FloRacing Pavement Racing Driver Rankings

May Pavement Power Ranking

FloRacing ranks the top pavement race car drivers during the month of May.

1. Matt Hirschman (Previous Rank: 2nd)

“Big Money” Matt Hirschman started the year off so strong, but then began to taper off a bit. Well, a trip to New Hampshire’s Lee USA Speedway came at the right time for the Northampton, Pennsylvania native. Hirschman led 173 of the 175 laps to take his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory of the 2023 season.


Watch: Check out the highlights from Hirschman's victory at Lee USA Speedway.

2. Carson Kvapil (Previous Rank: 1st)

All eyes were on Kvapil entering the CARS Tour’s return trip to North Wilkesboro Speedway. Kvapil was the defending winner of that race, and he’d won three straight races entering Wilkesboro. While he didn’t have the race he wanted at Wilkesboro, he still scored a top 10 finish. He also won at Ace Speedway, leading all 125 laps earlier in May, and he won a CARS Tour Pro Late Model race at Tri-County Motor Speedway last weekend.


Watch: Kvapil Scores CARS Tour Hat Trick At Ace Speedway.

3. Bubba Pollard (Previous Rank: Unranked)

Much like Hirschman, Pollard started off the year pretty strong before sort of tapering off a bit. And then he went to North Wilkesboro Speedway and really hit his stride. Pollard started fifth, bided his time, and then pounced when the time was right. Pollard led 58 of the 150 laps at North Wilkesboro Speedway to claim one of the biggest wins of his career. A mechanical issue led to a 23rd-place run at Hickory the next week, but we won’t hold that one against him.


Watch: Bubba Pollard Wins One For The Short Trackers At North Wilkesboro

4. Mike Hopkins (Previous Rank: 4th)

The Maine driver had started the year off so strong with back-to-back CARS Tour Pro Late Model wins at Southern National Motorsports Park and Hickory Motor Speedway. He drove from 14th to sixth at Ace Speedway earlier in May, but North Wilkesboro didn’t go too well for him as he finished tenth that night. But Hopkins went back to Maine this past weekend for the Coastal 200 at Wiscasset Speedway and got to deposit the $10,000 winner’s check.


Watch: Hopkins Explains Wild Finish At Hickory.

5. Brenden Queen (Previous Rank: Unranked)

“Butterbean” scored the biggest win of his life in dominating fashion in the CARS Tour’s Window World 125 at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Queen won the pole with a new Late Model Stock Car track record at the historic speedway. Then he led 65 laps, more than half of the race, on his way to winning by a massive 4.783 seconds over the next closest driver.


Watch: The Butterbean Experience From North Wilkesboro Speedway.

6. William Byron (Previous Rank: 3rd)

Throughout all of 2022 and the start of 2023, Byron had been making his Super Late Model starts and scoring his wins for the powerhouse Donnie Wilson Motorsports team. But at North Wilkesboro Speedway Byron was there with a different team. This time he was racing for Anthony Campi Racing, and there was definitely no drop in performance. Byron led 41 laps before finishing second that night. He then finished second a week later at Hickory by mere inches.

Byron Joins New Team For North Wilkesboro

Watch: Byron Joins New Super Late Model Team At North Wilkesboro.

7. Giovanni Ruggiero (Previous Rank: Unranked)

Speaking of that race at Hickory, the driver Byron lost to by mere inches was this one, Giovanni Ruggiero, of Seekonk, Massachusetts. The win for Ruggiero is by far the biggest of his career, and the timing of it couldn’t have been better. There were plenty of eyes on this particular ASA STARS National Tour race due to being right in the middle of Coca-Cola 600 race week and with Byron once again in the field. For Ruggiero, beating Byron the way he did can go a long way.

8. Doug Coby (Previous Rank: Unranked)

The six-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion was one of the catalysts for Tommy Baldwin Racing’s 2022 owner’s championship run. When it was announced that Coby would be in the legendary 7NY full-time, many expected Coby to be dominant. That hasn’t been the case for much of the first few races, but it was definitely the case at Monadnock Speedway at the start of the month. Coby led 188 of the 200 laps around the small New Hampshire speedway. He took the lead from Justin Bonsignore on Lap 13 and never looked back.


Watch: Check out the highlights from Doug Coby's win at Monadnock Speedway.

9. Augie Grill (Previous Rank: Unranked)

As Augie Grill’s career has begun to wind down, the wins have been few and far between. Especially in bigger races. But Grill put in one of his strongest performances in recent years in the CARS Tour Pro Late Model race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Grill led 43 of the 75 laps that night to take what was clearly one of the biggest wins of his career. This is a two-time Snowball Derby champion we’re talking about, but he was as excited and emotional as could be while taking that slow elevator ride to victory lane.

Grill Reacts After North Wilkesboro Win

Watch: Augie Grill Reacts After CARS Tour Pro Late Model Victory At North Wilkesboro.

10. Katie Hettinger (Previous Rank: 6th)

While Hettinger has yet to score a win in CARS Tour Pro Late Model competition this year, her consistency has been something to behold. In five races Hettinger has finished fifth, sixth, third, fifth, and sixth. Her qualifying results have been pretty similar with starts of third, second, fifth, second, and sixth. She has completed all of the 475 laps run this season, and all of that consistency has her as the points leader so far. The win is most likely coming for Hettinger, who even as a young teenager is the all-time wins leader among women at Hickory Motor Speedway.


Watch: Katie Hettinger Breaks Down Historic Victory At New Smyrna Speedway.