Picking the winners of big short track races throughout the country is a tradition that our staff at Speed51.com has enjoyed for many years. For the first time in 2019, our staff is ready to pick the winner of a big Super Late Model race.


This week we asked members of our Speed51.com team, “Who are you picking to win CRA SpeedFest 2019?”


The answers we received varied, but when all the votes were tallied it was Bubba Pollard and Kyle Busch (six votes) who were named the favorite to win the big race.  Overall, eight different drivers received votes from our panel of 20 experts.


Check out our full list of staff picks for the ARCA/CRA Super Series SpeedFest 200 below.


Adam Mackey, Speed51.com Correspondent

Pick: Kyle Busch (Pick Submitted on December 22)

My pick for this year’s SpeedFest is Kyle Busch. I know that the entry list isn’t quite complete yet, but something tells me he could be fast this year and I always like to pick the dark horses.


Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com National Correspondent

Pick: Bubba Pollard

Bubba is hands down one of the best drivers to race in Cordele. This is his home turf and he’ll do everything he can to keep the trophy in Georgia, including fending off drivers like Kyle Busch and Harrison Burton. Look to see the No. 26 in victory lane after 200 laps this weekend.


Blaise Dillner, Speed51.com Correspondent

Pick: Stephen Nasse

With Nasse being on fire before the Snowball Derby and not getting the finish that he wanted there, he will come out firing in 2019 and kick off the start of the season with a victory against a star-filled field.


Bob Dillner, Speed51.com Executive Editor

Pick: Brian Campbell

No walls; circular backstretch to some degree… I’m going with the Wolverine, Brian Campbell. He’s never been there, and it will be tough to beat the likes of Bubba (Pollard), Kyle (Busch) and Harrison (Burton), but I’ve really never been one to always pick the favorite.


Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor

Pick: Harrison Burton

Burton had the car to beat during the Snowball Derby but was bitten by a “Hail Mary” pit strategy and late-race caution.  There’s no doubt in my mind that Burton and crew chief Chris Wimmer will have the No. 12 at the top of the speed charts this weekend.  With a little luck on their side, they’ll be celebrating in Cordele, Georgia for a second time.


Casey LaJoie, Speed51.com Pit Reporter

Pick: Bubba Pollard

Picking Pollard to win is like picking Christopher Bell to win the Chili Bowl. It’s just the easiest choice. You can’t bet against the most decorated Super Late Model driver in the country.


Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor

Pick: Kyle Busch

Back when CRA found a new home for SpeedFest in Cordele, it was Busch who took the trophy back in 2012. We all know by now that Rowdy always races to win, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have fun while going for it. Fortune favors the bold, and no one is bolder than Kyle Busch when there’s a trophy and cash on the line.


Dakota Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI)

Pick: Kyle Busch

I normally don’t like to pick a favorite but with it being the first pick of the new year, it’s important to have a strong start. I’m picking the 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, Kyle Busch.


Daryl Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Chandler Smith

I’m glad I waited a few hours to make my selection. Now that the defending SpeedFest winner will be in action, my pick is easy. @CSmithDrive, as he’s known by on Twitter, will score back-to-back victories in Cordele.


Duane Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Harrison Burton

After falling just short of winning the season ending Snowball Derby in 2018, Burton will be searching for redemption to kick off the new year. A win over his NASCAR Truck Series boss Kyle Busch will be just what the doctor ordered.


Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Bubba Pollard

Bubba Pollard at his hometown track? Yup, I’ll place my bet on him. Kyle Busch is good, but the driver of car No. 26 is looking to chalk up another win in the Watermelon Capital.


Evan Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Bubba Pollard

Last year, I didn’t take Bubba Pollard enough for staff picks and it showed in the final standings. I will start off the 2019 season by taking Bubba and hopefully jumping to the top of the standings early.


Jeremy Anders, Speed51.com Northwest Editor

Pick: Bubba Pollard

I quote the great Ray Charles song with my pick, “I said Georgia, Ooh Georgia, no peace I find. Just an old sweet song keeps Georgia on my mind.” Remember to keep Georgia on your mind as the home state hero keeps the SpeedFest trophy in Georgia. It’s hard not to pick Bubba.


Kendra Adams, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Harrison Burton

Burton is a great driver in the Super Late Model world and is usually pretty consistent. I’m going to take the idea from Bob Dillner and go for someone not everyone is going to pick, like Bubba or Busch, to hopefully get a win above everyone. I am also looking for a good showing from Canadian racer Taylor Holdaway, who raced at my home track (Sunset Speedway) for the past few years.


Madison Mabry, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Corey Heim

Since we’re not going with some obvious picks here. I thin Heim has been impressive anytime he has been behind the wheel, whether in a Late Model Stock Car, Super Late Model or in ARCA until bad luck struck. I’m believe Heim can turn his luck around and kick off the season on a high note at Cordele.


Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Operations Manager

Pick: Bubba Pollard

I picked him often in 2019 and it propelled me near the top of the standings.  You can’t go wrong picking the most recognized Super Late Model racer in America.


Melissa Strahley, Speed51.com Gulf Coast Editor

Pick: Kyle Busch

Sometimes you just have to be cliché. With that said, I’m going with the popular pick of Kyle Busch.


Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com Great Lakes Editor

Pick: Kyle Busch

It’s supposed to be a weekend to “knock the dust” off prior to the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season, but a strong field got stronger with the late addition of Chandler Smith. I’m expecting the Cup champion to beat Bubba, handle Harrison, wrangle Roderick, and nab a win over Nasse.


Tom Ryan, Speed51.com Digital Manager

Pick: Kyle Busch

With the stacked field that is entered, I see at least 10 drivers capable of pulling out a win at SpeedFest this weekend. At the end of the weekend, I would say the No. 51 of Kyle Busch will be the one to grab the checkered flag at Watermelon Capital Speedway.


Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor

Pick: Connor Okrzesik

The obvious pick here would be someone like Kyle Busch or Bubba Pollard, and I’m sure plenty of my colleagues will line up to make those picks looking to ease into the pursuit of dethroning “Stat Boy” in 2019. However, I can’t shake the nagging feeling that Okrzesik is due for a big, breakthrough win after finishing fourth in the Snowball Derby (and scoring a top-ten in 2018’s SpeedFest). Chandler Smith did it last season at Cordele, maybe it is Okrzesik’s turn this time.


-Text by Speed51.com Staff

-Photo credit: Speed51.com

Speed51.com Picks: Who Will Win CRA SpeedFest 2019?