Each year as the NFL Draft approaches, aspiring professional football players see their draft stock rise, fall or hold steady. Similarly, short track racers see their stock rise and fall ahead of the Short Track Draft.
Our short track racing experts have taken a look at some of the drivers in this year's draft to determine whether their stock is rising, falling or holding steady leading up to the 2020 Speed51 Short Track Draft.
Matt Craig - Stock Rising
Hometown: Kannapolis, NC
Current Level: Super Late Models
Last Year's Pick: 45th
Matt Craig has inserted himself as the driver to beat in the Carolinas over the past couple years. He scored six wins in 2019, which included the biggest of his career in the Florida Governor’s Cup, and already has two wins in 2020 at Southern National Motorsports Park with PRA and CARS. He has won championships in each of the last four years, three with PASS South and last year’s CARS SLM title. Team owners and sponsors love winners, and that’s all what Craig does.
Jake Garcia - Stock Rising
Hometown: Monroe, GA
Current Level: Super/Pro Late Models
Last Year's Pick: Undrafted
Jake Garcia is poised to make a major jump into the Short Track Draft in 2020 after being undrafted one year ago. He earned his first Pro Late Model wins at Crisp Motorsports Park and Lucas Oil Raceway before ending the year with a runner-up in the Snowball Derby. He then kicked off 2020 with his biggest win in the Alabama 200 at Montgomery Motor Speedway. His interview skills have improved tremendously in the past couple years, which will be vital as he continues to climb the ladder.
Cannon McIntosh - Stock Rising
Hometown: Broken Arrow, OK
Current Level: USAC Midgets
Last Year's Pick: Undrafted
Cannon McIntosh came busting onto the National Midget scene in March 2019 when he scored an upset win in the Shamrock Classic in family equipment against some of the top competition USAC has to offer. While he was quiet the rest of the year, he made his presence known once again at the Chili Bowl back in January with Keith Kunz, winning on his prelim night and finishing third in the main event on Saturday. He now embarks on the full USAC Midget slate with KKM, with the potential to establish him as the next Midget star.
Giovanni Bromante – Holding Steady
Hometown: Lattingtown, N.Y.
Current Level: ARCA
Last Year's Pick: 6th
Giovanni Bromante return to racing from a back injury was in the Rattler 250, his Super Late Model debut. All he would do that day was win the race, as well as in his second Super Late Model start at Five Flags Speedway. While he wouldn’t visit victory lane for the rest of the year, he would pick up the Blizzard Series championship at Five Flags. 2020 sees him take on the full ARCA Menards Series East slate, giving him more opportunities to showcase his talent on a higher level.
Tyler Courtney – Holding Steady
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Current Level: USAC
Last Year's Pick: 17th
After having a career year in 2018 that saw him earn the USAC National Sprint Car title, Tyler Courtney topped it with 21 wins in all three USAC series’ and in New Zealand, while winning the USAC Midget crown and finishing runner-up in the Sprint Cars. While a season like that would see many other drivers’ stock rise, “Sunshine’s” age plays a big factor in where he will ultimately be slotted as this is his final year of draft eligibility.
Connor Okrzesik - Stock Falling
Hometown: Grand Bay, AL
Current Level: ARCA/Super Late Models
Last Year's Pick: 8th
Connor Okrzesik shocked the short track racing world in January 2019 when he outdueled Kyle Busch to win CRA SpeedFest at Crisp Motorsports Park. However, the rest of the year only saw him go to victory lane once, despite running well in several races and finishing runner-up in Southern Super Series points. Okrzesik is just 18 years old and has an ambitious schedule for 2020 in both the Late Model and in ARCA, which will give him ample opportunity to raise his draft stock once again.
Carson Kvapil - Stock Falling
Hometown: Mooresville, NC
Current Level: Super Late Models, Outlaw Karts
Last Year's Pick: 22nd
Carson Kvapil turned heads in the waning months of 2018 when he won in his ARCA Midwest Tour debut at Golden Sands Speedway, and following it up with a TUNDRA Super Late Model Series win at Dells Raceway Park. After his 2018 success, he went winless in Late Model competition last season while missing out on the Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year award to Gabe Sommers. A loaded schedule in 2020 that sees him racing in both the Midwest and the Southeast will test Kvapil’s versatility, which could see his stock go back up for 2021.
-Text by: Speed51 Staff
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo