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 June 1, 2018:
#1 – Stewart Friesen (Previous Rank: 1) - Dirt Modifieds - Friesen continues to win Dirt Modified races throughout the Northeast. He recently scored a weekly win at Fonda Speedway (NY), as well as the Super DIRTcar Series Heroes Remember 100 at Weedsport Speedway (NY) on Memorial Day.
#2 – Zane Smith (Previous Rank: 2) - ARCA Racing Series – Smith is setting himself up to have a career year in the ARCA Racing Series. After shedding the monkey off his back and scoring his first career win at Nashville (TN), Smith has added ARCA wins at Talladega (AL) and Toledo (OH).
#3 – Donny Schatz (Previous Rank: 9) - Sprint Cars – During the month of May, Schatz scored his seventh, eighth and ninth World of Outlaws victories of the year. A pair of wins in Australia and a pair of All Star Circuit of Champion victories bring his season total to 13.
#4 – Jonathan Davenport (Previous Rank: 3) - Dirt Late Models– "Superman" added a pair of Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series wins during the month of May on the way to extending his lead in the point standings. Overall, Davenport has nine wins to his credit already this season.
#5 – Tyler Courtney (Previous Rank: NR) – "Sunshine" has enjoyed a strong start to the 2018 season and recently added wins at Bloomington (IN) and Terre Haute (IN). Courtney has tallied a half dozen wins thus far, with three of those wins coming on the ultra-competitive USAC National Sprint Car circuit.
#6 – Philip Morris (Previous Rank: 4) - Late Model Stock Cars – Morris continues to win at the local level and add valuable points towards his hunt for a record-tying fifth NASCAR Whelen All-American Series championship. Thus far, Morris has 10 wins in 15 races while competing at South Boston (VA), Langley (VA), Dominion (VA) and Southern National (NC).
#7 – Curtis Gerry (Previous Rank: 8) - Super Late Models – Gerry has maintained a 100-percent winning percentage in the PASS North races he's competed in this season. He's picked up a pair of wins at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME), as well as a win in the PASS 200 at Beech Ridge (ME). He also hasn't lost a PASS North race at Oxford since he won the Oxford 250 last August.
#8 – Scott Bloomquist (Previous Rank: NR) - Dirt Late Models – "Bloomer" recently broke through with a crown jewel win when he won the $30,000 Show-Me 100 at Lucas Oil Speedway (MO) for the sixth time. The win was his third Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the 2018 season.
#9 – Bubba Pollard (Previous Rank: 7) - Super Late Model – Pollard falls in this month's power rankings after going winless during the month of May while competing on both asphalt and dirt. He still has four wins this season and seems to be in a position for some big wins during the summer months.
#10 – Ray Bollinger (Previous Rank: 17) - UMP Modifieds – Bollinger continues to stack up wins while competing in the UMP Modified ranks in the Midwest. He's up to eight victories this season after his most recent win last weekend at Spoon River Speedway in Illinois.
#11 – Bobby Pierce (Previous Rank: 18) - Dirt Late Models – Pierce continues to turn in impressive performances competing with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. In addition to his two wins, he's finished in the top five in four of the last five races, including a fourth-place run in the Show-Me 100 last weekend.
#12 –Matt Sheppard (Previous Rank: NR) - Dirt Modifieds – Don't look now, but "Super Matt" is beginning to heat up. In addition to winning weekly shows at Outlaw (NY) and Land of Legends (NY), Sheppard recently scored his first Short Track Super Series win of the year at Delaware Int'l.
#13 –Keith Rocco (Previous Rank: NR) - SK Modifieds – With his focus being put on his performance at Thompson (CT) and Stafford (CT), Rocco is on a roll early on in 2018. The Connecticut driver has four wins in five starts at Stafford, as well as a Sunoco Modified win at Thompson.
#14 – Jeremy Doss (Previous Rank: 6) - Super Late Models –Doss has won every Super Late Model race he has finished so far in 2018. He scored SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series wins at Madera (CA) and The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (NV), as well as a Super Late Model win at Evergreen (WA).
#15 – Kody Swanson (Previous Rank: NR) - USAC Silver Crown/ Non-Wing Sprint Cars – If our list only considered recent accomplishments, Swanson would likely be much higher. He's coming off a stellar week that included a record-tying fourth Hoosier Hundred win, a victory in the Dave Steele Carb Night Classic and his second career Little 500 triumph.
#16 – Chandler Smith (Previous Rank: 13) - ARCA / Super Late Models – Smith hasn't won since his SpeedFest victory in February, but a recent feat he accomplished showed a lot of power. The teenager recently scored a record third straight ARCA Racing Series pole, a feat that had never previously been accomplished in the history of the series.
#17 – Tyler Seavey (Previous Rank: NR) - Outlaw Karts – Seavey recently flexed a lot of muscle by beating some of the best dirt racers in the country during the Speed51 Open at Millbridge Speedway. The California driver cashed the cool $5,000 check after beating drivers like Kyle Larson, Nick Hoffman and his brother Logan Seavey.
#18 – Casey Roderick (Previous Rank: 5) - Late Models – Roderick has been a victim of poor weather and a light racing schedule during the month of May. After winning four races in a three-week span, Roderick has not hit the track since the April 27 Southern Super Series race at Five Flags (FL).
#19 – Mike Harrison (Previous Rank: NR) - UMP Modifieds – Harrison is batting .500 early on in the season with six wins in 12 starts. Four of his six wins came during the month of May while competing at tracks throughout the state of Illinois.
#20 – Bobby McCarty - Late Model Stock Cars – McCarty continues to lead the CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car point standings after recording two wins in five races.
#21 – Brandon Sheppard (Previous Rank: 10) - Dirt Late Models –Following a hot start to the year, "B-Shepp" has cooled off as of late with only one World of Outlaws Late Model Series win during the month of May. Still, Sheppard has seven wins in 2018 and certainly deserves a spot on this list.
#22 – Taylor Miinch (Previous Rank: 22) - Lucas Oil Modifieds – Miinch swept the first three races of the Lucas Oil Modified Series season at Havasu 95 Speedway (AZ), Tucson Speedway (AZ) and The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (NV). He hasn't raced since the last edition of the Short Track Power Poll, so he stays put at No. 22 in the rankings.
#23 – Sam Hafertepe (Previous Rank: NR) - Sprint Cars – Hafertepe recorded a trio of Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car wins during the month of May to bring his season total to four victories.
#24 – Lee Pulliam (Previous Rank: NR) - Late Model Stock Cars – Pulliam held the sword on the big stage at Bristol during the Short Track U.S. Nationals. That win, combined with his win at Myrtle Beach (SC), has him locked into a tight battle at the top of the CARS Tour standings.
#25 – Logan Seavey - Dirt Midget / Sprints – Seavey has scored wins with the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars Series, POWRi National Midget Series and USAC National Midget Series in 2018. He scored his fourth win of the season during a May 12 POWRi race at Macon (IL).
-Text by Speed51.com Staff
-Featured photo credit: Speed51.com / MoJo Photos