Jeff Storm - ARCA Midwest Tour
Kevin Ramsell, Speed51.com Midwest Editor
Jeff Storm, the Waterford, WI driver has had some tough luck over the last couple of years. How bad? Last year, he destroyed his car in early practice at Madison International Speedway (WI), but got it back together and raced a few weeks later. Storm has had some good runs but now he could use a four-leaf clover to help get him into victory lane in 2014.
Justin Bonsignore - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour/Valenti Modified Racing Series
Tim Quievryn, Speed51.com Correspondent
If this driver can find a leprechaun on Long Island, he'll be visiting Victory Lane regularly in 2014. Mechanical failures have been his gremlin over the last seasons. Three mechanical DNFs last year derailed a championship caliber campaign and the Magic Mile at Loudon cast a hex on him with three engine failures in two trips. His team shined the last two nights of the World Series down in Florida and if the parts can be more reliable this season, the speed is definitely there.
Rick Senneker - Outlaw Super Late Models
Matt Prieur, Speed51.com Correspondent
With a nearly 10-year-old home built chassis that was, for all practical purposes, destroyed in a crash at Kalamazoo Speedway (MI) on July 6th, 2013, Rick Senneker managed to put the mangled car back together in under a week's time. Then, Senneker went out and won his first feature since the 2009 season the following weekend. Despite limited resources, an old car and very little help, the Cutlerville, Michigan veteran still posted a fifth-place finish in the final points standings in the very tough weekly Outlaw Super Late Models division at Kalamazoo Speedway. A little luck, some help with more crew, and more resources would go a long way towards the 50-year-old's quest for his first career Track Championship.
Augie Grill - Super and Pro Late Models
Ally Fulson, Speed51.com Deep South Editor
As we neared the end of the season in 2013 there was much talk about Augie Grill turning things around and getting the two-time Snowball Derby champion back to victory lane in the big shows. Although he was able to bring home the trophy from the Governor's Cup at New Smyrna Speedway (FL), he wasn't even able to take the green flag in the Snowball Derby after qualifying fifth when a mechanical failure took him out early. Maybe we'll see the Luck of the Irish on his side in this weekend's Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway (AL).
Chuck Hossfeld - Race of Champions Modifieds / NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Correspondent
He was mostly known in 2013 for a controversial altercation between him and Matt Hirschman at Spencer Speedway (NY) that resulted in disqualification from the event. Otherwise, Hossfeld quietly put together a string of respectable finishes in select starts on the NASCAR Whelen Modified and Race of Champions Tours. However, since a win on the final night of the 2013 New Smyrna World Series, victory has uncharacteristically eluded him. Hossfeld returns for a full 2014 schedule on the Race of Champions Tour and with a little luck on his side could potentially replicate his championship-winning effort from 2011 that resulted in five wins.
Ray Parent - ACT Late Models
Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Northeast Editor
After winning the American-Canadian Tour Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway at the end of the 2012 racing season, Rhode Island native Ray Parent entered the 2013 season with high expectations. Parent displayed his team's ability to run up front with the top-tier ACT teams throughout the season, but never seemed to find "Lady Luck" on his side.
From a stuck wheel-bleeder at the ACT Invitational, to running out of fuel while running second at Devil's Bowl Speedway (VT), to a sway bar becoming unhooked on the first lap at White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH), to losing the power steering on his car while leading at Star Speedway (NH), 2013 was the year of bad luck for Parent.
This season, Parent plans to return to running full-time on the American-Canadian Tour and deserves the "Luck of the Irish" after a rough 2013 season. If Parent can benefit from the "Luck of the Irish", he'll be a force on the American-Canadian Tour in 2014.
Bobby Measmer, Jr. (NWSMT)
Midwest & Northeast Track Operators
Bob Dillner, Speed51.com Executive Editor
I would love to be able to give a little Irish luck to the driver for DHR on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Bobby Measmer Jr. Hey, the guidelines of this story didn't say we couldn't be biased. Once receiving our McGunegill engine, Bobby and the team turned a Modified around in less than a week to make the season opener. And Bobby did this while maintaining his full-time job at Stewart Haas Racing and while being under the weather as well. The car had never hit the track before that race; in fact, Bobby hadn't driven a Modified before. With all that being said, he ran well before running out of gas... hence, we need a little luck. (Or is that just smarts that we needed?)
All joking aside, I would give a four-leaf clover to all the track promoters in the Midwest and Northeast that are buried in snow right now. The pictures we have seen make one wonder when the weather is going to break so that spring can roll in. After all, racing season is coming pretty soon and as of last Monday, places like Anderson Speedway (IN), Kalamazoo Speedway (MI), Stafford Speedway (CT), Thompson Speedway (CT) and Winchester Speedway (IN) all had snow covering the track surface like a blanket. And some of these tracks, such as Berlin Raceway (MI) are trying to work on improvements to their facility despite the snow. With a little luck I hope that mother nature could be kind to all of these tracks (and more) so that they can begin the season on the right foot. After all, once the snow melts, the ground will be soft enough and they will not need any more rain to compound the potential issues.
Payton Ryan - Late Model Stock Cars, Pro Late Models
Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Editor
Needless to say 2014 has been an eye opener for Payton Ryan. Recently he finished in the top-three in a Late Model Stock Car show at Southern National (NC) and was relieved in victory lane after not being able to finish the deal at Speedweeks. He was later disqualified in tech. Ryan has been fast and when the luck comes he will be a contender.
Kenzie Ruston - NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
Matt Kentfield, Speed51.com Executive Director
No driver has been in position to win NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races, only to come up shy due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances, than Kenzie Ruston over the past season-plus. She's run consistently in the top five or 10 just about every week, whether it was last year with Turner Scott Motorsports or this year with Ben Kennedy Racing. Thinking back to last year, she was the fastest thing on four wheels at Bowman Gray Stadium (NC) and had the ride to beat, but a flat tire and typical "Madhouse" bumping and banging kept her out of victory lane. She also was bad fast at places like Iowa, where another flat tire ruined a good run and at Richmond where she was spun from the top-five late in the race. This year, she was one of only a few drivers who led laps in the first two races of the year in Florida. With just one little bit of luck, Ruston will make history the first time she wins, then repeat the feat several times over.