The inaugural Short Track U.S. Nationals will get underway this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway (TN). Among the divisions competing will be the Pro Late Models, sanctioned by the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour. To get you ready for that 100-lap race on Sunday, we take a look at the race “by the numbers.”
Current Entries: 59
States Represented: 17 and five drivers from Canadian provinces.
5: The Pro Late Model drivers will get a total of five practices with three on Friday and two on Saturday. There will not be much time to dial in a car if drivers miss the setup. The tension will be high for the practice rounds.
14.894: Trey Craig led the April test with a lap a 14.894. The time was lowered at the next test, but not by much. We will see if Craig is in the mix this weekend following a crash in the final test.
18: We don’t normally call out drivers for not being on the entry list, but it’s hard to think that the 18 car of Casey Roderick is missing from the entry list. Roderick has wins in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. It looks as if the hot driver is sitting this one out, leaving the field to tango without him.
26A: Willie Allen will be in the 26A car this week and he is another one to keep an eye on. Allen has been fast at Nashville and we look for good things from him in Bristol.
26B: Here is a pick for you. Travis Braden is a former Super Late Model champion in CRA and he won the Winchester 400 a year ago.
14.849: The fastest lap that we have seen came from Dillon Oliver at the May test session. Oliver is a former winner of another big race in the state of Tennessee, the All American 400. Look for Oliver to be a contender.
30: Nearly 30 cars were on hand for the final Bristol test last weekend. As we mentioned above and below, there are 59 cars on the entry list. If all of those show up this weekend, this event could bring in one of the highest Pro Late Model car counts all year.
36: The starting field will be 36 cars for the main event. The fastest 28 cars from qualifying, the top four in CRA owners points and the top 4 transferring from “B” Feature will make up the field.
51: The 100-lap Pro Late Model race will be among the action shown on the live pay-per view broadcast on Speed51.com. Race fans can purchase live video tickets at an early bird discount by clicking here.
54: NASCAR and short track veteran Sterling Marlin had 54 NASCAR starts at Bristol Motor Speedway and he even logged a Busch Series win in March of 2000. In all, Marlin has some 22,000 laps at Bristol making him the driver with the most experience by far.
100: The feature event is 100-laps.
Oh Canada: Marc Jacobs and his brother Jaxson Jacobs have supported the CRA JEGS All-Stars Tour for several years. Marc has 32 starts and Jaxson has 33. They are listed to be on their way to Bristol this weekend.
Song of the South: When it’s time to call Pro Late Models together to run a race then Justin South will be nearby. After winning the Baby Rattler this year we look to see what else he can do in a Pro Late Model. He won a special event at Memphis a few years back.
Wide Open: Looking at the entry list we see some favorites, but also look for that unknown Cinderella story. We will see the regulars up front and then some drivers will make some noise on the big stage of Bristol.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com