Bragging rights are once again on the line here at powered by JEGS.  Like with many of the prestigious short track racing events throughout the country, the Speed51 staff has sat down and made their picks for the 11th annual Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway.  With bragging rights on the line until the next major short track event, who will come out on top?


Check out all of the picks below and then tune into the live stream on this weekend to see who was correct with their pick. ‘


Aaron Creed – State Editor (PA, NY) – Twitter: @aaron_creed

Pick: Brandon Setzer

Even with heavy hitters like Christopher Bell and three-time and defending Easter Bunny 150 winner Preston Peltier in the field, the hometown guy has a very good shot at getting two in a row in PASS competition.  In fact, Setzer concluded the 2015 PASS season with a victory as well in the Mason-Dixon Meltdown, held at Hickory of all places.


Allick Jorgensen – Deep South Correspondent – Twitter: @AJorgensen24

Pick: Brandon Setzer

The man simply knows how to drive a Super Late Model. He finished 2015 strong and started 2016 with a win at Dillon Motor Speedway in the PASS 125. I see no reason why he can’t run with Christopher Bell and Preston Peltier all day long and grab a win there in the end.


Bob & Angie Dillner – Owners – Twitter: @bobdillner/@angiedillner

Pick: Christian Eckes

The 15 year-old is on the verge of his first big win.  He was third-best to Ty Majeski and Christopher Bell on a track he had never seen before at The Rattler last week.  Last year, he qualified second and finished sixth in a CARS Tour event at Hickory.  I believe this could be the week he breaks through.  And having veteran racer Jeff Fultz on your side as your crew chief is not too shabby either.  The LFR Super Late Models are getting stronger by the day.


Brandon Paul – Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51

Pick: Wayne Helliwell, Jr. 

This may not be the most popular pick, but that’s why I like it.  Helliwell, a three-time ACT champion, enters this race under the radar, and if last year’s Oxford 250 is any indication that is when the Bruce Bernhardt-led team performs best.  The team did some testing earlier this year at Hickory and is constantly working harder to improve their Super Late Model program.  Hickory is certainly a driver’s track and Helliwell is one of most talented drivers in the country that people aren’t talking about.  If he’s able to play the tire game right and be around at the end the boys down south may be in some trouble.


Bruce Nuttleman – Photographer – Twitter: @BruceNuttleman

Pick: Christopher Bell

I think that this will be the weekend that Christopher Bell get his first win with new Kyle Busch Motorsports crew chief Steve Strasburg.


Connor Sullivan – State Editor (CT, LI, MA) – Twitter: @Connor51CT

Pick: Joey Doiron

He has been the one to beat in the last two PASS National events held in the South. He won The Howler last October and The Winter Meldown in February both at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Although he finished 14th in the Easter Bunny last year, Doiron has momentum on his side and is sure to be a factor.


Elgin Traylor – Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @ElginTraylor

Pick: Mike Hopkins

Hickory is ready to produce a new winner and Hermon, Maine’s Mike Hopkins will be in the mix all day and will charge hard at the end.  Hopkins ran well at Hickory last fall and now after Greenville he’s ready to finish things off for his first win.


Christopher Bell is among the favorites to win the Easter bunny 150 according to the staff. (Heath Lawson/ photo)

Jana Wimmer – Midwest Editor – Twitter: @JWimm22

Pick: Christopher Bell

Bell has had some good finishes this year, including runner-up last weekend at the Rattler, and is still looking for the SLM win in 2016.  KBM is working with their new crew chief and I think this is the weekend it all comes together for them.


Patrick Hahe – State Editor (IN, MI, OH) – Twitter: @PatrickHahe_S51

Pick: Christopher Bell

KBM will give him some of the best equipment in the country this weekend, and he has the talent to match.  I expect Bell to dominate most of the weekend and meet up with the Easter Bunny in victory lane.


Preston Peltier is no stranger to victory lane at Hickory. (LW Pictures photo)

Matt Kentfield – Executive Director – Twitter: @mattkentfield

Pick: Preston Peltier

Simply ‘the man’ in Super Late Model competition at Hickory Motor Speedway and has been for a long time.  He’s won this very race three times before and is simply a master of saving his equipment on the rough Hickory pavement.


Rob Blount – Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount

Pick: Preston Peltier

I can’t bet against this guy.  He’s just too good at Hickory in a Super Late Model.  Last year he completely dominated the Easter Bunny 150 and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t do it again.


Ryan McCollough – Deep South Correspondent – Twitter: @RyanLMcCollough

Pick: Christopher Bell

To finish first, you must first finish. Christopher Bell does a lot of both. He will do so again this week at the Bunny.


Tim Quievryn – 51’s The Third Turn – Twitter: @thethirdturn

Pick: Mike Rowe

Started at the back last year in the Easter Bunny and came all the way up to thrd in his first race with a brand new team. Again comes to Hickory this year with a brand new team and maybe a chip on his shoulder after losing his championship winning ride during the offseason. Believe it’ll be a statement weekend for the Mainer.


-Text by Staff. Photo credit: Staff Makes Their Picks for Easter Bunny 150