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 July 11, 2018:
#1 – Donny Schatz (Previous Rank: 3) - Sprint Cars - For the first time this season, Schatz jumps to the top spot in the Short Track Power Poll. Schatz has scored four World of Outlaws wins since the beginning of June and now has 13 WoO victories this season. Overall, he's visited victory lane 17 times in 2018, according to our records.
#2 – Stewart Friesen (Previous Rank: 1) - Dirt Modifieds – Friesen keeps on winning in 2018. His recent wins include the Super DIRTcar Series Brett Hearn Big Show at Lebanon Valley Speedway (NY), a Short Track Super Series win at Outlaw Speedway (NY) and a weekly feature win at Fonda Speedway (NY). Overall, Friesen has 11 victories this season.
#3 – Bubba Pollard (Previous Rank: 9) - Pro/Super Late Models – Pollard showed a lot of power during the month of June when he tackled three races in four days in two different states. At the end of his stretch, Pollard walked away with two victories and over $30,000 dollars. He also picked up a Southern Super Series win at Montgomery to bring his season total to seven victories.
#4 – Philip Morris (Previous Rank: 6) - Late Model Stock Cars – "King Philip" continues to pad his lead at the top of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series standings. Morris picked up six victories at three different Virginia tracks (Langley, South Boston & Dominion) since the beginning of June to bring his yearly total to 16 wins in 23 races.
#5 – Scott Bloomquist (Previous Rank: 8) - Dirt Late Models – "Bloomer" may not be winning at a rapid pace, but he's winning the big ones. Big wins in the Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora Speedway (OH) and the Show-Me 100 at Lucas Oil Speedway (MO) have his stock flying high. According to his website, Bloomquist has eight feature victories in 2018.
#6 – Casey Roderick (Previous Rank: 18) - Pro/Super Late Models – After a light racing schedule in May, Roderick has been getting back into the thick of things recently. The driver of the Ronnie Sanders Racing No. 18 recently picked up a Southern Super Series victory and Allen Turner Pro Late Model win at Five Flags Speedway (FL).
#7 – Bobby McCarty (Previous Rank: 20) - Late Model Stock Cars – McCarty continues to rule the CARS Tour world as the current points leader. Recent wins at Carteret County (NC) and Ace Speedway (NC) brought his season total to four CARS Tour wins.
#8 – Matt Sheppard (Previous Rank: 12) - Dirt Modifieds – According to Area Auto Racing News, Sheppard has recorded a total of 19 victories already this season. While most of those have come in weekly racing competition, he does have a pair of Super DIRTcar Series wins and a Short Track Super Series win to his credit.
#9 – Sheldon Creed (Previous Rank: NR) - ARCA Racing Series – Creed has been on fire in the ARCA Racing Series this season, scoring three straight wins (Michigan, Gateway & Iowa) and finishing outside the top five on only one occasion. He currently leads his MDM Motorsports teammate Zane Smith by 200 points in the standings.
#10 – Brian Campbell (Previous Rank: NR) - Pro/Super Late Models – Campbell showed power during the month of June by beating Bubba Pollard and NASCAR Cup Series star Kyle Busch to claim the $20,000 Money in the Bank 150. He also added an ARCA/CRA Super Series win at Toledo Speedway (OH) and a JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour victory at Baer Field Motorsports Park (MI).
#11 –Jonathan Davenport (Previous Rank: 4) - Dirt Late Models – Davenport has slowed down a bit after a hot start to the season, but he continues to lead the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series point standings by 120 points over Josh Richards.
#12 –Tyler Courtney (Previous Rank: 5) - Sprint Cars – Courtney continues to shine on the USAC National Sprint Car Series. He recently scored his fifth USAC win of the season and now leads the point standings by six points over Kevin Thomas, Jr. Overall, Courtney has seven wins this season, according to his website.
#13 – Mike Harrison (Previous Rank: 19) - UMP Modifieds – Harrison has made his name well-known during the Modified Nationals this summer with six victories since the beginning of June. Overall, Harrison has 19 wins in 33 starts this season.
#14 – Justin Bonsignore (Previous Rank: NR) - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour – Bonsignore has been the driver to beat on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour this season. Recent wins at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT) and Riverhead Raceway (NY) bring his season total to four wins in seven races.
#15 – Shannon Babb (Previous Rank: NR) - Dirt Late Models – While tackling the rigorous Hell Tour for DIRTcar Late Models, Babb scored five wins at five different race tracks during the month of June.
#16 – Brandon Sheppard (Previous Rank: 21) - Dirt Late Models – Sheppard picked up five World of Outlaws Late Model wins since the beginning of June, bringing his season total to eight WoO wins and 10 overall.
#17 – Curtis Gerry (Previous Rank: 7) - Super Late Models – Gerry recently saw his PASS North unbeaten streak come to an end, but he still has five wins this season. Three of those wins have been against PASS North competition, while the other two have come in weekly Pro Series competition at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME).
#18 – Brian Shirley (Previous Rank: NR) - Dirt Late Models – Shirley has been the driver to beat recently as the 2018 Hell Tour winds down. Since June 28, Shirley has scored four victories, which is the most of any other Hell Tour driver during that stretch.
#19 – Ron Silk - Tour-type Modifieds – Silk is coming off a pair of huge Tour-type Modified victories. First, he won the Valenti Modified Racing Series portion of the New England Short Track Showdown at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He followed that up by winning the $10,000 Open Wheel Wednesday event at Seekonk Speedway (MA).
#20 – Mike McKinney (Previous Rank: NR) - Dirt Late Models –It's a good time to have the first name Mike if you're competing in a UMP Modified. Like Mike Harrison, Mike McKinney also has a half dozen Modified Nationals wins to his credit this season.
#21 – Jeremy Doss (Previous Rank: 14) - Super Late Models – Doss hasn't been racing as much as some of the other drivers on this list, but his batting average is keeping him in the top 25 this time around. With the SRL Southwest Tour Series enjoying a month off in between races at Irwindale Speedway (CA), Doss made the trip to Evergreen Speedway (WA) and finished fifth in the Summer Showdown.
#22 – Tyler Roahrig (Previous Rank: NR) - Outlaw Late Models – Roahrig is once again proving to be the driver to beat in Outlaw Super Late Model racing. He's coming off recent victories at Midvale Speedway (OH) and Whittemore Speedway (MI).
#23 – Preston Peltier (Previous Rank: NR) - Super Late Models – Peltier continues to shine in big races. For the second straight year, he picked up the $25,000 check at the Summer Showdown at Evergreen Speedway (WA).
#24 – Ty Majeski - Super Late Models – Majeski has four wins this season, but his biggest came earlier this week when he won the Slinger Nationals at Slinger Speedway (WI). Three of his four wins have come within the last week.
#25 – Max Blair - Dirt Late Models – According to our friends at Area Auto Racing News, Blair has eight Dirt Late Model wins throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic this season.
Just Missed the Cut: Austin Nason, Brett Yackey, Chandler Smith, Chris Madden, Chuck Hossfeld, Derek Griffith, Jimmy Blewett, Ray Bollinger, Ryan Preece
-Text by Speed51.com Staff
-Featured photo credit: Speed51.com