There was plenty of racing throughout Florida during Speedweeks, getting the racing season properly underway in the short track world. Here are 10 of the standouts who flexed the most muscle during Speedweeks to ascend in our Short Track 10 power rankings.
1) Derek Griffith – Griffith backed up his triumph in last year’s World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna in a big way this February. The New Hampshire driver scored three Super Late Model wins during the week and never finished outside the top 10 on his way to becoming the first repeat champion since Pete Orr in 1994.
2) Matt Hirschman – “Big Money” tied the late Ted Christopher with five wins in the Richie Evans Memorial at New Smyrna Speedway for the Tour-type Modifieds. That win capped off Hirschman’s third championship in the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing.
3) Max McLaughlin – “Mad Max” picked up a pair of Big-Block Modified wins during the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park, securing the Big Gator for the Super DIRTcar Series portion of racing as a result.
4) Brandon Overton – “Big Sexy” currently leads the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points standings, with eight top-10 finishes in nine feature races. He scored wins with both the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and the World of Outlaws Late Models during Speedweeks, closing out the trip to Florida with a win at Volusia.
5) Kyle Strickler – To say Strickler had an interesting Speedweeks would be an understatement. “The High Side Tickler” scored a Late Model win for his second World of Outlaws victory of 2021. More dramatically, Strickler nearly sliced off his middle finger while working on a UMP Modified he would pilot to a third-place finish that night after receiving stitches at a nearby hospital. He then drove that same car to the win one night later.
6) Logan Schuchart – Schuchart scored wins with both the All Star Circuit of Champions and the World of Outlaws in Sprint Car competition at Volusia Speedway Park. His efforts earned him the Big Gator for the Sprint Car portion of the DIRTcar Nationals.
7) Stephen Nasse – The two biggest Late Model races of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing went to Nasse. The Florida native closed out the week by winning 100-lappers in both the Pro Late Model and Super Late Model for Jett Motorsports, putting the competition on notice in the Late Model world.
8) Ryan Preece – Yes, he may have spent part of the week at Daytona International Speedway as a NASCAR Cup Series competitor. However, few displays during Speedweeks were as impressive as Preece’s drive from 37th to the win in the John Blewett III Memorial.
9) Justin Grant – Grant leaves Florida as the early points leader for the USAC Sprint Car National Championship. Grant scored a win and a second-place finish during Winter Dirt Games XII at Bubba Raceway Park.
10) Sammy Smith – Smith scored a Super Late Model win during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, giving him four wins over the course of three years at the event between Pro and Super Late Model competition. Smith also led 78 laps during the ARCA Menards Series East season opener before finishing second to Max Gutierrez in a three-wide finish people will be remembering for a while.
-Text by Speed51 Staff