2021 Short Track Draft Second Round: Picks #11-25

With the first round of the 2021 Short Track Draft presented by Ryno Classifieds completed during Wednesday’s live selection show, it’s now time to shift our focus to the second round.  In this round, we announce the rest of the drivers who were selected as top 25 picks by the large group of industry experts who voted in this year’s draft.

 

If you missed Wednesday’s top 10 picks, you can catch up now by clicking here or by watching the free Short Track Draft Show on Speed51.TV.


Pick #11
Carson Kvapil
Age: 17
Hometown: Mooresville, NC
Current Level: ARCA East / Late Models / Micro Sprints
Twitter: @Carson_Kvapil
Last Year’s Pick: 21st

 

The son of former NASCAR Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil has won in a little bit of everything over the past year, moving him up the draft boards and nearly into the top 10.  He’s a multi-time Millbridge Speedway champion in Outlaw Karts, a winner in Micro Sprints and dominated the Carolina Pro Late Model Series in 2020 before winning a couple of Super Late Model races early in 2021.

 

Unfortunately for Kvapil, his win in the North/South Super Late Model Challenge at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway came after the vast majority of Short Track Draft ballots were submitted.  It will undoubtedly be a feather in his cap ahead of the 2022 Short Track Draft, however.

 

Pros: He is a proven winner in a variety of cars on both dirt and pavement with a strong family track record to boot.

Cons: Mechanical issues have prevented him from capitalizing on fast cars in the ARCA Menards Series East this season, and arguably his biggest win to date came just a little too late for voting consideration.

 

Pick #12
Max McLaughlin
Age: 21
Hometown: Mooresville, NC
Current Level: Dirt Modifieds / Pavement Modifieds / ARCA East
Twitter: @MaxMcLaughlin_
Last Year’s Pick: 30th

 

After being on the Short Track Draft for half a decade, Max McLaughlin had the breakout period that many have said was coming. Jumping 18 spots from 2020, the past year has been a great opportunity for McLaughlin to show his versatility.

 

Despite a patchwork quilt look to his racing schedule in 2020, McLaughlin made the most of it, first with consistent runs in ARCA East after his 2019 win at Watkins Glen. Late in the season was where he shined, winning his first career Super DIRTcar Series points race at Weedsport, and then shocking the racing world by winning his first Tour-type Modified event in the North-South Shootout at Caraway.

 

Starting 2021 with the DIRTcar Nationals Big-Block Modified title at Volusia, McLaughlin is poised for more Dirt Modified focus, while still putting time in on the asphalt.

 

Pros: The all-important ability to win on both dirt or asphalt, as well as a variety of racecars from 600 Micros to the ARCA Stock Car.

Cons: An inconsistent schedule in 2020 made it difficult for fans to keep tabs on him at times. Still trying to shake the “bridesmaid” stigma somewhat.

 

Pick #13
Tyler Erb
Age: 24
Hometown: Magnolia, TX
Current Level: Dirt Late Models
Twitter: @Terbo_91
Last Year’s Pick: 25th

 

“Terbo” shot up the charts after his second season with Best Performance Motorsports after six wins in 2020. He won with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, COMP Cams Super Dirt Series, and DIRTcar Summer Nationals.

 

He started off the year on a hot streak, ripping off four wins just in January alone.  Erb continues to be one of the most polarizing figures in Dirt Late Model racing, gaining a lot of reaction from fans after his exploits.

 

Pros: His bravado on and off the track has made him a fan favorite.

Cons: That bravado has gotten him into trouble recently – he is currently suspended indefinitely from World of Outlaws Late Model Series competition after an incident at Cedar Lake Speedway last August.

 

Pick #14
Sammy Smith
Age: 
16
Hometown: Johnston, IA
Current Level: ARCA East / Late Models
Twitter: @sammysmithSS
Last Year’s Pick: 17th

 

Smith has enjoyed some success over the past couple of years, but is now really finding his stride in ARCA Menards Series East competition.  The Iowa driver has now won two of the first three races of the season after taking the checkered flag at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

 

While Smith is still searching for his first “touring” Super Late Model win, he is now a two-time winner in Super Late Models at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing to go along with his 2019 Pro Late Model championship during Speedweeks at New Smyrna.

 

Pros: Smith has taken quickly to the heavier stock cars of ARCA Menards Series East.

Cons: A big Super Late Model win outside the confines of New Smyrna Speedway would have further elevated his already-rising draft stock.

 

Pick #15
Logan Seavey
Age: 23
Hometown: Sutter, CA
Current Level: Sprint Cars / ARCA West
Twitter: @Logan_Seavey
Last Year’s Pick: 5th

 

Seavey became one of the new bright stars of Midget racing in 2018 after winning the USAC National Midget title, climbing as high as fourth on the Short Track Draft boards.  He has also spent time with Kyle Busch Motorsports in a Super Late Model and a Truck, while also having an ARCA win to his credit.

 

While his 2020 season was hampered by injuries suffered in an Indiana Midget Week event at Lincoln Park Speedway, he still added three wins in USAC Sprint and POWRi competition.  He also finished third in his USAC Silver Crown debut at the final Hoosier Hundred last August.

 

Pros: Seavey is a proven champion who has won in multiple disciplines on dirt.

Cons: Just a couple years removed from sitting on top of the open wheel dirt world, his chances of moving on to the next level are dwindling.

 

Pick #16
Grant Thompson
Age: 15
Current Level: Super Late Models
Twitter: @GrantThompson54
Last Year’s Pick: 49th

 

Grant Thompson was just breaking onto draft radars last year, coming off a Pro Truck championship at Mobile International Speedway.  He shined throughout the 2020 season in Pro Late Models, nearly winning the Allen Turner Pro Late Model Series championship at Five Flags Speedway while driving for Augie Grill.

 

This year, Thompson takes the jump to Super Late Models, driving for Casey Johnson in the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series.  We’ll see how the 2020 Snowball Derby Pro Truck winner fares against some of the toughest competition in the Midwest this season.

 

Pros: Despite his youth, Thompson has a great personality and quickly adapted to the competition at every level he’s seen thus far.

Cons: As a result of his youth, we haven’t seen how Thompson will fare against the stiffest short track competition yet – although that will change in 2021.

 

Pick #17
Hudson O’Neal
Age: 20
Hometown: Martinsville, IN
Current Level: Dirt Late Models
Twitter: @ HudsonONeal71
Last Year’s Pick: 23rd

 

Despite not quite following up his strong 2019 season in 2020, Hudson O’Neal more than made up for it in terms of Draft Stock with a stellar start to 2021 in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. After winning at just Portsmouth in 2020, O’Neal struck early this year winning the first race of the East Bay Winternationals. He then led the way to start off the regular season, winning at Atomic in March.

 

After running majority schedules in his Lucas Dirt career, O’Neal is currently committed to the full run, bumping his draft spot up six spots in the past year.

 

Pros: Proven winner against the best of the best in Dirt Late Model racing

Cons: Has never had the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to run for a title in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.

 

Pick #18
Gio Scelzi
Age: 19
Hometown: Fresno, CA
Current Level: Sprint Cars
Twitter: @GioScelzi
Last Year’s Pick: 11th

 

Scelzi made the transition over to the asphalt world in 2020 and ran the full ARCA Menards Series West season with Bill McAnally Racing.  He won at All American Speedway in exciting fashion, and also added a Pro Late Model win during the World Series of Asphalt.

 

He has moved back to the dirt in 2021 to compete full-time with KCP Motorsports under the Toyota Racing Development banner.  Scelzi currently has five top-fives so far on the year.

 

Pros: Scelzi is one of the most marketable drivers in dirt racing today.

Cons: He struggled at times during the year in ARCA, with no asphalt races planned in the near future.

 

Pick #19
Luke Fenhaus
Age: 17
Hometown: Wausau, WI
Current Level: Late Models
Twitter: @luke_fenhaus
Last Year’s Pick: Did Not Make Draft

 

Already seen as one of Wisconsin’s rising stars, Fenhaus turned up the wick in the final months of 2020 and that has transferred into this season.  He set fast time and finished third in last year’s Slinger Nationals, then proceeded to win two features at the fast quarter-mile and the Lodi Memorial at State Park Speedway.

 

He is already a winner in 2021, winning the Icebreaker 100 at Dells Raceway Park over a stout field of 45 entries.  He then backed it up with a runner-up to Super Late Model legend Rich Bickle in the Joe Shear Classic.

 

Pros: Fenhaus has become a driver to beat anywhere he shows up at. He’s also a member of the 2021 Kulwicki Driver Development Program.

Cons: There is no sample size of races he has competed in outside of Wisconsin.  Races outside the state would give him the opportunity to showcase what those in the state already know about him.

 

Pick #20
Brooke Storer
Age: 22
Hometown: Zephyrhills, IN
Current Level: Sportsmen
Twitter: @brookestorer9
Last Year’s Pick: 51st

 

The final driver to make the cut for the Short Track Draft in 2020, Storer has used the past year to go from being one of the young guns to watch in Florida, to being one of the best in the whole country. She has also quickly become one of the leading ladies in the nation’s short track ranks.

 

Sticking to the Wheelman Sportsman Series as her main focus, Storer had her best season to date in 2020; winning four times, the most of all drivers on the season. Her accomplishments have already brought her recognition in 2021, with her selection to the 2021 Kulwicki Driver Development Program.

 

Pros: A driver that knows how to win races each and every time out and growing in social media standing.

Cons: Some inconsistency in title hunting and has yet to prove herself in the next level up (Late Models).

 

Pick #21
Brent Crews
Age: 13
Hometown: Denver, NC
Current Level: Midgets / Micro Sprints
Twitter: @BrentCrews11
Last Year’s Pick: Did Not Make Draft

 

At just 13 years old, Crews’ accomplishments on dirt have drawn the attention of the Short Track Draft expert panel.  Crews scored a podium finish in the Non-Wing Outlaw portion of the 2021 Tulsa Shootout, backing up a fourth-place finish in the KKM Giveback Classic at Millbridge Speedway last November.

 

Crews is also performing admirably driving for CB Industries on the POWRi Midget scene, with three top-five finishes and five top-10s in seven races to start the year.  Add that to a long list of karting championships, and Crews is already punching well above his weight in the racing world.

 

Pros: Crews is already competing at the same level as seasoned veterans in the Micro Sprint and Midget world.

Cons: It’s still very young in Crews’ career, so we will see what direction he would like to go in.

 

Pick #22
Kaden Honeycutt
Age: 17
Hometown: Willow Park, TX
Current Level: Late Models / Dirt Late Models
Twitter: @KadenWHoneycutt
Last Year’s Pick: Did Not Make Draft

 

From being one spot out of the draft just one year ago, this young Texan is right in the thick of things in 2021. Finding time to still run on dirt in the Lone Star State, Honeycutt has found some quality rides on the asphalt to the east.

 

A great Super Late Model opportunity in late 2020 with Donnie Wilson Motorsports at Five Flags Speedway resulted with finishes of second and third in the final two Blizzard Series rounds, and fifth-place in the Snowball Derby. An opportunity to run Late Model Stock Cars for Justin Johnson Racing has already resulted in three CARS Tour top 10’s and a Twin 40 sweep at Hickory Motor Speedway.

 

Pros: Versatile on either asphalt or dirt and able to quickly adapt to most cars he drives.

Cons: A lack of continuity in season’s past for an asphalt schedule.

 

Pick #23
Layne Riggs
Age: 18
Hometown: Bahama, NC
Current Level: Late Model Stocks
Twitter: @LayneRiggs99
Last Year’s Pick: 43rd

 

Layne Riggs bounced back from a tumultuous 2019 season to win two CARS Late Model Stock Tour events in 2020 and nearly capture the series championship, falling just shy of Jared Fryar in the season-long title hunt.

 

Riggs has also returned to victory lane with the CARS Tour in 2021, taking the checkered flag in a rough-and-tumble race at Ace Speedway.  We’ll see where the rest of the 2021 season takes the second-generation racer out of North Carolina.

 

Pros: Has been one of the top drivers on the CARS Tour in Late Model Stock competition for several years now despite being just 18 years old.

Cons: A lack of consistency at times has prevented him from snagging a series title, and Riggs probably won’t get his due with some judges until he branches out beyond the Late Model Stock world.

 

 

Pick #24
Cole Butcher
Age: 24
Hometown: Porter’s Lake, NS, Canada
Current Level: Late Models
Twitter: @colebutcher1
Last Year’s Pick: 34th

 

Despite having his racing schedule decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent U.S-Canada border closure, Cole Butcher still managed to make the most of things in the past year, and move up a full 10 spots in the Short Track Draft.

 

After not being able to race until August, the two-time Maritime Pro Stock Tour champion was consistent over six various races in the Maritimes, winning the Jim Callahan 250 at Scotia Speedworld once again. Making his return to the U.S. at the Snowball Derby, Butcher ran amongst the Top 10 all race, bringing home a sixth-place finish for Donnie Wilson Motorsports.

 

Pros: A proven champion and race winner North of the Border, while being consistently competitive in big rides at big races in The States.

Cons: Still competing mostly in the Maritimes doesn’t always get you noticed, and has been quite the detriment in the past year. Butcher is still yet to compete in 2021.

 

Pick #25
Connor Okrzesik
Age:
19
Hometown: Grand Bay, AL
Current Level: Late Models
Twitter: @connorokrzesik
Last Year’s Pick: 20th

 

Connor Okrzesik dropped five spots to 25th in this year’s draft, but maintained his presence in the second round.  Not unlike the conclusion to the 2020 Allen Turner Pro Late Model Series, where Okrzesik won in a photo finish with Jake Finch, Okrzesik squeaks in right at the very end of the round.

 

Okrzesik continues to perform well on a consistent basis in Super Late Model and Pro Late Model competition, finishing fifth in Southern Super Series points for his fourth consecutive top-five points finish in that series.

 

Pros: Okrzesik has been a consistent front-runner in Super Late Model and Pro Late Model competition.

Cons: He has not found that second marquee win since the CRA SpeedFest in 2019 that launched him to the eighth pick in that year’s draft.

 

2021 Short Track Draft Second Round: Picks #11-25