Home > January 2012 > I-80 To Race On Fridays With Super Late Models-Cross Your Fingers And Pray

I-80 To Race On Fridays With Super Late Models-Cross Your Fingers And Pray

After watching Nebraska defeat Indiana in basketball last night, I logged on to www.DirtonDirt.com to watch the Wild West Shoot-Out from USA Raceway in Tucson.  It was simply great to be watching live racing in the middle of January.  60 super late models and 45 USRA modifieds-including several USMTS drivers-filled the pits and provided plenty of thrills and spills. 

Don O’Neal became the third different late model feature winner in the first three nights of the WWS.  Billy Moyer took night number one and Tim McCreadie captured the checkers on the second night of racing.  O’Neal started the feature on the pole and held off Moyer in the waning laps of the race.  Moyer moved from 6th to 2nd.  Ronny Lee Hollingsworth won a B feature, started 14th and climbed to 3rd.  Terry Phillips did not look good in his heat, barely qualified through a B feature, but moved from 23rd at the start of the A feature to a 5th place finish.

At $7.00 for over three hours of race watching, I figure I got a bargain.  I would give the racing a B and the production of the PPV an A-.  My only complaint with the production was the only time you could hear to roar of engines was at the start of each race and during winner interviews.  Go to www.DirtonDirt.com to purchase the PPV-you can get the remaining three races for $28 if you are a member of the site, or $15 for one race-Friday’s racing is at night, while the weekend racing is in the afternoon.

It is official; I-80 Speedway will run on Friday nights in 2012.  The feature class will be NASCAR Late Models-super late models per the announcement in dirtdrivers.com, but not to be confused with the SLMR late models.  Sorry, but in my dotage I am as confused about this as a sprint car fan watching side by side racing.

First, aren’t the drivers who would race “NASCAR” late models the same drivers who would run the SLMR series?  The rules can’t be different if promoters want drivers to run both.  Does this mean the SLMR series won’t run at I-80 Speedway? If the SLMR does race at I-80 Speedway (the rumors I hear are twice a month), what becomes of the “NASCAR” late models?  Do they race too?  If not, how can the “NASCAR” late models be the NASCAR tier one representative, racing only half the time?

The track announcement on www.dirtdrivers.com says promoters worked with Adams County Speedway and Junction Motor Speedway on the NASCAR tiers.  ACS has always had the real deal late models, but JMS late models have been more like GN’s.  Does this mean that JMS will be running super late models?  If not, driver’s opportunities to finish high in NASCAR national standings seem limited.

If I was a promoter of a rural Nebraska track, I would now be very concerned about my SLMR race.  To race in this area the past few years, drivers of weekly type super late models had to follow the SLMR series.  Now these drivers-many from the Omaha metro area-can race at I-80 Speedway.  Are they going to travel to compete?

As always, the track announcement left many questions.  There was nothing about rules for the drivers, nothing about starting time for both drivers and fans, and nothing about admission for fans.  It did mention there are six different classes and there will be nights when all six classes run.  I felt like taking a tranquilizer after reading the track would run on Fridays. Running six classes has me praying.

I suspect Matt will try to drag me to a weekly show, and maybe I’ll go, though my love affair for weekly shows has been destroyed forever by the doings of area promoters.  My fear-and really why I wrote all of this-is that running on Fridays with super late models will be a detriment to the track’s specials.  Will Friday racing put more butts in the grandstand than Sunday racing did?  Don’t most of the problems remain the same-plus you exchanged the problem of people getting up early to work the next day after racing Sunday with the problem of people getting to the race track on Friday after a long day at work? If there aren’t many more fans watching a more expensive weekly show, what will that do to the races like the Alphabet Soup, Trifecta, and SDN?

What will be the car counts in support divisions?  Beatrice runs on Fridays, is IMCA sanctioned, and a number of name drivers in the modified division live in that area.  Will the super late models put enough butts in the grandstand to pay for adding their large purse to the weekly show?  Will the hard core return in numbers?

I wish I had a crystal ball to see right through the haze.  I don’t agree with the promoters’ decisions, but that has been the case for many years.  However, I do hope that they can prove me wrong, that Friday night late models will be a big success, and that the SLMR will still be a viable tour.  If that happens, no one will have to tell me I was wrong.  I will announce it in bold letters on the blog.

Thanks for stopping by.

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  1. Matt
    January 20, 2012 at 12:06 am | #1

    No weekly racing for me at any track.

    It’s too bad a Topless 4 barrell race that is SLMR sanctioned couldn’t be held on Tuesday, July 3rd. I’m sure some people can find a myriad of excuses why this couldn’t be done. Bottom line is the two sides are more interested in mickey mouse bs than working together, i.e. trying to get a SLMR race for a reduced price, which is a d!ck move, or trying to get a track to close on a certain night for your (perceived but not actual) benefit, which is another d!ck move.

    The opinions expressed in this comment are mine and mine only:)

  2. January 20, 2012 at 12:25 am | #2

    Wow-even though you sound like someone else with that last sentence, I am glad you added it. Usually the comments ‘Mickey Mouse” or “dick move” have been made to something I do, but I am happy to share with the promoters, though you obviously have learned something most of us haven’t re a topless race.

    Looks like we’ll be sitting by ourselves at the bb games next week.

  3. The Capital City Crusher.
    January 20, 2012 at 5:50 am | #3

    Well Matt, I can only speculate on what you getting at, but you were to ask me I would be suprised if I was wrong. I like the idea of an event held on July 3rd whether its a topless SLMR race(I like that too) or not. Unless you drive a beer truck or work in retail you probably arent working July 4th or the rest of the week for that matter. Having a race could be a minor jackpot for an owner on that night. Keep it simple 3 classes start @7:30 or 8, the end the show hopefully around 11. ADVERTISE you are gonna have some fireworks after and hopefully you can get some new fans to the track on Tuesday night with nothing better to do.

    The whole Super Late Models/SLMR @I80 thing is about as confusing as trying to figure out qualifing for the Cornhole Classic. Its seems now with an annoucement, I have a lot more questions than before. My initial reaction is that this could death to the SLMR series. Which will be a shame cause I really liked what that series has grown into. No driver is gonna follow both the track and SLMR points and there isnt enough cars in the entire state of Nebraska to make full fields, that doesnt includes Crates/GNs. I will probably attend atleast one show weekly show at I-80 before I give my honest opinion of this, but it wont be on the 6 car class nights.

    Unfortunately last night I found the disadvantages of watching DoD paper view from the comfort of my couch. I fell asleep, yep thats right. I dozed off sometime during the late model B features and woke up to the sound of Ben Shelton signing off for the night. I should have had the surround sound cranked up higher and sprayed the living room with a racing fuel scent. Looks like the driver who had the fastest car fell victim to the tractor tire for the 2nd time in 3 races. My only complaint is that they should have started the races a little sooner. I guess the 7pm start time for the broadcast includes a pre race show and then hotlaps for the mods and late models too.

  4. The Raving Lunatic
    January 21, 2012 at 12:40 am | #4

    Considering I dont comment on dirtdrivers anymore, as I allowed my “subscription/membership” to run out, I will comment here. Unless Brutolotamus the Precosious has other ideas ! :) (not to mention that dd.com has turned into the Dave Cook Dictatorship Society, and thus ANYTHING anyone says is subject to deletion) (and do NOT let him tell you that tracks dont have the power to tell him to delete posts, he flat admitted to me that I was deleted after Donnie @ I-80 didnt like something I said, and he requested my post be removed) (Where is Donnie at now, by the way???)

    Personally, NOT racing on Sunday nites, is rather inviting. However, racing on Fridays, might sound tempting due to the fact that I dont need to get up at the buttcrack of dawn to go to work the next day. But, having to rush around after 5 on a Friday with every moronic boob that thinks driving on city streets is akin to a Sunday drive out in the country, does NOT sound inviting to me. The last thing I would want to do is rush out to work, after working a busy Friday and a busy week prior to that. Id rather kick back in my chair and relax. Again, this is simply my thoughts, or situation. Im sure there are some who cant wait to build up the road rage and risk State Patrol meetings just to go race their overpriced toy.

    As far as bringing Super Late Models back to the facility that they were intended for, GREAT idea. Exponentially GREAT idea. No reason to get rid of them in the first place. I believe the reason I was given was that they were unable/unwilling to pay a purse for those cars. Yet, bringing them back NOW, and paying $900 to win ????? So, all the sudden, they can afford that purse ????? Ok. I’ll bite. How ???

    Bringing Modifieds back on a weekly basis. Also a great idea. This will bring potentially 1000 fans in the stands at $10 a head. Same with SLM. Fast cars have fans.

    How many fans do Hornets bring, again ??? And WHY oh WHY …..do they need to run 8 lap heat races and 12 lap features ??? Why do they need to run heat races ?? 12-15 cars DO NOT deserve a heat race program on a big 4/10 mile. 6-8 cars going 10 laps on that track reminds me of sitting around in the summer when I was a youngin’ and watching the mud pies dry. However, that back gate sure looks good, when each of those 12-15 cars brings 3 people each at $20 a pop. Pay em $60 to win and somebody just made a few bucks.

    Have a “bounty” for a 2nd tier class ??? Why ?? Because it will get people interested ?? In what ??? Watching that guy claim his own bounty after starting dead last and whipping the field like rented mules ??? So, the “racing” in that class happens from 2nd on back, after the 10th lap…EVERY nite. Fun.

    Crate Late Models are now the 5th tier ?? After being the top dogs last season, they’re now relegated to the bottom of the totem pole ?? How many will move into SLM ?? My guess is well over half. Why would Leighton even WANT to bang his head against the wall in a 5th tier division that has zero competition for him ?? Give the crate cars a weight break and let em run with the SLM. Provided they’re not rolling road blocks. The whole idea of having a “budget” Late Model class as the premier division is ludicrous. Talk about polluting an already suffering program. Not to mention that the quality of racing sucks the sweat off a dead monkey’s privates. On any given nite, 7 or 8 years ago, there were 15 cars that could win the feature. Just ask Brian Scott. Now….maybe 2 cars are gonna take home the trophy. More fun.

    ProAms…..what was once a GREAT class of racing has fallen into disrepair. Trouble is that it isnt really broken !!! Just no participation. Again, the racing quality was pretty good…..among the top 5. From 6th on back, it was a freight train of follow the top 5. Yes, there was door to door, nose to tail racing, but only in that top 5. On any given nite, there are ONLY those 5 that will win that feature. Remember the days of D features at Sunset ??? Never going to happen again. Never. And, frankly, ALL racing ANYWHERE and EVERYWHERE can do WITHOUT the 66jj or Jeff Joldersma. Why is it that one guy who only 7 years ago started to race dirt, knows EVERYTHING there ever was to know about any and all racing, and doesnt waste a breath to tell you or chime in on ANY subject ??????? This chump has literally re-defined the word “buttinski”. I keep wondering why he hasnt gotten the call to race on TV on Sunday afternoons with the other hotshots of the sport.

    I would have to assume that the “difference between SLMR and weekly Super Late Models……is that SLMR will race for a 1000 to win, rather than the weekly money of 900 to win. Which in and of itself …doesnt make much sense. Otherwise, the main difference I can see is the use of IMCA Spec Engines in the SLMR, and I dont believe they were ever legal for weekly Late Models. I bet they will be now. And if that is a ploy to entice IMCA cars to race weekly, then allow them to use their own tires, which are different than the WRS D55 Hoosier that both SLMR and weekly Late Models will be using. Although, IMCA spec tires are stones, compared to D55′s.

    The inclusion of MLRA as a co-sanction for the SDN2 is nothing more than a favor to Harriett. She helped seal the deal with Lucas Oil. Otherwise, where is the benefit to having MLRA sanction that race along side Lucas Oil ??? The MLRA cars will be there anyway. Harriett worked with Lucas Oil to rearrange some dates to accomodate the SDN2 for Lucas Oil.

  5. The Raving Lunatic
    January 21, 2012 at 12:56 am | #5

    I ran out of space !!!! Continuing on with the rant………….

    It would appear that a serious attempt at pulling the place out of the drain is underway. Why else would they bring back real Late Models and Modifieds ???

    The whole screwy deal with Eagle and moving dates, and is or isnt racing SLMR, or whatever that fiasco was………basically shows the total and complete lack of ability to compromise or desire to compromise. If Roger wants to run non-wing sprints, go right ahead. Eagle is the perfect place for those cars. But, why run a SLMR show ?? Why not run an ASCS National show and call it some kinda Sprint Car Spectacular or something like that ??? Not to mention suggesting pulling the roofs off the SLMR to make it a Topless show. Topless Late Models went the way of TORA. Out to lunch.

    The logistical issue of proximity of the two facilities is something that will never be fixed. And the issue of failure to compromise, will never be fixed either. Not with these two ego-driven groups. So, it’s feast or famine. No matter how many times somebody brings up the ol’ “why cant they just get along” rhetoric……it’s NEVER going to happen. Their egos will never allow it.

    Wait till it spreads around that Eagle was getting a “deal” on their SLMR show !! Every track will want a “deal”. Brilliant move. Of course, the parties involved are short on brilliant moves, as of late.

    I guess this entire deal has come full circle. In 2004, there were 4 classes with 120 cars. in 2011 there were 6 classes with 80 cars. In 2012, there are again 6 classes, but the car count is yet to be seen. Im sure it will increase, because of the SLM and Mods. However, one must actually see that attempting to fix something that wasnt broke in the first place……is not really a good thing.

    So…..one must ask………WHY ?? Why were all those changes implemented, that didnt need to be implemented ???? People say Obama inherited Bush’s problem. Well…..by that same logic…….LDI inherited Carlson’s/Kelley’s already successful program. Yet, insisted on changing it. The same way that Obama insisted on change. Yet, we are no better off than we were before.

    I guess we’ll gather in late October to commiserate on what this new year/season had brought us. And as such, we being the more intelligent group of individuals and having more vast knowledge, will be able to either stamp the approval or a toss it out with the wastepaper basket.

    Rant………over.

    Have a good day gentlemen.

  6. Yuuuppppppp!!!!
    January 21, 2012 at 4:10 am | #6

    Well said Lunatic, well said.

    Sometimes I think these promotors whip there you know what outs and just to see how long it is.

    Primed and ready for the PPV tonight. I thought the show Wednesday night was excellent for the parts I was awake for. Of course had to rewatch what I missed even though I knew the results. I still cant get over Clantons wreck that sent his brand new capital race car(which he helped designed) straight to the scrap yard. It even got the motor too it looked like. Clanton either borrowed or bought that motor from Billy Moyer. Its sickening too watch that much money go down the drain in a blink of an eye.

  7. TMC
    January 21, 2012 at 6:09 am | #7

    Was funny to read Clanton crying like a little Bloomquist about the yuk tires and visibility and blah blah blah. Funny, 59 other guys missed the yuk tire that night. Wonder what makes him so special?

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