Welcome to this edition of the Speed51.com Short Track Power rankings. Another Short Track summer of action is in full swing and that leads us to this round of Short Track Power.
The rankings were decided after polling our panel of experts in the industry.
Here are our current power rankings for the 2010 short track racing season:
1. Keith Rocco - Mods - Previous Rank - 6th - Wow.
What else can you say about Keith Rocco this season?
The Connecticut racer leads the national NASCAR Whelen All-American Series standings on the basis of 16 victories (as we write this at least...by the time you read it, the number could be different.) in the SK and Sunoco Modifieds at Stafford Motor Speedway, Thompson International Speedway and Waterford Speedbowl.
We first saw Rocco's winning ways of 2010 back in February at New Smyrna Speedway's World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, but those efforts were somewhat dismissed by our panel of experts in the annual 51 Short Track Draft. The voters thought at the time that Rocco might be a little too hot-blooded, quick-tempered and rough around the edges to be worthy of a top flight NASCAR ride. Well, we think that having 16 victories by the end of July might cancel out those rough edges a little bit. We wouldn't be surprised to see any of the car owners on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour scoop Rocco up for the 2011 season.
Here is what one of our voters had to say...
"I realize not too many voters include weekly racers in their Power Poll submissions, but how in the world can you ignore what Keith Rocco has been doing this season? This kid is phenomenal. Works on all of his own cars, and wins like it's a bodily function. If there's a driver anywhere in the country right now that deserves a shot at 'the tour', it's Kid Roc."
2. Clay Rogers - Pro Cup - Previous Rank - 5th - Clay Rogers is the man in the USARacing Pro Cup Series right now. He currently leads the standings by nearly one million points (well, actually "only 224 points) and to beat him is a tall task.
Here are what a few of our voters had to say about Rogers' power this year:
"Say what you want, but even if there were 50 cars every week Clay Rogers would be the man to beat in Pro Cup. One good thing about the rookies coming into this series they know that the bay is very high to succeed in the Pro Cup level."
"There aren't too many other drivers in the country right now that are dominating like Rogers is. Considering the type of guys he's racing against, his numbers speak volumes. How he doesn't have a ride in one of the 'Big three' is beyond me, but their loss is short track racing's gain.
3. Scott Hantz - CRA/SLM - Previous Rank - 10th - Scott Hantz decided not to run for points in 2010 and instead chase checkered flags in Super Late Model and Outlaw Super Late Model shows throughout the Midwest. He's done a pretty fine job of that too. But what was really powerful was his victory in Monday's Redbud 300 at Anderson Speedway (IN). That win would have been powerful just because Kyle Busch, Ken Schrader, Chase Elliott and Johnny Van Doorn were in the field. But when it came on the heels of the recent death of Hantz's car owner Dick Poe, it became even more powerful and emotional.
Here is what one of our voters had to say about that:
"A big month and an emotional win just a few nights back at Anderson propels Hantz into the Power Poll. Hantz also scored an Outlaw win at Toledo as well."
4. Eddie MacDonald - ACT/K&N East - Previous Rank - 29th- How can someone go about jumping 25 spots in the 51 Tower of Power? Simple....win a major race like the Oxford 250. That's exactly what Eddie MacDonald did to move up to the fourth position in this edition of the Power Poll. Winning a pair of separate ACT Late Model races at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) has hurt either. Now if he can win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race or two, he might move up even more.
Here are what a few of our voters had to say about Eddie Mac:
"He just won the biggest Late Model race of them all at the Oxford 250. What more can I say? That's power personified."
"If only all the ACT races were at Oxford, never the less he’s been strong elsewhere, but the second-straight Oxford 250 win gives a lot of power."
5. Augie Grill - SLM - Previous Rank - Previous Rank - Unranked - It's another season and another year of watching Augie Grill winning Super Late Model races in the Deep South. What else can we say? Whether it's a Blizzard Series race or a CRA Southern Six Pack Show, Augie will be there with his A-Game and that's pretty powerful.
Here are a few voter comments on Grill's efforts this season.
"Disqualifications notwithstanding, Grill has been the man in his part of the country so far this year."
"Has picked up SLM wins at Five Flags and Gresham in the last few weeks."
6. Bobby Santos - WMT - Previous Rank - 1st - Bobby Santos is still leading the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour point standings, but has cooled off a little bit since winning three of the first four events on the schedule and placing second in the other race. Nevertheless, Santos still has as much power as the Hutter Racing Engine under the hood of his #4 Mystic Missile Modified. That's why our panel voted him into sixth place this time around.
This voter comment says in all in just a few words:
"Still holding strong in the Modifieds."
7. Steve Carlson - ASA MW - Previous Rank - Previous Rank - Unranked - "Leading ASA MW points after three wins." is what one of the ballots that was returned with Steve Carlson's name on it said. Since the ASA Midwest Tour is one of the toughest tours in the land, we can understand why that put Carlson into the mix in our current edition of the 51 Short Track Power Poll.
8. Andrew Ranger - K&N East & West/NASCAR Canadian Tire Series - Previous Rank - Unranked - Andrew Ranger has been a busy boy this season. He's raced out West, he's raced in the East and he's raced in his homeland of Canada. He's also won in all three places.
Here is what one of our voters had to say about Ranger's efforts:
"'Road Course Ringer' or not, the stats speak for themselves. Ranger has been successful in both K&N Pro Series as well as the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. Just last weekend he became the first driver to ever win a race in all three NASCAR [non-Modified] regional touring series. Oh Canada!"
9. Ted Christopher - Mods - Previous Rank - 20th - Ted Christopher ought to just have a permanent spot on the Speed 51 Short Track Power Poll. We saw him start winning during New Smyrna Speedweeks in February and most recently, he won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour show at Monadnock Speedway (NH). he's been gaining on Bobby Santos, III in the WMT point standings and also winning a bunch of SK Modified and Sunoco Modified races on the short tracks of Connecticut. Just what we expect from TC.
10. Brannan Poole - UARA/LMSC - Previous Rank - Unranked - Being disqualified out of a recent UARA-Stars victory has been one of the only speed bumps in Brannan Poole's 2010 racing season. He's been tearing up the track in the Late Model Stock Car ranks and our panel noticed that fete.
Here was one of our voter comments on his performances:
"Never mind the DQ, Poole has been lights out in the Late Model Stock world. Not only has he won from the front but he also came from the tail to score on of his UARA wins after missing the drivers meeting."
11. Karl Allard - ACT - Previous Rank - Unranked - Just when you thought that the Serie ACT Castrol Edge tour was the playground of Patrick Laperle and Donald Theetge, in walks in Karl Allard. Well, "walked" is probably a poor term to use for a driver who has won four events this season against some pretty large car counts. Here is what one of our voters had to say about that:
"[Allard] Has been dominating the Act Castrol Tour and has four wins in 2010 - so he makes my list."
12. Johnny Clark - PASS North - Previous Rank - 35th - A fifth PASS North title might be in the cards for Johnny Clark this season. Yes, we know it's still early in the year but he's just been that strong up North. It seems that some of our voters just expect that from him though. Even though Clark moved up 23 spots in our Power Poll this time around, he's still ranked out of the top ten. Can't he get a little more respect for his three victories on the season?
Here is what one of our voters had to say:
"I wonder if this guy even remembers what it feels like to finish outside of the top-5five Racing against some of the grittiest and most talented guys in the North doesn't seem to be a problem for the multi-time champion, because those podium finishes (complete with a three-race win streak a little while back) keep rolling in."
13. Andy Loden - PASS South - Previous Rank - 4th - Johnny Clark isn't the only driver in PASS Super Late Models to enjoy a three-race win streak in 2010. Andy Loden has done the same thing in PASS South racing. Ironically, when all of the votes were tallied up, Loden finished just one spot behind Clark in the Short Track Poll Poll voting this time around.
Here is one of our voter comments on Loden's efforts:
"He hasn't raced in a while (thanks to the PASS South schedule) but has still demonstrated a whole lot of power this year. Definitely one of the biggest pleasant surprises of the 2010 season."
14. JR Fitzpatrick - NASCAR Canadian Tire Series - Previous Rank - Unranked - JR Fitzpatrick has won two of the five NASCAR Canadian Tire Series races this year so far and leads the point standings up North. That's powerful stuff.
15. Ryan Blaney - PASS South/CRA - Previous Rank - 8th - A pair of PASS South race victories and a CRA Southern Six Pack win earned Ryan Blaney a ticket to this edition of the Speed 51 Short Track Power rankings.
16. Burt Myers - Mods - Previous Rank - Unranked - The popularity of "Madhouse" has made racing at Bowman-Gray Stadium every Saturday night even more of a big deal than most of the short track tours out there. So the fact that Burt Myers is adding to his career win tally there just about every week (it seems) and is leading the Modified standings at the track is a powerful thing. Myers is also ranked sixth in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour standings, so two championships might not be out of the question for him this season.
17. Bubba Pollard - SLM/PLM - Previous Rank - 13th - If it's the 51 Power Poll, you can expect Bubba Pollard to be on it somewhere. Pollard hasn't had the year that he's quite wanted so far this season, so that kept him out of the top 10 this far around (we're expecting a slew of angry e-mails from his fans), but the season still has plenty of life left in it. We expect Pollard to win some more and move up the Tower of Power accordingly.
Here is what one of our voters had to say about Pollard's efforts:
"Several wins in 2010 have him in the Power Poll, however short fields victories at South Alabama keep him lower then some in the standings."
18. Andy Seuss - Mods - Previous Rank - 39th - There's more to Oxford 250 weekend than just the 250. There is also a big Modified Racing Series feature on the night before. Winning that event and then dedicating the victory to a friend, Jay Hull, who recently passed away was powerful stuff. That's not to mention the fact that Seuss has also won on the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour this year and also is battling for that title this year.
19. Mike Rowe - SLM/PASS North - Previous Rank - 18th - Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) is Mike Rowe's hometrack these days. He defends that turf well too - winning the annual 100-lap Pro Series race there along with the PASS North SLM season opener at the track. Rowe can also take his show on the road well too - as proven by his recent PASS North victory at Lee USA Speedway (NH).
20. Travis Eddy - Mods - Previous Rank - Unranked - Many short trackers would be happy to make 19 starts during a season. Right now, Travis Eddy has that many podium finishes so far in 2010. And it's only July! This is Eddy's first time to appear on the 51 Short Track Power Poll and we doubt it will be his last appearance.
Honorable Mentions -
Lowell Bennett (SLM)
Jeff Cannon (SLM)
Greg Edwards (LMSC)
CE Falk (LMSC)
Daniel Hemric (Legends/SLM)
Tom Hesert (ARCA)
Brian Hoar (ACT)
Justin Johnson (LMSC)
Steve Kinser (WoO Sprints)
Andy Mercer (LMSC)
Corey Morgan (LM)
Earl Pearson (Dirt LM)
Jimmy Phelps (DIRT Mods))
Josh Richards (Dirt LM)
Billy Rodgers (SLM and PASS North)
Ben Rowe (PASS North
Bobby Teer, Jr. (TSRS)
Ryan Truex (K&N East)