A panel of industry experts from all four corners of the country and Canada have voted on their choices for the second Short Track Power poll of 2015. Drivers in all forms of short track racing, including Late Models, NASCAR Touring Series, ARCA, Dirt Late Models and Modifieds, NASCAR Whelen All-American Series or ASA Member Track program and everything in between were eligible.
The rankings shown below were decided after polling our panel of experts in the industry. Rankings were based on overall number of votes, with more weight given to each vote the higher the vote. Example, a #1 vote would be more valuable than a #2, #3, etc.
Here are the results of the short track power rankings to this point in the 2015 racing season:
1. William Byron (K&N East, SLM) – One of the knocks on William Byron leading up to this edition of Speed51.com’s Power Poll was that he hadn’t won enough. He hadn’t proven enough yet. After the last month of racing, you can take a black sharpie and strike a line through that argument. Byron scored his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win at Greenville Pickens (SC) and followed that up with his first career Super Late Model win in the CARS Tour event at Hickory (NC) last weekend. His performances lately have caught the eye of many and have vaulted him up to No. 1 in this edition of the Short Track Power Rankings.
2. Donny Schatz (WoO Sprint Cars) – Donny Schatz has been on a tear thus far during the 2015 World of Outlaws season. He was ninth in the previous edition of the Short Track Power Rankings and had recorded four World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series wins at that time. He has now doubled that number and has eight wins to his name already this season. Our panel of experts took notice of Schatz’s dominance in the Sprint Car ranks and he’s jumped up to second in the rankings this time around.
3. Burt Myers (Mods) – Piloting his new LFR Chassis, Burt Myers has been the dominant driver in the Southern Tour-Type Modified ranks so far this season. In addition to his NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour win at Langley Speedway (VA), Myers has recorded two KOMA Unwind Modified Madness Series wins in 2015. At his home track of Bowman Gray Stadium (NC), Myers has been dominant. He picked up the win in the season-opening 200-lap event and followed that up by winning the 100-lap event one weekend ago. He’s a man on a mission in his white, orange and black No. 1 machine and so far that mission has been successful in 2015.
4. Mike Rowe (PASS North) – “The Maine Racing Legend” is proving that age is just a number. At 64 years old, Mike Rowe has been putting on a clinic for the younger talent on the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North just three races into the season. Teaming up with Petit Motorsports has been a winning combination thus far, as Rowe scored wins in the season-opening event at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) and the most recent event at Star Speedway (NH). In addition to his two wins, Rowe recorded a fourth-place finish at Beech Ridge (ME) and currently leads the PASS North championship standings.
5. Christopher Bell (SLM, Dirt) – Bell continues to win races and show why he was the consensus No. 1 pick in this year’s Speed51.com Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes. Although he’s quieted down just a bit since his Rattler 250 win, he’s still been able to pick up recent wins in CARS Tour action at Orange County (NC) and World of Outlaws Sprint Cars Series action at I-55 Speedway (MO). He continues to prove he’s a major threat to win on dirt and asphalt any time he shows up to a race track.
6. Casey Smith (Southern Super Series) – Through four races, Casey Smith has proved that he’s a legitimate threat competing against the stars of the Southern Super Series. The Austin, Texas native has recorded top-four finishes in all four SSS events in 2015. The biggest moment of his season came on April 25 at Mobile Int’l Speedway (AL) when he held off defending champion Bubba Pollard to score his first career Southern Super Series win.
7. Brayton Haws (CARS Late Model Stock Tour) – Haws is quickly making a name for himself as a favorite in the Late Model Stock Car ranks. The 15-year-old from Youngsville, North Carolina has flexed his muscles on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour by winning the last two events at Orange County Speedway (NC) and Hickory Motor Speedway (NC). Our panel of experts have taken notice of his recent streak and his performances have earned him the seventh spot in this version of the Short Track Power Poll.
8. Keith Rocco (NWAAS) – Early on in the 2015 racing season, “Kid Roc” seems to be a legitimate contender for the 2015 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series title. Rocco kicked off the 2015 season at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl by sweeping the Late Model and SK Modified features. He has also showed early on that he will be a contender in the extremely tough SK Modified division at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT). He has one win, one runner-up and one sixth-place finish in three races at Stafford so far this year. When it comes to racing in Connecticut, Rocco has proven he’s at the top of the totem pole.
9. Ryan Preece (NWMT, NWAAS) – Preece has yet to win his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race with the TS Haulers No. 6 team, but he’s shown plenty of speed. He’s been near the front in both NWMT events thus far and has two top-five finishes to show for it. In addition to his NWMT performance, Preece recently battled on the Riverhead Raceway (NY) bullring and came away with two runner-up finishes in a pair of twin features.
10. Grant Enfinger (ARCA) – After another torrid start to the ARCA Racing Series season, Grant Enfinger once again sits at the top of the series standings after five races. Enfinger recorded wins in the series’ first three races of 2015 at Daytona (FL), Mobile (AL) and Nashville (TN). He’s slowed down a bit since that hot start, but he’s proven that he’ll be the guy to beat whenever the ARCA Racing Series rolls into a race track.
11. Zane Smith (SLM) – World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing Super Late Model champion, PASS South winner at Kingsport (TN).
12. Dalton Sargeant (K&N East, SLM) – NASCAR K&N Pro Series West winner at Irwindale. Two K&N East top-five finishes.
13. Bubba Pollard (SLM, PLM) – Inaugural Winter Showdown winner, but has had a rough go of it lately.
14. Shane Clanton (WoO Late Models) – Four World of Outlaws Late Model Dirt Series wins in 2015.
15. Chris Ferguson (Dirt Late Models) – Two starts, two wins in WoO Late Model Dirt competition. Carolina Clash winner.
16. Woody Pitkat (NWMT) – Winner of the NWMT Spring Sizzler at Stafford. Runner-up finish in Thompson (CT) Icebreaker.
17. Jesse Dutilly (SLM) – Dominating the Florida Super Late Model scene with wins at Auburndale and Desoto.
18. Ty Majeski (ARCA Midwest Tour) – Victorious in the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series opener. Third-place finish in Joe Shear Classic.
19. Doug Coby (NWMT) – Displayed pure dominance at Thompson’s (CT) Icebreaker. Fastest in practice, won the pole and won the race.
20. Darren Hagen (Midgets) – Recently swept a weekend of POWRi National Midget Series events in Missouri.
Others Receiving Votes: Rico Abreu, Dalton Armstrong, Austin Barnes, Brian Campbell, Kodie Connor, Cody Coughlin, Spencer Davis, Trey Gibson, Todd Gilliland, Eric Goodale, Noah Gragson, Wayne Helliwell Jr, Austin Hill, Michael Lira, Eddie MacDonald, Earl Pearson Jr, Rowan Pennink, Bobby Pierce, Lee Pulliam, Anthony Sergi, Kyle Strickler, Todd Szegedy, Derek Thorn, Cole Timm, Don Wagner,