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 taking place 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 Super 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 Raphael Lessard who was narrowly named the favorite to win the tri-sanctioned race for the ARCA/CRA Super Series, CARS Tour and Southern Super Series.  Overall, seven different drivers received votes from our panel of 23 experts.


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


Aaron Creed, Speed51.com National Correspondent 

Pick: Jared Fryar

I’m going slightly out on a limb and picking Jared Fryar to break through with a career victory. He quietly was runner-up in a Late Model Stock Car at Bristol one year ago and with his record of consistently bring the car home in one piece, the North Carolina resident will pounce at the opportunity at the right moment to get the W.


Adam Mackey, Speed51.com Announcer

Pick: Steve Wallace

For the Super Late Model event, I’ll go with Steve Wallace. He has won some big short track races in the past and this will be another to add to the list.


Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Florida State Editor

Pick: Stephen Nasse

All year long Nasse has been on rails in the No. 51 Machine backed by the Jett Motorsports crew. He’s bound to come away with a win sooner than later and why not do it on one of the biggest stages. Nasse thrived in last year’s Short Track U.S. Nationals, placing fourth when it was all said and done. Look to him to improve those results this time around.


Bob Dillner, Speed51.com Executive Editor

Pick: Stewart Friesen

Listen, he’s one of the hottest drivers in America. He’s won a handful of Dirt Modified races and he’s kickin’ butt with an independent team in the NASCAR Trucks. And, in his first race in a pavement Super Late Model, almost won at Nashville a little more than a month ago. The No. 112 will reign in Thunder Valley.


Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor

Pick: Jake Crum

I haven’t been known to go outside the box with my picks, but I feel that the time is right to do so.  Crum may be considered an underdog by some, but he was last year’s runner-up in the Super Late Model race at Bristol.  They say you have to lose one before you win one, and I think “Jake the Snake” will prove that statement to be true on Sunday.


Casey LaJoie, Speed51.com Pit Reporter

Pick: Raphael Lessard

Lessard has been knocking on the door of a win all year long. The Kyle Busch Motorsports team shown the speed, but haven’t been able to put a full race together. Bristol suits Lessard’s wide-open driving style and I believe he will get his first checkered flag of the season at The Last Great Colosseum.


Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor

Pick: Stewart Friesen

Though he is new to the Super Late Model game, Friesen impressed in his debut at Nashville by leading much of the race. With the amount of tough tracks he’s taken on running his Dirt Modified, he should take to Bristol fairly quick.


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

Pick: Stewart Friesen

Mr. Freeze was impressive in his Super Late Model debut at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, leading many laps and finishing second in a stacked field. Look for him to finish one spot better and take home one of those awesome swords on Sunday afternoon.


Daryl Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Steve Wallace

I have to go with Steven Wallace. Wallace is due to leave the aggression behind and go to victory lane.


Duane Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Raphael Lessard

Lessard was super fast last year, but faded as the race wore on. Look for him to close the deal this year.


Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Stephen Nasse

Nasse likes big fast tracks and Bristol is the fastest he’ll race at this year. He will be in the mix for the win and he’s due for a big one.


Evan Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Pick: Stewart Friesen

Although Friesen only has one start in a Late Model, it was an impressive second-place finish at Nashville. He has been on fire on the dirt tracks of the Northeast and has experience driving a truck at Bristol, which should play to his favor. The Canadian will definitely be a factor on Sunday.


Jeremy Anders, Speed51.com West Coast Editor

Pick: Raphael Lessard

Raphael Lessard is my pick to win the Bristol Short Track U.S. Nationals for the Super Late Models. Lessard showed his speed last year as well as the first practice date this year. Bristol might cater to his loose driving style.


Kevin Peters, Speed51.com Southwest Editor

Pick: Raphael Lessard

Lessard and the potent Kyle Busch Motorsports Team will find themselves in victory lane this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Lessard has been strong all season and has been close to a breakout victory several times this year. Look for this weekend to be that win.


Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com Great Lakes Editor

Pick: Josh Brock

I want to go with Lessard or Nasse but for various reasons I will instead go with CRA regular Josh Brock, who is coming off a win at Anderson Speedway. Brock put on a strong show at Anderson, and was able to keep his car clean during all the “excitement” in that race. We know from last year that keeping the car clean is huge. Look for another strong run from Josh Brock as he continues his return from a cancer diagnosis last year.


Madison Mabry, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Josh Brock

Josh Brock finally got the monkey off his back and picked up a big win this season. He also had an incredible run at Nashville after his return from battling and beating cancer. I think he is going to be the dark horse to show up this weekend and steal the victory away at Bristol.


Mark Keeler, Speed51.com Operations Manager

Pick: Stephen Nasse

Nasse is beyond overdue for a big win. He’ll be looking to turn the page from the drama that occurred in Pensacola, and I believe this is the perfect stage for him to come home victorious and get that signature win that’s been eluding him.


Melissa Strahley, Speed51.com Gulf Coast Editor

Pick: Raphael Lessard

It’s been a tumultuous season for Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Raphael Lessard, but the young Canadian isn’t shying away from another chance to battle at the Last Great Colosseum. Lessard was fastest in two of last week’s practice sessions, foreshadowing what’s to come this Sunday.


Rob Blount, Speed51.com Associate Editor

Pick: Jake Crum

Jake the Snake was so close to winning this race one year ago. After a strong test, he said he felt confident that he can be one spot better this year. I’m confident in that too. Hopefully Crum moves me back up the leaderboard.


Ryan McCollough, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent

Pick: Steve Wallace

Steve-O has plenty of experience at the Last Great Colosseum, and getting around the high banks is in his blood. With an always-fast Jet Tools ride under him, look for Wallace to park it on top of the media center this weekend.


Tom Ryan, Speed51.com Digital Manager

Pick: Raphael Lessard

Fresh off his recent disappointment at Hickory, I look for the Canadian driver to park the KBM car in victory lane.


Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor

Pick: Jared Fryar

Fryar’s resume may not stack up against some of the Super Late Model hotshoes we’ll see at Bristol. However, he showed consistent pace during last week’s open test, and he leads the CARS Super Late Model Tour points standings. He also competed here last season in the Late Model Stock division, finishing second to a dominant Myatt Snider.


-Text by Speed51.com Staff

-Photo credit: Speed51.com / MoJo Photos

Speed51.com Staff Picks for Super Late Models at Bristol