Year after year we at Speed51.com strive to bring race fans the best coverage in short track racing. Like you, we are fans of the sport. And like you, we all have our favorite moments from each racing season.
As the year 2017 nears the checkered flag, we decided to take a look back at some of our favorite moments that you saw on the Speed51 Network over the past 12 months. Some of these videos might be memories that have stuck with you, or this list may help you remember some great moments.
Either way, we hope you enjoy the Speed51 Staff’s Favorite Video Moments of 2017.
Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Regional Editor (CT, MA & Long Island)
#1 – Valenti Modified Racing Series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
The Modified Racing Series debut at Loudon saw ‘The Magic Mile’ at its best. Multiple lead changes, awesome head-to-head racing with many drivers, and an epic photo finish between Woody Pitkat and Ted Christopher.
The Catskills Bullring featured some of the closest dirt racing in the Northeast this past summer, as Anthony Perrego rose late to challenge fellow local favorite Jimmy Wells in a dramatic last-lap battle.
#3 – Tri-Track Open Modified Series at Seekonk Speedway (MA)
The inaugural Haunted Hundred had everything a short track fan could want: lots of action, a little controversy, and a fantastic wheel hopping battle between Matt Hirschman and Anthony Nocella in the closing laps to conclude the 2017 New England race season.
#4 – Granite State Pro Stock Series at Claremont Speedway (NH)
When two drivers are going head to head for their first career Series victory, there are bound to be fireworks. That was exactly the case when Tommy O’Sullivan got aggressive against Luke Hinkley in this Friday night bout.
#5 – Tour-type Modifieds Kickoff to Speedweeks at Bronson Speedway (FL)
Modified fans who made the trip south for the very first Modified race of 2017 started the season with their jaws on the ground as Matt Hirschman and Ryan Preece collided while racing for the lead as the checkers drew near.
Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor
#1 – Harrison Burton at SpeedFest – Wasps on His Pizza
This one is from way back in January. Harrison Burton explained how a wasp stung his lip while eating pizza before going on to win the SpeedFest 200, and also explained why ranch dressing does not belong on pizza.
#2 – Short Track U.S. Nationals Pro Late Model Highlights at Bristol (TN)
Dillon Oliver versus Eddie Fatscher. An epic moment from a pretty crazy event at the Last Great Colosseum.
#3 – Southern Modified Racing Series Finale at Orange County Speedway (NC)
Jeremy Gerstner and Brandon Ward waged an epic battle for the 2017 SMRS championship.
#4 – ARCA/CRA Super Series at Flat Rock Speedway (MI)
Bryan Campbell, Scott Hantz and more put on a show at the “Level Pebble” in August.
#5 – ARCA/CRA Super Series at Anderson Speedway (IN)
The 125-lap May race was remembered for Johnny VanDoorn’s classic bump and run on Eddie VanMeter.
Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor
#1 – Milk Bowl at Thunder Road (VT)
Normally, the Milk Bowl doesn’t come down to two drivers who are battling side-by-side on the race track. In 2017, it did. Trampas Demers and Jason Corliss found themselves battling for position in the closing laps for the opportunity to kiss the cow and win the Milk Bowl.
#2 – PASS North at Beech Ridge (ME) – September
A late-race restart set up a thrilling finish during September’s PASS North race at Beech Ridge. Garrett Hall had the dominant car for much of the race, but Ben Rowe had an opportunity to take the win. The two cars collided at the checkered flag before the eventual victor needed a tow to victory lane. Despite the dramatic finish, both drivers were able to share a laugh in victory lane.
#3 – Vermont Governor’s Cup at Thunder Road (VT)
We go back to Thunder Road for number three on the list, and once again Trampas Demers was involved. With NASCAR star Kyle Busch in town, it was the local stars who stole the show. Eventual “King of the Road” Bobby Therrien and Demers swapped paint as they battled for Cup.
#4 – Granite State Pro Stock Series at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME)
In their first visit to Oxford, the Granite State Pro Stocks put on a show with side-by-side racing at the front of the field. Fourteen-year-old Super Late Model rookie Gabe Brown put on a show and won over the huge crowd in attendance during Oxford 250 weekend.
#5 – PASS North at Beech Ridge (ME) – July
It was touring series invader Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. and home track driver Curtis Gerry locked into a battle for the win during a 150-lap summer race at Beech Ridge.
Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com Regional Editor (IN, MI, OH)
#1 – Stephen Klinect On-Board Camera at Bristol (TN)
Ohio racer Stephen Klinect ended up being in the highlight reel for all the wrong reasons during the first-ever U.S. Short Track Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway. During the Modified feature, Klinect became a pinball following a spin. Three Modifieds hit his car, with the final blow lifting the car into the air and over another car. Klinect was okay, but his modified was scrap following the wreck. He would go on to build a new car with the support of the modified community and won a feature at Sandusky Speedway (OH) later in 2017.
#2 – Redbud 400 at Anderson Speedway (IN)
The Redbud 400 proved to be an amazing kick-off to the ARCA / CRA Super Series Triple Crown, bringing numerous invaders from the South. As the laps ticked down, Raphael Lessard and Steve Wallace faced off for the victory. The two drivers beat and banged on the narrow, high-banked track, leaning on each other lap after lap and restart after restart. The battle was definitely one of the best of the year.
#3 – ARCA Midwest Tour at Grundy County (IL)
All eyes fell on Grundy County Speedway one hot July night in Morris, IL as a bounty was placed on reigning champion Ty Majeski’s head after the Roush Fenway Racing development driver won the previous five ARCA Midwest Tour races. Ricky Baker dominated most of the race and faced a late challenge from Majeski. The two battled for many laps, but Majeski pounced with less than 20 to go. The two would make contact into turn one, resulting in a Majeski spin.
#4 – Winchester Modifieds at Winchester Speedway (IN)
Florida Driver Doug Moff was leading during the Winchester Modified “Run for the Gun 50” feature at Winchester Speedway when the historic high-banked track fought back. Moff got loose and made contact with several cars going into turn one and ended up rolling onto his roof while fire erupted from another car. All drivers involved in the accident were okay. The race was red flagged due to the wreck and was delayed until the following day due to rain that moved in during cleanup.
#5 – JEGS / CRA All-Stars Tour Championship at Winchester Speedway (IN)
For the first time, the top four JEGS / CRA All-Stars Tour Chase drivers ran heads-up for the championship at Winchester Speedway during Winchester 400 weekend. The tension was heavy in the air, and the battle for the championship centered on Jack Dossey III and Carson Hocevar.