With the All American 400 returning to a Super Late Model event under its full 400-lap distance, the anticipation for who will be participating at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville in October is already high. Although the race is still six months away, the early entries are starting to come in and they are names that are known throughout the short track racing world.
It should be no surprise that Donnie Wilson is one of the first to throw his name into the mix. The Oklahoma City native is coming off a huge weekend at the Fairgrounds, taking both the Southern Super Series and North/South Super Late Model Challenge wins this past weekend. Wilson is also coming off a runner-up performance in the Southern Super Series point standings in 2015. On October 2, he hopes to improve on a best finish of third at the All American 400 in 2010.
Bubba Pollard is another Southern Super Series driver riding a wave of success in 2016 that has filed an All American 400 entry. The 2014 Southern Super Series champion started the year right at the top, winning CRA Speedfest at Crisp Motorsports Park in his native Georgia. He then went all the way out to California, winning the Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway (CA) for the second straight season. Pollard will be seeking his first victory in the All American 400 after finishing second in 2012 and 2015.
The Upper Midwest has also produced success early in 2016 with arguably the hottest Late Model driver in the country hailing from that region. Seymour, Wisconsin driver Ty Majeski will be heading to Nashville in October in search of the famed trophy guitar.
Majeski, the two-time and defending ARCA Midwest Tour champion has become one of the most talked about young guns in recent months. He scored three wins in Super Late Model action during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL), which catapulted him to the 2016 championship. He backed it up just a month later, dominating the competition in the Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway. Majeski has never entered the All American 400 and will look to win it in his very first start.
Fourteen-year-old Derek Kraus and veteran racer Dennis Schoenfeld are also entered for the 400-lap Super Late Model event.
2015 Nashville Pro Late Model champion Willie Allen is one of two drivers slated to pull double-duty on All American 400 weekend, racing both the Super and Pro Late Model races. Allen, a former 400 runner up in 2014, sat on the pole for the race in 2015 and will be looking to claim Nashville’s biggest prize in October.
Dillon Oliver is also entered to run both events, while 2014 Pro Late Model track champion Cole Williams is entered for the Pro Late Models.
The All American 400 is set for October 1-2, 2016 at the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville and is expected to gain many more notable entries in the six months leading up to the event.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, LI, MA) – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/Bruce Nuttleman