Sixty-four of the top short track racers in America have been placed in Speed51's "Short Track Madness" tournament bracket, inspired by the traditional college basketball tournament held each year. Over the coming days, fans will vote for which drivers should move on in the Big Race, until ultimately a Short Track Madness Champion is crowned.
Like the traditional basketball tournament, Short Track Madness is seeing many matchups go down to the wire, with some upsets likely to follow. That is also the case in our tournament, with several battles going back and forth as we close in on the first round deadline of Monday, March 23 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Here are six extremely close matchups from the tournament's first round.
Heartland Region: #7 Bobby Pierce vs #10 Casey Johnson
Former World 100 winner and Dirt Late Model standout Bobby Pierce and ARCA Midwest Tour and TUNDRA Super Late Model Series champion Casey Johnson are tied on Monday morning with just hours to go in the opening round. Could we possibly see overtime?
Heartland Region: #2 Tyler Courtney vs #15 Tyler Roahrig
It’s not very often you see an in-state battle during the tournament, but when one does anything can happen. Outlaw Super Late Model and asphalt open wheel ace Tyler Roahrig leads fellow Hoosier, USAC Sprint and Midget National Champion Tyler Courtney by just .7 percent at press time.
West/Canada Region: #4 Brady Bacon vs #13 Cole Butcher
It appeared former Maritime Pro Stock Tour champion Cole Butcher was on his way to a first-round win, but the ‘Macho Man’ Brady Bacon has been storming back into contention in the late stages, only down 51 percent to 49 percent on Monday morning. Can the two-time USAC National Sprint Car champion complete the comeback for the ages?
West/Canada Region: #3 Donny Schatz vs #14 Rico Abreu
This has been a back-and-forth battle between Sprint Car titans Donny Schatz and Rico Abreu, with Abreu pulling ahead at the latest count, 50.4% to 49.6%. With hours remaining, we may not be done seeing the lead alternate.
East Region: #6 Matt Hirschman vs #11 David Gravel
The 6v11 matchup is a popular one to pick the upset during March Madness, and the case is the same here with World of Outlaws and ARCA Menards Series driver David Gravel ahead of Tour-type Modified kingpin Matt Hirschman 51.1% to 48.9%. With loyal fanbases behind each driver, this will undoubtedly be a fun matchup to keep an eye on as time winds down.
South Region: #5 Stephen Nasse vs #12 Kyle Strickler
A 12 seed has beaten a 5 seed an astounding 50 times in the basketball tournament in the last 35 years. While Stephen Nasse holds the advantage over the ‘High Side Tickler’ by a slim .4% margin on Monday morning, this matchup will continue to go back-and-forth to the wire.
Voting will remain open through 11:59 p.m. ET tonight on Speed51.com.
While the tournament will be crowning a champion, fans can also win by participating in “Short Track Madness.” Those who place their votes and share with their friends, using the widget at the top of the bracket page, will be entered to win one of five Speed51 yearly subscriptions.
Speed51 Network subscribers gain access to our expansive on-demand video library, featuring past races, highlights, recaps and much more from short track racing events across Norht America.
So, don’t miss out on a chance for one of five Speed51 Network subscriptions and vote for “Short Track Madness” champion. Click here to vote on the Round of 64 matchups now.
-Story by: Speed51 Staff