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 major Super Late Model race taking place this weekend in the state of Washington, 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 Summer Showdown at Evergreen Speedway?”


The answers we received varied, but when all the votes were tallied it was Preston Peltier who was named the favorite to win the big race.  Overall, nine different drivers received votes from our panel of 19 experts.


Check out our full list of staff picks for the Summer Showdown at Evergreen Speedway below.


Aaron Creed, Speed51.com National Correspondent 

Pick: Tayler Riddle

After a somewhat rocky start to the 2018 season, the nearby Naches, Washington driver has demonstrated before that he has the speed and stamina to outrun the invaders at the end of 200 laps. The team from the town of less than 900 will become the first two-time Summer Showdown winners on Saturday night.


Adam Mackey, Speed51.com Announcer

Pick: Willie Allen

I’m going to step out and pick someone who’s making a long trip for the Summer Showdown. I’ll go with Willie Allen, who’s coming all the way from Tennessee to make the start.


Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Florida Editor

Pick: Preston Peltier

I personally saw how much Peltier dominated the 5/8-mile last year and my money is on him to back it up again this year.

If I had to go with a local though it’s Tristan Moriarty. The kid flat out flies around Evergreen. But I didn’t choose him because I don’t feel like he can go the distance like Peltier did.


Bob Dillner, Speed51.com Executive Editor

Pick: Jeremy Doss

Doss will do it. Jeremy Doss is bringing some good mojo from the SRL circuit with him. Plus he’s got Earnest Performance and PFC Brakes on his side. And he’s supporting our race (the Speed51 Super Select at Lucas Oil Raceway on Sep. 8), so I’m supporting him.


Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor

Pick: Preston Peltier

I know, I know. Way to go out on a limb, right?


There’s just too much pointing in Peltier’s direction for me to pick anyone else. While I think there are eight to 10 drivers who truly have a shot at winning Saturday’s race, I believe the odds are in Peltier’s favor. He’s fast nearly everywhere he goes, and he’s been extremely fast on the 5/8-mile Evergreen oval in recent years.

Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor

Pick: Chris Eggleston

One year ago, Eggleston proved his metttle at Evergreen, breaking through for his first win there in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. He then proved that he was capable of edging out Preston Peltier when he won the Chilly Willy 150 at Tuscon Speedway (AZ) this past January. He may not be running a ton of races this year, but I believe everything is still in alignment for him to win his first Summer Showdown Saturday night.


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

Pick: Brittney Zamora

The Kulwicki Driver Development Program driver became the first female to win a Super Late Model touring series championship in 2017 after winning the Northwest Super Late Model Series title. She’s been running Evergreen Speedway full time to this point in 2018, and the track time will pay off on Sunday with a Summer Showdown win.


Daryl Canfield, Speed51.com Tri-State Editor

Pick: Buddy Shepherd

I don’t really know many of the competitors entered for the Showdown, but I do know the name Buddy Shepherd. Shepherd has teamed up with Campbell Motorsports for this event and I think he will take full advantage of the opportunity. Shepherd has already been in victory lane in 2018 and now is the time to add a big win like the Summer Showdown.


Duane Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Jeremy Doss

I have to go with Jeremy Doss for the Summer Showdown. He has proven to be a big game contender on a regular basis and I believe he will prevail at Evergreen.


Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Preston Peltier

He won the last time out there, but the track still owes him one after two years ago. Peltier for the double shot.


Evan Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Preston Peltier

Being from the dirt country in the Northeast, I am not all too familiar with the Late Model drivers of the Northwest. But I am familiar with Preston Peltier. Wherever he goes he is fast, and being a past winner of the event definitely plays in his favor, making him a big factor to contend for the win.


Jeremy Anders, Speed51.com West Coast Editor

Pick: Lex Johnson

The Summer Showdown has seen six different winners in six years. No local track driver has ever won the Summer Showdown, but this year it will change with some strong local racers and a handful of them that could win. My pick is going to be Lex Johnson. After coming out of a 10-year retirement, Johnson finished second at the Showdown last year and led the most laps in the Mark Galloway 150 in May on the 5/8-mile track. With 43 drivers from all over the country battling it out on one of the most historic tracks west of the Mississippi, the true winners will be the fans in attendance at this race.


Kevin Peters, Speed51.com Southwest Editor

Pick: Buddy Shepherd

This one is a tough pick for me. There are several drivers that I would list as pre-race favorites such as defending winner Preston Peltier, Willie Allen, the Riddle Brothers, Garret Archer, Chris Davidson and Gracin Raz, along with several talented local drivers. But for me, it came down to an 18-year-old rising star, driving for arguably the most successful Super Late Model owner on the West Coast and another young driver who has hit his stride since picking up a new Senneker car near the end of last season. With a coin flip, I’m going to go with Buddy Shepherd over Jeremy Doss.


Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com Great Lakes Editor

Pick: Preston Peltier

Peltier dominated the 2017 edition of the Summer Showdown after leader Derek Thorn had an issue and fell several laps down. With Thorn not entered to run, I expect his main challengers to be Jeremy Doss and the Riddles. With Peltier having two cars to learn from this weekend, I expect him to improve the car throughout the weekend and win the Summer Showdown again.


Madison Mabry, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Preston Peltier

Being the defending winner of this race, it’s obvious that Peltier knows how to get around Evergreen Speedway. He’s been competitive this year, aside from some bad luck. I think he will go two-for-two and become a repeat winner in Washington.


Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Operations Manager

Pick: Willie Allen

I am torn between a few of the “outsiders” on the entry list for this one, while also trying to think a little “outside the box.” Peltier is an obvious choice being the defending winner but I believe most of the staff will pick either him or Doss to take the win. Since the majority of my exposure to drivers on this list is primarily based in the East and Southeast, it’s a toss up for me between Chris Davidson and Willie Allen. Davidson has had strong cars the last few years working with veteran Mike Garvey but his long run game, to me, needs some work. Plus bad luck seems to always find the No. 14 lately, the majority not of his own making.


All of that said, Willie Allen, traveling up from Tennessee is going to be my pick. Allen seems to unload fast right off the truck everywhere I have seen him run and his driving style has always appeared cautiously aggressive. He’s not afraid to take chances when he needs to and his long-run program has gotten better and better every time I’ve watched him race over the past couple years. I’m looking for Allen to bring the Summer Showdown title back to the east.


Rob Blount, Speed51.com Associate Editor

Pick: Tayler Riddle

He’s won this race before and he’s one of the most dominant drivers in that part of the country. My guess is he’ll get the job done once again at Evergreen.


Ryan McCollough, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Chris Davidson

You don’t make a 4,800-mile round trip unless you know you can win. Chris Davidson made the haul from the Lone Star State last year, and took a podium finish home. A wise man once told me that you don’t mess with Texas. So, I’ll pick it to win. Davidson will park it in victory lane in the Great Northwest this weekend.


Tom Ryan, Speed51.com Digital Manager

Pick: Preston Peltier

You will have a back-to-back winner this year. Preston Peltier will hoist the big check out west.


-Text by Speed51.com Staff

-Photo credit: Seekonk Speedway

Speed51.com Staff Picks for Summer Showdown at Evergreen