Here are the 2018 Short Track Draft picks #52-75.
Pick #52 – Mason Diaz (Pro Late Models) – This 17-year-old from North Carolina comes off quite a home track run in 2017, winning the Southern National Motorsports Park track championship in Late Model Stock Cars. Diaz is currently breaking into the Pro Late Model ranks, where he started 2018 by going down on the eighth day of February Speedweeks to win the 100-lap Pro Late Model feature at New Smyrna Speedway (FL).
Pick #53 – Tommy Catalano (Modifieds) – While the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series is Catalano’s biggest stage, he has shown great ability in multiple disciplines in his home state of New York. In addition to winning championships in RoC Asphalt Sportsman and Late Models, he won a key Street Stock race, the Dave London Memorial in 2017. In addition to RoC Mods, Catalano is also making select NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts in 2018.
Pick #54 – Cole Williams (Pro/Super Late Models) – The Indiana native can win big races. He’s proven that by winning the Masters of the Pros, Short Track U.S. Nationals, and he has a guitar from Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville. However, Williams doesn’t race as much as one might hope, and the success hasn’t come just yet in Super Late Models, even though he is new to that discipline.
Pick #55 – Ronnie Bassett, Jr. (K&N East) – Bassett and his family have their family-owned team alive in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and have experienced success along the way. After a devastating fire in the team shop in 2016, Bassett got to K&N East victory lane for the very first time in his career at New Smyrna Speedway in 2017, beginning the journey to a third-place points run. He’s back for another run in 2018. The Bassetts seem like they’ve been around forever, so one has to wonder if they may be running out of time to get to the top levels of NASCAR.
Pick #56 – Dillon Bassett (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East) – Dillon Bassett has been competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East since 2015. Since 2015, he has just one victory, which came in 2015. Bassett has proven that he can run up front and contend for wins, but he has yet to break through consistently.
Pick #57 – Giovanni Scelzi (Sprint Cars/Midgets) – At just 16 years old, Scelzi made the A-Main at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in his debut at the massive event. Scelzi also scored wins in 360 and 410 Sprint Cars in 2017.
Pick #58 – Cole Rouse (K&N West) – After winning the 2017 CARS Tour Super Late Model championship driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports, Rouse has made his way back to the West Coast to race the full NASCAR K&N Pro Series West circuit. He is paired with powerhouse team Bill McAnally Racing and is expected to contend for wins in 2018. He finished eighth in points during the 2016 K&N West season, so he certainly has something to prove.
Pick #59 – Dalton Armstrong (Super Late Models) – Not having a ride for 2018 has hurt Armstrong’s draft rankings a lot. Armstrong has plenty of talent, which he’s proven through the years. Armstrong is a champion in Pro Late Models and is a winner of big Super Late Model events such as the Redbud 300 at Anderson Speedway (IN).
Pick #60 – Kyle Plott (Super Late Models) – Plott competed full-time with the Southern Super Series in 2017, earning three top-five finishes and eight top-10 finishes in 12 starts. His biggest win came in an open show when he won The Meltdown at Greenville-Pickens Speedway (SC) in 2017. Since that race, he’s yet to get back to victory lane in a Super Late Model.
Pick #61 – Tyler Rypkema (Modifieds) – After capturing the attention of everyone in the racing world during the winter of 2017 with a Modified win at New Smyrna Speedway, Rypkema went back to New York to find the same success in RoC competition. At Lancaster National Speedway, he did just that, scoring his first RoC Asphalt Modified victory in the Ol’ Boy Cup. Rypkema looks to continue his growth in RoC for this season.
Pick #62 – Connor Okrzesik (Super Late Models) – Many of our friends in the Gulf Coast region believe that Okrzesik will be the next star to come out of the region. The Grand Bay, AL native turned heads with a 13th-place finish in his first Snowball Derby attempt, but has yet to break into victory lane. He scored three top-five finishes and finished fifth in the point standings during the 2017 Southern Super Series season.
Pick #63 – Chase Dowling (Modifieds) – For four years now, Dowling’s name has been appearing on ballots for the Short Track Draft. He’s been tabbed as the next young star in the Modified racing community, but he’s still yet to break out the way that many expect him to. Dowling will have a great chance to break out this season while driving full-time on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for Rob Fuller. He already has finishes of second, fourth and eighth on the NWMT this season.
Pick #64 – Zeb Wise (Midgets) – Zeb Wise has turned a lot of heads in racing, especially as just a 15-year-old driver. Wise races full-time for the Clauson-Marshall team in the USAC ranks. He was too young for the Chili Bowl this year, but he could be a contender next year in his rookie run.
Pick #65 – Brandon Grosso (ARCA) – Grosso has big shoes to fill in 2018 as he takes over the wheel of the No. 52 Ken Schrader Racing championship car in the ARCA Racing Series. Due to age restrictions, Grosso was forced to miss the series opener at Daytona, but he has since recorded two top-10 finishes. Grosso is a former Sportsman Modified champion at both New Egypt Speedway (NJ) and Big Diamond Speedway (PA).
Pick #66 – Alex Prunty (Super Late Models) – Prunty is best known for becoming the second champion of the Kulwicki Driver Development Program in 2016. By winning that championship, he showed that he has the ability to perform both on and off the race track. In 2017, Prunty won the National Short Track Championships at Rockford Speedway (IL).
Pick #67 – Tyler Erb (Dirt Late Models) – Tyler Erb had a great year in 2017, scoring wins on the Hell Tour and more. So far 2018 has started off the same way. Erb is already up to at least seven victories by our count between wins in the States and in Australia.
Pick #68 – Anthony Perrego (Dirt Modifieds) – The eastern New York driver has grown steadily the last couple of seasons, picking up the Modified division championship at his home track in 2016 and taking that success on the road. In 2017 he added a pair of Short Track Super Series victories, along with the Small-Block Modified title at Orange County Fair Speedway. He has shown some early growth in 2018 with a Big-Block win at OCFS. The only question is whether or not Perrego is content with being a Dirt Modified lifer or if he is trying to get to the top levels of NASCAR.
Pick #69 – Parker Price-Miller (World of Outlaws Sprint Cars) – Price-Miller scored a big victory in 2017; his first World of Outlaws triumph at Tri-State Speedway in Indiana. Scoring a win against Donny Schatz and co. is a big feat.
Pick #70 – Cory Hedgecock (Dirt Late Models) – All Cory Hedgecock does is win. The driver of the No. 23 Crate Late Model scored a whopping 23 victories in 2017 and already has seven wins to his credit in 2018. The only thing holding back his stock in the Short Track Draft is the fact that he isn’t normally up against the toughest competition and biggest names in Dirt Late Model racing.
Pick #71 – Craig Lutz (Modifieds) – Defying convention of most Long Island born Modified drivers, Lutz set his sights north in his career on the Connecticut shore, finding consistency and trophies at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in the SK Modifieds. After a year and a half with the family operation on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Lutz moved to the Goodie Motorsports No. 46 team in mid-2017. In early 2018, he has started to knock on the door for his first major win. When it comes to his draft stock, the only thing holding him back is the fact that he has yet to score that “signature” victory.
Pick #72 – Kendra Adams (Late Models) – Adams knows how to win both on and off the race track. On the race track, she became the first female and the youngest driver to ever win the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I Rookie of the Year honors for the province of Ontario. Off the track, she’s a star on social media and knows how to promote her marketing partners. The only thing holding back her stock is the fact that she wasn’t able to get to victory lane last season in her rookie season in a Late Model.
Pick #73 – Eddie Fatscher (Super & Pro Late Models) – A former Legends Car standout, Fatscher has begun to find his footing in Late Model racing. After a runner-up in PASS competition at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in 2017, Fatscher has taken to the road, hitting multiple tracks all over the country in an effort towards building into a driver who challenges for wins in the future.
Pick #74 – Tate Fogleman (PASS South) – Fogleman is a past PASS South champion, and always a contender for Super Late Model race wins at tracks in the south. One of his biggest recent wins came in the CARS Tour Throwback 276 race at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) last summer.
Pick #75 – Logan Schuchart (World of Outlaws Sprint Cars) – The Pennsylvania driver picked up four victories in 2017 with the World of Outlaws. As we said for Parker Price-Miller, scoring a win against the Outlaws is a big deal.