Short track racing fans throughout North America have spoken. For over three months, fans have made their way to Speed51.com to cast their vote for the 2014 Speed51.com Late Model Most Popular Driver presented by ARbodies. Hundreds of drivers from tracks and series all around the continent were represented in the voting, but after tabulating over 72,000 votes it was a driver from the small town of Pearl River, Louisiana taking home the top prize.
Ronnie Osmer, a 15-year-old Pro Late Model driver at Mobile International Speedway (AL), is the winner of the 2014 Speed51.com Late Model Most Popular Driver Award presented by ARbodies.
“With the other drivers on the list, I almost didn’t expect it,” said Osmer. “I’ve got to thank all of my Facebook followers and especially all of the people who have supported me throughout my racing career. I have a lot of devoted fans. I love all of them and I thank all of them a lot for helping me get this.”
By winning the award, Osmer becomes the second consecutive weekly track driver to win the award. Being a young driver attempting to make his way to the top of the racing ladder, he believes that winning the award will help to get more people familiar with his name.
“I think it will help out a lot especially with me being from Louisiana,” Osmer said. “We’re a low-budget team and we need sponsors, so this will help a lot in getting my name out there.”
For being voted by the fans as the 2014 Speed51.com Most Popular Late Model Driver, Osmer will receive a free white “A” package body kit from ARbodies located in Greenbrier, Tennessee. AR Bodies has been the presenting sponsor of the 51 MPD voting since its inception in 2007.
“Everyone at ARbodies is excited to present the 2014 ARbodies/Speed51.com Most Popular Driver Award to Ronnie Osmer,” said Jerry Criswell of ARbodies. “Ronnie is a rising star in the racing world, and we are happy to play a part in that rise! Ronnie effectively leveraged the power of social media, as well as word of mouth to get ahead of the pack and become the 2014 Most Popular Driver. We are proud to present Ronnie with a White “A” Package Body for his Pro Late Model, and wish him all the best in his racing career.”
Osmer, a freshman at Pope John Paul II High School, plans to once again compete full-time in the Pro Late Model division at Mobile Int’l Speedway in 2015. He says that his new ARbodies body kit will help the team tremendously after his experience in December’s Snowflake 100 at Five Flags Speedway (FL).
“That will help a lot because the last race we were in, the Snowflake 100, we were trying to get in the race and got into a little wreck,” said Osmer. “We definitely need a new body and this will help a lot.”
In addition to his Pro Late Model plans, Osmer will also be competing in the ARCA Mobile 200 at his home track in March.
“I’m racing for Carter 2 Motorsports,” said Osmer. “In 2014, we went to a lot of ARCA races and met some teams. Carter was one of the teams we met and they gave us a ride in the ARCA Truck Series so I could qualify and get my license. They said I did really well and wanted me to drive for them.”
Cole Williams, the 2014 Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville (TN) Pro Late Model champion and last year’s MPD winner finished a close runner-up to Osmer in the voting.
Franklin County Speedway (VA) Late Model Stock Car competitor Kyle Dudley held the final podium spot in this year’s voting. Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) Pro Series driver Reid Lanpher and Wesley Thomason, another Franklin Country LMSC competitor completed the top-five.
Osmer becomes the eighth different driver to win the award in the eight-year history of the Speed51.com MPD voting. He joins a list that includes Cole Williams (2013), Kenzie Ruston (2012), Josh Berry (2011), Trey Mitchell (2010), Ross Kenseth (2009), Nick Murgic (2008) and Andy Pugh (2007).
ARbodies has become an innovative leader in the ABC body field, which was developed several years ago to help create a uniform set of body rules for Late Model series and tracks throughout the country, while also offering the bodies at an economical price for racers. ARbodies also offers cutting-edge body technology for a wide range of short track racing cars and trucks.
For more information on ARbodies, visit them online at www.arbodies.com and follow them on Twitter, @arbodies.
Since 2001, Speed51.com has been the home for short track news, behind-the-scenes stories and in-depth race coverage and radio broadcasts of series all around the country, from ARCA and NASCAR’s Touring Divisions, to the Super Late Model and Modified series and much more. 51 is the Official News Website of such major short track racing events as the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Florida, the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida, the Winchester 400 and more. In 2014, Speed51.com introduced its live video broadcast division, 51 TV, and has produced pay-per-view broadcasts of some of short track racing’s most prestigious events with more live broadcasts to be announced soon. 51 also has an exclusive partnership with NASCAR to provide live updates at many NASCAR K&N Pro Series and Whelen Modified Tour events.
For more information on Speed51.com and the rest of the 51 Companies, contact Matt Kentfield at 51 Sports at (704) 785-4013 and visit Speed51.com. Speed51.com is on Twitter at @speed51dotcom and on Speed51.com on Facebook.
-51 Sports Press Release. Photo credit: Ronnie Osmer Facebook