Gresham Motorsports Park Sold, Will No Longer Contest Racing
Mar 7, 2022
There are talented drivers in short track racing in various disciplines all over the country. However, there are not very many drivers who can say they are versatile across different forms of racing, whether on just one racing surface or on both asphalt and dirt.
We take a look at the 10 most versatile drivers in all of short track racing. Asphalt to dirt or fenders to open wheel, these 10 drivers can get it done no matter what kind of race car they get behind the wheel of.
Here are the 10 most versatile racers in the country, given in alphabetical order.
The Oklahoma native became the first female to compete in the Chili Bowl Nationals A-Main back in January after a 10th to 1st run in one of the B-Mains. A former Tulsa Shootout winner in the Restricted A-Class, she continues to be one of Keith Kunz Motorsports’ rising young talents in the Midget ranks of USAC and POWRi.
Bryson made the move over to asphalt for select races in Pro Late Models in the Northwest for Racing Dynamiks and Late Model Stocks at Hickory and Tri-County for Lee Faulk. She won three PLM races at South Sound Speedway, including in her debut race/
Kvapil’s focus has been on Late Models in recent years, but it all started on the dirt. He’s a multi-time Millbridge Speedway champion in the Open Outlaw class, with several wins in the Micro Sprints as well. He has since dabbled in Midget and Sprint Car racing, having competed at the Chili Bowl each of the last two years.
He had a breakout season in 2021 on the hardtop, winning four races and the CARS Super Late Model Tour championship by one point while adding wins at the North/South Super Late Model Challenge at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and the Red Race at Wisconsin International Raceway. Kvapil takes on a new challenge in 2022 as the driver for the JR Motorsports Late Model Stock team.
Not very many drivers can claim starts in the World 100, Super DIRT Week and the Chili Bowl. Even fewer drivers can claim success in all three events.
“T-Mac” has wins in two of those three events – the World 100 in 2018 and the Chili Bowl in 2006. While he has yet to win the Super DIRT Week finale, he does have a second-place run back in 2009 after starting 28th. He is coming off the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship in 2021.
His focus has been on Late Models in the last couple years, while continuing to make the trip to the Chili Bowl.
McKennedy has been one of the top runners in Tour-Type Modified racing over the years, winning championships in the Modified Racing Series and Tri-Track Modifieds in the last decade. His major wins include two in the SBM 125, North-South Shootout and a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Myrtle Beach Speedway.
He’s also made his name known in Supermodifieds over the years, with eleven wins in ISMA competitions since the 2012 season. McKennedy won the series title in 2017 with a win at Jennerstown, while finishing outside the top-ten just once that season. He won all four of his ISMA starts last season while adding a Tri-Track win at Star Speedway.
As long as McLaughlin’s name has been around in short track racing, it’s hard to believe he’s just 22 years old. He started out as one of the top drivers at Millbridge Speedway in the Open division, then moved to his family’s stomping grounds in the Northeast to compete in the Big-Block Modifieds. In that time, he’s also competed in Late Models, UMP Modifieds, Tour-Type Modifieds, Midgets and Sprint Cars.
McLaughlin won an ARCA Menards Series East race at Watkins Glen in 2019, then the next year saw him win the North/South Shootout at Caraway Speedway in his asphalt Modified debut. He has started the new year off strong, backing up his Big Gator at last year’s DIRTcar Nationals with another feature win at Volusia Speedway Park
Nearly everybody in short track racing knows Bubba Pollard and what he has done over the years. The All American 400, Oxford 250, Slinger Nationals, Winter Showdown, SpeedFest, and Rattler 250 are just some of the major races that he has claimed wins in over the years.
He has also seen success in other forms of racing, having won multiple Crate Late Model features on the dirt at his hometown track, New Senoia Raceway. Pollard finished fifth in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville in a Late Model Stock owned by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in 2019 and was scheduled to compete in a Tour-Type Modified and ARCA East in 2020 before extenuating circumstances canceled those plans.
Roahrig is the only driver to win all three of Outlaw Super Late Model racing’s biggest races, with four Kalamazoo Klash wins, six Summer Sizzler wins, and two Glass City 200 wins. He also won his first Little 500 last year, checking off the final box in Anderson Speedway’s Sprint Car program.
In the last two years, Roahrig has won in five different types of cars (Outlaw SLM, Template SLM, Sprint Car, Modified, UMP Modified), including a win on the dirt at Gas City I-69 Speedway last September. In addition, he finished second in his USAC Silver Crown debut last August at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Bobby Santos III
You name the car, and if Santos has driven in it he has more than likely won in it. He is the 2009 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion and the 2011 USAC National Sprint Car pavement champion, while having also won the 2020 Little 500 and having other wins in pavement Winged Sprint Cars, Silver Crown, pavement Midgets, and NEMA Midgets.
The 2021 season saw Santos win Sprint Car races both with and without the wing at Berlin, Anderson, Highand Rim (TN), Nashville and Kalamazoo, while adding wins with the Modified at New Hampshire, NEMA Lites at Thompson and Midgets at IRP. He was also the “Balboa” driver when SRX visited IRP.
USAC Silver Crown’s all-time winningest champion and race winner added four more wins and a sixth title to the resume in 2021 despite missing a race. He also added pavement wins in a Sprint Car and Midget, while winning two Super Late Model races and the Pro Late Model World Series of Asphalt championship. He even won a race in the Indy Pro 2000 Series at IRP in 2020.
Last season was a season of firsts for Swanson, who wheeled several disciplines of race cars. Among those races included nearly winning the SRX event at Eldora Speedway and other races in a Modified, Outlaw Super Late Model, Winged Sprint Car and ARCA.
Wight has made his name over the years in the Big-Block Modified world in the Northeast, and for good reason. He’s a seven-time winner in the Super DIRTcar Series, one of which includes the Super DIRT Week finale in 2018. “Lightning Larry” is a three-time DIRTcar National Big-Block Modified champion at Volusia.
He has also dabbled in other disciplines on the dirt over the years, most notably in Sprint Cars. He has wins with the Patriot Sprint Tour and Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint Series over the years, with top-tens with the World of Outlaws and All Star Circuit of Champions. Wight won two Empire Super Sprint races last season and has started 2022 with a Short Track Super Series win at All-Tech Raceway.