Tonight in San Diego, California, the best of the best in Major League Baseball will convene for the “Mid-Summer Classic,’ the MLB All-Star game. With bragging rights and home-field advantage on the line for the winning team, a lot of pride goes into just making an All-Star team to perform on one of baseball’s biggest stages.
While there’s no true All-Star event that brings short track racers from all different disciplines together for one night like MLB will serve up tonight, we at Speed51.com decided to make a roster of short track All-Stars to this point of the season.
So don your favorite team’s cap – whether it’s a race team or a MLB ball club – and check out who a panel of Speed51.com staff members have voted to the 2016 Speed51.com Short Track All-Star Team.
1B – Matt Sheppard (Dirt Modifieds)
Has the build of a first baseman and hits it hard like Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer.
2B – Ty Majeski (SLM)
Like Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist, Majeski hits home runs by winning big races and has a batting average that makes him a championship contender.
Shortstop – Bryan Clauson (USAC)
What do Bryan Clauson and Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts have in common? They’re both making their All Star debut in 2016.
3B – Cody Coughlin (CRA/JEGS Tour)
When Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado steps up the plate he normally delivers, just like Cody Coughlin does when he straps into a Late Model.
Outfield – Doug Coby (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour)
Like Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. Coby is small in stature, but makes up for it with his powerful performances on game day.
Outfield – Patrick Emerling (RoC Modifieds)
Swings for the fences in his Tour-Type Modified on the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series, and wins a lot like Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.
Outfield – Donny Schatz (World of Outlaws)
It would be more of a surprise if Schatz wasn’t on the All-Star team, like it would be if back-to-back All-Star Game MVP Mike Trout didn’t make the cut.
Catcher – Scott Bloomquist (Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series)
Bloomquist has the demeanor and the build to be a catcher in the big leagues. He also delivers in the biggest moments like San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey. He also likes to sit down like a catcher, as was apparent when he drove around the PRI Trade Show on a jazzy.
PH – Jeff Choquette (Super Late Models)
Choquette put together a deal to pinch hit for the Jett Motorsports team and has delivered thus far by winning three races.
DH – Todd Gilliland (NASCAR K&N Pro Series)
Gilliland has displayed power that could be compared to Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. He knows how to win, and that’s what you need out of your DH.
Pitcher (Ace) – Stewart Friesen (Big-Block Modifieds)
When a baseball team needs a big win, they call upon their ace. There’s very few in the Short Track Racing game that can deliver a winning performance better than “Mr. Freeze” Stewart Friesen.
Pitcher – Josh Richards (World of Outlaws Late Model Series)
Texas Rangers All-Star pitcher Cole Hamels enters the All-Star break with nine wins, the same amount of World of Outlaws Dirt Late Model Series wins that Josh Richards has as of July 12.
Pitcher – Matt Bowling (NASCAR Whelen All-American Series)
Bowling is performing at a level that could make him a champion, just like Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta.
Pitcher – Chase Briscoe (ARCA Racing Series)
Briscoe has made the transition from a good racer to an All Star this season, like Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright.
Pitcher – Jon McKennedy (Valenti Modified Racing Series)
Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg is all business when he takes the mound and Jon McKennedy has that same mindset when he’s at a race track. Like Strasburg, McKennedy also knows how to deliver winning performances.
Relief Pitcher – Justin Haley (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East)
Teams look for consistency out of their relief pitcher, and that is exactly what Haley has given his HScott Motorsports team in 2016.
Closer – Ted Christopher (Tour-Type Modifieds)
Christopher still has the fire power and the desire to win that many of the closers have in Major League Baseball. He may not be able to throw a 99 mile per hour fastball, but he does have the “three tap rule” that strikes fear into the opposition.
Utility – Bobby Pierce (Dirt Late Models)
Like a utility player that can play anywhere on the field, Bobby Pierce has proven he can play and win anywhere in the country. His 10 wins at 10 different race tracks on the Hell Tour have proven that.
Utility – Nick Hoffman (Dirt Mods/Outlaw Karts)
Hoffman will race anything, anywhere, at any time. From dominating Florida-Georgia Speedweeks in a Dirt Modified to winning in an Outlaw Kart at Millbridge to his most recent Modified Nationals wins, Hoffman can perform all around the diamond.
Umpire (Race Director) – Scott Tapley
How do you become a successful umpire? You gain the respect of players and coaches, and that’s what Scott Tapley has done as the race director at Riverhead Raceway (NY) and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT).
Coach (Consultant) – Mike Perrotte
Since taking over as the Director of Series and Sanctioning for DIRTcar’s Northeast programs, Perrotte has ensured competitive racing for competitor and exciting racing for the fans.
Manager (Crew Chief) – Jack Smith
Good managers will take good players and turn them into superstars, and that is what Jack Smith has done in his new role as the leader of Cody Coughlin’s Late Model program.
Owner – Bill McAnally Racing
The goal of an owner in any sport is to create a dynasty, Bill McAnally is closing in on that goal. The team currently consists of defending NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion Chris Eggleston and Todd Gilliland, a three-time K&N West winner already in 2016.
– By Speed51.com staff