by Bob Heyden
It’s clear the Breeders Crown brings out the best in the sport’s best drivers. Let’s look at the history.
Average Crown wins per year
The list of drivers ranked by the average number of Crown wins is as follows:
Brian Sears — 1.8
Yannick Gingras — 1.5
John Campbell — 1.4
Tim Tetrick — 1.4
David Miller — 1.2
Ron Pierce — 1.2
In 2013, the top 5 drivers in North America won all 12 Crowns at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
The top three had remarkably similar results:
Pierce — 11 3-3-0
Tetrick — 11 3-0-3
Gingras — 11 3-1-1
Twenty-nine times in Breeders Crown history a driver has driven in every Crown final:
Campbell — 11 times
Mike Lachance, Tetrick, Sears and Pierce — three times, each
Miller and Luc Ouellette — once, each
Six different times as many as nine drivers have won at least one Crown in a single year:
1990-91-93-95-96 and 2011.
The big 5-0
This is the list of Breeders Crown driving wins for those past their 50th birthday:
Pierce — 15 wins in 103 attempts.
Miller — 12 wins in 59 drives.
Sears — 7 wins, which is impressive considering he has had just three Crown years since turning 50.
Campbell and Lachance each won six after turning 50. Lachance won four in the Crown year of 2000, just prior to his 50th.
The first 19 years of the Breeders Crown a Canadian-born driver led all 19 years:
Campbell — 13, Bill O’Donnell — 3, Lachance — 2 and Wally Hennessey — 1
The last 18 years of the Breeders Crown a Canadian-born driver has led only twice:
Gingras in 2014 and 2017
P.S. Gingras’ streak of nine straight years winning at least one Crown is alive. Campbell holds the record at 15 (1984-1998)
Miller past $14 million
David Miller is now past $14 million all time in the Breeders Crown and is second behind Campbell at $22,483,677.
Six for Dunn
Dexter Dunn is the first driver to win six Breeders Crowns in his first two years.
These three kings
Still the three biggest money seasons for one driver in a Breeders Crown year are:
1. Campbell — 2001 — $1,684,292
2. Sears — 2005 — $1,647,026
3. Tetrick — 2012 — $1,627,400
Pierce went out with a bang
Ron Pierce retired after being the leading Breeders Crown driver in the previous five years combined.
He retired on March 8, 2015, but his combined money total from the prior five Crowns was $4,312,062 (2010-2014), ranking him number one. His 10 wins in that stretch tied with Gingras. Pierce’s composite was 53 10-7-5.