SDN II Fans Fund?? Plus A Look Back At SDN I
Before another anniversary Oldie but Goldie, I want to talk about the Silver Dollar Nationals Fans Fund. Last year we raised $800, and gave $400 each to Billy Moyer Jr. and Brian Birkhofer. Getting Moyer Jr. brought Moyer Sr. to the race, so that was big. While I believe in the concept-the Cedar Lake Speedway Fans Fund for the USA Nationals hopes to raise $12,500 to give 25 drivers $500 each, I am somewhat disappointed in last year’s SDN Fan’s Fund outcome. $500 of the $800 raised came from five people. It took a lot of time and effort to raise the other $300 and as of right now I need convincing to even think of trying it again. Given my normal response rate, I am afraid to ask, but does anyone have an argument that would encourage me to try an SDN Fans Fund II?
Now the Oldie but Goldie. This was written early in the morning of July 24, 2011, after two great days of Silver Dollar Nationals I. If my calendar is correct, it is now just five weeks until Silver Dollar Nationals II, and the new biggest auto race ever inNebraska.
This was titled “Random Rumblings On A Jewel Of An Event.”
Very random thoughts-I have not had my first cup of coffee yet.
I thought attendance at Friday’s show was very good, and last night’s show had even more fans in the stands, meaning attendance at last night’s show was great. I am terrible at estimating crowds, but I think it has been quite some time since so many people have been on the I-80 Speedway premises at the same time.
An announcement will be made on Tuesday about the future of the event. I don’t think an announcement would be made if there was not going to be a 2nd Annual Silver Dollar Nationals. My thinking is the announcement locks in a date for the big money event in 2012. I think that the Alphabet Soup Race and the SDN will become I-80’s equivalent of Eldora’s Dream and World 100 or Cedar Lake’s Masters and USA Nationals.
There are few things about racing that I dislike, but one is lapped cars affecting the outcome of a race. When lapped cars wreck a race contender, bad words start coming out of my mouth. Kelly Shryock could not avoid a multi-car, lapped car, crash. With just a few laps to go Shryock was running second to Jeremy Payne, and challenging for the lead. Shryock lost at least 37 points because of the lapped car mess, but I don’t think it cost him a regional championship as he was ahead of Ryan Gustin by 49 points after Friday’s races. Still.
There were some rumblings of discontent about the qualifying procedure. No, not from anyMidwestdriver, from some of the “name” drivers on hand. This really pisses me off. The drivers had a chance to win $25,000 and all 11 of the invaders qualified for the feature, meaning they won at least $1,000. Actually Billy Koons paid $2,700 in an auction for the last starting spot. This amount was divided among the last 20 finishers, so the minimum ended up being $1,135.
Anyway, there were complaints about the qualifying procedure and about the tire rule. I won’t name names, but one of the drivers said he would not come back to this race because of the qualifying procedure. Another suggested there would have been 20 more top drivers on hand if 1600 series tires would have been added to the 40 and 55 series tires allowed. I think that is an exaggeration, but it might have added five WoO series drivers if 1600 series tires had been allowed. My understanding is that theses tires would not give a driver and advantage, so maybe this is something that needs to be looked at for SDN II.
The SDN qualifying format is unique. To me, it should become the trademark of the event. Do NOT change it. NASCAR Sprint Cup series drivers don’t complain about the qualifying format for their all-star races at Daytona or Charlotte, and I don’t think dirt late model drivers should whine about something different in a race. Yes, the big names are comfortable with time trials and soft tires. Given that this race had an overall purse better than some of the so-called crown jewel late model races, I think that drivers ought to be able to step out of their comfort zone at least once a year.
The qualifying procedure is fair, and it allows regional competitors a more level playing field in qualifying, though the professional drivers still have many advantages over the drivers who don’t race for a living. In the end, look at who the top five finishers were-O’Neal, McDowell, Birkhofer, Hubbard, and Mars. The invaders got the big money, so why the complaints?
Again, if 1600 series tires don’t give an advantage to a driver and it will get more national names that might be a change to consider. The race needs more than 11 big names to be seriously considered as a major race. Talk with the 11 invaders now and ask them about changes that could be made to make the race better, though the qualifying format is off limits to change. Recruitment for next year’s race starts now.
Brian Birkhofer started 20th and finished 3rd. Our other Fans Fund driver Billy Moyer Jr. finished 11th. I talked to both drivers last night and both were appreciative of the Fans Fund money and wanted me to thank all the donors. I am not saying that there will be a Fans Fund program next year, but if there was going to be one, I would be interested in hearing of changes that might better our efforts-to get more donors and more cash donated.
Matt had an interesting idea on how to attract more USMTS modifieds, especially all the heavy hitters of the series. Pay $3,000 to win, which would increase the payout for at least the top ten finishers and on one night the race will count for Central Division points, and on the second night the race will count for Great Plains Division points.
Actually Matt has lots of interesting ideas about this event that I hope he will pass on to a certain driver/promoter on whose crew he used to be.
After the Kelly Shryock lapped car incident took out the 9 time USMTS champion, Terry Phillips inherited 2nd place in the modified feature. Though Ryan Gustin challenged Phillips, the wily veteran held off the youngster and with teammate Jeremy Payne pulled off a Springfield, Missouri 1-2 finish.
Most hardcore fans thought that Don O’Neal would jump to an early lead and maybe fade late in the race allowing Chris Simpson to finally get his big win at I-80 Speedway. Instead it was Simpson jumping to an early lead and O’Neal who came on strong midway through the race.
Billy Moyer broke his transmission about 3/4ths of the way through the race. Moyer seemed to be about a 4th place car. Kyle Berck broke a cam shaft and dropped out of the race too.
Do NOT sanction this race with Lucas Oil and especially not with the WoO. That would wreck it. Continue with the MLRA sanction and with USMTS officials race directing and scoring the late models too.
I think the reserved seat ticket option was a little confusing. I truly believe that the K’s need to come into the 21st century on ticket handling for a major event. Let an online ticket site handle it, just like Deer Creek andKnoxville do. Yes, these sites have fees, but most concerts and sporting events add a postage and handling fee to tickets purchases on line. I-80 Speedway should do the same. They lose no money and get rid of a lot of headaches.
Before next year’s race tickets go on sale I will contact all the official and non-official members of the Sunday Night Irregulars and see who is going to go and get our tickets together. As obnoxious as all my friends are, I would rather have them around me than a group of loud, stupid, obnoxious drunks.
My friend Tony Anville hosted a group of seven others last night, and most of them had never been to a race. He was worried they wouldn’t like racing, but I figure if they are open minded enough to consider Anville a friend, they had to be open minded enough to give the racing a chance. Sorry Dr. Hayward. Tony’s friends did get to see some good racing. Maybe the cheap !@#$ should buy them tickets to the SDN race every year.
I know I missed a lot, but I am up to about 1,250 words, double what blog experts say the normal blog should be, so I will stop now. I will be writing about the SDN for a few more days, and am going to try to get some comments from the www.dirtondirt.com reporter who was on hand for the event. Oh, the site provided top notch coverage of the SDN, so you should visit it-yes, Tony you have to pay, but it is worth it.
Thanks for stopping by.
Obviously things have changed since this was written, and I am OK with the Lucas Oil co-sanction because the series agreed to the hard tire rule and the two race qualification that makes the SDN unique among big money late model events. Also the USMTS did away with regions and now runs just two divisions, the Casey’s Cup and the National Championship Series. One night of SDN will be Casey’s Cup and the other will be NCS, so plenty of modified stars should be on hand too. Five weeks until the big event-I hope this helps put you in an SDN state of mind.
Again, thanks for stopping by.