I enjoyed a nice lunch at Sortino’s Pizza yesterday-great pizza and good conversation with 10 rabid race fans. No, seriously, I am pretty sure that 1 or 2 of these people do have rabies. There is a quote from the movie “Hoosiers,” that goes “nothing ever changes, people never change. It makes you feel real solid.” These guys never change. I won’t go so far as saying everyone at the table is totally full of b.s.-Matt and I aren’t completely full of it, but the others? They don’t change, and I am pleased to call each of them friend. It is always good to hear the latest news, spread rumors, and tell lies with these guys. Thanks Matt for setting it up.
Once again, I woke up in the middle of the night thinking weird thoughts. Probably the fact that I had onion rings and pepperoni pizza for lunch. No, I was not in Melbourne, Australia or Melbourne, Florida, though I wish I was. Anyway, why is it that whenever you hear anything about space ships, men from Mars, or flying saucers, the location is always the desert? If the aliens are studying us, why would they go where no one is? I have a more plausible theory. There are parts of Nebraska that do not have a lot of people, but more than the deserts of the southwest US-think Sand Hills. The creatures from the far side of the universe are landing near Valentine, Nebraska-and I did not use that town to remind most of you that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.
My thinking is that the space ships from the far side of the universe drop off their invasion force in rural Nebraska and these creatures then take the shape of the average Nebraska male-overweight, and dress like him too, a John Deere or NU ball cap. They become friends with other Nebraska males, and then “zap” them, downloading everything from the hapless Nebraskan into their memory bank, though they have a difficult time with Gobie Gred. Then they toss the done in Nebraskans to the mountain lions who are so infesting Nebraska that there is now a hunting season on them-I mean the guesses are there are 12 male mountain lions in all of Nebraskaland.
Sorry, off topic. Anyway, the space aliens looked for the simplest creatures to take over and do away with, and eureka, they discovered a dirt track AND B Mod drivers. My contention is that many B Mod drivers are actually aliens from outer space. It’s insidious. I don’t understand how they could travel billions of miles to find Earth but can’t travel once around a ¼ mile oval race track without hitting something, but it is true. I am afraid of being abducted by these aliens for revealing their secret, but someone had to.
And yes, Randy, I do know that if the men from Mars were looking for the simplest creatures to take over there are likely hundreds, if not thousands of them in Fremont, Nebraska. We agree on that.
I know I have been badgering Bubba the Love Sponge, Burp-BRP- Bubba Raceway Park, and the Bubba Winternationals, but after listening to a Bubba interview yesterday, the man is obviously a great intellect, and I am not saying that just because I have said things like he did in the interview. Matt sent me a link to the interview, and yes, it is worth your time to listen:
I am not the only person who thinks XSANTV is doing a great job covering dirt track racing. Bubba happened to be watching the XSANTV production of the last sprint car race at BRP and he raved about the quality of the show. With 200 nights of events already on tap, fans really need to check into subscribing to XSAN.
Yet again, the Florida weather bettered promoters, fans, and drivers. Last night’s East Bay Lucas Oil late model show was postponed and will be made up on Saturday afternoon. Tuesday night saw some good racing at the track though. The ageless wonder Billy Moyer passed veteran Steve Francis to claim his 22nd East Bay Winternationals feature win. May he never grow too tired of all the highway window time required to race a late model at this level. He is simply a joy to watch. Young gun Brandon Sheppard, subbing for Josh Richards in the Rocket house car finished third. Eddie Carrier Jr. backed up his Monday win with a solid 4th, while Don O’Neal came home 5th and Scott Bloomquist took 6th. Yes, TRODT Raceway will be open tonight for my viewing pleasure, as XSANTV will have yet another PPV. I am crossing my fingers that Mother Nature will co-operate.
Thanks for stopping by.
After almost seven years running a Victory Circle Chassis, Billy Moyer is switching to a Longhorn Chassis in 2014. While this doesn’t seem to equate with Brian Birkhofer leaving MB Custom Chassis to run a Rocket in 2014, it is interesting on a number of levels.
First, Moyer has sold over 170 Victory Circle Chassis since 2008. He will continue to sell VC chassis and support those he has already sold. Second, Longhorn has not exactly run away from other chassis in the last few years. Moyer must see something in what this chassis has to offer, or he would not be making a switch.
That Moyer is making a switch means the 56 year old Hall of Famer still has the competitive desire to go to the track and win races. While 2013 may not have been a banner year by Moyer standards, other drivers would call it a career year. The transplant from Iowa to Batesville, Arkansas driver won seven features in 2013 and captured the NDRL point championship. To me, Moyer making a change suggests he still wants to battle with Josh Richards, Jimmy Owens, Darrell Lanigan, et al. I for one am glad we will see him back in action in 2014.
Exactly when Moyer will be on track with his new Moyer Xtreme by Longhorn Chassis is unknown. He was bruised, battered (concussion), and broken (two ribs) by his season ending crash in Charlotte, and how you heal as a 50-something is a lot different from how you heal as a 20-something. Plus, Moyer will be having hernia surgery yet this month, so add one more item to his recovery list.
It may be March before Moyer races again, but that won’t keep him from helping his son-the one and ONLY Billy Moyer Jr. Moyer Jr. is also making the switch to Longhorn and will be racing the NDRL events in Tucson in January.
Speaking of the NDRL, the sanctioning body continues to show it intends to be the third national dirt late model series. NDRL officials announced a lucrative 2014 point fund that will pay $65,000 to its point champion. The runner-up will receive $45,000 and from there it goes to $35,000-$25,000-$22,500-$20,000-$19,000-$18,000-$17,000-$16,000 for 10th place in points. The series Rookie of the Year will receive $7,500, with the ROY runner-up getting a $5,000 check, and the third place rookie will garner $2,500.
In addition to a hefty point fund, the sanctioning body will implement a program called Royal Rewards which will pay drivers in top ten in points who make all series events $750 per race travel money. The top finishing rookie in each race will receive a $200 bonus, as will the driver who leads the series point standings after every race.
The NDRL schedule shows 6 nights of racing in Tucson in January, and three more January race nights in El Paso. After that four events with 11 nights of racing are listed, but with a point fund like the above, there is no way the series will race just 20 nights.
Tomorrow, some NASCAR and whatever else is fit to print. Thanks for stopping by.
A person on my LinkedIn net writes a blog titled “How The !@# Did I Get This Old?” Very few days go by that I don’t think that, and having read that the Beatles “I Want To Hold Your Hand” will be 50 years old this week makes me feel very old.
I’m not sure what to think about the Pittsburgher 100. I did not order the PPV but followed the racing on www.DirtonDirt.com. The pole sitter won each night-Jason Feger won Friday’s preliminary event and Scott Bloomquist won the 100 lapper. Billy Moyer started near the front each night and finished fourth on night one and runner-up last night. Obviously starting the feature near the front was important, which at least hints that it wasn’t a racy track.
I do like seeing Bloomquist and Moyer finish 1-2 though. Some forum jockeys have been a little premature writing off the hall of famers. Moyer’s finishes clinched the NDRL point championship, adding $20,000 to his Batesville, Arkansas bank account.
Jimmy Owens was banned from competing with the NDRL because of an early season tire test that showed a banned substance. Owens raced in the Cotton Pickin’ 100 at Magnolia Speedway in Mississippi, and won $20,000. Billy Moyer Jr. finished second and Bobby Pierce came home third in the event.
Chris Simpson and Denny Eckrich each won $3,500 at the Liberty 100 in West Liberty, Iowa. Simpson won the open late model feature, while Eckrich captured the spec-engine 50 lap main event.
In a stunning upset-not-Kyle Berck won Saturday’s SLMR race at I-80 Speedway. It was Berck’s 10th SLMR victory of the season. Jason Danley of Lincoln won the Sprint Car feature.
And speaking of I-80 Speedway, I got an email last night about 11:00 p.m. saying this person had heard from a friend at the track and there were still three features left to run. The gentleman added that the Bank of America 500 was already finished and fans were probably home in bed already. My reply was that the NASCAR driver’s only had to run 500 miles and there were no B-Mods, Hornets, or Sprint Cars on the bill.
I don’t know if there were still three features to run at I-80 Speedway at 11:00 p.m., and certainly most fans were still in a traffic jam leaving Charlotte Motor Speedway at that time, not home in bed. Still, the idea that I-80 still had three features to run at that time is not far-fetched. I cringe at an event that lists four classes, become irate at one that includes five classes racing, and complain loudly when six or more classes take to the track in one night. Eight classes? I just shake my head. For years I have called the Cornhusker Classic the “Back Gate Classic,” and can’t remember the last time I went to every night of the event. Some years I did not go at all. I am going tonight-there are ONLY five classes racing this evening and it will be the last night of racing for Matt and me. With SLMR late models featured again tonight, I am hoping to see some Sunday Night Irregulars in the stands.
After this blog I shouldn’t be asking any favors from the I-80 promoters, but darn, I would love to have the B-Mod feature run after the late model main event.
Thanks for stopping by.
I watched some of the IMCA Supernationals on XSANTV last night. Does anyone watch all of the Supernationals? 357 cars raced last night, including 20 heats of IMCA Northern Sports Mods-aka B Mods, a Sports Mod last chance event, and a Sports Mod feature. There were Hobby Stock heats and several Hobby Stock features, hot laps for Sports Compacts, hot laps for Modifieds, and a complete program for Deery Brothers Late Models. If you sat through all of that, I salute you and also think you are insane.
After watching last night, my impression of this event is simply too much. No question that talent, experience, and good equipment are important to even make a Saturday feature, but luck plays a big role too. With 20 heats, only the winner of each heat race automatically made the evening’s Sports Mod A feature. The 20 second place finishers ran a last chance race in which the top ten finishers tagged on to the back of the A feature. In the A feature, only the top eight drivers qualified for the Saturday’s A feature. The rest come back tonight for another chance.
Most of the heat races I watched started nine cars and ran eight laps around the 1/3rd mile Boone oval. If you were unfortunate enough to draw the last spot in a heat, making it to the front is tough going. Even if you win your heat race, with 19 other heat winners you could draw a 20th spot on the starting grid and have to pass 12 cars to claim a Saturday night starting spot. Like I said, luck plays an important role in becoming an IMCA Supernational champion.
I was impressed with the famous “track farming,” re-prepping the track after a certain number of races. It was a very efficient process and I wish local tracks would study what the Boone crew does.
Yes, I will watch some of the Supernationals again tonight. It is like a Godfather’s Pizza buffet though-as good as it may look when you walk in the place, no way can you consume all of it.
I realize there are bloggers who subscribe to the policy of “see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil” when it comes to writing about racing. If you are one to stick your head in the sand, this blog really isn’t for you. I am going to write what I think, even if it is not politically correct.
Sunday night there were seven classes of cars racing at I-80 Speedway. I doubt there were 357 cars cluttering the pits, but come on, seven classes? I am glad now that Matt and I were not able to attend. Maybe I AM getting old to worry about such things, or maybe it is that I can remember the good old days at Sunset Speedway when just two classes raced and put on a helluva program.
Yes, I complain-sometimes about too much, sometimes about not enough. This weekend 15 late models showed for an NCRA race in Belleville, Kansas. Not one was a driver I would drive 100-150 miles to see. Most would be mid-pack or back in the Nebraska based SLMR series. Only a few drivers have made all of the “NCRA” shows, most of which have been co-sanctioned events with other Midwest tours. As a fan I would be more than a little peeved to show up at a late model special and find only 15 supers in the pits. The NCRA may still be a viable sanction for Modifieds and Sprint Cars, but to me, I see so reason for it continuing to sanction late models.
Rumors of Billy Moyer’s demise as a winning late model driver seem a bit premature this morning. The Batesville, Arkansas Hall of Famer won $20,000 in an NDRL show in Pennsylvania last night. With tire wear a major issue in the 100 lap race, it paid off to be Mr. Smooth. Jamie Lathroum finished second to Moyer and Josh Richards came home third. Darn I love it when old guys win.
What I would really like to see though is Moyer carry over the momentum of a big win to this coming weekend and leave the state of Ohio early Sunday morning as the World 100 champion. Well, that is if Brian Birkhofer doesn’t win. Or Steve Francis.
Thanks for stopping by.
#2 For 7/18. Guess Who Is Coming To Dinner, ‘er The Silver Dollar Nationals. This Was Supposed To Post On 7/13
One more Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer is getting ready for the Silver Dollar Nationals-a former Iowan now living and racing out of Batesville, Arkansas. Well, I assume this gentleman will be racing-he is having a fuel pump he ordered delivered to Kosiski Auto Parts in Omaha, and one of the K’s is to take the pump to him at the track. Why would Mr. Smooth have a part sent to Nebraska if he wasn’t racing? Yes, Billy Moyer will be in the house.
Billy Moyer-Scott Bloomquist-Jimmy Owens-Don O’Neal-Brian Birkhofer-John Blankenship-Steve Francis-Jared Landers-Dennis Erb Jr.-Jimmy Mars-Terry Phillips-Chris Simpson-Chad Simpson-Kyle Berck-Terry Phillips-Ryan Gustin-Tony Jackson Jr.-Eddie Carrier Jr.-Billy Moyer Jr.-Jesse Stovall-Will Vaught-John Anderson-Travis Dickes and Brad Looney. I am not sure what title to give to the names you just read (hopefully you read them fast, very fast). Perhaps best A feature line-up south of Cedar Lake, Wisconsin and west of Knoxville, Iowa.
Don’t forget the USMTS side of the best racing anywhere in July. Jeremy Payne-Jason Hughes-Johnny Scott-Stormy Scott-Kelly Shryock-Rodney Sanders-Zack VanderBeek-Dereck Ramirez-and NASCAR legend Ken Schrader. Gustin and Phillips are likely to race both their late model and modified, and a handful of other drivers could do double duty as well. And none other than Schrader said, “these drivers are to modifieds what the WoO drivers are to sprint cars.”
The best of the best late model drivers anywhere. The best of the best modified drivers anywhere. Damn right I am excited. For years I kept saying we need an event like this in Nebraska, and now we have it. Please come up and show your support this coming week. The promoters are putting up a ton of money to bring these tours to the Cornhusker State, and now it is up to us, the people who plop our butts in the grandstands, to make this thing a big success.
Thanks to Dan Schmidt, aka Berck Fan for his $25 donation to the Silver Dollar Nationals Fans Fund. There is still time to donate, just go to http://www.therestofthedirt.com and check the right hand side of the page to donate.
Steve Francis won the Lucas Oil race at Tri-City Speedway in Illinois, followed by John Blankenship and Chris Simpson. The second place finish by Blankenship and an uncharacteristic 26th place run by Jimmy Owens moved the West Virginian ahead of Owns by 40 points in the Lucas Oil standings. The Lucas Oil drivers continue a busy nine days tonight with the Diamond Nationals at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri.
For those of you, make that those of us, who are going to Lakeside Speedway on Tuesday for the Lucas Oil/USMTS show, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Clint Bowyer will be racing. Bowyer will be joining his dirt team drivers Jared Landers and Francis at the track he used to race modifieds at.
Bobby Pierce picked up a cool $10,000 (pun intended) at Kankakee County Speedway in Illinois last night. Pierce has three feature wins in the UMP Summernationals, and is just two points behind second place Ryan Unzicker in the Hell Tour point standings. Brandon Sheppard is 61 points ahead of Unzicker. The UMP series rolls into 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa tonight and regulars will be joined by Brian Birkhofer, and the Simpson brothers for another $10,000 to win show.
The final night of the WoO Wild West tour was rained out. It is two weeks before this series races again, and you would think that a big money event in a different series might attract some drivers-yes, I am talking about the Silver Dollar Nationals-but I don’t see many Outlaw drivers heading to Nebraska. Hey, if Darrell Lanigan can’t race a Lucas Oil show in spitting distance of his shop, he is not coming to I-80 Speedway. It is a shame, but that is the personalities, egos, and politics of big time dirt track racing.
My plans to watch some late model and midget racing on XSANTV this weekend took a hit as equipment failure is taking XSAN off the air until Tuesday night and a Hawkeye Dirt Tour race from Oskaloosa, Iowa. Oh well, I have some articles due Dirt Modified and Dirt Late Model that I should be working on anyway.
Thanks for stopping by.
Below is my Top 25 Ballot for June 17th. No, it does not include Billy Moyer. Chalk that up to getting up at 3:15 a.m. on Monday morning, driving 350 miles round trip-most of it surrounded by Iowans, and then trying to beat the ballot deadline without all the information I usually have in front of me. I suspect http://www.DirtonDirt.com was wondering what I was smoking not putting the Hall of Famer in the Top 25, but it was a screw up I did not catch until copying my ballot to the blog. Moyer should have been 13th and everyone after dropped a spot. Yes, he will be on next week’s ballot.
2013 WEEKLY DRIVER POLL BALLOT
Name Ron Meyer
Please Enter Date Below
1 Josh Richards
2 Jimmy Owens
3 Darrell Lanigan
4 Shane Clanton
5 Brian Birkhofer
6 Scott Bloomquist
7 Don O’Neal
8 Dennis Erb Jr.
9 John Blankenship
10 Tim McCreadie
11 Rick Eckert
12 Steve Francis
13 Jonathan Davenport
14 Mike Marlar
15 Jimmy Mars
16 Dale McDowell
17 Steve Casebolt
18 Eddie Carrier Jr.
19 Brady Smith
20 Chris Simpson
21 Earl Pearson Jr.
22 Doug Drown
23 Eric Wells
24 Tim Fuller
25 Matt Miller
Deery Brothers wins don’t get much credit when ranking the Top 25 late model drivers. If they did, Brian Harris would definitely be on everyone’s ballot. The Iowan won last night at West Liberty, making it four series wins in a row. Andy Eckrich finished second, followed by Justin Kay, and Ray Guss Jr. 32 cars were on hand.
I keep suggesting that IMCA tracks in the western 1/3 of Iowa host a Deery Brothers event, even though I realize it will be a cold day in a lot warmer place before they do. Even less likely is a Deery Brothers and Hawkeye Dirt Tour co-featured class. Too bad, this is very good racing.
The UMP Summernationals is in Illinois tonight, and the WoO late models are in New York. The calendar may not say summer yet, but midweek late model specials in bundles say summer to me. The Alphabet Soup Race is coming up in just over a week, and the Silver Dollar Nationals is barely a month away.
George Zimmer, the founder and executive chairman of Men’s Wearhouse-he is the one saying “You’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it” on commercials, was ousted today by the company’s board of directors. No, that doesn’t have much to do with racing. I was just thinking that when TRODT goes big time and actually starts making some money it can have a stock offering like Facebook, I could make hundreds of millions of dollars, and the company could have a board of directors too. I wonder if they would fire me. Heck, if I had a few hundred dollars in the bank they could fire me. I could be like Ivan Tracy and go to races all winter.
My blog today was supposed to be longer. I was going to include several paragraphs on sprint cars since I have neglected the winged wonders lately. I haven’t taken any shots at the amazing 305’s, but mostly I was going to promote the Nebraska 360 sprints. Then one of the founders of that series sent the following comment to TRODT: “You post everyday? I guess I didn’t notice since I only look at your blog once a month!” That being the case, it will probably be sometime next month before I mention sprint cars again.
Thanks for stopping by.
It did not surprise me to learn that the Friday night Lucas Oil show from Tri-City Speedway in Illinois was cancelled. It did surprise me that all four of the national tour shows were cancelled this weekend. However, the bad fortune of the tours and fans hoping to watch them was the good fortune for fans at the Southern Ohio Speedway as a number of top drivers decided to race there this weekend.
When I logged into XSANTV and saw the track being packed on Friday night I thought I had somehow discovered racing on another planet. The sun was shining, the track was actually dusty, and fans were sitting in shirt sleeves. Vaguely, but I do remember watching races where I did not have to be bundled up.
The track reminded me a little of the speedway in Ft. Dodge, Iowa. The seats were attached to short wooden posts stuck in the ground on a hillside. Personally, I like that-more room to stretch out, and no need to move when someone wants to get up to go to the concession stand or restroom. I doubt the SOS concession stand has hamburgers like the track in Ft. Dodge though. Actually, I doubt if anyone does.
I admit I was not around for the finish of the late model feature on night #1 out the Southern 100-the 100 coming from 40 laps on Friday and 60 late model laps on Saturday. In fact, I had been in bed for hours. Through the miracle of cyberspace and www.DirtonDirt.com I can tell you that Steve Francis won the $4,000 first place check. Francis was followed by Jonathan Davenport and Bobby Pierce. Other name drivers present included Eddie Carrier Jr., Donnie and Devin Moran, Steve Casebolt, and Jared Landers. I keep preaching it isn’t how many there that is important, it is who is there, and there were plenty of good drivers on hand.
Both nights had time trials-boo, boo, boo. Drivers timed only against other drivers in their heat, and there were two cars on the track at the same time, instead of just single car timing. I am not sure if that made the trials twice as good, or just half as bad.
Saturday night saw Austin Hubbard, Mike Marlar, Tim McCreadie, and Tyler Reddick pull into the pits to do battle with about 26 other late models for the $12,000 winner’s purse.
Watching the heats, what came to mind was if Kyle Berck was confused during restarts at the SLMR feature at Butler County Speedway last Sunday, he really would have been at Southern Ohio Speedway. Restarts began at a cone on the backstretch. Anyway, from what I hear Kyle was far less confused than some at the track. Hopefully that will be taken care of by later in the month.
I have to say I was not impressed with how long a “brief intermission” between the late model dash and late model feature lasted. XSANTV showed the entire Friday night feature for both the late model and modifieds, and then showed a number of driver interviews. Sorry, that is too long for an intermission. Way too long. I don’t know if any farming was done during the intermission, but the track was so dusty I could not see cars coming out of turn four for quite a few laps. It made me wonder if I was watching a late model race, or a repeat of the PBS show “Dust Bowl.”
Restarts were single file. You don’t see that very often anymore in late model racing. Jackie Boggs broke early while leading the race. Steve Francis broke after losing the lead on a restart about halfway through the race. Tim McCreadie broke while leading with just 10 laps to go. Locals Doug Drown and R.J. Conley ended up first and second, with Mike Marlar taking third.
All in all, I was glad I had a race to watch, but this is not a track that will be going on my “If I win the lottery” bucket list. The L-O-N-G “brief” intermission and the dust are two things I can do without when I go to races.
The XSANTV event list shows a “mystery broadcast” for tonight. Tuesday night XSANTV will show a Hawkeye Dirt Tour event from Benton County Speedway in Vinton, Iowa.
Some may not be sure what to make of Billy Moyer running in the $2,000 to win in the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series for the second weekend in a row, though he was scheduled to run in the Lucas Oil cancelled races. I guess at his age and with his legacy secure, he can run wherever he wants, and these races are close to home and get him to the track. Actually I think he uses races like those as test sessions.
This afternoon-NASCAR and maybe a nap too. Thanks for stopping by.