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 a big Super Late Model race taking place this weekend, our staff has been challenged once again.


This week we asked members of our Speed51.com team, “Who are you picking to win the 13th Annual Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway?”


The answers we received varied, but when all the votes were tallied it was Ben Rowe and Bubba Pollard who were named the favorites to win the Easter Bunny trophy.  Overall, 11 different drivers received votes from our panel of 21 experts, showing just how strong this year’s field is.


Race fans can watch all 150 laps of the Easter Bunny 150 via a live pay-per-broadcast on Speed51.com Live video tickets can be purchased today by clicking here.


Check out our full list of staff picks for the 13th Annual Easter Bunny 150 below.


Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Regional Editor (Central NY & PA)

Pick: D.J. Shaw

It came down to choosing between two drivers from the frigid north that have proven to be in contention multiple times at the historic Hickory Motor Speedway before, and I decided on D.J. Shaw. He made it happen during the 2014 running of the Easter Bunny 150 and he has what it takes to do it again after starting from the pole and being there at the end to finish second in last November’s Mason-Dixon MegaMeltdown.


Adam Mackey, Speed51.com Announcer

Pick: Ben Rowe

Rowe is always in the mix at the PASS races, especially at Hickory and he will get back into victory lane this weekend.


Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Corey Heim
He really impressed me during the Rattler 250 with his fifth-place finish. The kid has talent and the Easter Bunny 150 is where he can put it on display.


Bob Dillner, Speed51.com Executive Editor

Pick: Travis Stearns

You know me, I don’t like going with an easy pick. I like delving a lil deeper and I think a sleeper pick could be Travis Stearns out of Maine. In both races at Hickory in 2017 he finished top 10, but honestly he raced in the top five for a good portion of both races. His good buddy is ARCA champ Austin Theriault and they talk setup a bunch. We could see a Cinderella story on Saturday with Stearns as the Easter Bunny 150 winner.


Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor

Pick: Garrett Hall

Some may consider this an underdog pick, but if you’ve watched Hall at all over the last two seasons you would know he’s anything but an underdog. He turned heads last year in the MegaMeltdown at Hickory and appeared to be in a position to win $15,000 before spinning off the front bumper of eventual winner Brandon Setzer with three laps to go as they tried to make their way through slower traffic. Hall is a smart driver who always seems to find his way near the front. I believe this weekend at Hickory he will be out front when it matters most and will score the biggest win of his career after 150 laps.


Casey LaJoie, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Tate Fogleman

Fogleman picked up a big win at Hickory last year in August racing with the CARS Tour. He prevailed over Pollard, Craig, Setzer, and a handful of other strong contenders. I believe he will show up this weekend just as a strong as before.


Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor

Pick: Garrett Hall

Hall is one of the rising talents in PASS North and has a knack for snatching wins out of the blue. Hall posted a competitive top-10 finish in his debut last November at Hickory in the MegaMeltdown and I think he has the potential to shock the field on Saturday.


Dakota Geyer, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent

Pick: Bubba Pollard

Pollard doesn’t have a lot of experience at Hickory, but he proved at last year’s CARS SLM Tour Throwback race that he can still get around “The Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars” when he drove from last to fourth in a caution-free race. Pair that with the recent string of bad fortune in extra-distance SLM races, he will be looking for some retribution in the Easter Bunny 150.


Daryl Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Matt Craig

I am going to “hop” on the Matt Craig wagon for this one. Craig has a fast car and the talent to put it in victory lane. Craig will have to wiggle his nose through the herd to score the win, but at the end of 150 laps I believe the No. 54 will be the car in victory lane.


Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Matt Craig

He may not win, but he’ll be in the mix and under the right conditions he can win. Maybe he’s learned enough to beat the out-of-town crowd.


Jeremy Anders, Speed51.com West Coast Correspondent

Pick: Preston Peltier

I will pick the “Easter Bunny” himself, Preston Peltier. With his four Easter Bunny 150 wins, how do you not take him? It will be a tough task for him this year with the field so strong at Hickory. I’m putting my eggs all in one basket, I just hope Matt Craig doesn’t knock the eggs out of the basket after the comments from Myrtle Beach last weekend.


Kendra Adams, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent 

Pick: Bubba Pollard

Well, I’m going to have to go with Bubba Pollard considering he will be running. My reasoning is: it’s hard not to go with him, he’s dominating in most everything he drives.


Kevin Peters, Speed51.com West Coast Correspondent 

Pick: Ben Rowe

The 2016 winner has been on a roll at the Easter Bunny 150 as of late with three consecutive top-five finishes, including last year’s runner-up finish. I believe Rowe will return to winning form in 2018, running and hiding his eggs from the competition this weekend at Hickory Motor Speedway.


Madison Mabry, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Bubba Pollard

This will be the first time since The Meltdown that Bubba Pollard and Matt Craig will be on track together, so it could get interesting. Pollard has his mindset on winning and being able to roll the car in the trailer at the end of the night, of course, but I think he’s also showing up this weekend with a vengeance and the attitude of doing whatever it takes to win.


Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Operations Manager

Pick: Brandon Setzer

Setzer isn’t a flashy racer but he always seems to keep himself quietly in contention. Last year he capitalized with just a couple laps remaining to take down the big win to end the year at Hickory. With a runner-up finish under his belt already in 2018, he’s my pick to hop to victory lane this year.


Melissa Strahley, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Derek Griffith

After rebounding from an underwhelming World Series performance by winning the PASS South Carolina Clash at Dillon Motor Speedway, I think Derek Griffith is some-bunny poised to win the Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory this weekend.


Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com Regional Editor (IN, MI & OH)

Pick: Ben Rowe

I waffled between two PASS North cars, Derek Griffith and Ben Rowe. Rowe won in 2016 and finished second last year. In fact, he hasn’t finished outside the top five since 2014. With stats like that, I have to go with Ben Rowe “hopping” his way to victory lane Saturday.


Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor

Pick: Ben Rowe

He’s done it before and he’s always strong every time he comes down south. I bet we’ll be talking to the multi-time PASS National champ at the end of 150 laps in victory lane.


Ryan McCollough, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: D.J. Shaw

From where I sit it’s 1,354 miles to Center Conway, New Hampshire, but I’m going there with my pick. When all is said and done this weekend I think DJ Shaw – a 15-time winner in PASS competition – will add another Easter Bunny trophy to his growing mantle. Shaw is a PASS North Champ x2, and a former winner of Easter-weekend bonanza at Hickory. He gets another big win on Saturday.


Tom Ryan, Speed51.com Digital Manager

Pick: Bubba Pollard

Pollard has run well on worn out tracks like Hickory and he will continue to do so this weekend.


Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Brandon Setzerw

There may be more dominant or prominent names in the field, but I can’t pick against Brandon Setzer at Hickory Motor Speedway. Two of Setzer’s three career PASS wins have come at Hickory. That, along with five top-fives over the past two seasons on the CARS Tour at Hickory, make him the guy to beat at the Birthplace of NASCAR Stars.


-Text by Speed51.com Staff

-Photo credit: Speed51.com

Speed51.com Staff Makes Their Picks for Easter Bunny 150