It may be an inaugural event, but that isn’t stopping the staff here at Speed51.com powered by JEGS from taking our best guess at which drivers will end up in Victory Lane during the inaugural Short Track U.S. Nationals. With a large staff of race fans helping with our coverage this weekend from Bristol Motor Speedway (TN), we asked them which drivers they thought would be celebrating during the three Late Model races on Sunday.
According to our panel, the favorites for the Super Late Model race are Steve Wallace and Stephen Nasse who each received four votes. Meanwhile, Travis Braden (four votes) was the favorite for the Pro Late Model race and Josh Berry (eight votes) was voted the favorite for the Late Model Stock Cars.
Those unable to make it to Bristol can find out which drivers break into the record books by watching Speed51.com’s pay-per-view coverage.
Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
Super Late Models: Bubba Wallace – I like the guy, I like the team (Fat Head Racing) and he’s got a lot of experience at Bristol.
Pro Late Models: Hope Hornish – Pro Late Models at Bristol? Unheard of, so why not give Hope a chance at a breakthrough win here.
Late Model Stock Cars: Josh Berry – JR Motorsports has one of the best Late Model Stock teams in the business and Berry knows how to pull them into victory lane.
Bob Dillner, Speed51.com Executive Editor
Super Late Models: Kyle Plott – The kid knows how to go fast; he showed that in testing. He’s also got some big cojones and that’s what it is going to take at Bristol.
Pro Late Models: Eddie Fatscher – Because he knows no better but to go fast at his young age.
Late Model Stock Cars: Tommy Lemons, Jr. – Because he said he’s only here to do one thing: to win.
Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor
Super Late Models: Stephen Nasse – He’s fast, he’s in good equipment and he’s not scared behind the wheel. Add those three things up and you’ll find Nasse in Victory Lane at Bristol on Sunday.
Pro Late Models: Travis Braden – He’s won on the high banks of Winchester Speedway, so it only makes sense that he’s going to win on the high banks of Bristol.
Late Model Stock Cars: Anthony Alfredo – He has the monkey off his back after scoring two wins at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) and earning guaranteed starting spot in the 100-lap race on Sunday. That should relieve some pressure during the weekend and allow the young driver to get comfortable in race trim.
Casey LaJoie, Speed51.com Pit Reporter
Super Late Models: Steve Wallace – Not only is Wallace one of the drivers that has the most experience at Bristol over a majority of the other competitors; he was very fast off the truck in the late April test, and has been knocking on the door to get a SLM victory in 2017.
Pro Late Models: Cole Williams – Williams has shown a lot of speed this season so far and really let it open up at Bristol for the past couple of tests.
Late Model Stock Cars: Josh Berry – We already know that Berry knows how to drive to Victory Lane. With the backing from JR Motorsports and his experience behind the wheel, he will be a tough competitor to beat.
Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Regional Editor (CT, MA & Long Island)
Super Late Models: Raphael Lessard – David Gilliland Racing has started to get back into its groove, and just in time. Lessard has shown a great ability to learn new tracks fast, including another fast half-mile Winchester, nearly winning the 400 last October. He has been aggressive, and that may pay off when there’s just 100 laps to get it done.
Pro Late Models: Travis Braden – He is a past JEGS All-Stars champ and also knows how to get it done at Winchester.
Late Model Stock Cars: Myatt Snider – So close has been the key phrase for Snider in CARS LMSC, but he has already proven himself in ARCA, is starting to get the hang in Trucks and has the consistency in Late Models. This might just be the weekend it all comes together.
Daryl Canfield, Speed51.com Photographer
Super Late Models: Steve Wallace – This team has all the resources. Rusty was a master at Bristol and Steve was fast in testing. 66w = w for winner of the Short Track U.S. Nationals.
Pro Late Models: Kyle Ivey – Just a hunch that the 53 car will be a contender in Bristol. I believe he has what it takes after watching him at the Snowball Derby.
Late Model Stock Cars: Josh Berry – Fresh off a win carrying momentum into Bristol, I believe this is the car to beat in the Late Model Stocks.
Duane Canfield, Speed51.com Photographer
Super Late Models: Raphael Lessard – He’s due for a big win and what better way to do it than at Bristol.
Pro Late Models: Sterling Marlin – He probably has more laps at Bristol than the rest of the field combined. Experience at Bristol is kind of important.
Late Model Stock Cars: Josh Berry – Great equipment and fast pretty much everywhere he goes.
Hannah Newhouse, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
Super Late Models: Steven Wallace – He was pedal to the metal the entire practice session. I think he has the experience over the rest of the field to get the job done.
Pro Late Models: Cole Williams – He’s consistently fast and seems like a racer that keeps his nose clean. If Evan Swilling can keep it together he will be a close second along with Eddie Fatscher who was surprisingly fast in both test sessions for a rookie.
Late Model Stock Cars: Josh Berry – Berry is the hottest LMSC driver in the field right now with the king of LMSC racing Lee Pulliam staying home. He will be hard to beat at a track like Bristol.
Jana Wimmer, Speed51.com Pit Reporter
Super Late Models: Stephen Nasse – He’s been very competitive in a lot of the big races recently and doesn’t have the finishes to show for it. He’s due and it comes at Bristol.
Pro Late Models: Dillon Oliver – He was fast in the test sessions and will get it done this weekend.
Late Model Stock Cars: Danny O’Quinn – Because why not? Showed speed in the tests and might be able to upset the likes of Berry and McCaskill
Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Operations Manager
Super Late Models: Stephen Nasse – His take-no-prisoners attitude may be the key to winning at Bristol.
Pro Late Models: Eddie Van Meter – He’s a veteran. Experience I think will be a huge factor throughout all three Late Model divisions.
Late Model Stock Cars: Deac McCaskill – He’s raced at Bristol before with UARA and is coming off a very successful 2016.
Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com Regional Editor (IN, MI, OH)
Super Late Models: Bubba Wallace – I feel like experience in traffic will be a benefit with the large feature size, and Bristol experience in general will help with finding the fast lane in all conditions.
Reese Nobles, Speed51.com Mid-Atlantic Correspondent
Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor
Super Late Models: Noah Gragson – At some point this kid’s luck is going to turn around and something will go right. There’s no better place for that to happen than here.
Pro Late Models: Travis Braden – He knows how to win on high-banked tracks. He proved that last year at Winchester.
Late Model Stock Cars: Josh Berry – He’s probably the best LMSC driver heading to Bristol with one of the best teams in LMSC racing.
Tom Ryan, Speed51.com Digital Manager
Super Late Models: Steve Wallace – He’s in a Fury chassis and has been fast in the test sessions leading into the event.
Pro Late Models: Eddie Fatscher – He ran very well in the PASS North race at Thompson and this could be his breakout win.
Late Model Stock Cars: Josh Berry – He’s fast and he’s in good equipment.