The rest of the top 10 was a mix of regulars and break-throughs. Michael Polcen runs his streak of top 10 finishes to 5 seasons (1 short of Don's 6 seasons). Chris Long and Tim Mossman have had multiple top 10 seasons before but Tim was 40th last year and Chris hasn't been top 10 since he finished 3rd in 2018. James Benham made his first top 10 last year.
Jason Schultz ended the season 20 points behind our champion but in only his second season of organized play. Will Kennington, Justin Swaine, and Brent Fitz also made their first appearances in the top 10 this year.
But lets dig into how Stephen beat out Don this year. Below is a break-out of how each of them got points this year -- their top 5 race results and their top 2 tournament results. And some general data as well.
That general data tells an interesting story. Stephen beat Don despite Don winning more races (and even a higher percentage of races) and more tournaments. But you can also see the first clue here of how Stephen overcame that -- tougher competition. By design a field rating of 1 should be average (the median race field rating was 0.97 this year). So we can see that Stephen's average race was considered above average in difficulty of competition while Don's was -- on average -- considered below average.
This doesn't mean that Don was racing against shlubs. What it really means is that most of Don's wins came against smaller groups of opponents and/or not the very best of competition Below are the top 11 races, ranked by field rating this year.