51’s Short Track Draft Best of the Rest
See Who Came Close in Our Judge's Balloting
Here are a bunch of guys who got votes from some of our experts, but did not have enough to make the top-51.
And by the way, this is in alphabetical order.
Travis Bennett (ASA Northwest) – A former NASCAR Touring Series Northwest standout, Bennett is still trying to conquer the racing world in the black hole that is the Northwestern part of the country. He’s already winning in 2007, grabbing the Apple Cup victory, and now, he’s taking on the new ASA Northwest Series, which will basically replace the old NASCAR Elite Tour.
Tim Brown (Modifieds) – When it comes to the Southern Modifieds and Bowman Gray Stadium, very few can match Tim Brown’s success (except for his nemesis Junior Miller). As a member of the Ginn Racing NASCAR team, he knows racecars, but he’s no spring chicken. He’ll always be powerful in the Modifieds and he can make that a home.
Cliff Daniels (LMSC) – Daniels, along with his sister Tiffany, is on a hardcore tear to make it on the national scene. They are gunning for NASCAR Weekly Racing Series titles by running at some of the toughest Late Model Stock tracks in the country, South Boston Speedway and Southern National Raceway Park. Now, all they need to do is to start winning races all the time.
John Freeman (BES) – Freeman just missed making the top-51. In fact, he was just a couple of votes shy of being high in the list. Not bad for someone that hasn’t had the best of luck in full-bodied cars. But Freeman has done great things with little money in Busch East, then went to a big team with Fitz Racing and nearly won a couple of races.
Tim Borwn knows how to win with a Modified and he already has ties to NASCAR Nextel Cup Series racing, working in the shop of Ginn Racing.
If you or your favorite Short Track driver missed the top-51 list on his year’s short track draft, don’t get all upset and start sending in nasty letters. Our panel of experts knows there are a lot of good, young short track drivers in the country. And remember, this was decided on by a panel of 20-experts’ opinions, not just us here at 51.
So instead of simmering, look at what you can do better to get your name or your favorite “wheel-man’s” name out there for next season.
Augie Grill (SLM) – Augie might not really be gunning for NASCAR success, but he can still do it behind the wheel. However, he can wheel a car. The only problem is, that he tends to get in trouble a lot. And he has a pretty good business going now with his GARC business that he runs with his father, so Grill is probably pretty content.
Keeton Hanks (ASA LM) – Keeton Hanks knows how to win races. He proved that at Music City Motorplex in the weekly racing series there. Now, he’s been tearing up the ASA Late Model Challenge Series with the help of crew chief-coach Glen Allen Jr. Keeton has had some trouble in the past with rule violations, which might hurt, but we doubt it.
Eric Hardin (West) – For the next couple of years, Hardin might just be more remembered for trying to knock down the wall at the Toyota All Star Showdown at the end of the 2006 season instead of his skill. Hardin has some skill out West too, driving for Bill McAnally Racing. He, like a lot of people, need to start winning to move up on the list though.
Drew Herring (LMSC) – The heir-apparent to Peyton Sellers in the Late Model Stock Car world is Drew Herring. And Herring has been fast and winning races everywhere he goes. But the Late Model Stock world has its own following and people only seem to recognize those who win regional or national titles. Herring needs to do that to make it. But he has the talent.
Marc Jessup (USAC) – He is already racing and winning in USAC this year, taking the victory at Winchester in the Rich Vogler Classic. And if you can win at Winchester, you can win anywhere, because that place takes some guts. They say he is a diamond in the rough in the USAC world.
Tim Jordan (Weekly LM) – Its not very often that weekly racers get votes in the 51 Short Track Draft, but when you win as much as Tim Jordan does on such a low budget, people notice. Jordan won the track title at Waterford in Late Models as a rookie and has a shot to repeat this year. If he ever moves up to touring series, he could be the real deal.
Justin Larson (SLM, PLM) – Larson is using the 2007 season to be his breakout year. And its working, as Larson just picked up his first major touring series win, coming in the Goodyear Series at Orlando SpeedWorld. Larson has looks and talent. And once he conquers the Florida world, he needs to make sure he gets out there and travels up and down the East Coast.
Kevin Leicht (UARA) – The last name sounds familiar, but the first name is different. Kevin is trying to prove that Stephen is not the only good Leicht in the motorsports world (Kevin’s brother Matt races as well). Kevin is coming on strong in the UARA world right now and he hopes he can continue that on.
Charles Lewandoski (BES) – Last season’s Most Improved Driver in the NASCAR Busch East Series is now sitting on the sidelines because of a lack of sponsorship and funds to run his race team. But that doesn’t take any of “ChaLew’s” talent away from him. He has a very marketable personality, but he needs to be racing on the track and not sitting on the sidelines.
David Mayhew (West) – Mayhew is a West Coast driver who is trying to make it on a shoe-string budget in the NASCAR Touring Series world. He won the Southwest Series title running on one motor that blew at the end of the season. He was on his way to winning in Phoenix in the West Series before the motor blew again, knocking him out for a while.
Weekly drivers usually aren't a factor in the draft. But Tim Jordan's winning ways with an ACT-type Late Model at Waterford Speedbowl have made him an exception to that rule...just think what some touring could do for his career. (Jim DuPont Photo)
Daryn Pittman – We always hear about the USA ranks, but Pittman is one of the shining stars of the World of Outlaw Series. The 28-year-old has failed to win on the WoO Tour this year (the shining tour of the dirt sprint car world), but he’s won there before. He might just be the WoO’s best chance to send someone to the bigs right now.
Woody Pitkat (Mods, LM) – Pitkat is a proven winner, and his NASCAR Regional Championship of 2006 is something that no one can take away from him. But much like Tim Jordan and a few others on our list, he needs to move from just local racing to a more touring stance. We know Pitkat’s not afraid of doing that though.
Andrew Rogers (Legends) – A couple of years ago, Rogers looked like one of the hottest prospects in racing. He was a rookie with the Pro Cup Series and making a splash with a new team and some serious sponsors. Then, after a so-so rookie season, he went to the defending championship Pro Cup team. Now, he’s out of racing, expect for some Legends racing.
Taylor Satterfield is getting used to waving checkered flags.
Taylor Satterfield (GAS) – Satterfield is showing that he knows how to get it done in one of the toughest Pro Late Model Series in the country, the Georgia Asphalt Series. Satterfield already has two wins this. Now, if he would just run up front on a more consistent basis, then he might just be top-51 material.
Brian Scott (SLM) – Time and experience is the only thing that is keeping Brian Scott from being in the top-51 list. He’s got a great teacher in Freddie Query. He’s got a great team and he’s getting as much experience behind the wheel that he can. But coming from dirt sprints to Super Late Models and Pro Cup cars takes some time, and that is all Scott needs.
Casey Smith (SLM) – A few years ago, Casey Smith would have been much higher on the draft board as well. But when the ASA National Tour folded, so did some of Casey’s dreams. All the team’s eggs were in that basket. Now, Smith finds himself back on his feet in Super Late Models and winning, but he needs to break out on more of a national or touring scene.
Tommy St. John (CRA) – He was a rookie of the year in the CRA Super Series in 2005, and at 25, still has a lot of years in front of him. He’s already won a race in the CRA Super Series this year and is a legitimate shot at winning the championship.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Open Wheel) – Stenhouse’s stock in the racing world is growing, thanks to his racing more in the USAC world now rather than in the lesser known (to the larger NASCAR community) USCS and ASCoC. However, Stenhouse needs to win a little bit more to continue his rise. And of course, racing for Carl Edwards’ team in the Silver Crown Series never hurt either.
Kevin Swindell (Open Wheel) – He was just a couple of months away from being ranked near the top of our underclassmen draft, but Swindell’s 18th birthday in February knocked that out. He has a great racing father in Sammy, but he wants to make it in stock cars. He could be a huge surprise… and that is what Evernham Motorsports thinks.
Brian Scott is working on making a name for himself.
Josh Vadnais (CRA, SLM) – You would be hard-pressed to find a nicer guy in the Super Late Model world, even though most Wisconsin drivers as about as polite as they come. Vadnais has proven he knows how to drive a Super Late Model and has been fast when he has traveled, so maybe traveling more will help him.