Often imitated, but never duplicated, the Speed51.com JRi Short Track Power Poll ranks drivers from all across the land on their strength to this point in the season.
A panel of industry experts from all four corners of the country and Canada have voted on their choices for the second JRi Shocks Short Track Power poll of 2018. Drivers in all forms of short track racing, including Late Models, NASCAR Touring Series, ARCA, Dirt Late Models and Modifieds, NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and everything in between were eligible.
The rankings shown below were decided after polling our panel of experts in the industry. Rankings were based on overall number of votes, with more weight given to each vote the higher the vote. Example, a #1 vote would be more valuable than a #2, #3, etc.
Here are the results of the short track power rankings as of August 15, 2018:
#1 – Stewart Friesen (Previous Rank: 2) – Dirt Modifieds – After a month away, “Mr. Freeze” vaults back up to the top spot in this month’s JRi Shocks Power Poll. Friesen scored a trio of Super DIRTcar Series wins recently at Orange County (NY), Autodrome Granby (QC) and Ransomville (NY). He also scored a local Modified victory at Fonda Speedway.
#2 – Mike Harrison (Previous Rank: 13) – UMP Modifieds – You would be hard pressed to find a short track racer who has won more races than Mike Harrison in 2018. Since the last edition of our power rankings, Harrison picked up seven DIRTcar UMP Modified victories, bringing his season total up to a whopping 26 victories.
#3 – Justin Bonsignore (Previous Rank: 14) – NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour – Bonsignore may not race as much as some of those on our list, but his winning percentage in 2018 ranks right up there with the best of them. The Long Island native now has five points-counting wins in 10 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts. He also added a victory in the Whelen All-Star Shootout at New Hampshire Motor Speedway during the month of July.
#4 – Matt Sheppard (Previous Rank: 8) – Dirt Modifieds – “Super Matt” continues to add to his list of achievements this racing season. Sheppard recently went from the back to the front to win the Short Track Super Series York County Nationals at BAPS Motor Speedway (PA). He also scored a Super DIRTcar Series victory at Autodrome Drummond (QC) and a DIRTcar 358 Modified Series win at Cornwall Motor Speedway (ON) since our last JRi Shocks Power Poll.
#5 – Donny Schatz (Previous Rank: 1) – Sprint Cars – A matter of inches likely separated Donny Schatz from claiming the number-one spot for the second straight month. Schatz came up just short of winning the prestigious Knoxville Nationals, but still claimed a pair of World of Outlaws victories during the Kings Royal event at Eldora Speedway (OH).
#6 – Philip Morris (Previous Rank: 4) – Late Model Stock Cars – “King Philip” just keeps on winning. The Virginia driver has now scored 20 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series victories in 27 starts while competing at South Boston (VA), Langley (VA), Dominion (VA), Myrtle Beach (SC) and Southern National (NC).
#7 – Scott Bloomquist (Previous Rank: 5) – Dirt Late Models – Bloomquist continued his strong season by recently winning a pair of Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series races at Lucas Oil Speedway (MO) and Jackson Motorplex (MN).
#8 – Bubba Pollard (Previous Rank: 3) – Late Models – Pollard continues to flex his muscles as one of the top Super Late Model racers in America. The Georgia driver recently came out on top of a thrilling PASS South race at South Boston Speedway (VA) to lock himself into the 45th Annual Oxford 250. He also scored another Southern Super Series victory at Five Flags Speedway (FL) during the month of July.
#9 – Brandon Sheppard (Previous Rank: 16) – Dirt Late Models – “B-Shepp” has recorded a trio of World of Outlaws Late Model Series wins since our last Power Poll on July 12. The highlight of those three wins came two weeks ago when he claimed the $50,000 USA Nationals at Cedar Lake Speedway (WI). He also registered a preliminary night win at Cedar Lake, as well as a victory at the Plymouth Dirt Track (WI).
#10 – Brian Campbell (Previous Rank: 10) – Late Models – Campbell continues to flex one of the best winning percentages in America. Following his JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour win at Berlin Raceway (MI) and ARCA/CRA Super Series triumph at Baer Field Motorsports Park (IN), Campbell has now won six of his nine starts in CRA-sanctioned races.
#11 –Tyler Courtney (Previous Rank: 12) – Sprint Cars – “Sunshine” has remained hot throughout the 2018 season. A pair of recent victories at Lincoln Park Speedway and Lawrenceburg Speedway during Indiana Sprint Week increased his season total to nine wins.
#12 –Kody Swanson (Previous Rank: NR) – USAC Silver Crown – Kody Swanson is setting records at a rapid pace in 2018. After scoring his fifth consecutive series win at Salem Speedway (IN), Swanson entered the record books as the winningest driver in USAC Silver Crown history with 24 career victories.
#13 – Jonathan Davenport (Previous Rank: 11) – Dirt Late Models – “Superman” isn’t winning at a rapid pace like he was earlier this season, but he still continues to get the job done. Davenport recently pocketed $53,000 for winning the Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway (NE). He also continues to lead the way at the top of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series standings.
#14 – Keith Rocco (Previous Rank: NR) – Modifieds – After a hot start to the season, Rocco cooled off a bit during the early part of the summer. But now he’s back to his winning ways after scoring recent wins at both Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT). With those wins, he now has nine on the season and sits second in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings.
#15 – Casey Roderick (Previous Rank: 6) – Late Models – By his standards, Roderick has been in a slump during the last month. After having a win stripped away from him in post-race technical inspection at Montgomery (AL), Roderick has gone winless since the last JRi Shocks Power Poll. Still, he has eight wins this season which plants him firmly in the top 20.
#16 – Tyler Roahrig (Previous Rank: NR) – Outlaw Late Models – Roahrig jumps into the top 25 after winning the biggest Outlaw Super Late Model Race of the year, the Kalamazoo Klash at Kalamazoo Speedway (MI). He also visited victory lane during the Firecracker 75 at Kalamazoo and finished second in the Summer Sizzler at New Paris Speedway (IN).
#17 – Tyler Ankrum (Previous Rank: NR) – K&N East – Ankrum turned heads when he won three straight NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races in less than two weeks during the month of July. Wins at Thompson (CT), New Hampshire and Iowa have cemented Ankrum at the top of the championship standings.
#18 – Curtis Gerry (Previous Rank: 17) – Late Models – Shocker. Curtis Gerry won another Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North race at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) in July. The defending Oxford 250 winner now enters this year’s 250 as the winner of five straight PASS-sanctioned races at Oxford.
#19 – Brad Sweet (Previous RankL NR) – Sprint Cars – One win won’t get you far, unless that one win comes in one of the biggest short track events of the year. Sweet held off a hard-charging Donny Schatz to win the $150,000 Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway (IA). Overall, Sweet now has four World of Outlaws wins to his credit this season.
#20 – Max Blair (Previous Rank: 25) – Dirt Late Models –While he may not be competing on the national circuit, the amount of wins Blair has recorded this season is worthy of a spot in the JRi Shocks Power Poll. According to his team’s website, Blair has recorded a whopping 27 victories in 47 starts this season.
#21 – Derek Thorn (Previous Rank: NR) – K&N West / Late Models – Thorn continues to demonstrate why he’s talked about as one of the top short track racers on the West Coast. The California native recently scored a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West win at Evergreen Speedway (WA). He also added a SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series win to his resume during the month of July.
#22 – Kenny Wallace (Previous Rank: NR) – UMP Modifieds / Pro Stocks – “The Hermanator” has been winning races at a rapid pace over the last 30 days. The most impressive thing about his wins is that they’ve come on two different surfaces: dirt and asphalt. In addition to his four DIRTcar UMP Modified wins, Wallace was also named the official winner of the IWK 250 for the Pro Stock Tour at Riverside Int’l Speedway in Nova Scotia.
#23 – Ty Majeski (Previous Rank: 24) – Late Models – While focusing on his NASCAR Xfinity Series obligations, Majeski hasn’t been competing on short tracks as much as he has in recent years. However, he’s still winning when he does. The Wisconsin native recently picked up a win in the Blue Race at Wisconsin International Speedway, bringing his season total to seven wins.
#24 – Zane Smith – ARCA Racing Series – Smith recently scored his series-leading fourth ARCA win of the season at Pocono Raceway (PA).
#25 – Dalton Zehr – Late Models – Zehr has scored a trio of wins over the last month at Dells Raceway Park (WI), Marshfield Motor Speedway (MI) and Norway Speedway (WI).
Just Missed the Cut: Austin Nason, Brett Yackey, Chandler Smith, Chase Purdy, Chris Madden, Chuck Hossfeld, DJ Shaw, Matt Hirschman, Raphael Lessard, Ray Bollinger, Reid Lanpher, Taylor Miinch
-Text by Speed51.com Staff
-Featured photo credit: Speed51.com / MoJo Photos