Hometown: Sutter, CA
Current Level: USAC Midgets, Sprint Cars
Last Year’s Pick: 43rd
Sometimes, it takes just one season for someone to shoot up the draft boards and stand out from the others. Just like Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, the fifth overall pick in the Speed51.com Short Track Draft used 2018 to establish himself as a breakout star and it elevated him toward the top of the draft boards. After being 43rdin last year’s draft, the fifth overall pick in this year’s Short Track Draft is the leader of ‘Seavey Gang’, Sutter, California’s Logan Seavey.
Seavey was first thrust into the spotlight in 2015 when he went head-to-head with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series star Kyle Larson during the second annual Speed51 Open at Millbridge Speedway (NC) and came out on top in the Outlaw Kart crown jewel as a seventeen-year-old. After winning the POWRi Lucas Oil Midget Series championship with Keith Kunz Motorsports along with three POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprint Car League wins in as many stars in 2017, he made his first appearance in the Short Track Draft at 43rdone year ago.
He enjoyed a breakout season in 2018 as he joined the NOS Energy USAC Midget ranks full-time. He won three races at the ‘Mini Magic Mile’ at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds (IL), Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex (MO), and Bakersfield Speedway (CA) and finished outside the top ten in just two races on his way to his first USAC National Midget championship.
He would make a jump to full-bodied Stock Cars and won his first ARCA Menards Series race at the ‘Magic Mile’ at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds with Venturini Motorsports, earning wins at both tracks on the famed fairgrounds in southern Illinois. He also made a NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series start at Eldora Speedway (OH) for Kyle Busch Motorsports, finishing eighth after leading 53 laps.
For Seavey, being one of the top five prospects in short track racing out of hundreds that were draft eligible is a huge honor for him.
“It’s pretty cool just to be recognized by the people of the sport,” Seavey told Speed51.com. “To come out fifth overall out of hundreds of drivers that were on the list is a pretty big deal. There was some big races last year that I’m sure bumped me up on the list pretty far. Hopefully I’m able to run some of those races again and hopefully I can also go for another USAC championship.”
Seavey credits his success on the national stage with the USAC National Midget championship, ARCA Menards Series win, and a strong run in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway for his massive jump on the draft board. After a thirty-eight spot jump on the board, he is excited to prove himself further and make his way up the board for the 2020 Short Track Draft.
“The biggest thing would probably be winning the USAC championship and running a couple ARCA races and winning one of those, and I ran fairly well at the Truck race,” said Seavey. “I unfortunately didn’t win, but just running up front all day, I feel like a lot of people were able to see what I was capable of there.
“It’s just cool, I know there’s a lot of really good drivers out there. To be recognized and be in the top five is pretty special. Hopefully we can keep climbing and be even higher next year.”
Seavey has been compared to the likes of Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell, and for good reason. Larson and Bell came through the USAC ranks with Keith Kunz Motorsports while working their way up to the top levels of NASCAR. With two national Midget championships between USAC and POWRi under his belt in as many seasons in full-time Midget racing, he is well on his way to following Larson and Bell into NASCAR.
“Not just being a dirt racer, but being on the same path currently as what they were on with the Keith Kunz Motorsports Midget program and the whole Toyota Driver Development,” said Seavey while discussing the comparisons. “Just to know I’m in the same process and going through the same things they did on their way to the top is a pretty cool feeling.”
When asked about what he wants to improve most about his driving ability is to improve his skills on the hardtop. He made two starts behind the wheel of an asphalt Super Late Model for Justin Oertel one year ago, finishing seventh in a Southern Super Series race at Montgomery Motor Speedway (AL) and eighth in a PASS South race at South Boston Speedway (VA) after breaking the track record in qualifying.
After two top-fives in six races during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing with Wimmer Motorsports, he believes getting more starts on asphalt will pay off with a higher pick in next year’s Draft and give him a much clearer path to NASCAR.
“I would say definitely getting more pavement races in and getting better runs on pavement would be the biggest thing,” explained Seavey. “I feel like for the most part, obviously the Short Track Draft recognizes everybody in racing, but if you can prove you’re good on pavement and that you have a clear path to NASCAR would bump me up higher up on the list. Hopefully throughout the year, I can do a little more pavement stuff and hopefully be higher up on the list next time.”
While Seavey wants to get more pavement races under his belt in 2019, his current plans involve going after a second consecutive NOS Energy USAC National Midget championship, as well as making several starts in the POWRi Lucas Oil Midget Series and select Sprint Car races. He is searching for more wins throughout the season and another championship to boost his draft stock and possibly become the number one overall pick in 2020.
“As of now, just Midget racing, just trying to win the USAC championship again,” said Seavey. “I didn’t get off to a very great start so far, but it’s a long season and we’ll do our best to turn that around. Right now, I just have a bunch of Midget races and I’m just focused on winning Midget races.”
Only four short track drivers were selected before Seavey in the 2019 Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes. Chandler Smith was selected as the number one pick, Bobby Pierce was picked second, with Christian Eckes third and Hailie Deegan fourth.
Speed51's Short Track Draft coverage will continue until the weekend, as picks six through 10 will be released Friday at 5 p.m. ET.
Picks 11 through 25 will be revealed Sunday at 7 p.m. ET. The remainder of the top 51 will be announced Monday at 5 p.m. ET.
The Short Track Draft will continue Tuesday with picks 52-75 being revealed at 12 p.m. ET. The remainder of the top 100 picks will be announced Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET.
-By Koty Geyer, Speed51 State Editor (IN & MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3