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. With the biggest Super Late Model race on the west coast being held this weekend, we challenged our staff once again.


This week we asked members of our Speed51.com team, “Who are you picking to win the 5th Annual Winter Showdown?”


The answers we received varied, but when all the votes were tallied it was Derek Thorn (five votes) who was named the favorite to win the big race.  Overall, eight different drivers received votes from our panel 18 experts.


Check out our full list of staff picks for the 5th Annual Winter Showdown below.


Adam Mackey, Speed51.com Correspondent

Pick: Ty Majeski

Ty Majeski made his first SRL Winter Showdown start one year ago and came home fourth. With a little bit of experience under his belt in the event and the fact that he is coming off of a strong week at the Snowball Derby, Majeski will be one to watch as always.


Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com National Correspondent

Pick: Preston Peltier

One of the best driver’s on the west coast, plus Rowdy Manufacturing equipment, equals a match made for victory lane.


Blaise Dillner, Speed51.com Correspondent

Pick: Preston Peltier

Peltier had a pretty good year last year, and I think he will start his year off with a win at Kern.


Bob Dillner, Speed51.com Executive Editor

Pick: Ty Majeski

He’ll be “Majestic” in the shadows of Hollywood.


Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor

Pick: Jeremy Doss

I think people may overlook the 2018 SRL champion this weekend due to the star power that is entered for the $30,000-to-win race, but when it comes down to it Doss is still one of the best on the west coast. Despite his bad luck in this race in the past, there’s no denying that he will be among the contenders when the green flag is waved on Saturday. $30,000 would also go a long way in helping the team determine their plans for the rest of the 2019 season.


Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor

Pick: Preston Peltier

No matter where Peltier and that No. 48 go, expect them to be fast. He’s also eager to cross the Winter Showdown off his win list, and he’s hard to beat when he sets his mind to something.


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

Pick: Ty Majeski

Majeski is taking the same car that propelled him to a runner-up finish in the Snowball Derby. After a strong fourth-place run in last year’s Winter Showdown, he comes back and takes the trophy back with him to Wisconsin.


Daryl Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Derek Thorn

The entry list for the 2019 Winter Showdown is certainly stacked with talent and potential winners, but Derek Thorn probably has the edge going into this event. After witnessing first hand the attention to detail that Thorn puts into his car during the 2018 Snowball Derby, I would doubt that anyone else would be better prepared to drive into Kern County Victory Lane.


Duane Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Derek Thorn

When it comes to racing out west, one of the first names that comes to mind is Thorn. He will get his 2019 campaign kicked off with a big win at the Winter Showdown.


Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Chris Davidson

Call me crazy, but I just have a good feeling about the Texas driver who is long overdue for a big win or a great run. This weekend will be one to remember for him.


Evan Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Derek Kraus

Kraus has won a number of K&N Pro Series West races at Kern County in the past couple of years, but has yet to score a victory in a Super Late Model. At a track that has brought him so much success, I believe that he will finally score his signature SLM win and top some of the best at the Winter Showdown.


Jeremy Anders, Speed51.com Northwest Editor

Pick: Jason Fraser

The veteran driver stepped backed into the driver’s seat of a Super Late Model and picked up the victory at the Yakima Fall Classic after taking the year off. This weekend he’s teamed up with an all-star team from the Northwest as he looks to bring the Winter Showdown “W” back north.


Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Operations Manager

Pick: Tyler Ankrum

Ankrum has been nipping away at getting his first big Super Late Model win. With this being a home track race of sorts for the California driver, I think he gets the W this weekend


Melissa Strahley, Speed51.com Gulf Coast Editor

Pick: Derek Thorn

In four years, the Winter Showdown has seen three winners. Only one of those drivers is throwing their helmet into the ring this weekend for a shot at $30K – Cali native Derek Thorn.


A young race calls for an overqualified pick; this is far from Thorn’s first rodeo at the raceway.


Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com Great Lakes Editor

Pick: Derek Thorn

Thorn has the team and the car to make it happen, plus a lot of experience (he won in 2017). A very strong field will show up Saturday, but I expect Derek to be a Thorn in his competitor’s sides.


Tom Ryan, Speed51.com Digital Manager

Pick: Ty Majeski

I would like to pick Preston Peltier in Kern, but I will have to go with the Majestic Missile of Ty Majeski to topple the competition in California.


Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor

Pick: Preston Peltier

Peltier is hungry for his first win in the Winter Showdown and will be bringing a brand-new Rowdy Manufacturing chassis with him to Bakersfield. Kyle Busch dominated this race last year, so combining that equipment with the success Peltier has had in his career is a dangerous combination.


-Text by Speed51.com Staff

-Photo credit: Speed51.com

Speed51.com Picks: Who Will Win the Winter Showdown?