Story By: DAN KAPUSCINSKI / JASON SIMMONS RACING – OSWEGO, NY – Tyler Thompson, the 18-year old Oswego Speedway International Classic Supermodified champion, was selected 79th overall of 350 potential prospects in Speed 51’s annual Short Track Draft.
Since 2004, Speed 51’s Short Track Draft has helped to rank the top prospects in the world of short track racing, on dirt and asphalt.
The ballot for the 2020 draft was an extremely diverse list of up and coming driving talents, with 350 drivers from across the country looking to make a name for themselves professionally. All drivers listed are 25 years of age and younger.
The overall ballot circulated through a panel of industry experts, who voted on the drivers that they believe are deserving of one of Speed 51’s draft picks.
Voters, which included short track insiders, media members, team and driver development professionals, track and series promoters and officials, product and industry representatives, as well as NASCAR national series drivers, selected as few as 10 drivers and as many as 51 on their ballot, ranked in the order in which they would choose each driver to compete for their own theoretical development program.
Over the years, the Speed 51 draft has proved to produce stellar number one picks, which have gone on to tremendous success. Former number one picks include Chase Elliott, Bubba Pollard, Daniel Hemric, Christopher Bell, Ty Majeski, Todd Gilliland, Harrison Burton and Chandler Smith.
This year’s No. 1 overall pick was Sam Mayer, the defending ARCA Menards Series East champion. Hailie Deegan, Derek Griffith, Stephen Nasse and Logan Seavey followed Mayer in the top five for 2020.
Thompson’s 79th selection was fourth overall in the fifth and final round of the Speed 51 Short Track Draft, joining the likes of ARCA veteran Will Rodgers, Pro Late Model racer Colby Howard and USAC Midget driver Karsyn Elledge.
Thompson, who owns two Supermodified wins at Oswego Speedway and is the youngest Supermodified winner in the more than 65 year history of the speedway, added a winged Supermodified win to his resume as well last season, visiting Victory Lane at Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indiana.
While Thompson made his name on the asphalt in 2019, he also turned heads in the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified division during the World Finals at the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in November and earned a ride for the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals with Seymour Racing in January.
At the Chili Bowl, Thompson qualified for his prelim night A-Main in his first ever dirt midget start.
All of these accolades earned Thompson recognition as the 2019 Eastern Motorsports Press Association John Blewett III Young Guns Award winner.
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