Prior to the 2010 Short Track Draft on Speed51, you could have bet the farm that a 14-year-old from Dawsonville, Georgia would be selected as the number-one pick. And you would have been correct. That year, current NASCAR Cup Series star Chase Elliott become the youngest top selection in Short Track Draft history.
Leading into the 2010 draft, Elliott scored four wins in 2009, but it was his ability to make laps and his maturity behind the wheel the amazed the voters. Elliott won a PASS South race at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC), then sat on the pole for the World Crown 300 and finished seventh in his first Snowball Derby.
It must have been an extra shot in the arm for Elliott, who had one win and was second three times before the draft came out that year. After that, Elliott won 12 times including the Winchester 400 and the Snowflake 100 in December.
Elliott also became one of the first drivers to become ineligible the following season because he had NASCAR team affiliation. He could have been the first to ever win the top honor more than once, prior to Speed51 establishing a rule that former number-one draft picks were ineligible.
Elliott would later be added to the panel of industry experts who cast a ballot in the Short Track Draft, providing some of the best insight we have ever had about the competition from someone who was racing with other prospects on a weekly basis.
Biggest Bust: Steve Arpin – This is a perfect example of, “What have you done for me lately?” Arpin won two ARCA races right before the draft and locked up a deal with JR Motorsports to run some races. Arpin got a shot, and had he won with JR Motorsports he might still be racing in the top three series. Arpin was a good driver, but he proved that sometimes you have only one shot.
Biggest Steal: Looking back, Brett Moffitt at the 22nd pick was a steal. This was before his success in the NASCAR East Series and NASCAR Truck Series. Moffitt might have had the world go differently if he could have won the championship at the East level.
Star Power: The power of the punch reveals that three former number-one draft picks made the top five in 2010. Ross Kenseth in third and Bubba Pollard in fifth both made the jump to the top of the charts in the next two drafts.
Cup Power: Looking in the teens, you see several drivers who are now regulars on Sundays. Corey LaJoie, Ryan Preece, Ryan Blaney and Daniel Hemric have been NASCAR Cup Series regulars. It’s impressive to think where our voters saw these drivers just 10 years ago.
2010 Short Track Draft Results
|25||Darrell Wallace Jr.|
|43||George Brunnhoelzl III|
-Story by: Elgin Traylor, Speed51 “Stat Boy”
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo