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2017 Short Track Draft Presented by PFC Brakes: Picks 26-51

May 1, 2017 • App, Archives, Other News, Region - National, Short Track Draft, Ticker

The 2017 Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes ballot was completed by 65 short track insiders, including media members, team and driver development professionals, track and series promoters and officials, product and industry representatives, NASCAR National Series drivers, crew members and more. The voters could select as few as 10 and as many as 51 drivers on their ballot, ranked in order that they would choose the drivers to compete for their Driver Development team in the top levels of the sport.

 

Speed51.com used a scientific equation that factored in total number of votes, quality votes, first-place votes, top-five votes and top-1o votes in order to determine the top-51 picks in the 2017 Short Track Draft. The #1 Pick was announced on April 27 with the #2 pick announced soon after. Picks 3-10 were announced on the afternoon of Friday, April 28. Picks 11-25 were announced on Friday evening, April 28. The Best of the Rest will come on Tuesday, May 2 at 5 p.m.

 

Here are the 2017 Short Track Draft Picks #26 through #51.

                                                                                                                                                               

2017 Draft Card 26-Erick RudolphPick #26
Erick Rudolph
Age: 25
Hometown: Ransomville, NY
Series: Dirt Modifieds
Twitter: @erickrudolph25
Last Year’s Pick: 19th

At the age of 25, “The Fire Starter” recently eclipsed the 100 career wins mark.  That’s an amazing feat for any driver, but even more so for a driver his age who has dabbled in both pavement and dirt racing.

 

During his racing career, Rudolph has won in everything from a Tour-type Modified, to a Dirt Modified, to a TQ Midget.  If you want a flat-out wheelman behind the wheel of your race car, Rudolph would be a good choice.

 

Pros: Knows how to mash the gas pedal and put the car he is driving in victory lane.

Cons: By bouncing around between different disciplines of racing, he hasn’t established himself as a dominator in a particular division/series.

 

2017 Draft Card 27-Tanner ThorsonPick #27
Tanner Thorson
Age: 20
Hometown: Minden, NV
Series: USAC/SLM
Twitter: @Tanner_Thorson
Last Year’s Pick: 20th

Tanner Thorson is a name mostly referenced in the world of open-wheel dirt car racing. Over the last season, Thorson has started making the transition to asphalt as he competed in select Super Late Model and ARCA races. He is slated to do the same thing in 2017 with a full dirt schedule as well.

 

While he had an impressive season in his USAC Midget by winning the National Championship, many people expected more out of his transition to asphalt just because of his dominance on dirt. He has collected five top 10s in his eight starts on asphalt, but has yet to find victory lane.

 

(Editor’s Note: In the original story, Speed51.com incorrectly stated that Thorson has made 11 Super Late Model starts. 51 also incorrectly stated that those races were against small fields, when in fact the average field he has competed in has been 21.25 cars.)

 

Without a win on the asphalt, he slides from 20th on last year’s draft to 27th this time around.

 

Pros: There’s no doubt he can wheel on dirt and is a threat anywhere he goes in a Dirt Midget. Many say that transfers to exceptional car control in an asphalt car.

Cons: His demeanor at the race track is cocky.

 

2017 Draft Card 28-David GravelPick #28
David Gravel
Age: 24
Hometown: Watertown, CT
Series: World of Outlaws Sprint Cars
Twitter: @DavidGravel
Last Year’s Pick: Best of the Rest

Gravel has become a familiar face in the winner’s circle the last couple of years on the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, always challenging the major veterans and big name teams on a regular basis. Perhaps one of the neater notes on Gravel is that he came from well outside Sprint Car country, growing up in the State of Connecticut where NASCAR Modifieds rule. After cutting his teeth close to home, he hit the road gaining Sprint Car experience becoming the stalwart he is today.

 

Since moving to CJB Motorsports, Gravel had a career year in 2016 with nine wins and a third-place finish in the WoO standings. So far in 2017, he’s already collected five wins and is a position to challenge the reign that Donny Schatz has enjoyed in recent years.

 

Pros: Visible on social media, Gravel has consistently mixed it up with the best in the Sprint Car world, names matter not to him.

 

Cons: With the time he has spent in 410 Winged Sprints, he has had little experience outside of them. He has made shots at the Chili Bowl, but it has not gone his way.

 

2017 Draft Card 29-Chandler SmithPick #29
Chandler Smith
Age: 14
Hometown: Talking Rock, GA
Series: Super Late Models
Twitter: @CSmithRacing26
Last Year’s Pick: Best of the Rest

At only 14 years old, Chandler Smith has more time behind the wheel of a race car than on the streets. Last year, Smith ran in the Southern Super Series for half their season and collected top-10 finishes in all but one race. This season he is back with the Southern Super Series and is second in points trailing only Stephen Nasse.

 

His Pro Late Model resume is intriguing as he has recorded top-five finishes in large-scale races including the Baby Rattler, Snowflake 100, and Speedfest. Last year, Smith was one of the youngest drivers in the field at the Snowball Derby but that didn’t stop him from battling with the best for a top-five finish. This is Smith’s first appearance on the Speed51.com Short Track Draft.

 

Pros: For being so young, Smith is going on his second year of running in Pro Late Models/Super Late Models and with more experience he is only going to get better and more impressive.

Cons: He is still lacking in the wins category. He has gotten close, but has yet to get the job done. Eventually, no matter how much potential a driver has, they need to win in order to become noticed.

 

2017 Draft Card 30-Derek GriffithPick #30
Derek Griffith 
Age: 20
Hometown: Hudson, NH
Series: PASS Super Late Models
Twitter: @DerekGriffith12
Last Year’s Pick: 49th

Over the course of the last two years, Griffith has established himself as one of the top young talents hailing from the Northeast. The 2015 Granite State Pro Stock Series champion made the move to PASS Super Late Model competition last year and picked up his first PASS win at Lee USA Speedway (NH).

 

Griffith has also shown that he is not afraid to travel, making the trip south to compete at New Smryna Speedway (FL) during Speedweeks and to the Carolinas for a pair of PASS South events in 2017.

 

Pros: Griffith is one of the friendliest drivers that you will run into at the race track. He goes out of his way to speak to people and build relationships. In racing, those relationships can go a long way.

 

Cons: Griffith definitely has talent on the track. He has a great personality and is very good in interviews, but he’s still working on the other off-track areas sponsors look at.

 

2017 Draft Card 31-Hudson O'NealPick #31
Hudson O’Neal
Age: 16
Hometown: Martinsville, IN
Series: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Twitter: @HudsonONeal71
Last Year’s Pick: Not Drafted

Hudson O’Neal is a chip off the ol’ block.  His dad, Don O’Neal, is a legend in Dirt Late Model racing and the 2014 champion of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.  With that said, he sounds like his dad and looks like his dad, except for the fact that the 16 year-old is already substantially taller than his pop.

 

In 2016, O’Neal crushed it in the Crate Dirt Late Model World by winning 16 of 30 races.  This year he has embarked on a Rookie of the Year campaign in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.  He’s led laps, set fast-time and scored top-10 finishes already in 2017.

 

Pros: Good-looking kid, who lives, eats and breathes racing.  The lineage of family success is there and his guys behind the wheel are certainly not in question.  He is, at least, part of the future of Dirt Late Model racing.

 

Cons: If he were to try to make it to the big time, pavement racing will have to be included in his realm of racing.  He has plenty of guts behind the wheel, but to find glory, sometimes he’s going to need to stay patient early in the race.

 

2017 Draft Card 32-Cole ButcherPick #32
Cole Butcher
Age: 20
Hometown: Porter’s Lake, NS, Canada
Series: Super Late Models
Twitter: @colebutcher1
Last Year’s Pick: Not Drafted

For those in the Canadian Maritimes, it’s no surprise that Cole Butcher cracks the top 51 in this year’s Short Track Draft.  On a national scale, the 2016 Maritime Pro Stock Tour champion has garnered attention over the past six months for a variety of reasons.

 

First, he made the trip south to Five Flags Speedway (FL) last December to compete in the Snowflake 100.  He displayed plenty of speed before recording a sixth-place finish against a stout field.

 

Butcher then made the trip south to Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) in April and turned heads with a top-five finish in the Easter Bunny 150.  A few weeks later, the Nova Scotia driver made his way to Oxford Plains Speedway and charged from 27th on the grid to finish second in a 150-lap race.

 

Pros: He has proven that he can drive a car fast no matter where he goes. He’s also a member of the Kulwicki Driver Development Program, which will provide him many resources both on and off the track to further his racing career.

 

Cons: Until last December, not many people had even heard the name Cole Butcher.  If he continues to venture outside of Canada more, it won’t be long before he’s a household name.

 

2017 Draft Card 33-Cole AndersonPick #33
Cole Anderson
Age: 19
Hometown: Northfield, MN
Series: Super Late Models
Twitter: @Cole_Anderson97
Last Year’s Pick: 25th

Cole Anderson set the world on fire at the start of the 2016 season by winning a bunch of races. That was enough to put him into the top 25 in the 2016 Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes.

 

But Anderson really cooled off since that hot start to last season.  Anderson was supposed to race the Southern Super Series full time, but that deal fell through. He’s now racing part time, and the voters saw that.

 

Pros: Knows how to win races and is quietly consistent.

Cons: Only running a part-time schedule certainly hurts his stock.

 

2017 Draft Card 34-Matt BowlingPick #34
Matt Bowling
Age: 23
Hometown: Ridgeway, VA
Series: Late Model Stock Cars
Twitter: @MattBowling83
Last Year’s Pick: Best of the Rest

It’s tough to ignore a driver with the title “National Champion” in front of his name.

 

Bowling, the 2016 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion, picked up 14 Division I wins last season en route to the title.  He also has a Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown win on his resume.

 

Pros: He can win races and contend against the best of the best in Late Model Stock Car racing.

Cons: Hasn’t branched out a lot from weekly racing.  Outside of the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, he’s also experienced little success in big races like the Martinsville 300.

 

2017 Draft Card 35-Cole TimmPick #35
Cole Timm
Age: 18
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina
Series: Super Late Models
Twitter: @Cole_Timm
Last Year’s Pick: 42nd

After winning a CARS Tour championship in 2015, Cole Timm didn’t really do too much in 2016, but that wasn’t his fault.  Timm is a low-budget racer who does a lot with the cards he’s dealt. He’s proven he knows how to win races and win championships in the past, and clearly our voters believe in him enough to gain him seven positions this year.

 

Pros: Very talented, intelligent kid who has proven he can win.

Cons: Money has caused Timm to scale back his schedule recently.

 

2017 Draft Card 36-Tyler DippelPick #36
Tyler Dippel
Age: 17
Hometown: Wallkill, New York
Series: K&N East/Dirt Modifieds
Twitter: @Tyler_Dippel
Last Year’s Pick: 9th

Tyler Dippel is another drivers who has made the transition from dirt to asphalt with hopes of pursing a career in NASCAR.

 

Dippel has dabbled in and out of series including the PASS South where he was runner up in the PASS National Series in 2014. Last season, he ran full time in the K&N Pro Series East for HScott with Justin Marks where he won a race at Mobile International Speedway (AL) and finished third in the championship standings.

 

Last year, Dippel was ninth in the Speed51.com Short Track Draft and has dropped 27 spots to 36th this year. The 17 year old is still looking to add a championship to his resume, as he has yet to capture a title in any of the touring division he has competed in. He was selected as part of the 2016 NASCAR Next class and has partnered with Ranier Racing to chase the 2017 K&N Pro Series East Championship.

 

Pros: He can get it done on both dirt and on asphalt as he has won on both racing surfaces in stock cars.

Cons: He lacks personality and presence at the race track and gives a difficult interview.

 

2017 Draft Card 37-Brandon McReynoldsPick #37
Brandon McReynolds
Age: 25
Hometown: Mooreseville, NC
Series: SLM/K&N/ARCA
Twitter: @Bmcreynolds28
Last Year’s Pick: 35th

While racing runs deep in the family, McReynolds is someone you can find more in the cockpit than atop a pit box. McReynolds started off his racing career strong, winning six races back in his UARA Late Model days from 2008-2010. Of course the one that really put him on the map was the ARCA Racing Series victory at the biggest and fastest track of them all, Talladega. But it took until 2014 for McReynolds to find a steady ride, coming in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, and capitalized on it in 2015 with a pair of wins.

 

Since that year, McReynolds has spent little time in the cockpit. He has become reliable on the spotter’s stand, often times spotting for drivers he has raced against. Age wise, this is McReynolds’ last year of eligibility, but experts agree that while time might be running out, he still has the talent, ability and dedication to get it done on the track.

 

Pros: McReynolds has proven he can win in Stock Cars both on short tracks and superspeedways. He has also been involved in many different aspects of racing and has traveled all around the country.

 

Cons: He has not been able to keep a ride for more than two full seasons and his spotting job, as well as other duties, have taken him away from pursuing more cockpit time.

 

2017 Draft Card 38-Kyle PlottPick #38
Kyle Plott
Age: 21
Hometown: Marietta, GA
Series: Super Late Models
Twitter: @KylePlott
Last Year’s Pick: Not Drafted

It may have been against a relatively small field, but Kyle Plott picked up his first Super Late Model win earlier this year at Greenville Pickens Speedway (SC).  To make the win even sweeter, it was worth $10,000.

 

Plott has also started out the year with a few strong races competing on the Southern Super Series.  He has two third-place finishes on the year at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville (TN) and Five Flags Speedway (FL).

 

Pros: He’s a friendly 21-year-old that works hard to make his race cars fast.

Cons: He’s yet to run a full season in Super Late Models, so it’s hard to tell exactly where he ranks against the best of the best.

 

2017 Draft Card 39-Larry WightPick #39
Larry Wight 
Age: 24
Hometown: Phoenix, NY
Series: Super DIRTcar Series
Twitter: @Lightning99L
Last Year’s Pick: Best of the Rest

“Lightning” Larry Wight is a Dirt Modified ace, but it’s possible that a Midget race is what got him into the top 51 this year.  Sure, Wight had a great 2016 at his local New York tracks of Fulton Speedway, Brewerton Speedway and Utica-Rome Speedway, but it was his second-place run in his qualifying night A-Main at the Chili Bowl Nationals that got the racing world to take notice.

 

Pros: Can win and content in anything he sits in.

Cons: Needs to improve in interviews and get more creative on social media.

 

2017 Draft Card 40-Ronnie Bassett JrPick #40
Ronnie Bassett, Jr. 
Age: 21
Hometown: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Series: NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
Twitter: @RonnieBassettJr
Last Year’s Pick: Best of the Rest

One year ago, Ronnie’s younger brother Dillon was selected 40th in the Short Track Draft; this year, it’s Ronnie’s turn to break into the top 40.

 

Bassett kicked off 2017 with his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory at New Smyrna Speedway (FL).  He followed that up with a strong second-place finish at Greenville Pickens Speedway (SC).

 

Pros: He works hard in order to prepare his family-owned team for success at the race track.

Cons: He has a reputation of doing whatever he needs to do to win. That can be looked at by some as a pro, but to some team owners it may be a con if it results in torn up race cars.

 

2017 Draft Card 41-Brandon OvertonPick #41
Brandon Overton
Age: 25
Hometown: Appling, GA
Series: Dirt Late Models
Twitter: @BOverton76
Last Year’s Pick: Not Drafted

Dirt drivers tend to get around the land when they hit the national trail and Overton is no exception to this. He has also won in just about every series that he has competed in at some point during his career and the wins begin to add up when you put it all together.

 

Just to name a few, Overton has now collected at least one win in the last three years in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, World of Outlaws Late Models, Ultimate Super Late Model Series, Southern All Stars, Spring Nationals, Southern Nationals Bonus, Super Bowl of Racing and more. This is his last year of draft eligibility and he has already made the most of it with nine wins already in 2017.

 

Pros: His experience across multiple series has put him up against the biggest names in the Dirt Late Model world.

Cons: He has little experience outside of Dirt Late Models and he has yet to win one of the major events in the country. He also is selective about who can view his Twitter account. If you’re trying to grow a fan base, that’s not a good move.

 

2017 Draft Card 42-Spencer BaystonPick #42
Spencer Bayston
Age: 18
Hometown: Lebanon, IN
Series: Midgets/Sprints/Pro Late Models
Twitter: @spencerbayston
Last Year’s Pick: Not Drafted

The immense pool of dirt drivers in the Midget and Sprint ranks can make it tricky for one to shine. But after collecting some solid numbers the past few years, Bayston has finally caught the attention of enough on this panel. You will see him most often on the national Midget ranks of both USAC and POWRi, winning for the first time in USAC National Series last season and scoring total of five national wins in POWRi.

 

Beginning in 2016, Bayston has had more of a presence in Winged Sprints, including World of Outlaws, ASCS, and the All Star Circuit of Champions. He is also fresh off his first national Sprint win on April 15 in All Star competition.

 

Bayston is also looking to break into asphalt competition, achieving a second-place finish on April 22 at Southern National Motorsports Park (NC) in Pro Late Model competition for car owner Bond Suss.

 

Pros: Bayston has a wide range of racing on the schedule for 2017 while still competing for one championship (USAC National Midgets). He is young and enthusiastic and already has backing from Keith Kunz, Sammy Swindell, and Toyota.

 

Cons: The wins have not come at the frequency as other standout dirt drivers in the draft and until he gets more into asphalt or ups his game on the dirt, it will be difficult to get more recognition.

 

2017 Draft Card 43-Chase PurdyPick #43
Chase Purdy
Age: 16
Hometown: Meridian, MS
Series: K&N East/Super Late Models
Twitter: @ChasePurdy12
Last Year’s Pick: 46th

2016 was a big year for the young Chase Purdy as he showed he can win races at difficult tracks such as Greenville Pickens Speedway (SC). Since then, Purdy has moved out of the Late Model Stock Car ranks and into the Super Late Model and stock car worlds.

 

So far Purdy is sitting sixth in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East standings and is the highest ranked rookie driver. As a result, Purdy went from not even making the “Best of the Rest” list in 2016’s Short Track Draft to shooting into the top 51.

 

Pros: Purdy is a proven winner who has also shown that he can be consistent.

Cons: He’s been known to be a little tough on the equipment he’s driving.

 

2017 Draft Card 44-Tyler RoahrigPick #44
Tyler Roahrig
Age: 25
Hometown: Mishawaka, IN
Series: Outlaw Super Late Models
Twitter: @TheRocket24
Last Year’s Pick: Best of the Rest

It seemed as though if there was an Outlaw race somewhere that Tyler Roahrig was winning it in 2016. Roahrig won the Summer Sizzler at Indiana’s New Paris Speedway again in 2016, making him the only three-time winner of the event. Roahrig even stepped into a Sprint Car and won in that as well.

 

But there’s one race that continues to elude Roahrig, and that’s the Kalamazoo Klash. However, our voters didn’t seem to mind him missing out on the Klash victory as they moved him into the top 51 this year.

 

Pros: Always fast and has established himself as the Outlaw SLM driver to beat in the Midwest

Cons: He’s still seeking the biggest Outlaw SLM win of them all, the Kalamazoo Klash win.  He also needs to improve in interviews if he’s going to take a step up the racing ladder.

 

2017 Draft Card 45-Carson KvapilPick #45
Carson Kvapil
Age: 13
Hometown: Mooresville, NC
Series: Limited Late Models/Outlaw Karts
Twitter: @KvapilCarson
Last Year’s Pick: Not Drafted

The second-generation racer is the son of 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil and is already a championship driver in his own right. Kvapil scored the championship in the Intermediate division at Millbridge Speedway (NC) in Outlaw Karts in 2016 with 22 total victories.

 

In 2017, Kvapil is already winning and now is doing it on pavement. Kvapil picked up a Limited Late Model win at Greenville Pickens Speedway (SC) earlier this year. Clearly our voters believe that his winning ways won’t stop, as at just 13 years old he’s already in the top 51.

 

Pros: Time is on his side as one of the younger drives in the Short Track Draft. He also has an outgoing personality to go with his talent behind the wheel.

Cons: It will be a few years before a car owner’s investment can start to pay off because he’s so young.

 

2017 Draft Card 46-Max ZachemPick #46
Max Zachem 
Age: 24
Hometown: Preston, CT
Series: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
Twitter: @MaxZachem
Last Year’s Pick: Not Drafted

Max Zachem, aka the “President of the Modifieds” is in the top 51 picks in the Short Track Draft for the first time in his career. Last year, Zachem didn’t even make the “Best of the Rest” list. But that’s what strong runs with a small budget will do for you. Voters will take notice.

 

Zachem runs for his family-owned with a limited budget. They certainly don’t have the budget that the Mike Smeriglios, Eric Sandersons and Eddie Partridges of the world have. And yet there they are running up front almost every week on the ultra competitive NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

 

At 24 years old Zachem is near the end of his draft eligibility. He has one year left to make a big gain.

 

Pros: Fun kid who is very talented and does a lot with a little.

Cons: With only one year of draft eligibility remaining, he’s getting to be “too old” in racing terms.

 

2017 Draft Card 47-Cole WilliamsPick #47
Cole Williams
Age: 21
Hometown: Sellersburg, Indiana
Series: Pro/Super Late Models
Twitter: @ColeWilliams46
Last Year’s Pick: Best of the Rest

The 2016 Pro Late Model championship at the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville (TN) was a big help for Cole Williams’ draft stock. He jumped from outside of the top 51 to the 47th pick in one year.

 

At just 21, Williams has plenty of time left to continue to make a name for himself. The Indiana kid has a great personality and is easy to talk to, and that goes along well with his talent on the race track.

 

Pros: Good personality who is a favorite among fans at the race track.

Cons: To put it in simple terms: he needs to win more.

 

2017 Draft Card 48-Matthew SwansonPick #48
Matt Swanson
Age: 17
Hometown: Acton, MA
Series: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour/SLM
Twitter: @MSwanson89
Last Year’s Pick: Not Drafted

Swanson has been hailed as one of the great rising talents by experts and fans in the Northeast. He went from Quarter Midgets to Modifieds in just two years, culminating with a Modified track championship at Star Speedway in 2014. In 2015, he threw his hat up against bigger names, competing at Stafford Motor Speedway and making his debut on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Last season, he impressed with a consistent season that resulted in him earning Rookie of the Year honors.

 

He is also expanding over to full fenders with limited starts planned for PASS North this season in addition to his slate in the Modifieds. He is backed by two big racing families, the Barry family for Modifieds and the Shaw family in Super Late Models. He has also received the backing from sponsor Starrett Tools for the 2017 season.

 

Pros: Swanson is doing everything he can to get on the track and achieve success.  He’s competing in multiple series, has a presence on social media and has a major sponsor.

Cons: Swanson needs to break into victory lane, whether it be in Modifieds or Super Late Models. He has also not been outside of the Northeast much since his Quarter Midget days.

 

2017 Draft Card 49-Carson HocevarPick #49
Carson Hocevar
Age: 14
Hometown: Portage, MI
Series: Pro/Super Late Models
Twitter: @CarsonHocevar14
Last Year’s Pick: Not Drafted

Hocevar made national headlines one year ago when he won a Super Late Model race at Berlin Raceway (MI) at the age of 13.  Unfortunately, those headlines involved Hocevar being ruled ineligible to compete at the track for not meeting NASCAR’s age requirement to compete at NASCAR-sanctioned tracks.

 

That didn’t get Hocevar down, though.  He found other venues to race at and recorded three top-five finishes in four start on the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour.

 

This year, he’ll be tackling the full JEGS Tour schedule and will compete for a championship in the Super Late Model division at Berlin.

 

Pros: He’s already winning in full-bodied stock cars at a young age. With a strong KBR Development team behind him, he’s destined for even more success moving forward.

Cons: He has a little bit of controversy surrounding his name after what happened last year, but a touring series win or championship would erase that quickly.

 

2017 Draft Card 50-Austin BarnesPick #50
Austin Barnes
Age: 22
Hometown: Escondido, CA
Series: Lucas Oil Modifieds
Twitter: @AustinBarnes51
Last Year’s Pick: 29th

The wins speak for themselves.  Seventeen victories in the tough Lucas Oil Modified Series in the last five years is more than any other driver.  Along the way, the Golden State warrior has picked off two championships.  When Austin Barnes shows up with his candy-apple red No. 51 Modified, everyone else knows he is the man to beat.

 

Barnes has competed in seven Super Late Model shows on the SRL Spears Southwest Tour during that same span with minimal success.  His one, top-10 finish came in 2013 at Madera Speedway (CA).  Barnes has also been competing in a Corvette in some Ultimate Street Racing.

 

Pros: He’s got the drive behind the wheel.  Barnes is alway uber-focused when at the race track and has a good personality once you get to know him.

Cons: At times he’s been labeled as the “Bad Boy” of the Lucas Oil Modified Series, but that might not be a bad thing.

 

2017 Draft Card 51-Myatt SniderPick #51
Myatt Snider
Age: 22
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Series: Late Model Stock Cars
Twitter: @MyattSnider
Last Year’s Pick: 47th

There are players that go late in the draft that have the potential to have a breakout year down the road, and Snider is one of them. Snider underwent a smooth transition from Legend Cars to Late Models, staying consistent wherever he has gone, despite the wins not coming his way.

 

The one win he does have caught the attention of everyone in the racing world in 2016 when he captured a Stock Car win at Toledo Speedway in the ARCA Racing Series. Since that time, Kyle Busch has decided to give him a chance at getting to the next step in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, while Snider will continue to learn in the CARS Late Model Stock ranks.

 

Pros: Snider has been around racing his entire life and has a good teacher (his father Marty) on how to conduct himself outside the car. Inside, he is consistent and seems to take an aim towards the big picture.

Cons: Consistency has not translated into victories as of yet and a lot will be riding on how he performs in his limited starts for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

 

– Text by Speed51.com staff

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