Picking the winners of big short track races throughout the country is a tradition that our staff at Speed51.com has enjoyed for many years. With one of Western New York’s biggest races of the year being held Sunday at Lancaster National Speedway, we decided to challenge our staff once again.


This week we asked members of our Speed51.com team, “Who are you picking to win the 30th Annual US Open?”


The answers we received varied, but when all the votes were tallied it was Patrick Emerling (five votes) who was named the favorite to win the big race.  Overall, seven different drivers received votes from our panel of 17 experts.


Check out our full list of staff picks for the U.S. Open below.  And if you can’t be at the track to find out who wins, watch the live video stream on Speed51.com.


Aaron Creed, Speed51.com National Correspondent 

Pick: Chuck Hossfeld

It’s difficult to go against Matt Hirschman in a major race in which he enters, but Chuck Hossfeld has been right there in winning contention throughout the season. Getting it done once again at his home track is certainly a possibility.


Adam Mackey, Speed51.com Correspondent

Pick: Patrick Emerling

At Lancaster, Patrick Emerling is a safe pick. Even if he doesn’t end up in victory lane, he has a series leading seven top fives in eight starts. That’s great consistency.


Bob Dillner, Speed51.com Executive Editor

Pick: Matt Hirschman

When big money is on the line, my money is on Matt. He’s got the bloodline and that’s why he’s so good in these type of races. He’s like a stealth-bomber.


Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor

Pick: Patrick Emerling

Emerling has been fast in all four of the previous RoC races at Lancaster this year, including his win in the season opener back in May. As long as he can avoid trouble in the longest race of the year at Lancaster, it’s a given that Emerling will be battling at the front on Sunday.


Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor

Pick: Mike Leaty

Leaty has proven me right once this season by returning to RoC victory lane at Lancaster on August 2. I don’t see any reason why he can’t do it again in the U.S. Open. He knows that track like the back of his hand and both his No. 25 team and his teammate Patrick Emerling have proven to be a mighty combination at that track.


Dakota Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI)

Pick: Chuck Hossfeld

Hossfield currently leads the RoC Modified points standings and has a big win to go along with it. Look for him to go to victory lane and pad the points lead.


Daryl Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Mike Leaty

Having gone to the four previous Race of Champions events at Lancaster this year, Leaty certainly had the most impressive performance during his previous victory. I believe the L2 Autosport team will be up to the challenge again.


Duane Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: George Skora

I may be going for a bit of an upset here, but Skora did win an RoC event at Lancaster last year and has shown great speed at the previous races held at the track in 2018. He just need a helping hand from Lady Luck to capture the checkered flag on Sunday.


Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Chuck Hossfeld

His hometown track and a hometown win awaits RoC points leader Chuck Hossfeld who will get his sixth win in this race.


Evan Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Daryl Lewis, Jr.

Although he has yet to score a win in 2018, Daryl Lewis Jr has made big waves with the Race of Champions this year knocking out consistent top-five finishes. I think DLJ will finally put one in the win column at one of the biggest races of the season.


Jeremy Anders, Speed51.com Northwest Editor

Pick: Patrick Emerling

Patrick Emerling is looking for his third RoC win of the year. Look for Emerling to take the win and go to the front in a late-season championship run.


Kevin Peters, Speed51.com Southwest Editor

Pick: Patrick Emerling

Emerling sits fourth in the Race of Champions standings after missing one event. He has one 2018 victory at Lancaster National Speedway and has an average finish of just over two in his four starts at the New York facility. I see Emerling coming home first in the 30th Annual U.S. Open and putting that average finish number squarely at two.


Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com Great Lakes Editor

Pick: Matt Hirschman

When “Big Money Matt” shows up, he’s normally a favorite. That won’t be any different this weekend, and I believe he’ll be the favorite to score the big win.


Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Operations Manager

Pick: Mike Leaty

Give me Mike Leaty at Lancaster. The team of he and Emerling are always strong there.


Rob Blount, Speed51.com Associate Editor

Pick: Patrick Emerling

It’s going to be a busy weekend for Emerling and his team as he’s running NHMS and the US Open, but I think Emerling will get the job done on the Lancaster half-mile.


Ryan McCollough, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Andy Jankowiak

Andy Jankowiak is the defending winner of the event and has a win at Lancaster to his credit already this year. When you know nothing about Modifieds, stats don’t lie.


Tom Ryan, Speed51.com Digital Manager

Pick: Matt Hirschman

Two words: Big Money.


-Text by Speed51.com Staff

-Photo credit: Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Speed51.com Staff Picks: Who Will Win the US Open at Lancaster?