A panel of industry experts from all four corners of the country and Canada have voted on their choices for the fifth Short Track Power poll of 2016. Drivers in all forms of short track racing, including Late Models, NASCAR Touring Series, ARCA, Dirt Late Models and Modifieds, NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and everything in between were eligible.
The rankings shown below were decided after polling our panel of experts in the industry. Rankings were based on overall number of votes, with more weight given to each vote the higher the vote. Example, a #1 vote would be more valuable than a #2, #3, etc.
Here are the results of the short track power rankings to this point in the 2016 racing season:
#1 – Ty Majeski (SLM) – The #1 pick in the 2016 Short Track Draft continues to prove why he’s the hottest Super Late Model driver in the country. Majeski recorded four wins since the last installment of the power rankings, including two ARCA Midwest Tour wins (State Park and Madison), a TUNDRA Super Late Model Series win at Wisconsin Int’l Raceway and a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series win at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway. His four wins during the month give him a total of nine just five months into the 2016 racing season.
#2 – Cody Coughlin (CRA) – If you’re looking for a driver who has flexed his muscles recently, look no further than Cody Coughlin. The Delaware, Ohio driver has recorded three ARCA/CRA Super Series wins so far this season including two during the month of May. He most recently won CRA races at Anderson Speedway (IN) and Baer Field Motorsports Park (MI). Coughlin’s early season success has him sitting atop the series point standings heading into the Battle at Berlin 251.
#3 – Bryan Clauson (Sprints/Midgets) – The Circular Insanity Tour continued for Bryan Clauson during the month of May and he picked up a total of seven wins along the way. Clauson saw success in both the 410 Non-Winged Sprint Cars (six wins), as well as the USAC Dirt Midgets (one win) that he regularly competes in. He also used a string of strong runs to claim the 2016 Indiana Midget Week overall championship.
#4 – Kody Swanson (Midgets/Sprints) – On a week that was highlighted by Alexander Rossi winning the Indianapolis 500, it was Kody Swanson stealing the show on the short track near the Indianapolis area. Swanson scored two big victories during the week including the Hoosier Hundred and the 68th Little 500. He closed out the weekend be scoring a Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series (BOSS) win at Fremont Speedway in Ohio.
#5 – Kyle Grissom (SSS) – Grissom rounds out the top five in the power rankings as a result of two recent Southern Super Series wins. Grissom and his team made the decision earlier this year to not run full-time in any series and that is paying off early on. The No. 31 visited victory lane at both Mobile International Speedway (AL) and Crisp Motorsports Park (GA) to end the month of May. Grissom put the cherry on top by also winning the $1,000 Tri-State Bonus Bucks for recording the best average finish in the SSS races at Five Flags Speedway (FL), Mobile and Crisp.
#6 – Cassius Clark (SLM) – Building off of the momentum they built up with their new LFR Chassis last season, Cassius Clark and the King Racing team are off to a hot start north of the border in the Maritime area. Clark is two-for-two in big shows after winning the Pro Stock Tour season opener at Scotia Speedworld and the “Best of the Best” 150 at Speedway 660 in Nova Scotia.
#7 – Patrick Emerling (RoC/Modifieds) – Emerling picked up a pair of wins (Oswego and Lancaster) in Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour competition during the month of May. Although Chuck Hossfeld sits atop the point standings, it has been Emerling who our panel believes flexed the most muscle. It also helps that he beat Hossfeld twice on one night, once in the RoC race and once in a Sportsman Modified race, at Lancaster National Speedway.
#8 – Nick Sweet (ACT) – No longer is Nick Sweet the driver who can only win and run well at his home track of Thunder Road. The Barre, Vermont driver has turned heads so far in 2016 and currently leads the American-Canadian Tour point standings. Driving the Eric Chase-owned No. 40VT, Sweet recorded a pair of ACT victories in May including one at his home track of Thunder Road and one at Vermont’s Devil’s Bowl Speedway.
#9 – Kyle Strickler (Dirt Modifieds) – The “Highside Tickler” went perfect during the month in Dirt Modified competition in the Southeast region. Strickler picked up a pair of Southeast Dirt Modified Series wins (Fayeteville and Wythe) and added a Modified win at Dublin Motor Speedway.
#10 – Scott Bloomquist (Dirt Late Models) – Do you like money? Of course you do, and Scott Bloomquist does too. He scored a big pay day of $50,000 by winning the Buckeye Dirt Nationals at Atomic (OH). He also recently picked up a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win at Tazewell Speedway (TN) and a World of Outlaws Dirt Late Model Series win at Smoky Mountain Speedway (TN). Add to that a runner-up finish in the Show-Me 100 and it was a pretty good month for Ol’ Bloomer.
#11 – Adam Pierson (Dirt Modifieds/Midgets) – Pierson scored four wins in five DIRTcar Sportsman Modified starts at Bear Ridge Speedway (VT) in May. He also added a USAC Dirt Midget Association win at Bear Ridge.
#12 – Matt Sheppard (Dirt Modifieds) – Sheppard continues to roll with his new team on the Northeast dirt tracks. He’s now four for six at Canandaigua Speedway (NY) and has two wins at Utica-Rome Speedway (NY). Sheppard also kicked off June with a recent Short Track Super Series win.
#13 – Patrick Laperle (Serie ACT) – Laperle has driven the orange No. 91 to victory lane in both Serie ACT events thus far in 2016. He won the opener at Autodrome St-Eustache (QC) and followed that up with a win at Autodrome Chaudiere (QC).
#14 – Casey Roderick (SLM/PLM) – Roderick’s strong finish to the month of April carried over to May with our panel of experts. He won the Southern Super Series race at Five Flags Speedway (FL) on April 29 and the followed that up with two Show Me the Money Pro Late Model wins at Montgomery Motor Speedway (AL).
#15 – Cory Hedgecock (Dirt Late Models) – The driver of the No. 23 Dirt Late Model continues to have strong showings throughout the Southeast. Since the last version of 51’s Power Rankings he scored a pair of wins at I-75 Raceway (TN), one of those being a NeSmith Late Model Series win. He now has nine wins in 2016.
#16 – Natalie Decker (SLM) – Decker’s strong string of runs in her home state of Wisconsin continued this past month. She scored Super Late Model wins at both State Park Speedway and Marshfield Motor Speedway in May before winning the first of two races during State Park’s “The Happening” on June 2.
#17 – Sheldon Haudenschild (Sprint Cars) – “The Wild Child” recorded a pair of All Star Circuit of Champions wins during the month of May. His first win came at Lernerville Speedway (PA) and the second came at Lincoln Fairgrounds (IL). He also recorded a runner-up finish at Wilmot Raceway in Wisconsin.
#18 – Ryan Partridge (K&N West) – Partridge led nearly 300 laps in NASCAR K&N Pro Series West action during the month of May. He won the race at Tucson (AZ) before finishing sixth at Orange Show (CA). He also won the pole award for both races.
#19 – Doug Coby (NWMT) – Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) was Doug Coby’s playground this past month. He won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Spring Sizzler before recently going back to Stafford and winning the TSI Harley Davidson 125.
#20 – Josh Richards (Dirt Late Models) – “Rocket Man” has slowed down a bit since his hot start to the season during Florida Speedweeks, but he’s still winning. Richards scored two World of Outlaws wins (Carolina Speedway and Tyler County Speedway) in May and recorded a handful of podium finishes to pad his lead atop the World of Outlaws Dirt Late Model Series point standings.