2020 Short Track Draft – Best of the Rest

The 2020 Short Track Draft ballot was completed by over 50 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 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 2020 Short Track Draft.


The top 10 picks were revealed on the first-ever live selection show last Thursday.  The second-round results (picks 11-25) were revealed Friday.  Third-round selections (picks 26-50) were revealed Monday evening.  Fourth round-picks (picks 51-75) were announced Tuesday night, with fifth-round picks (picks 76-100) revealed on Wednesday night.


While the following list of drivers were not selected in the Short Track Draft, they received considerable voting support and could make the Short Track Draft in future years.  Here are the “Best of the Rest” from the 2020 Short Track Draft.


Ahnna Parkhurst (Dirt Late Models) – Wins were elusive for the Evans, Georgia racer in 2019, but Parkhurst closed out the year with a pair of victories during the Gobbler 100 week at Cochran Motor Speedway.


Anton Hernandez (Sprints/Micro Sprints) – Hernandez won the 2019 Indiana RaceSaver Sprint Car championship, with four wins over 16 races.


Ashton Winger (Dirt Late Models) – Winger is competing for World of Outlaws Late Model Rookie of the Year honors in 2020, coming off a season where he won with the Southern All Stars as well as in the Fall Nationals and in the Schaeffer’s Iron Man Series.


Benji Hicks (Dirt Late Models) – Benji Hicks was the FASTRAK World Challenge Champion in 2018, as well as the FASTRAK Racing Series Champion in 2017.


Brandon Farrington (Late Models) – In 2019, Farrington won the track championship at Tucson Speedway in Arizona.  He finished second to Kole Raz for the 2019 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Arizona State Championship.


Chase Burda (Late Models/Dirt Modifieds) – A winner on both dirt and pavement, Burda claimed the inaugural CRA Junior Late Model championship with six wins in the series’ eight races.


Chase Johnson (Sprint Cars/Midgets) – Johnson scored eight wins in 2019 in various Sprint and Midget series on the West Coast.  The California native finished eighth in the Chili Bowl Nationals in 2018.


Christian McGhee (ARCA/Late Models) – McGhee made his ARCA Menards Series debut at Phoenix Raceway earlier this year.  He has 10 career top-five finishes with the SRL Southwest Tour.


Cole Bodine (Midgets) – Bodine will be competing full time on the USAC National Midget campaign in 2020 with Clauson-Marshall Racing.  Bodine finished sixth in the third race of the season, the Shamrock Classic at the Southern Illinois Center.


Dominic Scelzi (Sprint Cars) – The older brother of 11th overall pick Gio Scelzi finished third in the 2019 NARC King of the West points standings.  Dominic Scelzi scored five wins during the championship run.


Ernie Francis, Jr. (Stock Cars) – Francis, Jr. was a participant in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program in 2019.  The road course ace is a six-time Trans-Am champion, and boasts a second-place finish with the ARCA Menards Series East at New Jersey Motorsports Park in 2018.


Freddie Rahmer (Sprint Cars) – The second-generation member of the Pennsylvania Posse scored several wins in the Keystone State in 2019.  In past years, Rahmer has defended home turf with wins against the World of Outlaws and the All Star Circuit of Champions in Pennsylvania.


Gabe Brown (Late Models) – Brown finished fourth in PASS North points in 2019, one year after winning the Oxford Plains Super Late Model track championship.


Gage Painter (Late Model Stock Cars) – Painter is competing full-time with the CARS Late Model Stock Tour in 2020.  He won the Big 10 Challenge championship at Hickory Motor Speedway in 2018.


Holley Hollan (Stock Cars/Midgets) – Hollan debuted in the ARCA Menards Series East and West early in the 2020 season as part of the Toyota Racing Development program.  She finished fifth in POWRi Midget points in 2019.


Jake Johnson (Late Models) – Johnson finished fifth in the 2019 PASS National Championship, with top-five finishes at Richmond Raceway (VA) and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT).  Johnson also finished ninth in the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 at Five Flags Speedway (FL).


John DeAngelis, Jr. (Super Late Models) – DeAngelis finished third in 2019 ARCA Midwest Tour points, with four top-fives and seven top 10s.  One of those top fives came in the Howie Lettow Memorial at Madison International Speedway.


JoJo Wilkinson (Late Models) – Wilkinson returned to victory lane at Huntsville Speedway (AL) after recovering from injuries sustained in a crash at Five Flags Speedway. Wilkinson also has a top-10 finish in the 2018 Snowflake 100.


Justin Carroll – NC (Late Model Stock Cars) – Carroll finished eighth in CARS Late Model Stock Tour points with a pair of top-five finishes.  “Toast” was also a finalist in the 2019 Kulwicki Driver Development Program.


Justin Mondeik (Super Late Models) – Mondeik finished eighth in ARCA Midwest Tour points in 2019, with four top-10 finishes.  He also finished third in TUNDRA Super Late Model Series points last season.


Kaylee Bryson (Midgets) – Bryson scored a fourth-place finish with the POWRi National Midget League at Belle-Clair Speedway in 2019.  She will compete in more than 25 POWRi events in 2020 for Keith Kunz Motorsports.


Logan Zampa (Late Models) – Zampa won multiple races at Madera Speedway in 2019, and won the $10,000 Short Track Shootout there in 2018.


Lucas Jones (Super Late Models) – Jones narrowly missed out on the 2019 Blizzard Series Championship at Five Flags Speedway, finishing behind Giovanni Bromante. Jones had a pair of top-five finishes during the Blizzard Series campaign.


Matt Swanson (Modifieds) – Swanson notched four top-five finishes on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 2019, and is now up to 29 career top-10 finishes with the series. Swanson finished fifth in series points last year.


Matthew Nance (Dirt Late Models) – “The Ronda Rocket” didn’t commit to any one series in 2019, but still won 11 Blue Ridge Outlaw Late Model races in 12 starts.  In 2018, Nance won the FASTRAK Racing Series championship.


McKenna Haase (Sprint Cars) – Haase is a two-time feature winner in 360 Sprint Cars at Knoxville Raceway, the Sprint Car Capital of the World.  She started to travel more late in the 2019 season, including a trip to Australia for her 410 Sprint Car debut over the winter.


Pearson Lee Williams (Dirt Late Models) – Williams scored his first Super Dirt Late Model win at Modoc this February with the Xtreme DIRTcar Series.  He finished fifth in the points for the winter series, with four top-10 finishes.


Presley Truedson (Midgets/Lightning Sprints) – Truedson competed in the Chili Bowl Nationals with Keith Kunz Motorsports.  Truedson is a multi-time winner with the Northern Lightning Sprint Association and a former USAC Lightning Sprint Nationals winner.


Ryan Millington (Late Model Stock Cars) – Millington has 17 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series wins over the past three season.  The lion’s share of them have come at Hickory Motor Speedway, where Millington won the track championship in 2017.


Ryan Montgomery (Dirt Late Models) – Montgomery finished second in points for both the ULTIMATE Heart of America and ULTIMATE Mid-Ohio Valley Series in 2019. Montgomery scored two wins under the ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series banner on the year.


Thad Moffitt (ARCA Menards Series) – The grandson of Richard Petty earned a top-five finish in the ARCA Menards Series season opener at Daytona in February.  He is currently fifth in the series standings.


Trevor Noles (Super Late Models) – Noles snapped a long winless streak in 2019, taking a win with the CARS Super Late Model Tour Mid Atlantic Classic at Orange County Speedway. Noles also started the year with a runner-up finish to Matt Craig at Southern National Motorsports Park.


Tyler Letarte (Outlaw Karts) – Tyler Letarte made the jump to the Open Division of Outlaw Karts in 2019.  He won at the Iredell County Fairgrounds (NC) in the Intermediate Division in 2018.


Tyler Rypkema (Modifieds) – A winner with both the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series and at the New Smyrna World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing in his career, Rypkema will compete full-time on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 2020.


Zach Leonhardi (Dirt Late Models) – The 2018 iRacing World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion is stout in real-world cars as well, finishing second in Southern All Star Dirt Series points in 2019.


-Text by Speed51 Staff

2020 Short Track Draft – Best of the Rest