51’s Short Track Team Draft
The 51 Crew Has Some Fun With Fantasy Racing
We have made some rule changes to even the playing field and to get an accurate point total at the end of the season. First of all, each “owner” had to come up with a creative name for their team. Just like in the office polls and other fantasy competition, the naming of a team is part of the fun.  

This year each teams got a total of eight picks - but unlike before, they couldn't just pick seven guys out of the air.  A mix of drivers from different disciplines of racing was needed.  Team owners could only pick one driver per class, with two from extensive rolls of the Super Late Model/Late Model/Pro Late Model/LMSC ranks and the At Large category. Each driver will earn points for their team based on their finishes. The team with the most points wins.

However the draft order did not select which class you have to pick from. Just like in Fantasy Football, a running back might go first or a quarterback.

Here are the classes: Asphalt Modified  (1 pick), NASCAR Camping World Series (East or West) (1 pick), Touring Super Late Model / Late Model / Pro Late Model (2 picks), Pro Cup / ARCA 1 pick), At Large Short Track Racing (can be from any series that is not one of the NASCAR “Big Three” Series (2 picks) and Legends / Bandolero /Pro Challenge / Allison Legacy (1 pick) (Note - Points here are worth less because of the large number of races that are run in these divisions)

The picks were interesting ones with plenty of different strategies being used.  Drivers who won a lot were snatched up quickly, including some who have already gotten off to great starts in 2008.  Jeff Choquette, Tim Russell, Brett Hearn, Billy Moyer, Kirk Alexander and Jimmy Blewett are just a few examples of drivers who have won multiple races early in 2008 who found their way to our teams. 

Drivers who crossed between different series and post big numbers all over were also in demand.  Examples of those racers included Matt Hawkins, who runs up front in ARAC and Pro Cup; Eddie MacDonald, who is a NASCAR Camping World East regular that enjoys ACT Late Model racing on his free weekends and the master of driving anything he can get his hands on - Ted Christopher.

Another strategy that was used was to take a few guys who do some touring, but stick to one or two home tracks and beat up on their competition.  That was how Woody Pitkat and Oxford Late Model driver Ricky Rolfe got selected.   Although Pitkat is still looking for a touring ride for 2008, Rolfe has already upset the series regulars once by winning the ACT race at Oxford last month.

So what strategy will work?  Time will tell.  We'll be keeping track of the points all season long and will crown a champion at the conclusion of the season.

Here is the break down of the teams:

Team 1:  Little Drummer Boy
Modified - Burt Myers (NASCAR WSMT)
Camping World - Austin Dillon (CW East)
Touring SLM / LM - John Stancill (PASS South) and Mike Rowe (PASS North)
Pro Cup / ARCA - Benny Gordon (PRO CUP)
At Large or Alternate  - Jimmy Lang (ASA LM) and L.W. Miller (NASCAR WSMT)
Legends / Bandolero - Chad Finchum (Bandos)
Team 2: Truffle Shuffle
Modified - Jimmy Blewett (NASCAR  WMT)
Camping World - Mike David (CW West)
Touring SLM / LM - Casey Smith (SLM) and Russell Fleeman (GAS)
Pro Cup / ARCA - Michael Ritch (Pro Cup)
At Large or Alternate - J.L. Snowden (Pro Challenge) and Donny Schatz (WoO Sprints)
Legends / Bandolero - Dillon Bassett (Bandos)

Team 3: Death Donkeys
Modified - Ted Christopher (NASCAR WMT)
Camping World - Trevor Bayne (CW East)
Touring SLM / LM - Jeff Choquette (SLM) and Travis Dassow (ASA)
Pro Cup / ARCA - Matt Carter (ARCA)
At Large or Alternate - Woody Pitkat (Mods) and Scott Bloomquist (Dirt LM)
Legends / Bandolero - Blake Jones (Bandos)
Draft teams had to contain two SLM/LM drivers and at least one driver from Asphalt Modifieds, the NASCAR Camping World Series, ARCA or Pro Cup and Legend /Bando / Pro Challenge / Allison Legacy cars.  (Top to Bottom)
Team 4: Area 51
Modified - Ryan Preece (NASCAR WMT)
Camping World - Eric Holmes (CW WEST)
Touring SLM / LM - Nathan Hasleau (ASA MW) and Dan Fredrickson (ASA MW)
Pro Cup / ARCA - Ricky Stenhouse (ARCA)
At Large or Alternate - Brett Hearn (DIRT Modifieds) and Billy Moyer (Dirt Late Models)
Legends / Bandolero - Nick Stroupe (Pro Challenge)

Team 5: The Stockers
Modified - Kirk Alexander (True Value Mods)
Camping World - Peyton Sellers (CW East)
Touring SLM / LM - Ben Rowe (PASS) and Tim Russell (FASCAR SLM)
Pro Cup / ARCA - Bobby Gill (Pro Cup)
At Large or Alternate - Justin Algaier (ARCA) and Steven Kinser (WoO Sprints)
Legends / Bandolero  - Casey Roderick (Legends)

Team 6: Trailer Trash Pit Bulls
Modified - Matt Hirschman (NASCAR WMT)
Camping World - Eddie MacDonald (CW WEST)
Touring SLM / LM - Corey Williams (PASS)  and Patrick Laperle (ACT)
Pro Cup / ARCA - Matt Hawkins (Pro Cup)
At Large or Alternate - Eddie Hoffman (ASA LM) and Ricky Rolfe (ACT)
Legends / Bandolero - Clay Hair (Legends)

Team 7: Shadow
Modified - Eric Beers (NASCAR WMT)
Camping World - Austin Cameron (WEST)
Touring SLM / LM - Logan Ruffin (ASA LM) and Zach Stroupe (PASS / ASA SAT)
Pro Cup / ARCA - Frank Kimmel (ARCA)
At Large or Alternate - Joey Saldana (WoO Sprints) and Billy Decker (DIRT Modifieds)
Legends / Bandolero - Steven Ross (Bandos)
Ryan Preece (Top  -Rick Ibsen Photo) and Ricky Stenhouse both got drafted into "Area 51".
As an addition to annual Speed 51's annual Short Track Draft, the 51 Fantasy Draft is back for its second year.  The two features are related, but not exactly the same.  Unlike the Short Track Draft, the fantasy draft is all about how a racer can perform this year, instead of what their future potential is.  To gather more points, more wins and more top five finishes is the name of the game.  An example for a NASCAR draft you might pick Jeff Gordon over Robby Gordon because Jeff will get you more points.
Matt Hawkins, Travis Dassow, Matt Hirschman and Donny Lia (Top to Bottom) all won enough races to give Team One the 2007 victory.
Now's let look back to last season and see which of the 51 team won the inaugural 51 team draft competition.  Team one scored the most points and was declared the winner with a roster of Matt Hawkins, Travis Dassow, Matt Hirschman, Darren Hagan, Donny Lia and Jeremy Clements.  The team combined for 21 wins, and even though championship don't count - two of its member were national titlists.  The margin of victory was over 1,500 points.  The first race wasn't even close.

In the underage class, the team of Joey Logano and Trevor Bayne. Dominated based on both young racer's performances throughout the year.

1st Place Team One - 6575 points
Matt Hawkins
Travis Dassow
Matt Hirschman
Darren Hagan
Donny Lia
Jeremy Clements 

2nd Place Team Four - 4975 points
James Civali
Brandon Ward
Derek Thorn
Nathan Hasleau
Alex Yontz
Travis Benjamin

3rd Place Team Six - 4000 points
Andy Seuss
Tim Russell
Frank Deiny Jr.
Cassius Clark
Bubba Pollard
JR Norris

4th Place Team Seven - 3900 points
Sean Cassie
Ben Rowe
Eric Holmes
David Holmes
Kevin Leicht
Jean-Paul Cyr

5th Place Team Three - 3600 points
Ryan Lawler
Patrick Laperle
Andrew Myers
Ryan Crane
Corey Williams
Alan Tardiff

6th Place Team Five - 2675 points
Colt James
Clay Rogers
Tim McCreadie
Jimmy Blewett
Woody Pitkat
Brian Ickler

7th Place Team Eight - 1575 points
Woody Howard
Chuck Barnes Jr.
Tim Andrews
Josh Hamner
Justin Larson
John Freeman

8th Place Team Two - 1350 points
Bobby Santos
Jason Hogan
Bryan Clauson
Josh Wise
Tim Schendel
Travis Bennett