The inaugural Speed51 Super Select will bring the best Super Late Model drivers in the country to one of the great destinations for auto racing in the entire world: Indianapolis. While many of the selected drivers will be traveling from all over the country to compete in the inaugural "Winner-Take-All" Super Late Model All-Star Race, one driver will be making a short haul south to Lucas Oil Raceway from his hometown of Portage, Indiana.
Shafer, a regular on the ARCA Midwest Tour, received his invitation to compete in the Speed51 Super Select as a result of his win at Jefferson Speedway (WI) back in June.
In addition to scoring a win earlier this year, Shafer is also locked into the Midwest Tour championship battle entering the season finale at LaCrosse Speedway (WI) in October. But before he set his sights on the championship, he’s looking forward to racing at home Saturday night in the Speed51 Super Select.
“I’m excited to go. I’ve been there in the past running the Fall Brawl. I’m only 21, but I went there four or five years ago and I ended up running second to Daniel Hemric, so it’s cool to finally go back," Shafer told Speed51.com. "It’s only about a two-hour drive from our house, just straight down 65, look at some corn fields, a couple of windmills and all that good stuff. It’s even closer than most of the tracks we run on the ARCA Midwest Tour."
Despite experiencing problems last Saturday at Dells Raceway (WI), Shafer has a 30-lap feature win fresh under his belt at Grundy County Speedway, which could prove beneficial with three 25-lap segments making up the $10,000-to-win Super Select feature.
“We ran pretty good at Grundy last Friday, picked up the local win there," Shafter stated. "We ran at Dells on Saturday on the Midwest Tour, had some struggles, but this has been our best season yet. We had three or four fast times, and we won Jefferson. It seems like every time we don’t have any troubles and finish, we finish up front.”
While Shafer is aware of the caliber of competition he faces, he believes that the home track edge may prove beneficial on Saturday.
“There’s a lot of great guys on that entry list from all over the country, like Derek Thorn, Harrison Burton, Bubba Pollard, and a lot of those guys from down south and out west. They’re always tough to beat, but we’ve been there before and we know our way around, so we’ll see what happens."
Shafer is entering the weekend with a very humble approach, but also knowing the significance of taking home the checkered flag and the big check on Saturday.
“It’d be pretty cool. I don’t want to say this is up there with the Snowball Derby, but the guys that are probably the top 10 or 15 that you’ll see at the Derby are the guys that are going to be at Indy on Saturday. Being able to win there would say a lot about my guys that help me and where we’ve come from, being we’re a lot more local than most of these guys.”
Those who can't make it to Lucas Oil Raceway on Saturday night will be able to watch the Speed51 Super Select live on Speed51.com pay-per-view broadcast. Click here to order your live video ticket today.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor - Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com