2nd (Homestead).  PRETTY grade: A.  Here’s hoping that RCR can continue its rebound with the new cars in 2022.  But lets hope that the team doesn’t become TOO attractive, or we could have brothers as teammates.

3. Cole Custer (Stewart Haas Racing). Best finish: 10th (Talladega/Dover).  PRETTY grade: D+.  This was NOT a good year for anyone at SHR.  Issue is that its all relative—no wins for Harvick is bad, but not even remotely contending for Cole is bad.

4. Quin Houff (StarCom Racing).  Best finish: 19th (Talladega).  PRETTY grade: D-.  Well, I mean, at least nobody can ever outdo him in this ride.