Every race has a story to tell, and a happy winner in victory lane. However, sometimes the story behind that winner gave reason for plenty of fans to celebrate the accomplishment, even if it wasn't their favorite driver taking the checkered flag that day.
Here are 10 feel-good stories from short track racing during the 2021 season.
Blewett Wins Turkey Derby - The rides may have changed throughout the years, but Jimmy Blewett has continued to excel in the season ending crown jewel race at his home track. This past November at Wall Stadium Speedway, Blewett teamed with car owner Ryan Fisher, in a car that had been prepared in just a few days to win a record-extending seventh Tour-type Modified win in this great race on the Jersey Shore.
Coby Wins First SRX Race for Short Track Racers - When Doug Coby accepted the invitation to compete in the first ever Superstar Racing Experience event at his home track of Stafford Motor Speedway, he made a humble promise to do his best for all the short track racers in the land. At night’s end, he ended up getting the win for all of them while the Stafford fans shouted his name into the Connecticut night.
Clark Takes Oxford 250 - Winning a race with family in support is one of the most special things in all of motorsports. For Cassius Clark, all the stars lined up at the 2021 Oxford 250 when he got to share the victory with his dad Billy who raced in the 250 years ago and his son Cale in victory lane. Time will tell if these three will be posing for another big victory photo in 2022.
Bickle Enjoys Success in Final Season - The winningest driver in Snowball Derby history went out with a bang in his 45th and final year of racing. He won two ARCA Midwest Tour races during the year - the Joe Shear Classic at Madison International Speedway and Jim Sauter Classic at Dells Raceway Park - while also nearly winning the track championship at Slinger Super Speedway.
Landon Pembelton Scores Upset Win at Martinsville - We don’t think anyone would have expected this youngster to win the biggest Late Model Stock Race in the land. However, it happened at Martinsville Speedway in the return of the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 following a one-year hiatus. We hope to see more from this 16-year-old in 2022.
Veterans Win Late Model Crowns - Johnny Clark wins the PASS North title and Ben Rowe wins the ACT title. Wait, what year is this? These two drivers have been the top dogs in New England for the better part of the last 20 years. Rowe joins his dad as an ACT Champ and one of the only two to win PASS and ACT titles. Clark took home his seventh PASS North title.
From Maine to the Snowball Derby - Jerry Babb was a late addition to the Wilson Motorsports teams as he teamed up with Chandler Smith at the Florida Governor’s Cup 200 and they almost went to victory lane. They returned a few weeks later and won the Snowball Derby.
Fenhaus Impresses at Slinger Nationals, SRX - Many drivers dream of winning an event as prestigious as the Slinger Nationals at Slinger Speedway. For Fenhaus, winning the Slinger Nationals at just 17 years old also led to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to race the stars of the Camping World SRX Series. Not only did Fenhaus race them, he nearly won the series' visit to Slinger before ultimately finishing second to Marco Andretti.
Blaney Returns to World of Outlaws Victory Lane - You'd be hard-pressed to find a louder crowd ovation than the one Dave Blaney received at Sharon Speedway in his first World of Outlaws victory since 1997. In front of a partisan hometown crowd, the Buckeye Bullet took the lead from Sheldon Haudenschild on the final lap.
Berry Shines in NASCAR Xfinity Series - While drivers such as Doug Coby and Luke Fenhaus represented the short track world in SRX, Josh Berry finally got the breakthrough opportunity to compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. What started as a part-time campaign in a car shared with Sam Mayer turned into 34 starts across all of NASCAR's national series, including Xfinity Series wins at Martinsville and Las Vegas, proving that long-time short track racers have something to offer at the next level. He also returned to his roots for Late Model Stock Car wins in the Battle of the Stars, Thanksgiving Classic and Old North State Nationals.