In just a few short years the Champion Racing Oil Master of the Pros 144 has become one of the biggest events in the country for the Pro Late Model division. Some of the best in the class have made their way to Missouri from the Southeast hoping to steal the honor from the locals. Will that happen for a fourth time this year? Speed51.com’s resident “Stat Boy” Elgin Traylor takes a look at the history of the race “by the numbers.”
1: The car number for Cody Coughlin, the 2013 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour champion. Coughlin is coming off of two straight ARCA/CRA Super Series wins and will be looking to stay hot with a Masters of the Pros 144 win this weekend.
2: Keep and eye on Matt Wallace who has finished on the podium in each of the last two years with a second-place finish one year ago and a third in 2014.
6: Sixth is the best an in-state driver has done in the Masters of the Pros event. Mike Slone recorded the sixth-place finish in 2014.
8: John Hunter Nemechek will return to the Show Me State looking to show people he can become the first two-time winner in this Pro Late Model race. Nemechek has won all the big Pro Late Model races from the Snowflake 100, the SpeedFest event and the All American 400 when it was a PLM show.
14.318 – Anderson Bowen won the pole in 2014 and holds the event track record. We will have to see if this goes down this year.
22: Number of spots that Daniel Hemric made up to finish third in the race back in 2013. Hermic started 25th that night and had to work hard to finish on the podium.
26: The famous No. 26 from Georgia will head to Missouri for the first time. Pollard is a former Snowflake winner, a former Baby Rattler winner among other things at the Pro Late Model level.
30: Series officials have added a 30-lap race for non-qualifying drivers. The race will pay $1,000 to win.
31: There have been 31 different winners on the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour since the first race. No driver has won more then 10 and only two have won more then four.
44: Number of entries for this years race. Twice they have had 39 cars and had to send guys packing as 32 is the most that have ever started the race, and that was two years ago.
51: For the first time in the four-year history of the race, fans will be able to watch all of the Pro Late Model action live on Speed51 TV. Order you live pay-per-view video ticket by clicking here.
100: Number of laps Eddie Hoffman led in 2013 and finished fourth.
144: The lap distance that makes up the Master of the Pros.
$8,000: The winners share is $8,000 which makes it the richest payday in Pro Late Model racing.
Stacked Field: The south is sending Bubba Pollard, Stephen Nasse, Casey Roderick, Trevor Noles, Bret Holmes, Chris Davidson, Justin South and John Hunter Nemechek. The Midwest will counter with Super Late Model studs Johnny VanDoorn, Travis Braden, Cody Coughlin, Jack Smith and Phil Bozell. There are so many quality cars it’s hard to pick a winner.
The Jacket: The name Masters comes from the a little golf tournament in Georgia. In similar fashion the Master of the Pros winner gets a green jacket. The first two years driver from Georgia (Chase Elliott and Anderson Bowen) took the jacket home after winning the big race. John Hunter Nemechek wore the green jacket one year ago.
2015 John Hunter Nemechek
2014 Anderson Bowen
2013 Chase Elliott
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com