A tradition like no other will be returning to Speed51.com powered by JEGS during the months of April and May. The Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes will soon get underway with a panel of short track racing experts and industry insiders making their picks to determine the sport’s most talented prospects.
Nearly 400 short track racers from all around North America have made it onto this year’s ballot after a round of nominations and careful consideration by the 51 staff.
First off, in order to be eligible for the Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes, drivers must be no older than 25 years of age as of April 1, 2016. This is the second year in a row that this rule has been in place. Previously the age requirement had been 29 years old or younger.
This rule alone eliminated a few big names from the 2015 ballot including USAC standout Brady Bacon, Northeast Late Model stars Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. and DJ Shaw, former PASS South champion Kyle Grissom and defending USMTS National Champion Rodney Sanders.
In order to be eligible for the Short Track Draft, drivers must also maintain their rookie status in NASCAR’s top three series by the end of the 2016 season. Drivers competing in 10 or more races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series also are not eligible.
Last year’s No. 1 pick Christopher Bell, No. 3 pick Ryan Preece, No. 5 pick Rico Abreu and No. 6 pick William Byron are all now ineligible due to this rule. Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Cody Coughlin, Cole Custer, Corey LaJoie, Dylan Lupton and Gray Gaulding are also not eligible due to these rules.
A new addition to the rule book for the 2016 season states that drivers must own short track racing equipment and/or have announced plans to compete in a short track series. This rule eliminates a driver like Austin Hill who has sold his K&N East equipment and plans to race in select NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events with his family-owned team.
The full ballot of eligible drivers will be released at 5 p.m. ET tonight on Speed51.com. Do you like the rules? Do you not like the rules? Let us know by joining in on the discussion with hashtag #STDraft on Twitter.
Also stay tuned to Speed51.com for more information on how you can become involved with the Short Track Draft process. More new features surrounding the one-of-a-kind draft will be released soon including the return of the popular 51 War Room.
-Speed51.com Staff Story