Preparations for the 2018 Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes on Speed51.com are underway. The ballot was recently revealed and sent out to a panel of industry experts to determine the top 51 short track racing prospects in North America.
As we prepare for the draft, we’ll be taking a look at a handful of drivers and providing scouting reports just like you would see ahead of the NFL Draft. These scouting reports will take a look at a driver’s on-track performance, as well as other qualities that may make or break their chances of making it to the top levels of NASCAR.
We continue our round of scouting reports today with a look at Spencer Bayston, one of the top Midget standouts in the country.
Current Level: USAC Midgets/410 Sprint Cars
Hometown: Lebanon, Indiana
Highest Pick: 42nd (2017)
Anticipated Pick: 20th-25th
Bayston will be looking to make the list of top 51 picks in the Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes for the second straight year. He broke into the top 51 last year when he was selected as the No. 42 draft pick. Despite a low rank in 2017, he is expected to make a huge jump in the 2018 Draft as his resume has grown significantly within the last year and he has become an open-wheel racer to keep an eye on moving forward.
Rising, Falling or Holding Steady: Rising
One knock on Spencer Bayston during last year’s draft was that he hadn’t scored any overly impressive accomplishments. However, the same can’t be said entering this year’s draft. Bayston scored his first career 410 Winged Sprint Car win at Attica Raceway Park, had 12 overall wins on the season and beat the best Midget drivers in the country to become a USAC National champion.
On-Track Accomplishments: A
Although Bayston only had a few notables on his driver resume in 2016, his 2017 season exploded with wins, crown jewels and championships.
In 2017, Bayston picked up 12 victories including his first Sprint Car win with the Arctic Cat All Stars Circuit of Champions, a weekend sweep at Belle Clair with POWRi, and a 4-Crown Midget Nationals win at Eldora Speedway (OH). He also captured the Belleville Midget Nationals championship and the USAC National championship.
Bayston is already off to an impressive start by claiming a podium finish at the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals in 2018.
Bayston is known as one of the more quiet, shy drivers of the bunch. At the track, you will catch him chatting up friends and crew members, but when it comes to talking with the media, the personality goes away. This is something the rising star will need to work on if he wants to be successful at the next level.
Sponsor Appeal: B
Being a part of the Toyota Racing Development and Keith Kunz Motorsports adds to the sponsor appeal of Bayston due to the popularity of both of those organizations.
At the same time, a young, standout open-wheel driver seems to catch the eye of many influential people in the sport as we have seen before with the likes of Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell. His immense driving talent and focus will carry him far both on and off the track.
Social Media: B-
Bayston is fairly active on all forms of social media, Twitter especially. His Twitter shows more interaction with sponsors, team owners, friends, and fans in the racing community. However, his Instagram feed has both a combination of racing and a glimpse at his personal life away from the track.
We had to deduct points in this category due to the limited updates on Bayston’s Facebook page, “Spencer Bayston Racing,” since the 2017 season.
To defend his championship title, fans can expect to see him in USAC National Midget competition as well as POWRi Midgets. Not only will he tackle those series, he will be running with the Arctic Cat All Stars Circuit of Champions throughout the season under Kevin Swindell’s “Swindell Speed Lab” banner.
-Story by Madison Mabry, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Ryan Sellers