The first two rounds of the 2020 Short Track Draft are complete, with 25 drivers selected thus far. The first 10 picks were announced during the first-ever Short Track Draft Selection Show. The second round, featuring selections 11 through 25, was unveiled Friday night.
The process of narrowing down a pool of more than 300 short track racing prospects to 100 draftees is a difficult one, relying on the votes of more than 50 industry experts. However, there are some drivers who can make the case they should have heard their name called by now, and will be eagerly awaiting the announcement of picks 26-50 on Monday, May 4.
Here are some of our biggest snubs so far in the Short Track Draft.
Cole Butcher – Butcher didn’t defend his Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour title in 2019, competing in just eight of the series’ 12 races. However, he won four of those eight to match his win total from 2018.
Butcher also finished third in the 2019 Snowball Derby, his second-straight top-10 finish in the event, and won the pole for the All American 400. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see if Butcher can improve beyond his 39th draft slot from 2019.
Carson Ferguson – The cousin of Dirt Late Model star Chris Ferguson, Carson has established himself as a strong racer in his own right. A former Legends National Champion, Ferguson claimed the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout title at Charlotte Motor Speedway last summer. In Dirt Late Models, Ferguson also won four races en route to the FASTRAK Racing Series championship.
Despite this success, Ferguson’s name is still on the board. Will he be able to improve beyond Pick No. 36 from 2019, or will his name continue to slip down the charts?
C.J. Leary – C.J. Leary won the USAC Sprint Car National Championship in 2019, scoring a pair of wins and a whopping 32 top-10 finishes in 34 events with the series. One of those wins came in the 24th Annual Oval Nationals at Perris Auto Speedway.
Last year, Leary was the 47th pick in the Short Track Draft. He will likely once again be a third-round pick, but his USAC title was not enough to lift him into the Top 25.
Max McLaughlin – Max McLaughlin is just 20 years old, but already has an incredibly diverse racing resume. He had plans to compete in at least five different types of cars in 2020, and won races in 2019 in Outlaw Karts as well as at Watkins Glen International in what is now ARCA Menards Series East.
Last year, the second-generation McLaughlin was the 38th pick in the Short Track Draft. We will see if he is able to improve on that in this year’s draft.
Logan Roberson – “Thugg Nasty” visited victory lane 12 times in 2019, from local Dirt Late Model shows in the Mid-Atlantic region to the $3,000-to-win Prelude to the FASTRAK World Championship at Virginia Motor Speedway.
Roberson caught eyes in 2018 by winning the FASTRAK World Championship, and was the 79th pick in the 2019 Short Track Draft. Between his 2019 success and a move to Super Late Models for 2020, can he move further up the board?
Ronnie Williams – Williams scored his first Tour-type Modified win with the Modified Racing Series in June, and went on to win the 2019 Tri-Track Open Modified Series championship after a win in that series as well. He also scored a second SK Modified title at Stafford Motor Speedway, as well as Sunoco Modified wins at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
The surge will certainly be enough to earn Williams his first-ever Short Track Draft selection after narrowly missing the cut in 2018. Where he will be taken remains to be seen.
After a weekend away from the draft floor, selections 26-50 will be announced on Monday, May 4.
That takes us to the second half of the draft, filled with sleepers and rising stars who could be early candidates to make big jumps in the 2021 Short Track Draft.
Picks 51 through 75 will be presented on Tuesday, May 5, with selections 76 through 100 announced on Wednesday, May 6 to close out the 2020 Short Track Draft.
Stay tuned to Speed51 as the Short Track Draft continues.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo