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Geyer: Ten Drivers I'm Watching In 2024

Last week, I listed ten things that I was excited to see in 2024. Now, let’s take a look at ten drivers that I’m watching in 2024.

Austin Maynard

Street Stock racing has seen a huge rise in recent years, and perhaps no driver has been more dominant in that time than Austin Maynard. He won $10,000 at Plymouth Speedway last July and another $4,000 at the Flagger Boy at New Paris. Along with Plymouth and New Paris, he also has feature wins at South Bend, Kalamazoo and Owosso; and has top-five runs with the CRA Street Stocks at Shadybowl (OH) and Cordele (GA).

His 2024 season will start at Bristol Motor Speedway next weekend as one of 80 drivers set to take on the high banks. He also competed in Outlaw Super Late Model and Modified races last year, and could be due for some appearances in said disciplines again this year.

Blake Rowe

The Ortonville, MI driver expanded his Late Model schedule in 2023, competing in the Redbud 400, World Stock Car Festival and Winchester 400 for car owners Stan and Judi Rosen. He also won his third Hot Shoe 100 at a third different track in his family-owned Modified.

The new year will bring Rowe a completely new challenge, as he has sold off his Modified equipment and will chase a JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour title. He will attempt to do so while driving for three different cars – the Rosen No.131, TK Racing No.71 and his own No.57.

Bryce Bozell

It was Super Shoe Weekend at Kalamazoo in 2022 when the pits would come to a standstill to see then-11 year old Bryce Bozell hit the track in an Outlaw Super Late Model. After winning the Rookie of the Year award for the weekly Late Model class last season, the “Bullet With A Mullet” will compete in the new Limited Late Model division at Kalamazoo.

The 12 year old has a pair of drivers in his corner that any up and coming driver would be lucky to have. He’s the son of former Kalamazoo Speedway track champion Phil Bozell and grandson of Michigan Motorsports Hall of Famer Andy Bozell.

Chad Finley

A former ARCA Menards Series winner in his own right, Finley will be making more asphalt appearances alongside his dirt efforts in 2024. He has signed on to drive the No.1 Outlaw Super Late Model for Rosebrugh Racing at all five Owosso 500 Series events, plus the Grand Slam opener at Plymouth and the Growler 100 at Whittemore.

On the dirt side, he was runner-up in the Allstar Performance Challenge Series points standings after winning four races at Merritt Speedway. He also took a Reveal The Hammer win on the pavement at Birch Run.

Chase Burda

It was a breakout year for Burda in 2023, who won four races and the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour championship, his biggest coming in the Masters of the Pros at Owosso. He also made four ASA STARS National Tour starts, one of which resulted in a podium finish at Toledo Speedway in the Glass City 200.

A busy 2024 season will see him try and defend his JEGS Tour title while making other Super Late Model starts between ASA and UARA. He will also return to the dirt as his schedule allows.

Katie Hettinger

After spending 2023 driving for Anthony Campi Racing in the CARS Tour Pro Late Models, the Michigan native is back with her family team in 2024 to run both the CARS Tour Late Model Stocks and Pro Late Models, while also returning home for select races. Her 2024 season is already in full swing, having competed during the World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna and the CARS Tour LMSC and PLM openers at Southern National.

Hettinger won a Pro Late Model feature during the 2023 World Series before finishing runner-up in the CARS Tour PLM standings. She also won the Carolina Pro Late Model Series season finale at Hickory.

Mark Shook

Shook enjoyed a breakout season away from Kalamazoo Speedway, where he has two track championships to his credit. He was the Reveal The Hammer champion, winning the opener at Birch Run and finishing outside the top-ten only once in seven races. He also picked up $10,000 paydays at the third Grand Slam race at Plymouth and in the Summer Sizzler at New Paris.

It remains to be seen if he’ll try and defend his Reveal The Hammer championship, but one thing is for sure – Shook will be one of the drivers to beat anywhere he goes.

Rich Boal

Boal has been racing longer than most of the other drivers on this list have been alive, having started racing in 1986. Nearly 40 years into his career, the multi-time South Bend and Plymouth track champion is doing something he’s never done before – going Modified racing.

He will be throwing himself into the fire when he makes his Modified debut at Bristol next weekend. Plans are also in place to play car owner for Cory Pressler, Scotty Gardner and Jaden Cretacci throughout the season locally, while also fielding a Hornet for daughter Hailey.

Tylar Rankin

The Greg Wheeler Motorsports driver is embarking on his most ambitious schedule of his career, chasing the Wisconsin-based IRA Sprints full-time while also making several starts with the World of Outlaws, High Limit, MOWA and Maverick Winged Sprints. This includes a first trip to the biggest Sprint Car race on the planet, the Knoxville Nationals.

Rankin won his first-career Great Lakes Super Sprint race in May of last year before he and Wheeler made the switch to 410 racing full-time midway through the season. His 2024 season will begin Friday night at Attica Raceway Park before the IRA opener next weekend at 34 Raceway (IA).

Zane DeVault

A last-minute deal with Lane Racing now has the Plymouth, IN driver racing for the FAST 410 Sprint title for a car owner that he considers family. This gives DeVault a chance to race closer to home after a journeyman schedule in 2023 saw him win races in North Carolina, Iowa, Arkansas and Alabama.

His debut with Lane Racing was a successful one, finishing seventh in the FAST opener at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway on March 16. The series will take him through Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Column - Koty Geyer

Photo - Fast Lane Images



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