51’s SHORT TRACK DRAFT – THE ORIGINAL
Our Panel Of 20-Plus Picks The Top-51 Short Track Racing Prospects
27. Corey Williams (PASS)
Strength –He has shown plenty of talent and he knows what goes into setting up a racecar as the car chief for Jeffrey Earnhardt’s Busch East Series.
Weakness – Lack of a winning record in a full-sized car. Legends wins are great, but low budgets and bad luck have kept Williams from winning in a Super Late Model.
28. Ryan Crane (SLM)
Strength – Crane is smart behind the wheel. He’s also wise outside the car, having earned a college education and gained management experience by running his own race team.
Weakness – Lack of experience in a heavy, steel-bodied car. If Crane can perform as well in a Busch East, Pro Cup or ARCA machine as his Super Late Model, that will prove a lot.
Corey Williams has the smarts, but is that enough?
Here is a list of the remainder of the top-51 drivers selected in this year's Short Track Draft.
26. Korey Ruble (GAS)
Strength – If he’s in the starting field, he is a threat to win. He has proven that he can get the job done and perform under pressure. And he’s a college boy at the University of Alabama.
Weakness – He doesn’t race enough. Ruble picks and chooses his starts.
32. Burt Myers (Mods)
Strength – Myers is a wheelman and tough as nails – racing weekly at Bowman-Gray will do that to a young talented driver.
Weakness – To really show what he’s got, he needs to advance beyond the Southern Modified world and get it done in full-bodied cars.
33. Brandon Ward (Mods, Pro Cup)
Strength – He’s got the look and the PR savy to go along with his UARA title and has shown talent in Late Models, Modifieds and in Pro Cup North just in the last few months.
Weakness – He’s bounced around from one ride to another before he can really make himself a well-known name.
34. Travis Dassow (ASA LM)
Strength –Doesn’t make mistakes under pressure and best of all, he is being coached by one of the best mentors in the business – the legendary Howie Lettow.
Weakness – Up until recently, nobody knew who he was. Rising above the pack in an ASA Late Model world crowded with young drivers is a tough task.
35. Josh Hamner (SLM)
Strength – He’s got a bloodline. He’s a hungry and aggressive young driver, yet extremely polite, with the talent and the heart that is needed to make it to the big leagues.
Weakness – Needs to break out of the Deep South and expose himself to the rest of the world.
Burt Myers has a great smile, but he is still a serious wheelman.
29. Levi Jones (USAC)
Strength – He still has the talent to wheel a car. That is evident by Tony Stewart’s wanting him as part of his open wheel team.
Weakness – His stock was huge coming off a strong 2005 season, but his 2006 season with Tony Stewart Motorsports didn’t produce the results.
30. Jimmy Blewett (Mods)
Strength – Raw talent and an extreme hunger to race as much as possible. If there is a race and he’s got a car, he’ll be there.
Weakness – Spends as much time in the NASCAR trailer as behind the wheel.
31. Bubba Pollard (GAS)
Strength – A fast learner. He’s won in just about everything that he has sat in since age 11, when he got his first taste of race car driving by taking a borrowed Mini Cup car to victory lane.
Weakness – Inconsistency. Bubba can put together a string of wins and top-threes, but then go a couple weeks with problems and accidents.
36. Darren Hagan (Open Wheel)
Strength – A lot of people are looking at him, because he ability to drive a Sprint Car is second-to-none.
Weakness – He had a lot of steam last year, but that has cooled off. And talented USAC drivers are becoming a dime a dozen.
37. Brian Ickler (West)
Strength: He overcame a horrific crash at Irwindale to run well in the Toyota All-Star Showdown last winter and has shown that he can be a consistent front runner out West
Weakness: He is driving for Bill McAnally’s West Series team, which is one of the best out West. But he hasn’t done much with them yet.
38. Josh Wise (ARCA)
Strength: Can wheel on both dirt and asphalt with plenty of wins and titles to prove it.
Weakness: He’s getting better on stock cars ,but hasn’t shown the ability on asphalt yet as he did in midgets.
39. Travis Kittleson (SLM)
Strength – He’s a natural. He qualified his own very-underfinanced Busch Series car in a few races, finished well in his Truck debut and had a strong showing is Roush Racing’s Gong Show. And he has an infectious personality.
Weakness – At age 27, the clock is ticking for Kittleson to get his big chance.
40. Peyton Sellers (BES, West)
Strength – He’s a soft-spoken, well-mannered nice kid who can drive the wheels off a racecar.
Weakness – Things did not work out too well after a season in the Richard Childress Racing development program. A 2006 season chocked full of bad luck could have hurt his confidence a bit.
41. Cale Gale (ARCA)
Strength – Kevin Harvick saw great things in this young racer and snatched him away from James Finch’s team. He’s an aggressive young pup who won right away in ARCA.
Weakness - He doesn't race enough...you can't just rely on a couple Busch and Truck races alone to get you known. Needs to get back to the short tracks on more occasions.
42. Chris Gabehart (CRA)
Strength – He knows as much about making a fast racecar as he does making a racecar go fast. Gabehart’s engineering background is a big strength.
Weakness – Can be a little bit overaggressive behind the wheel sometimes. Knowing how to fix a racecar is nice, but having to do it all of the time is not.
43. Dexter Bean (ARCA)
Strength – Has proven to be good in heavy, steel-bodied cars as evident by his decent runs with a low-buck team that competes well with high money teams in ARCA
Weakness – He doesn’t run up front enough to be considered a credible threat.
44. Johnny Clark (PASS SLMs)
Strength – Learning to race against legends like Mike Rowe and Ralph Nason will teach you some lessons, and Johnny Clark has learned them all.
Weakness – Johnny might be considered a little rough around the edges. He’s a blue-collar working man.
45. Tim Andrews (BES)
Strength – He comes from a great racing family, and his father is one of the smartest wrenches out there. And evidence of talent dates back to Dover Busch East win.
Weakness – Where is he? Since then, you haven’t heard much of Andrews. To make it, you need to be in the public eye.
46. Brian Campbell (ASA LM)
Strength – He learned everything he needed to from his father Fred. He’s won and be competitive in any region of the country that he has run.
Weakness – He needs to do more Super Late Model races and branch away from just ASA.
Johnny Clark might be too much of a working man's man for the NASCAR Cup world.
47. Patrick Laperle (SLM)
Strength – Good luck trying to find more of a racer than this Canadian. He’ll run whatever, wherever, whenever…and he’s be sure to have his foot all of the way to the floor while doing so.
Weakness – At age 29, he is getting a bit old to make the big jump South. And he’s from Canada. That’s not one of the best areas to come from.
48. Justin Allgaier (ARCA)
Strength – Allgaier is going all out this year and leads the ARCA point standings and is strong everywhere.
Weakness – He just needs to win, and on something other than an ARCA dirt track race.
49. Jeff Choquette (Sunbelt)
Strength – Plain and simple, he is fast everywhere he goes.
Weakness – He needs to race outside of Florida, he needs a little more “PR” polishing and he needs to get in less trouble “on track.”
50. LW Miller (Mods)
Strength – He can drive the wheels off of a Modified and can put up big numbers in the win column.
Weakness – He showed that those wins didn’t carry over to the stock car world when he drove in Pro Cup, nor did they come when he was a Northern Modified regular.
51. Chase Pistone (Pro Cup)
Strength – He can win. He proved that by winning his first Pro Cup race at Concord. And he’s got the last name of a great racing family.
Weakness – Chase doesn’t stay with one team long enough to form chemistry, which has long been a problem.