Whenever Hall of Famer Billy Moyer wins a race, I feel just a little younger. That is a good thing because the past few days I have been feeling old. Very old. Last night the 56 year old Arkansas driver bettered 38 WoO late models at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock. It was the 4th win of the 2014 season for the driver known as Mr. Smooth. Obviously his switch to a Moyer Xtreme by Longhorn Chassis is still a work in progress, but the results have to be satisfying. For fans and driver alike, every Moyer win has to mean retirement is put back a few more races.
The WoO late models are back in action next Friday and Saturday with the $20,000 to win Illini 100 on the 1/4th mile Farmer City Raceway in Illinois.
I also feel good when a driver I have written about wins a big race. Heck, when a driver I have written about wins any race I feel good. Well, Dennis Erb Jr. won the weekend’s biggest race, the Thaw Brawl at LaSalle Speedway in Illinois. Young Bobby Pierce finished 2nd and young Devin Moran-another driver with a Dirt Late Model story by me-finished 21st. In his 2014 debut, Brian Birkhofer finished 15th. Erb earned $15,000 for his effort.
After two nights of stellar qualifying, Texan Rodney Sanders earned the pole position for Saturday’s USMTS modified King of America feature. Jordan Grabouski-OK, I wrote about him for Dirt Modified magazine-started on the outside of the front row and the two battled for 93 laps of the 100 lap event at Humboldt Speedway in Kansas. As happens often enough on America’s dirt tracks, the leaders came together with just a few laps remaining in the race. Sanders was able to continue the race while Grabouski took his car to the pits, done for the night. Check out the USMTS site for very different viewpoints of the incident. Anyway, Sanders went on to take the checkered flag and win a trophy nearly as tall as him, along with a check for $10,000.
Next up for the modified traveling circus is a Friday night race at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City. It is a Major League Bow Hunter USMTS Central Region presented by Day Motor Sports race. Yeah, that is quite a sentence. I am torn between being facetious and being envious that the series has so many sponsors. Heck, one big buck sponsor would be more than The Rest of the Dirt can claim.
Once again a NASCAR event is threatened with rain. Weather forecasters say there is a 60% chance of showers today in Martinsville. The predicted high is in the mid-50’s. Tomorrow’s forecast shows a sunny day with a high of 70.
“In spring at the end of the day you should smell like dirt.” Maybe some days you gotta feel like dirt to smell like dirt. If so, I got it at least half right.
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I have not tried to hide the fact that I am a Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series fan. I remain a fan, though perhaps a little less so today that at the start of the day yesterday. This from http://www.DirtonDirt.com
“Fans did not get to see Billy Moyer of Batesville, Arkansas, the winningest driver in Winternational history, take a shot at his third victory of the week. The Hall of Famer loaded up after setting fast time, protesting a series penalty that put him in the fifth starting spot in his heat race instead of on the pole.
Moyer and his son Billy Moyer Jr. were among drivers penalized for missing their spots in the qualifying order after series officials required them to lower their rear deck heights in pre-qualifying inspection. Both Moyers loaded up.”
I have no problem with series officials requiring the Moyers and other drivers to lower rear deck heights. However, I do have a problem with them being penalized when they are complying with the rules. Either do the pre-qualifying inspection earlier, allowing them time to comply without missing their spot, or allow them to miss their spot.
Yes, I totally understand that others had no problem with rear deck heights. If officials had discovered a too high rear deck after qualifying-well, shame on them for not discovering it before hand, but also, penalize the driver. But no one cheated-Moyer corrected the problem and then set fast time, so he really didn’t need whatever benefit the rear deck height was supposed to give him. It seems like Moyer was penalized for not cheating, and I can’t blame him for loading up.
I think I will stir things a little more. National tours should give Hall of Fame drivers like Moyer, Bloomquist, Donnie Moran, and Chub Frank provisionals-yes, I suspect there are other Hall of Famers still active, and they merit a provisional as well. These drivers helped make big time dirt late model racing what it is, and frankly a provisional is a way to honor them for doing just that. Plus, it guarantees that fans will see the drivers they paid a lot of money to see.
Brady Smith captured night one of the WoO late model programs at Bubbaville in Ocala. Brandon Sheppard finished second, followed by Darrell Lanigan, Rick Eckert, and Tim Fuller. Unlike the WoO sprint car divas, there was no whining about the track. Smith and Sheppard changed positions on night two, with substitute Sheppard winning. I have no clue who Ivedent Lloyd Jr. is, but he finished in third place. Tim Fuller came home fourth and Lanigan was fifth.
Steve Francis and Don O’Neal of the Clint Bowyer racing team will run in Ocala tonight, and Gregg Satterlee and Dan Stone also journeyed to Bubbaland after finishing up in East Bay last night.
http://www.DirtonDirt.com is once again offering a PPV package for this week’s WoO late model racing at Volusia Speedway Park. A six night package costs $64.99-this is for DOD subscribers only, while individual nights run $21.99. Early in the week UMP modifieds will be the support class, while the last three days will see DirtCar Big Block modifieds racing.
I was at Fremont High School basketball games last night-and it was a very good night for the Tigers-so I did not see the wild and crazy crash fest at Daytona, nor did I see the pace vehicle catch on fire. Was Juan Pablo Montoya driving it? You gotta love all the crazy things at Daytona that so effect the racing there-one year it is pavement breaking up, another year it is a jet driver hit by a race car and burning up the track, and then it is the pace car catching fire. Amazing-crazy, but amazing. I’ll still be watching next Sunday though.
Check the above link. Every time Stenhouse does this-and it seems fairly regularly-I wonder when a NASCAR beat writer is going to pen a naughty little line like “Stenhouse rear-ends girlfriend.” If you check out the link, Danica is way ahead of the pundits.
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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.
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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.
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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.