Each year, the Short Track Draft on Speed51.com ranks the top prospects in short track racing. Throughout the years, many of the drivers selected in the Short Track Draft have gone on to accomplish big things in NASCAR’s three national series. Like the NFL Draft, others have ended up being busts and all but disappeared from the racing world.
Today, we look back at the 2015 Short Track Draft that took place just four years ago to see where some of the drivers are today.
In one of the more modern draft classes, Christopher Bell was selected as the first pick in the 2015 Draft. Those who selected him as their top pick that year thought that he was the real deal, and that has proven to be true as he has marched up the ladder all the way to the NASCAR Xfinity Series. After finding success at each step of the ladder, many in the industry believe it is his time to get a shot at the NASCAR Cup Series.
Dalton Sargeant was a strong runner-up that season as the youngster from Florida finishes second in the Snowball Derby the year before. He would later go on to win in the ARCA Racing Series and take the step up to the NASCAR Truck Series. However, Sargeant lost his ride with GMS Racing last August and has virtually disappeared since that time.
A trio of drivers selected in the top 10 in 2015 — Ryan Preece, William Byron and Corey LaJoie — are all currently racing on Sundays in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series.
Up-and-comer Harrison Burton cracked the top five in 2015 before eventually being selected as the top pick in the 2018 Short Track Draft. Since 2015, Burton has gone on to win a handful of major Super Late Model races, a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship, and now he currently competes full-time on the NASCAR Truck Series circuit with Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Dirt standout Rico Abreu completed the top-five that year before making the transition to the NASCAR Truck Series in 2016. However, his stint in NASCAR lasted just one year and he is now back to competing in the dirt ranks.
Bryan Clauson was selected ninth in the 2015 Short Track Draft before he was tragically killed at Belleville in 2016.
Biggest Bust: Ross Kenseth – The 2015 was the final season behind the wheel for Ross Kenseth. The talented short tracker won an ARCA race at Michigan, but that was the last triumph for Kenseth. We didn’t think Kenseth would be done by the end of the season, but it turned into a Jason White Oklahoma situation where we all got cheated and never got to see him run more in the top-three NASCAR series.
Biggest Steal: Christopher Bell – One could argue that Christopher Bell is one of the most talented drivers to earn the top spot in the Short Track Draft. The former NASCAR Truck Series champion has wins on dirt, wins at the Chili Bowl, Super Late Model wins and victories on the World of Outlaws tour. Even as the first pick, he’s a once in a lifetime driver.
Hidden Gem: If you scroll to the bottom of the list to the driver picked 50th you’ll see a driver who went on to win the Snowball Derby and compete full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Noah Gragson eventually jumped up to 23rd in the 2016 Short Track Draft, but it’s hard to argue that he wasn’t overlooked by our experts.
2015 Short Track Draft Results
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