Like the upcoming NFL Draft, the Short Track Draft on Speed51 has eligibility requirements. Although it is possible for a short track racer to be selected on more than one occasion, there are certain requirements that they must meet to be eligible each year. If they don't meet those requirements, they are removed from the ballot and deemed ineligible for that year's draft.
If a driver turns 26 years old prior to April 1, they are now ineligible for the Short Track Draft. A rule created prior to the 2016 Short Track Draft on Speed51 made it so that only drivers 25 years and younger are eligible for the draft.
Another eligibility requirement involves driver participation in NASCAR's national series, including the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series. If a driver lost their rookie status in any of NASCAR’s top-three touring series by the end of the 2019 season, they are ineligible. If a driver plans to compete in more than seven races in any of NASCAR's top-three touring series during the 2020 season, they are also ineligible for the Short Track Draft.
The number-one pick from last year’s draft, Chandler Smith, is also ineligible for two reasons. Smith will be competing in eight races in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports. He is also ineligible due to a rule that doesn’t allow the prior year’s top pick to enter the draft.
To be eligible for the Short Track Draft on Speed51, drivers must also have competed in at least one short track racing event within the last year.
With those rules in place, a stout list of racers are no longer eligible for the 2020 Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes.
This year’s list of ineligible drivers is headlined by 2018 No. 2 pick Austin Theriault.
After celebrating his 26th birthday in January, Theriault now exceeds the age requirement and is no longer eligible for the draft. After winning the ARCA Menards Series title in 2018, the Maine driver made his NASCAR Cup Series debut for Rick Ware Racing last season.
Christian Eckes, the third pick in the 2019 Short Track Draft, and 10th overall pick Raphael Lessard are both ineligible for this year's draft due to both competing in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series full-time for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Another top 10 pick from last year’s Short Track Draft, Derek Kraus, is also ineligible due to competing full-time in the NASCAR Truck Series. The Wisconsin driver won the ARCA Menards Series West title one year ago driving for Bill McAnally Racing.
Rising World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series star Sheldon Haudenschild, the 14th pick in last year’s Short Track Draft, has hit the age limit and is ineligible for this year’s draft. He continues to impress on the circuit, having won the Ironman 55 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 by 10 seconds in one of the most dominating performances the series had seen in a long time.
Number 18 pick from one year ago, Carson Hocevar, is inelgible for the Short Track Draft. He is scheduled to compete in nine NASCAR Truck Series races for Niece Motorsports in 2020.
Last year’s No. 20 pick Travis Braden is also ineligible after hitting the age cutoff just weeks ago. However, Braden continues to establish him as one of the top stars in short track racing, winning the Snowball Derby last December.
Super Late Model shoe Brandon Setzer has also hit the age limit and will be ineligible for the 2020 short track draft. Nowadays, he spends most of his time at the track working for Kyle Busch’s Super Late Model program.
2018 Snowflake 100 winner Chase Purdy, two-time Oxford 250 runner-up Reid Lanpher, and Northwest driver Molly Helmuth have all been deemed ineligible after announcing they had no plans to race in 2020.
Former PASS South champion Tate Fogleman is also ineligible due to competing in the NASCAR Truck Series full-time in 2020 for Young’s Motorsports.
Other notable drivers who have become ineligible for this year's draft include a pair of top 100 picks from last year: Jared Fryar (61st) and Austin Reed (98th). Both drivers have turned 26 years old since last year's draft.
More information about the 2020 Short Track Draft on Speed51 will be announced soon. The official ballot of over 350 eligible short track drivers can be viewed by clicking here.
-By Koty Geyer, Speed51.com National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3