2019 Short Track Draft Second-Round Picks: #11-25

The 2019 Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes ballot was completed by 80 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, short track racing veterans 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-10 votes in order to determine the top-51 picks in the 2018 Short Track Draft.

 

The number-one overall pick was revealed on Thursday, April 25. The second pick was revealed later that night.  The third, fourth and fifth picks were announced earlier in the day on Friday.

 

The reminder of the first-round picks (6-10) were announced later Friday night. The third round picks (26-51) will be revealed Monday night at 5 p.m. ET.

 

For the second time in the history of the Short Track Draft, Speed51.com will be revealing the top 100 picks in the draft.  The fourth round (52-75) will be revealed Tuesday, April 30 at 12 p.m. with the fifth and final round (76-100) being announced Tuesday, April 30 at 5 p.m.

 

Here are the 2019 Short Track Draft picks #11-25.


Pick #11
Tyler Erb
Age: 22
Hometown: Magnolia, TX
Current Level: Dirt Late Models (Lucas Oil LM Dirt Series)
Twitter: @Terbo_91
Last Year's Pick: Undrafted

 

His nickname is “Terbo,” a combination of his first name initial, his last name and the way he drives… with his foot hard on the loudpedal.  His t-shirts have the phrase “Terbolence” on them to further illustrate that this kid is all-out, all the time.

 

Last year Tyler Erb scored at least seven Dirt Late Model victories, including the Knoxville Late Models Nationals in Iowa.  This year he climbed into the ride vacated by four-time World of Outlaws and single-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champ Josh Richards.  With a new driver, the Best Performance Motorsports team hasn’t missed a beat.  Together they have scored three wins and are in contention for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series title.  Erb also has a win in the American Ethanol Late Model Series.

 

His one first-place vote and 22 top-10 selections were good, but his quality vote rating of more than 53% nearly put him as a top-10 draft pick.

 

His bravado, on track and off, make him a driver who gets a lot of reaction from the fans, good and bad.  That was evident at East Bay Raceway Park in February when he slid in front of Jonathan Davenport and put him in the wall.  He would later tape an interview with DirtonDirt where he said he was sorry in a sarcastic tone.

 

Pros: The kid can wheel it.  He’s young and is steadily becoming one of the biggest names in the realm of Dirt Late Model racing when many of it’s stars are are 45-plus.

 

Cons: He’s racing a Dirt Late Model; how much of that translates to heavy stock cars on dirt is questionable.  The last Dirt Late Model driver to attempt to make the move was Josh Richards.

 

Pick #12
Sam Mayer
Age: 15
Hometown: Franklin, WI
Current Level: NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
Twitter: @sam_mayer_
Last Year's Pick: 35th

Sam Mayer makes a big jump from last year’s draft, advancing 23 spots to 12th.  His consistent finishes and strong runs over the past year and a half impressed the expert panel, but more marquee wins are needed to vault Mayer up the rankings.

 

The Wisconsin driver took a big step in that regards just before ballots were distributed, winning the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event at Bristol Motor Speedway (TN).  He already has shown plenty of speed at several levels, with a CARS Late Model Stock Tour win at Wake County Speedway (NC) and a second-place finish in the 2018 Super Late Model division at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing.

 

However, all of the asphalt racers ahead of Mayer in the standings have multiple signature wins or championships, either at higher levels of racing or in major Super Late Model events.  Mayer has the talent to achieve those marks with time, and the voters clearly believe in him enough to place him just outside the top 10.

 

Pros: Smooth, consistent racer who has been quick across Stock Cars, Super Late Models and Late Model Stock Cars

 

Cons: Needs a few more big wins to distance himself from the pack.

 

Pick #13
Derek Griffith
Age: 22
Hometown: Hudson, NH
Current Level: Super Late Models
Twitter: @DerekGriffith12
Last Year's Pick: 12th

After jumping into the top 15 in the 2018 Short Track Draft, Griffith has carried the momentum all the way into the 2019 Draft. A second-straight selection to the Kulwicki Driver Development program, a big win and a championship are among the highlights for the driver they call "DG12."

 

Following a strong start to the 2018 PASS National Championship trail, Griffith rode a wave of consistency to secure his first career PASS National title. He ended the year by taking a big step out of his comfort zone with the small LCM Motorsports team, qualifying and going the distance in the Snowball Derby.

 

To start the 2019 season, Griffith managed to turn a fair share of heads to complete February’s Word Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL), holding off Bubba Pollard for the win in the Orange Blossom 100.

 

Pros: Griffith is still as personable as ever, a still growing fan-favorite off the track. Proving you can win down south is not a bad mark to have either.

 

Cons: Closer to home, Griffith has been a little inconsistent on the PASS North tour, most notably at Oxford Plains Speedway.  With five races scheduled at the track in 2019, including the prestigious Oxford 250, improving his performance at the track could go a long way.

 

Pick #14
Sheldon Haudenschild
Age: 25
Hometown: Wooster, OH
Current Level: Sprint Cars
Twitter: @Haudenschild_17
Last Year's Pick: 13th

After jumping from unranked to 13th in last year’s Speed51.com Short Track Draft, Haudenschild drops one spot to 14th as the highest drafted Sprint Car driver for the second year in a row

 

The 2017 World of Outlaws rookie of the year won five World of Outlaws races with Stenhouse Jr/Marshall Racing one year ago on his way to a seventh-place finish in the points standings.  He also added an All-Star Circuit of Champions win at Bubba Raceway Park during Speedweeks.

 

So far in 2019, Haudenschild has three top fives and seven top 10s in 13 races as he sits ninth in World of Outlaws points.

 

Pros: Haudenschild has proven he can win against the best Sprint Car drivers on the planet.  He also has great social media and at-track interaction with fans.

 

Cons: Haudenschild’s experience comes solely on dirt, with the vast majority of his starts coming in a 410 Winged Sprint Car.  With this being his final year of eligibility and having no asphalt experience, his shot at NASCAR has all but passed and his career trajectory seems to be headed toward a Sprint Car lifer.

 

Pick #15
Corey Heim
Age: 16
Hometown: Marietta, GA
Current Level: Super Late Models / ARCA / Late Model Stock Cars
Twitter: @CoreyHeim3
Last Year's Pick: 42nd

On paper, Corey Heim is a quick, young driver from Georgia with a win in the CARS Super Late Model Tour at South Boston Speedway (VA) and runner-up finishes in two of Late Model Stock Cars’ biggest races, the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway (VA) and the Myrtle Beach 400.  He also finished second in CARS Tour points and third in the Southern Super Series standings in 2018, and he has two top-five finishes in as many ARCA starts this season.

 

However, like many draft prospects, looking at the film shows a deeper, more interesting story.  Heim’s second-place run to C.E. Falk III at Martinsville came under controversial circumstances in which many thought Heim should've been crowned the victor.  Furthermore, Heim has taken the checkered flag first in three other races –the Pro All Stars Series’ Commonwealth Classic at Richmond Raceway (VA) and a sweep of a South Boston Late Model Stock doubleheader – only to lose those triumphs during technical inspection.

 

Without those issues, wins at places like Martinsville and Richmond could have easily vaulted Heim into consideration for a top-five draft pick.  As it is, Heim still jumps from 42nd to 15th with the promise of more strong runs in the future.

 

Pros: Fast enough to compete with the best racers in North America, quickly adapting to Late Model racing.

 

Cons: Just needs a little more luck, both on the track and in the tech shed, to capitalize on his chances to win.

 

Pick #16
Austin Theriault
Age: 25
Hometown: Fort Kent, ME
Current Level: No Full-Time Ride
Twitter: @AustinTheriault
Last Year's Pick: 2nd

When a college football player gets injured and is forced to miss games, it can often impact where they get selected in the NFL Draft.  The same can be said for the Short Track Draft when aspiring stock car drivers, for one reason or another, are unable to compete in as many races as they'd like.

 

That was the case for Austin Theriault during the 2018 racing season.  One year after winning the ARCA Racing Series championship in one of the most impressive seasons in recent history, Theriault sat on the sidelines for much of the 2018 season.  He made four PASS Super Late Model starts and one NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series start last year.

 

Instead of getting behind the wheel to further his own career, Theriault was often times working with other young drivers in a mentor or spotter's role.

 

Being out of sight and out of mind certainly had an impact on the voters this year, as Theriault dropped 14 spots in this year's draft after being selected second last year.

 

Pros: He's proven that he can get it done on the race track when given good opportunities.  He's also one of the most intelligent drivers in the sport on and off the race track.

 

Cons: It's quite simple.  He needs to race more and take advantage of the opportunities he does get.  Thus far, his career has been a rollercoaster ride full of highs and lows.

 

Pick #17
Tyler Courtney
Age: 25
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Current Level: Sprint Cars / Midgets
Twitter: @TyCourtney23
Last Year's Pick: 46th

After nine wins in USAC National competition and a Chili Bowl Preliminary Night win in 2017, "Sunshine" made his Short Track Draft debut as the 46th pick.  After a breakout 2018, Courtney made the nearly thirty spot jump to 17th in this year’s Draft.

 

Courtney won eleven USAC National Sprint Car races at nine different tracks in 2018 on his way to his first USAC Sprint Car championship with Clauson-Marshall Racing.  He also won two USAC Midget races and finished fourth in points as he won the USAC Super License as the top point getter between all three USAC National Series.

 

Courtney has already won three USAC Midget races and owns the points lead in 2019.  On the Sprint Car side, he has three top fives in four races and sits fifth in points.  He also won a Midget race in New Zealand back in January.

 

Pros: He is a proven winner and has established himself as one of the top starts in all of open wheel dirt track racing. He also has a great personality that matches his nickname.

 

Cons: You won’t see him outside his Clauson-Marshall group very often at the race track.  At the age of 25, he's another driver who appears destined to become a dirt lifer.

 

Pick #18
Carson Hocevar
Age: 16
Hometown: Portage, MI
Current Level: ARCA / Super Late Models
Twitter: None
Last Year's Pick: 25th

It wasn't too long ago that we were discussing if then 13 year old Carson Hocevar was too young to be in a race car. His early success caught the eye of NASCAR and the sanctioning body barred the young driver from racing in sanctioned events until he was 14.

 

Carson Hocevar, now 16, had a successful 2017, nearly winning the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour championship after a dominant three wins and six top fives. 2018 saw Hocevar expand his racing options, focusing less on championships and more on running a mix of races across several disciplines. He scored a JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour win at Auto City, plus two top five finishes in three ARCA series starts. Also notable, Hocevar finished second in the Canadian Short Track Nationals Pro Late Model event, which drew over 40 cars to Jukasa.

 

2019 continues to see Hocevar move up the racing ladder, with 11 starts planned in the ARCA Menards series. Hocevar scored a top-five finish in his ARCA start at Salem this year. The 16 year old from Portage, Michigan will also run multiple races at Berlin Raceway, along with starts in the ARCA/CRA Super Series and JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour.

 

Pros: Already showing success in the ARCA Menards Series, gaining experience in four divisions.

 

Cons: Social media presence needs to be improved.  He's also lacking a signature event win.

 

Pick #19
Ty Gibbs
Age: 16
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Current Level: Super Late Models
Twitter: @TyGibbs_
Last Year's Pick: 48th

The grandson of Joe Gibbs moves up dramatically in this year’s Short Track Draft after narrowly making the cut in 2018, thanks in no small part to a hot start to the 2019 season.

 

Gibbs had a handful of Late Model Stock victories over the past two seasons, but picked up his biggest win to date in the Myrtle Beach Speedway Icebreaker weeks after the passing of uncle J.D. Gibbs.  He has since added runner-up finishes in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East opener at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) and the ARCA Menards Series’ return to Five Flags Speedway (FL).

 

2019 already has the makings of a breakthrough season for Gibbs, and continuing his strong pace and picking up more wins could see him move even higher in the 2020 Short Track Draft.

 

Pros:  Showing strong gains as a well-rounded racer capable of competing at the higher levels of the sport, as well as coming out of his shell from a personality standpoint.

 

Cons:  More wins at those higher levels will be needed to enter the top-10 conversation.

 

Pick #20
Travis Braden
Age: 25
Hometown: Wheeling, WV
Current Level: ARCA / Super Late Models
Twitter: @TrBraden
Last Year's Pick: 16th

Travis Braden has been part of the Short Track Draft on Speed51 for several years.  In fact, this is the eighth draft selection for the Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering major out of West Virginia University.  His top pick was seventh in the 2017 draft.  2019 will be his final year of draft eligibility.

 

Braden has all the talent in the world and a good personality to boot.  Why he hasn’t gotten an opportunity in NASCAR’s big three surprises all of us.  He won his first ARCA Menards Series starts back in 2015 at Lucas Oil Raceway with his family-owned team.

 

The two-time ARCA Super Series champ and former Winchester 400 winner received one first-place vote and had a strong 32% quality vote.

 

Braden is now racing for RFMS Racing on the ARCA Tour and competing for a championship with a team that is under-funded and less technologically advanced than several of the ARCA “Super Teams.”  Braden could potentially put himself into a good spot on next year’s draft with a win and a championship in ARCA.

 

Pros: He’s got the whole package.  He adapts well to new tracks and new cars and understands race cars well with his background.  He would also represent any corporation well.

 

Cons: Most times, people honestly think he’s older than is.  Sometimes being around for a long time can hurt your opportunity no matter how talented you are.  Then again, maybe that name recognition could help if he gets back to ARCA victory lane.

 

Hudson & Don O'Neal share a moment after Hud's first Lucas Dirt win. (Heath Lawson photo)

Pick #21
Hudson O'Neal
Age: 18
Hometown: Martinsville, IN
Current Level: Dirt Late Models (Lucas Oil LM Dirt Series)
Twitter: @HudsonONeal71
Last Year's Pick: 24th

 

Hudson O’Neal is another of Dirt Late Model’s rising stars.  While many of this realm’s top stars are aging, the second-generation racer is making a name for himself.  Hudson is the son of 2014 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion Don O’Neal.

 

A shoulder surgery midway through the 2018 season stopped a freight-train of momentum for the 17 year-old.  He had won twice on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, including the Clash at the Mag (MS), before the injury took him out of contention in August.

 

This year he has gotten off to a sub-par pace, but the panel has not let that effect their voting capacity for this Dirt Late Model future superstar, as evident by his 34% quality vote rating.

 

With a couple of big wins in 2019, this kid could be in the Top-10 selections next year.

 

Pros: The kid has plenty talent and skill; now he just needs a little luck to help.  He also has a wonderful personality that could charm any sponsor.

 

Cons: Much like most Dirt Late Model racers, the question of how much that style of racing translates to NASCAR’s big three is a question.  Hudson very well may be the next who gets the shot to prove the naysayers wrong.

 

Pick #22
Carson Kvapil
Age: 15
Hometown: Mooresville, NC
Current Level: Super Late Models / Outlaw Karts
Twitter: @CarsonKvapil
Last Year's Pick: 28th

The son of former NASCAR Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil is beginning to make a name for himself in the racing world.  After being selected 28th one year ago in the Short Track Draft, the younger Kvapil jumped up six spots on the draft board this year.

 

Kvapil is one of the most diverse drivers in this year's draft, as he has won races on both dirt and asphalt.  In recent years, Kvapil has established himself as a dominating force in the Outlaw Karts at Millbridge Speedway.  Last season, he boosted his draft stock by scoring his first Late Model win with the ARCA Midwest Tour.

 

Moving forward, Kvapil will have a great opportunity to flex his muscles, as he will be driving for Team M Motorsports, the same team that has guided Ty Majeski to many race wins and championships in the Midwest region.

 

Pros: He's proven that he can win on both dirt and asphalt already during his young career.

 

Cons: More wins on the Late Model side of things will help his draft stock moving forward. He's still only 15 years old, but we would like to see a little more personality from the young gun as he matures in the industry.

 

Pick #23
Stephen Nasse
Age: 23
Hometown: Pinellas Park, FL
Current Level: Super Late Models
Twitter: @StephenNasse
Last Year's Pick: 19th

Classy or Nasty, Stephen Nasse continues to waver on the brink of success in the Short Track Draft. After showing sparks of pure talent from time to time, Nasse has held steady around the 20th position in the Short Track Draft for the past couple years. There’s no doubt that Nasse has the talent and the car, week in and week out to bring home the checkered flag. The question is if he is able to capitalize on it.

 

Nasse has everything, the team, the car, the sponsorship appeal, and the talent to be the number one overall pick. With only two years of eligibility left in the draft, it will be paramount for him to put together the season his fans know he is capable of. If he does that, he could be like Connor Okrzesik and shoot up the draft board in coming seasons.

 

Pros: As one of the most controversial drivers in the sport, he’s not afraid to speak his mind, which is what Short Track Racing needs.

 

Cons: While he’s not afraid to speak his mind, that emotion carries itself into the race car and in some ways hinders him from putting together a complete race.

 

Pick #24
Brandon Setzer
Age: 25
Hometown: Newton, NC
Current Level: Super Late Models
Twitter: @BSetzerRacing6
Last Year's Pick: 24th

2018 was a down year by Brandon Setzer’s standards, with his most memorable moment coming in an off-track fracas after on-track controversy with Raphael Lessard at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) which led to a CARS Tour suspension.  Still, Setzer’s staying power as one of the best Super Late Model racers in the Carolinas allowed him to move up two spots to 24th.

 

Setzer did manage a couple trips to victory lane even in his “down year,” including a wildly popular win in the CARS Tour’s Throwback 276 in the return trip to Hickory and Setzer’s hometown fans.

 

This will be Setzer’s last season of Short Track Draft eligibility, with a highest ranking of 21st in 2016.  However, he stands to remain one of the forces to reckon with any time he enters a Super Late Model race in the Carolinas.

 

Pros: One of the best in Mid-Atlantic Super Late Model racing, as evidenced by his win totals even in a “down year.”

 

Cons: In his last year of Short Track Draft eligibility, Setzer has still not received the opportunity to race at a level higher than Super Late Models.

 

Pick #25
Jagger Jones
Age: 16
Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ
Current Level: K&N West
Twitter: @JaggerJones98
Last Year's Pick: Undrafted

 

At first glance, Jagger Jones is a “where did he come from” driver in this year’s Short Track Draft after not making the 2018 edition. But, being a third-generation driver to father PJ, a Sportscar, Indycar, and NASCAR veteran, plus grandfather Parnelli, an Indy 500 winner, eyes do tend to widen.

 

The 2018 season will be the one that Jones will remember as the one that put him on the map. At his home track Kern County Raceway Park (CA), he took down six wins during the Late Model season in route to taking the season title. During one of his off weeks, he went Late Model Stock Car racing at Myrtle Beach Speedway (SC), only to come away with a win there.

 

Now in 2019 with his new ride with the Sunrise Ford team on the K&N West Series, Jones has already had a near brush with success, just missing out on a win on the Las Vegas Dirt Track in his first career start.

 

He may be just getting started, but Jagger Jones has already grabbed the attention of the short track world and beyond. He will take on the Baja 1000 this November with drag racing legend Don Prudhomme.

 

Pros: He has demonstrated an ability to settle into a new ride in a very short period of time. Already he is displaying his own talent, not just riding the family name. Already comfortable with the media.

 

Cons: While he is currently very active racing on the West Coast, the more he can do on the East Coast sooner, the better.

 

- Text by Speed51.com Staff

(38)

2019 Short Track Draft Second-Round Picks: #11-25