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 huge event coming up this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, we decided to challenge our staff once again.


This week we asked members of our Speed51.com team, “Who are you picking to win the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Pro Late Model Race during the Short Track U.S. Nationals at Bristol?”


The answers we received varied, but when all the votes were tallied it was Mike Skinner who was named the favorite to win the race.  Overall, seven different drivers received votes from our panel of 21 experts.


Check out our full list of staff picks for the Pro Late Model race at Bristol Motor Speedway below.


Aaron Creed, Speed51.com National Correspondent 

Pick: Mike Skinner

With the numerous youngsters entered, I’m going with one of the proven veterans that has won on the highbanks in the past – Mike Skinner. The former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion could be a risky pick though, knowing that he has doesn’t have much to lose and will be gunning for nothing but the win.


Adam Mackey, Speed51.com Announcer

Pick: Mike Skinner

I’ll go with the experienced Mike Skinner. Looking at the field, I’d be willing to bet no driver has turned more laps in a race car at Bristol or overall.


Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Florida State Editor

Pick: Mike Skinner

The Gunslinger is back at it in his Pro Late Model this season and he looks good. His team dominated the World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna Speedway, and every time he’s jumped into the No. 5 machine he’s managed to put on a show. Skinner topped the charts in testing last weekend and should be a force to be reckoned with come race day.


Bob Dillner, Speed51.com Executive Editor

Pick: Mike Skinner

I’ll go with Mike Skinner. The 60 year-old has experience at Bristol and that means a lot. The Gunslinger will be fast, but more importantly he will have the maturity to make it to the end. Don’t make a liar out of me Skinner.


Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor

Pick: Jack Smith

Smith is a four-time JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour winner and finished a strong third at Bristol last season. He always seems to be fast and at the front, so I’m picking the No. 28 to visit victory lane Friday night.


Casey LaJoie, Speed51.com Pit Reporter

Pick: Mike Skinner

Bristol is a veteran’s race track. Skinner has logged more laps around The Fastest Half Mile than a lot of the drivers in the field combined. ATF Gunslinger has been the class of the field at a lot of races they’ve shown up to this season and I believe it will be the same this weekend.


Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor

Pick: Mike Skinner

No one in the PLM field can match can match the amount of laps that Skinner has at Thunder Valley. He is also going to be in his team’s primary car, which has been fielded skillfully by Cole Anderson this year. With this possibly being Skinner’s final run at a major event, he wants a win more than ever.


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

Pick: Dillon Oliver

Oliver was very fast throughout the Short Track U.S. Nationals in 2017 before his race ended early due to a crash (and the infamous interview that followed). He comes back in 2018 with last year’s notes and some retribution as he looks to visit Bristol Motor Speedway victory lane.


Daryl Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Dillon Oliver

I’m going with Dillon Oliver to score the Bristol victory after destroying a car last year in a tangle with Eddie Fatscher.


Duane Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Mike Skinner

Skinner seemed happy with his car after the recent test at Bristol. Experience is crucial here and no one has more of that than Skinner.


Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Justin South

You can’t go wrong with this Alabama pick. South is a veteran in the Pro Late Model world, but this race joins the Snowflake 100 as one of his biggest races of the year. He’s been strong previously in the Snowflake, and he’ll run well at Bristol.


Evan Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Michael Clancy, Jr.

What’s the fun in taking the same drivers as everyone else? Clancy has a fast looking race car and should be fast around Bristol.


Jeremy Anders, Speed51.com West Coast Editor

Pick: Cole Williams

Back to back is what Cole Williams is looking to do this year, and that is why he is my choice to win. Williams has had a lot of ups and downs since his big win last year at Bristol, but will be looking to get back on track and in victory lane this weekend.


Kevin Peters, Speed51.com Southwest Editor

Pick: Mike Skinner

With Skinner’s experience at Bristol and the strong runs he had at the World Series of Asphalt Short Track Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) in a back-up car, it’s hard to go against the Susanville, CA native.


Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com Great Lakes Editor

Pick: Mike Skinner

“The American” probably has the most experience of anybody running at Bristol. I expect him to represent the racing veterans well and take home the PLM win.


Madison Mabry, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Cole Williams

It’s obvious that Cole Williams knows how to get around “The World’s Fastest Half Mile,” after picking up the win in last year’s Short Track U.S. Nationals. I think he is going for two in a row at Bristol and will accomplish just that.


Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Operations Manager

Pick: Mike Skinner

One word can explain why I’m picking Skinner to win: experience. As surprised as he was on test day at the cornering speeds, I think his experience level will allow him to adjust and find even more speed when/if necessary in the long run.


Rob Blount, Speed51.com Associate Editor

Pick: Cole Williams

Williams is another driver that just has a thing for winning big races. He has guitars from Nashville. He has a green jacket from the Masters of the Pros. He also has a sword from Bristol, because he’s the defending PLM winner of this event. He played it conservative last year and brought their secondary Pro Late Model and still won. This year he has more confidence, the nerves are gone, and they’re bringing their primary car. I expect all of those things to add up to another victory for the Indiana native.


Ryan McCollough, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Justin South

Justin South is always fast. He has multiple poles at the Baby Rattler, always runs well at Montgomery and is in the mix during his trips to Five Flags as well. Speed is never the issue with South’s No. 43 machine: it’s strategy. Many times throughout the last six or seven years, South has see big wins slip away in the waning stages of races. However, this weekend the speed and strategy will be in sync and will load the trophy up and take it home to Alabama.


Tom Ryan, Speed51.com Digital Manager

Pick: Josh Brock

The kid is rolling as the most recent winner in the ARCA/CRA Super Series. I believe the Kentucky driver will get it done in the Pro Late Model this weekend and roll into victory lane at the Last Great Colosseum.


Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor

Pick: Mike Skinner

The 60-year-old veteran has plenty of experience at Thunder Valley and showed speed to match at the test last weekend. He’s also coming with a “must-win” mindset, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he follows through.


-Text by Speed51.com Staff

-Photo credit: Speed51.com

Speed51.com Staff Picks for Pro Late Models at Bristol