There was no lack of excitement during the 2016 short track racing season.  We witnessed plenty of first-time winners, comeback stories, and break-through performances. Those would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the men and women behind the scenes who put these events on.


This afternoon we are pleased to announce the winners of the following categories for the annual 51’s presented by JEGS; Best Series, Best Event, and Best Promoter.


Best Performance in a Touring Role     

(Best Touring Series of the Year)


Some of the best racing in the country takes place in the Midwest and has produced drivers like 2016 Camping World Truck Series Champion Johnny Sauter and up-and-coming hot shoe Ty Majeski. To be the best you have to race with the best and that is why the ARCA Midwest Tour (ARCA MT) locked up the category of “Best Touring Series of the Year” for the 2016 season.


The ARCA Midwest Tour puts on some of the best racing you'll find anywhere in the country. ( Nuttleman photo)

The ARCA Midwest Tour puts on some of the best racing you’ll find anywhere in the country. ( Nuttleman photo)

The ARCA MT recently announced a 12-race schedule for their 2017 season with a power-packed list of tracks including Madison International Speedway (WI) and the Dells Raceway Park (WI).


Everyone loves the Big-Block Modifieds that pound the clay in the Northeast as well, which is why the Super DIRTcar Series was a close runner up for the “Best Series” award.


The Pro All Stars Series which sanctions Super Late Model racing in both the North and South finished third in the voting.  CARS Tour, the defending winner of the award finished fourth and the Race of Champions (RoC) Asphalt and Dirt Modified Series rounded out the top five.


Former Best Touring Series of the Year Winners

2015 – CARS Tour

2014 – Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

2013 – Valenti Modified Racing Series

2012 – Valenti Modified Racing Series

2011 – Champions Racing Association (CRA)

2010 – Champions Racing Association (CRA)

2009 – No Vote

2008 – No Vote

2007 – NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

2006 – No Vote

2005 – NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

2004 – NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour


Biggest Box Office Success

(Short Track Event of the Year)


There are a handful of events that everyone has marked on their calendar or written on a bucket list of must-see races. These events have earned that hype through the prestigious names and guarantee of a good experience. Whether you’re an asphalt, dirt, oval, or road course racer everyone came to agreement that the Chili Bowl was the “Best Short Track Event” of the 2016 season.


This is the second straight year that the Chili Bowl has been voted as the Short Track Event of the Year on


Rico Abreu captured the Chili Bowl victory for the second straight year. (Dave Biro/ photo)

Rico Abreu captured the Chili Bowl victory for the second straight year. (Dave Biro/ photo)

Over 484 teams battled it out throughout five days of intense racing in hopes of transferring to the A-Main. With Rico Abreu winning the 2016 Chili Bowl for the second consecutive year in a thrilling race everyone’s emotions were high. The crowd chanted “Rico! Rico! Rico!” as the driver climbed from his car to claim his second Chili Bowl Golden Driller.


Coming in a close second in the running for Best Event for 2016 was the Snowball Derby. After mother nature pushed the event out an unscheduled three days, the drivers and fans alike were antsy; anticipation was high and there was no lack of excitement. The finish to the race, already announced as the “Best Finish” of 2016 didn’t disappoint as John Hunter Nemecheck and Christian Eckes put on a show over the final few laps.


Super DIRT Week finished third in the voting after a change of location for the 2016 season saw the event held at the historic Oswego Speedway in New York. The half mile is a paved asphalt track but more than 9,600 cubic yards of clay were brought in order to host the historic event.


The historic Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) came home fourth and Oktoberfest at LaCrosse Speedway (WI) tied with the Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway Park (CA) for fifth in the voting.


Former Short Track Event of the Year Winners

2015 – Chili Bowl

2014 – Snowball Derby

2013 – Snowball Derby

2012 – Snowball Derby

2011 – Snowball Derby

2010 – No Vote

2009 – No Vote

2008 – No Vote

2007 – Snowball Derby

2006 – No Vote

2005 – All American 400


Best Director

(Short Track Promoter of the Year)

While there is no doubt it is a challenge to get behind the wheel of a race car, some would fare that it is even more of a challenge to keep those drivers in check and host short track events week in and week out. Between working with drivers and ensuring a good time for the fans, it is not a job that just every average person can handle.


The pit sign at Lancaster reminds racers who the entertainers are at the track. ( photo)

The pit sign at Lancaster reminds racers who the entertainers are at the track. ( photo) is proud to present the 2016 Short Track Promoter of the Year to Tim Packman of Lancaster National Speedway (NY). Packman, originally from the New York area, found his way down south working among the NASCAR ranks with the likes of Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Richard Childress Racing. His involvement with the track came full-circle in 2016 as he returned to the track that he received his first paycheck at while working in the concession stands at Lancaster in the early 80’s.


Gregg McKarns, the 2015 winner of the award, with the ARCA Midwest Tour was runner up in the voting. McKarns was the Big 8 series director and Rockford Speedway (IL) general manager before taking over ownership of the ARCA Midwest Tour in 2014.


R.J Scott and Glenn Luckett with the Champion Racing Association (CRA) finished third, followed by Tom Mayberry of the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) and Mike Perrotte with the Super DIRTcar Series.


Former Short Track Promoter of the Year Winners

2015 – Greg McKarns

2014 – Tim Bryant

2013 – Tom Curley

2012 – CRA

2011 – CRA

2010 – Tim Bryant

2009 – Tim Bryant

2008 – No Vote

2007 – Tim Bryant

2006 – No Vote

2005 – Tony Stewart

2004 – C and C


-Text by Staff

-Photo credit: Nuttleman

The 51’s: Winners of Best Promoter, Best Series & Best Event