As the 2019 Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes on Speed51 wraps, we take a look back at the ten-year anniversary of the 2009 Short Track Draft. Our resident "Stat Boy" Elgin Traylor takes us back in time with this Short Track Draft Throwback.
The year was 2009, and the racing landscape was quite different back then. We had not yet switched to the teenage craze when it came to evaluating the future talent of our sport. A lot of the names that made the 2009 Short Track Draft on Speed51.com went on to win big races and championships; some are still doing that today.
Brian Ickler had just won the Snowball Derby before a tech infraction took away the win. Despite the disqualification, our voters saw enough success to put him ahead of a young Modified driver named Matt Hirschman. The funny thing is that Hirschman has now won well over 100 races since 2009 and Ickler has all but disappeared from the racing world.
Bobby Santos, Sean Caisse and Josh Richards made up the rest of a hot-at-the-time top five. Santos was an open-wheel standout who went on to win a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship one year later. Caisse was fresh off success in what is now called the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and Richards was a rising dirt star who later went on to claim a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship, among many other accolades.
Further down the draft board that year we see future Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, current NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Preece and a younger Bubba Pollard who was just getting started.
Biggest Bust: Brian Ickler - It was no surprise at the time that Brian Ickler was selected as the top pick, but what happened after this unraveled his career and his future in the spot. Ickler raced under the Billy Ballew and Kyle Busch Motorsports banners up until the 2011 season. Ickler was also a Roush development driver, but from there things never panned out. One might say he was Erik Jones before Erik Jones, but we never got to see it.
Biggest Steal: Josh Richards - Looking at this objectively, we had Richards ranked fifth among a lot of asphalt guys. This was all before he won five national touring series titles and many marquee races on the Dirt Late Model circuit.
|2009 Short Track Draft on Speed51|
|30||George Brunnhoelzl III|
-Story by: Elgin Traylor, Speed51 Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo