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.
I am writing this blog with just five hours of sleep after a long, late night trip home from Knoxville. I prefer to call my thoughts this morning random, not incoherent.
I still do not like time trials, but if they are a must, group time trials are the way to go. Last night, 4 cars at a time were on the track, and it went fairly quickly. What made it even more tolerable was that each driver’s lap time was shown on a display above the track’s big screen immediately after crossing the start/finish line. Scott Bloomquist was fast time.
B O x 2 does not equal a stinker.
Picture a heat race with Brian Birkhofer, Jimmy Owens, Scott Bloomquist, and Don O’Neal. If you were at the Knoxville Late Model Nationals last night you would not have to picture it, you could have watched the drama unfold. The vagaries of time trials put all four in the same heat race. Not only were they in the same heat race, but because of the event invert, they started 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th, and only four of the 16 cars in the race qualified for the feature. Add Million Dollar Man Donnie Moran, former Lucas Oil champion Earl Pearson Jr., and Jason Feger to the mix, and it was hard not to think WTF? I’m not forgetting my friend Tow Dad’s son Matt Furman who finished a strong second in the heat to put one more Iowan in the A feature.
The B’s made the feature, the O’s did not. Birkhofer won the heat-to the cheers of almost the entire crowd, while Bloomquist finished 3rd. Owens and O’Neal were relegated to the B feature, and neither of them advanced to the A main. You read that right, the point leader and the driver in second place in the point standings in the Lucas Oil Late Model Series did not make last night’s feature.
Victory Circle chassis by Moyer made a strong statement last night with both the A feature winner and runner-up Shannon Babb running the chassis. The MB chassis was stout too, with Birkhofer and Jimmy Mars finishing 4th and 5th.
Normally D and C features are not exciting races to watch. Tim McCreadie changed all of that last night. T-Mac dropped out of his heat race, relegating him to a 14th place start in the D feature. Only the top four finishers moved on to the C. Somehow McCreadie managed to drive home in 3rd place. That gained him a 22nd starting position in the C feature. Again, only the top four finishers moved to the B feature. With a late lap charge, the past Knoxville Nationals winner managed to cross the line in 4th. With Brady Smith, Jason Feger, Owens, O’Neal, Moran, and Terry Phillips all in the B ahead of him, his quest to run the alphabet and make the A feature seemed impossible. Alas it was. Still, with only a late lap caution to help him, McCreadie moved from 24th to 9th, definitely a hard charger.
McCreadie runs that other late model national series. The one that Darrell Lanigan has dominated. The one that features drivers like Rick Eckert, Shane Clanton, Chub Frank, and Clint Smith. Although this series had the weekend off, the only top ten drivers from that series to run at Knoxville were McCreadie and Bub McCool. Writers who want to hand driver of the year honors to Darrell Lanigan should take into consideration that this is yet another of the crown jewel events he chose not to run. I’ll save it for another blog, but Matt and I were discussing a Fan Fund for Silver Dollar Nationals III and maybe concentrating it on getting locals to participate instead of trying to get the Lanigans and Clantons et al to show up.
Billy Moyer is simply a racing wonder. If you watch him on the track he does not seem to be going as fast as other leaders. Yet, if he was slower, how did he manage to build nearly a straight away lead on Babb, Steve Francis, and Birkhofer who were fighting for second place in the A. The hall of famer is a late model treasure and I hope he continues racing for years to come. Joe Kosiski sat with Matt and me during the D-C-B features and said that Moyer is in great shape and could easily race ‘til he is 60. Late model fans everywhere would love that.
Joe and Matt together are a dangerous combination. Joe was Matt’s hero even before Matt was on Joe’s pit crew, and they are fun to watch and listen to. I don’t think Joe sings Johnny Cash, but Matt didn’t last night either. We just had lots of good talk about racing and our favorite one month old boy, Mr. Henry Ross Meyer.
The Scott Bloomquist boos were loud, but nothing topped the cheers for Brian Birkhofer. The noise from the stands when Birky won his heat was at loud as the 16-800 horse power engines roaring around the track. Birkhofer is a star in the sport but doesn’t act like stars sometimes do. Couple that with great talent and it is easy to see why he is a favorite.
Someone said to me “If I was staying over for tomorrow night’s races, I would drive back to Des Moines and stay in a hotel with a good breakfast buffet.” Who was this anonymous bacon lover?
Talk about bargains-the Hy-Vee across the street from Knoxville Raceway gives up about half of their parking lot for race parking to the Boy Scouts. The scouts charge a mere $5.00 for the privilege of parking right by the track. We’ve been looking for a parking permit for Saturday’s Nebraska vs. Wisconsin football game. So far the cheapest offered is $95 and it is a quarter mile from the stadium.
I was sitting on the brick wall near the entrance of Knoxville Raceway waiting for our friend Tony Anville to arrive. I was people watching and car watching too, when what appeared to be a new Lexus with the license plates “NASCAR 1” drove by and parked in the Hy Vee lot. I wondered what Brian France was doing there, but the only person who emerged from the parking lot after that car arrived was none other than the Auburn Aristocrat, Anville.
So much for his statement he drives a beat up sedan with over 100,000 miles on it.
Miracle in the museum. Yes, I did go to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and museum. Yes, Ivan, I did realize it displayed sprint cars. I love old things. Old building fascinate me. Old trains thrill me. Old photos take me back in time. So yes, I did enjoy going through the museum though all but a few of Jeff Gordon’s cars were open wheeled race cars. The museum is more than worth the $4.00 admission charge, and if you are going to Knoxville and have never visited it, do so. It is adjacent to the track, so park your car at Hy-Vee and jaywalk across the highway like Anville to visit the place.
The miracle? Tony Anville actually paid the admission for all of us. Yes, I did type that. Now we all had a $1.00 discount because of our reserved tickets for the races that night, but Anville so rarely opens his wallet this may have been a once in a lifetime event for us.
I do admit I envied Anville a little for the first time last night. About 2:00 a.m. we had just crossed the Missouri River into Blair, Nebraska and had about 30 miles to go before we got home. Anville on the other hand was tucked into bed at his 5 star Pella, Iowa hotel. Nebraska does not play football during the Knoxville Late Model Nationals in 2013 and Matt talked about staying over Thursday night for Friday’s races and maybe even staying over on Friday too. Wow, who suggested that many times already? I addition to Anville we saw Scott McBride in the grandstands. Matt said he saw Steve Basch before the race, but Mr. Belleville 100 did not visit us in the grandstands.
On a somber note, Chris Economaki died this morning. The 91 year old “Dean of American Motorsports Journalism” was a role model for anyone wanting to write or talk about auto racing. He went after the stories he thought fans would want to know, and unlike many covering the sport today, Economaki was not afraid to ask tough questions. Rest in peace Chris.
I should have written this as a column for Dirt Late Model. It is longer than a lot of my magazine articles. Thanks for stopping by.
Last night I visited my grandson Henry and his dad too. Matt decided to show me how much Henry likes riding in his little car. The car comes with a seat belt, but unfortunately like another type of vehicle I don’t like to talk about, it has to be pushed before it can go. I am glad it did NOT have a wing on top, rather a large spoiler in the back.
Anyway, Henry loves riding in the car, even puts his hands on the steering wheel in the right places, something other members of his family don’t. His favorite part of the ride was the times when Matt tipped him back on two wheels. Oh, oh. The image that just stuck in my mind was Top Fuel Dragster. He did not want to get out of the car when Matt decided it was time to go in the house. That is putting it mildly.
I have already been accused of wrecking Matt’s mind when it comes to automobile racing, and I would just as soon Henry waits a few years before developing bad racing habits. Maybe taking him to some basketball games this winter will get him pointed in the right direction.
We are leaving for Knoxville at 11:30 a.m. The plan is to meet Tony Anville there are visit the Sprint Car Hall of Fame, then walk through the midway. I don’t know why I bother, I never buy anything. I do like to look though. Hopefully Steve Basch will find us-we’re sitting where we always do-and we’ll be able to enjoy a good night of racing.
Actually the only thing I am not looking forward to is the trip home. Talking about racing will get us past Des Moines, but then we start to get tired and it is still a long way home. That isn’t a good combination. I keep thinking we should have planned on staying over, and did Friday afternoon and night in Knoxville too. Somewhere around the Avoca exit on I-80 when we still have well over an hour before we get home, we will say, “yeah, we should have listened to Anville and stayed at Pella tonight.” But, we never listen to Anville, and we never learn either.
I am thinking we need a sugar rush on the way home. Maybe I’ll go to Bomgaar’s and buy some cinnamon bears and black licorice. I can’t buy candy bars-I have not had a candy bar since late May and I don’t want to break that string, so it will have to what used to be known as “penny candy.” I think a nickel’s worth of penny candy-when I was a kid-now costs about $1.89. If nothing else I can use the licorice as a trade-off. No Matt singing Johnny Cash, no me chomping down black licorice for 125 miles.
Wow, this was like the five hours of NASCAR prerace coverage where Kenny and Kyle and Rusty and Brad talk about everything you don’t need to know and don’t care about. Damn, I should re-do this, but I don’t have time to come up with another 500 words. I guess just call me Kenny.
Thanks for stopping by.
Late Models And USMTS Modifieds Go Together Like Hostess Cup Cakes, Lay’s Potato Chips, And Diet Coke
Surprise, surprise, Jimmy Owens and Darrell Lanigan won big super late model tour races this weekend. Owens led every lap of the Lucas Oil Jackson 100 at Brownstown Speedway in Indiana, while WoO point leader Lanigan led the five most important laps-the final five-at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan.
Both collected $20,000 at the pay window, and both padded almost insurmountable point leads in their respective series. Owens was followed by Steve Francis and Scott Bloomquist, while Billy Moyer and Rick Eckert finished second and third behind Darrell Lanigan. I thought it interesting that Moyer raced with the WoO in Michigan, while Moyer Jr. finished tenth in the Lucas Oil show in Indiana. Both will head to Knoxville for the track’s three night Late Model Nationals this weekend.
I am psyched for our trip to the Marion County Fairgrounds on Thursday. I am thinking this weekend is going to be a big one for fan favorite-and my favorite driver too, Brian Birkhofer. I am not sure anyone can repeat the Moyer sweep of a few years ago, but Birkie seems quite fond of big tracks this season-he has won $$$$$ races at I-80 Speedway and Eldora, and the Muscatine Maniac knows his way around the b-i-g half-mile track at Knoxville.
I am hoping to see some of our racing pals on Thursday. I know Raceguru Steve Basch will be there. Maybe Tom Schwartz from Lincoln will be on hand too. AND, Super Fan Tony Anville swears he will be there and even wants to take a photo of me in the Sprint Car Hall of Fame.
Although he did not win any of the USMTS battles at Deer Creek this weekend (I can’t believe some anonymous blogger predicted he would win two of the three features), Ryan Gustin “reaped” the rewards from three consistent finishes to hold off Rodney Sanders and add the USMTS Casey’s Cup title to the 2012 USMTS National Title he secured several weeks ago.
Go to www.usmts.com and check out the video from Mark Dotson’s bumper cam. What interested me the most on this video was the amount of dirt clods Dotson’s car was throwing in the air around the track. I realize that drivers have a pretty stout steel grid in front of where they sit, and I realize they all wear a full-faced helmet, fire suit, and gloves, but some of those clods do end up hitting the drivers.
Years ago when Matt was on the Joe Kosiski pit crew he told me that the day after many races Joe would have sore hands from rocks and clods hitting him. Watching the Dotson video, I can certainly understand. The clods aren’t just thrown in the air waiting for a car to drive into them, they are shot backwards. I have no idea what the exact speed of the clod or the approaching car is, but the two could easily be traveling at each other at a closing speed of 150 miles per hour. Adrenaline and the need to focus during a race might mean the hurt of a clod hitting a hand-or a head-isn’t felt so much during the race, but it sure would be later. Getting hit like that at race speed has got to hurt as much as listening to Matt sing Johnny Cash at 1:30 a.m. on the way home from Knoxville.
While the two USMTS series have been decided, the best modified drivers in the business still have a three race weekend remaining on the schedule. The 6th Annual Texas Winternationals will be held at Royal Purple Speedway in Baytown, Texas 11/15-11/17. Yeah, that place is on one of my bucket lists, and not just because the track hosts the first and last races of the USMTS season. A track with the name Royal Purple Speedway is one every fan should visit.
Thanks for stopping by.
Talk about great supporters of a series. Last summer a dozen sponsors added $30,000 to the USMTS World Dirt Track Modified Championship held at Deer Creek Speedway in Minnesota. Two of the tracks biggest supporters-Randy and Patty Eastvold have added $1,000 to the Featherlite Fall Jamboree Saturday night feature, with the top five drivers to each receive an additional $200. Also, if any driver can win two of the weekend’s three features, the Eastvolds will provide a $5,000 bonus.
I think fan support like this adds a lot to a big event. CedarLakeSpeedway has a fans fund for the USA Nationals, and other tracks have done something similar. I helped with the Fans Fund for Silver Dollar Nationals I, and we were able to give $400 to Brian Birkhofer and also to Billy Moyer Jr.-something which helped a lot to get you know who, the hall of famer to the race. Unfortunately we did not do a Fans Fund for SDN II. Most of the funds came from fewer than 10 people, meaning it was a lot of work to get very little from other than the 10, plus some clueless yahoo on whowon.com spouted off about the fund not being legitimate which irritated me to put it mildly.
Both Birkhofer and Moyer Jr. appreciated the money we were able to provide them and I would be willing to try this again, but only if someone can come up with an idea on how fans could come up with $5,000-$10,000 for the event. Any ideas???
Who is going to be the big national tour winners this week? I wouldn’t bet against Darrell Lanigan winning the Down & Dirty 100 at the asphalt covered in clay Berlin Raceway. As dominant as the Kentucky driver has been this season that is a pretty safe bet.
The Lucas Oil series is racing at Brownstown Speedway in Indiana, and Scott Bloomquist has won the last two Jackson 100’s at the track. While the Zero car has found Victory Lane in quite sometime, Bloomquist has several second place finishes in big money races this season. No one has ever 100 three consecutive Jackson 100’s, and I think that record is going to remain intact. My prediction is Don O’Neal in a big late season win.
I realize I am making “easy” picks, but Lanigan, O’Neal, Jimmie Owens, Moyer, Bloomquist, and Brian Birkhofer are hard to pick against.
Back to the USMTS-Ryan Gustin must be seeing $$$$ in his dreams. All three nights of the Fall Jamboree pay well, there is now a potential $5,000 added to the pot, and if he does better than Stormy Scott this weekend, he could claim the $15,000 that goes with winning the Casey’s Cup championship. I see the young Iowan harvesting a big crop of greenbacks this weekend.
Thanks for stopping by.
A little rain fell on Eldora Speedway yesterday and more is in the forecast. The fastest drivers in the fastest cars on a hammer down track that is blazing fast anyway is a little scary. The time trials lock in 84 cars for tomorrow’s qualifying heats. The remaining 25-30 drivers will run non-qualifier races tonight. I am still debating on whether or not to pull out my credit card and purchase the PPV for the event. If my last name was Anville or Palmer I wouldn’t have to think twice, but since I have to work hard for my money, I do.
Former Eldora owner Earl Baltes will be at the World 100 as always, but taking it easy as befitting a man 91 years old. Has any other person done more for dirt track racing than Baltes? Ask million dollar man Donnie Moran what he thinks. The World 100, Kings Royal, Dream, and Four Crown Classic all sprung from the brilliant promoting mind of Baltes. From Mario Andretti to Steve Kinser to Scott Bloomquist to Tony Stewart, the drivers who have raced on the track Baltes created would fill a who’s who book or two. Yes, the track is on my bucket list-and not just the one that says “if I win the lottery.”
For numerologists, Billy Moyer drives car #21, and this year is the 21st anniversary of his first World 100 win. Are all the cosmic tumblers aligned so the legend makes it to the Eldora Victory Lane one more time? That would be a popular win in the grandstands and on the hillsides of the Rossburg, Ohio half-mile track.
Since the U.S. Army is retreating from sponsoring the 39 car of Ryan Newman I suppose saying he re-upped with Stewart-Hass Racing doesn’t really fit. So, I’ll just say he renewed his contract with the team. It is interesting that both Newman and team owner Tony Stewart have lost their primary sponsors-Newman again losing Army and Home Depot leaving Stewart. Renewing Newman’s contract sounds like new sponsors are in place or almost so.
The Fremont paper carries a weekly NASCAR page. The feature yesterday was the way one of 8 drivers will take the second wild card spot into The Chase. It was all very confusing, kind of like buying advanced tickets at a certain race track-one driver must win, have a second driver finish 34th or worse, and have a third driver finish 24th or worse. I guess it could happen, but the odds of that happening are even greater than lame duck driver Matt Kenseth winning the Sprint Cup point championship.
The two with the best chance to gain a wild card spot are Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon. If either wins the Richmond race they are in. I wonder what would happen if on the last lap of the race Busch was first and Gordon was second. Would Gordon spin out Busch? I don’t wonder what would happen if Gordon was first and Busch second. No question the 24 car would be headed toward the wall.
After watching my alma mater MidlandUniversity make the Timberwolves of Randy Palmer’s alma mater NebraskaWesleyanUniversity an endangered species-at least on the football field-I’ll be watching NU vs. UCLA and during commercials and if the game gets boring I’ll switch over to the NASCAR Sprint Cup race tomorrow.
Thanks for stopping by.
I thought I presented several viable dates for a Black Diamond 125 make up, but apparently WoO officials did not agree, and the event has been cancelled. With far fewer big dollar races than competitor Lucas Oil Dirt Car Series, I thought the BD 125 would be made up.
I wonder what would happen if it rained hard in southwest Ohio the next four days. When would the World 100 be made up if it did?
Hopefully that won’t happen-I would hate to think my friend Steve Basch had nothing to do but sit in his tent in the Eldora campground and drink beer all weekend.
So, who is going to win the 42nd World 100? 2012 has been the year of Lanigan, but the Kentucky driver has no victories in dirt track racing’s most famous event, despite making the race 18 times.
Don O’Neal has not won the race 11 times, but when big money is involved, don’t ever count out the Indiana native. 2012 has not been the year 2011 was for Jimmy Owens, but with five consecutive top five’s in the early September Eldora race including last year’s win, he has shown he knows how to get to the front at Tony Stewart’s track.
Shane Clanton won The Dream in June in a car specially built for Eldora. That car has been raced only a few times since, so should be ready to tackle the high banks again. When you think of Eldora, you have to think of Scott Bloomquist and Billy Moyer, but their record in recent World 100’s is OK, but certainly not great. Bloomquist last won the race in 2001, but has 8 top tens in the past ten years. Moyer won in 2010, but that was his only top ten in the last ten years-four years he did not make the race, and his best finish in the other five years was 21st place, three times.
Can Brian Birkhofer celebrate the 10th anniversary of his 2002 triumph with another trip to Victory Lane? Yes, I do want him to win, but picking him would probably be too big a jinx for Birkie to overcome.
Of the 93 preregistered entrants, 36 are running Rocket Chassis. 17 different chassis makers are represented, with Rocket, MasterSBilt(20), and Bloomquist(6), the only chassis builders with more than four cars entered. Numbers alone would make Rocket the chassis to beat, but included in the Rocket numbers are Lanigan and Josh Richards, and that makes the odds even better.
So, who is going have the world on a trophy, take home $45,000, and have bragging rights for the coming year? I’ll say Jimmy Owens, but would not be surprised to see any of the drivers I mentioned take the checkers. Someone like Bart Hartman who won in 2009 would be a surprise, but O’Neal, Lanigan, Clanton, Bloomquist, Moyer, Birkhofer, or Richards would not.
Right now I am trying to talk myself out of paying $39.95 for the online World 100 PPV. Nebraska vs. UCLA is a night game on Saturday, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Richmond is also on. Still, if the World 100 is archived it might make for a good Sunday afternoon viewing.
Thanks for stopping by.