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I Agree With NASCAR On This. I Really Do.

September 30, 2009 2 comments

As a passionate racing fan of many years, I have often disagreed with NASCAR rulings and policy.  One thing I do not disagree with is NASCAR rules force teams to build a stout car.  No car can be totally safe, but just how safe the Sprint Cup Series cars are was shown Sunday as Joey Logano’s Home Depot #20 rolled, flipped, slammed, and crashed down the “white cliffs of Dover.” 

Logano’s wreck was frightening to watch, yet he walked away from a pile of junk that just moments before had been a race car.  The 19 year old driver was obviously shaken, but that he was uninjured is a testament to the safety rules in place.  Thank you NASCAR.

Jimmy Johnson is not going to relinquish his Sprint Cup title without a battle, but it appears that Mark Martin and the #5 team are up to the challenge.  I am surprised by Juan Pablo Montoya, and a little disappointed in Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon.  I sound like a NASCAR TV analyst here-there are still eight races to be run, so it seems a little silly to be talking of disappointment right now. One thing I can say is disappointing is the continuing saga of “start and park” Sprint Cup teams.  Check out the last 5-6 spots in most races to see who I am talking of.  Apparently their sponsors are OK with this action, but I don’t see how you call it racing.

I have a Facebook friend named Simone  who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Now Charlotte seems like a city that would require you to love only NASCAR, but Simone is a huge dirt late model fan.  Her dad and brother had cars at the old Santa Fe Speedway in Hinsdale, Illinois and her friend Danny  is one of the best late model mechanics around.  Danny happens to be going to the Lucas Oil Late Model Nationals in Knoxville this weekend to help Kelly Boen.  Ouch.

I have said plenty about Boen in the past, and I doubt I will ever become a fan of the 07.  However, Simone made a comment on my Facebook page, and I thought since it was obviously well thought out (and not a “Boen rules, you suck” kind of post) it was only fair to show that reasonable people can disagree on matters like this.  Simone has a sports marketing degree she wants to use in dirt racing, and she frequents the pits at some of the biggest dirt model events of the year.  She is as passionate about dirt track racing as I am, I don’t take her opinion lightly.

She stated:

“Thanks for the video note. I actually looked up all Santa Fe YouTube stuff a while back. My Dad’s driver is in that one you posted. 🙂

Sorry you feel that way about Boen & I’ll have to respectfully disagree with you.

Kelly Is ‘Family’ to all of us and from what I personally know of him, he is a truly exceptional person, the kind that give 110% of himself on and off the track with the most amazingly positive attitude I’ve ever seen in a racer or person for that matter.

Don’t forget, the way things may “seem” from a grandstands view point is 9 times out of 10 not the “reality” of the way things actually are 😉

I am not publishing this for the purpose of debate.  I am just pointing out that while I can be very adamant in my opinions, others in the know may not agree with me. Simone and I have agreed on many other aspects of dirt track racing, and this is one we disagree on.  What is reality here?  It is probably somewhere between Simone’s beliefs and my comments.  Race fans do have strong feelings.

Thanks for stopping by.

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What A REAL Fall Racing Special Looks Like

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment

I am still grumbling over paying $20 Saturday night for what amounted to little more than a weekly show at I-80 Speedway.  I’ve heard from others who are upset too, including an anonymous source who sent me the following:

 

Overheard at I-80 Saturday night:

Wife to Husband:  “The story about the Octomom is just sad.”
 
Husband to Wife:  “Yeah, if she would have had one more kid 20 years from now she could have watched one in each of the divisions of the Cornhusker Classic.”

 

Things are looking up for this weekend though, as we are going to Knoxville on Saturday. With drivers like Bloomquist, Birkhofer, Moyer, Mars, Richardson, Francis, Owens, McDowell, Babb, Eckert, and McCreadie doing battle with NASCAR great Tony Stewart, it should be a great night.  I just hope Matt doesn’t sing Johnny Cash on the way home.

 

IMCA Modifieds are the support class for the Lucas Oil Late Model Nationals, and to be honest with you, I have enjoyed the modifieds more than late models this year.  I know, heresy, and maybe it is just there haven’t been many good late model shows in this part of the Midwest in 2009.  The modified entry list looks like an IMCA Who’s Who:  Chris Alcorn, Ricky Alvarado, Nate Caruth, Troy Cordes, Bill Davis Jr., Jordan Grabouski, Jimmy Gustin, Randy Havlik, Al Hejna, Benji Lacrosse, Adam Larson, John Logue, Greg Metz, David Murray, Jay Noteboom, Todd Shute, and Dylan Smith are among the pre-entered drivers. These are all drivers who know how to keep a modified pointed in the right direction, and how to get to the finish line first.

 

I don’t know why, but I may be the only race fan not into t-shirts.  I keep saying I am going to buy one when we go to this event. Lord knows there are at least several dozen souvenir trailers selling t-shirts, hats, and any other kind of souvenir you might want, and I do look, but I never seem to buy.  The last t-shirt I bought was a Scott Bloomquist t-shirt, and that was years ago.

 

I see the Knoxville pits are open to fans from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  I could use some photos for my blog, so maybe I can talk Matt into leaving a little early on Saturday.  What I really wish is that I could talk him into going over for all three days of the event, and staying in Knoxville like our good friend Steve Basch does.  Maybe next year.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

Cornhusker-Classic?????

September 27, 2009 15 comments

Matt sold his tickets to the Nebraska game last night because we wanted to go to the Cornhusker Classic at I-80 Speedway.  He made a mistake.  We both did.

The Cornhusker Classic was once worthy of its name.  Actually not too many years ago it remained a classic.  The NASCAR Busch All-Star tour would roll into town, and finish two days of combat with a 100 lap race.  It was one of a handful of season ending 100 lappers, and it was always a joy to watch, despite the inevitable bad weather.  Classes like hobby stocks, Pro-Ams, modifieds, and Grand Nationals did more than support the super late models; they also put on great shows.

Last night showed just how far this event has moved from being a classic, unless you want to call it the Back Gate Classic.  I wonder just how many fans really wanted to watch sport compacts, sport modifieds, Pro-Ams, modifieds, NASCAR late models (aka Grand Nationals), and MLRA/NCRA late models.  Tonight’s show will add IMCA Crate Late Models and SLMR late models-a whopping eight classes of racing at one event.  My elementary school only had seven classes, counting kindergarten. How does Eldora Speedway manage to put on a great show and make money with only one class-super late models-at the World 100?  How can Knoxville run only 60 late models and 60 modifieds next weekend?  Guess what-at one time I-80 Speedway could be counted on the same list of super venues as Eldora and Knoxville.  Not any more, it is not even a shadow of what it once was.

And the Cornhusker, I won’t call it classic, is not even a shadow of what it once was.  To start off with, what is classic about a 30 lap feature race?  That’s right, 30 laps.  The weekly show feature at I-80 Speedway is only five laps fewer.  Other than I know a classic when I see one, I don’t have any real definition for such a racing event, though to even be considered worthy of such a name, the race ought to be at least 50 laps long.

I am not sure where the blame might be for three yellows and a red flag in the first five laps of the race.  It wasn’t a full moon, but a number of drivers obviously started the race with their head up their butt.  Making matters worse is the MLRA is simply the absolute worst tour around at lining up cars when the yellow flies.  Though the laps don’t count, the cars continue to run slowly around the track as scorers try to get the line-up right.  If the series was using transponders last night to track the cars, the time it took to line up cars was a disgrace.  If it wasn’t, the question is why the hell not? I did not count the number of times car ran around the track during the first yellow, but it was more than the second yellow, and cars ran around the track seven times during that caution.  It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.  This might be the first “classic” where cars ran more laps waiting to be lined up than they did racing.

It seems almost fitting that Kelly Boen won this race with one of his patented slide jobs.  Like Matt said on the way home it is a bullying tactic because 90% of the drivers he does this to can’t risk punting him for fear it will also tear up their car and cause them a lesser share of the purse.  Terry Phillips took him to task several years ago.  50 something Al Humphrey had to be restrained from cleaning Boen’s clock in the pits another time.  Last night Kyle Berck lifted the back of Boen’s car for much of the front straight away, pointing out in no uncertain terms he did not care for the typical Boen-head move.  Matt is a younger, less mellow version of me, and he wished that Berck had stuck the right rear tire of Boen’s car instead of just lifting him.

We aren’t returning for the second night of the Cornhusker “Classic.”  We once would not miss a race at I-80 Speedway.  We visited the track 20-25 times a year.  If a race was scheduled, we were there.  The past few years we have voted our displeasure over what the track has become by avoiding the place accept for a handful of specials.  I would rather watch TV, read a book, or play a computer game than watch their weekly show.  However, when a special is nothing more than a weekly show with a catchy title, why bother going? 

Why bother going?  Well, the one thing that gave me any enjoyment last night was being with friends Mike Pierson and Steve Basch.  They too remember what once was, and they are easily as irreverent about what is as I am.  They also mourn what once was.  And they know that what is now reality at the track is not even a shadow of what once was.

Thanks for stopping by.

Read My Previous Post First

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment

You didn’t read my previous post first, did you?  It has all the explanations.  This has only a link and my apology for not including a direct link to my website videos.  I should have added this to my previous post. Anyway, the direct link to the videos is:  http://www.therestofthedirt.com/videos.htm

 

I hope you enjoy them.  Thanks for stopping by.

Forget You Tube-Check Out The Videos At www.therestofthedirt.com

September 24, 2009 1 comment

I have six new videos on the multimedia section of my website.  Yeah, I know, it’s about time.  I promise to do better.  I get wrapped up in writing this blog and forget that there is a tremendous amount of racing video that can be shared too.  Matt picked out the videos, and he did a great job.  Check out the following:

 

-2009 Sprint Bandits race at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City.  Yes, those are the topless 410 sprints I raved about in an earlier post.

 

-2009 Monster Modifeds from Lawrenceburg Speedway in Indiana.  This is a top notch facility, and the 2009 Dirt Track World Championship will be held there in October.

 

-2009 COMO Modifieds from Proctor Speedway.  No, Joe Proctor, aka Stroker, did not buy I-80 Speedway from LDI and name it after himself, although after his August heroics maybe the K’s should name it after him.  This Proctor Speedway is in Minnesota, and the COMO mods are WISSOTA type modifieds.

 

-1995 I-80 Pro Am Season Championships.  Racing was actually televised on Nebraska Educational Television (NETV) that year.  The network also televised an UMP Summer Series race from the track.  I have loved this division ever since the Sunset Speedway days, and for years it was the best support class at any track in the United States.

 

-1987 USAC Late Models at the old Santa Fe Speedway in Hinsdale, Illinois.  This was a USAC race, and was actually televised on ESPN.  Gary Webb started on the pole of the feature, and Billy Moyer and Ray Guss Jr. were among the late model drivers racing.

 

-1990 Busch All-Star Race from Moberly Speedway in Missouri.  Great racing with all the Midwest NASCAR stars on hand, in this Jim Wilson directed event. 

 

As I said, Matt did a great job selecting videos.  The videos include four different kinds of cars from six of the best tracks around. There is not quite an hour running time for these videos, and most are around ten minutes long.

 

I don’t have to visit my website to update my blog, so I don’t go there as often as I should. I forget that I do have some click ads on the website, for a variety of merchandise.  It would really help me out if you would click on an ad or two occasionally when you visit my blog or website.  You don’t have to buy anything-I’ll deny I said that if anyone from Google asks-but each time you click an ad, I do get a credit for that click.  I am never going to get rich from click ads, but if enough of you click the ads, my blog will go from abject poverty to where I am almost making minimum wage on it.  I do appreciate your visiting my site and blog, and that is the last spiel you will get from me for awhile.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

TMC and Humpy, Jay and Dusty-not Jimmy or Juan, and a benefit fund we should all contribute too.

September 24, 2009 Leave a comment

I had a nice lunch meeting yesterday with Tom McLaughlin and Matt at Big Fred’s in Omaha.  Tom is one of many friends we have made because of racing, and it is always fun to talk with someone who is as passionate about the sport as we are.  When we say Fairmont or Albion, Harlan or Corning, I-80 or Eagle, there is no need to explain anything.  We all know the tracks we are talking about and we all have opinions to share.

 

I talked with Jay Poessnecker, another passionate member of the racing family today.  I hope to meet Jay sometime soon, just not between the evening hours of 6:00 p.m-2:00 a.m. when he is a deputy sheriff for Dodge County.  I am going to be doing a blog article on Jay’s brother Dusty.  While Jay and I had exchanged a few emails, we had never talked until today.  Once we started talking racing though, it was like we had known each other forever.  Jay owns a tire and body shop in my old home town of North Bend, and raced up to 2004.  However, the bug has continued to bite on him every season, and he is talking about running a B-modified next year. Good luck on that project, Jay.

 

Dusty won 13 features this year, racing weekly only at Butler County Motorplex near Rising City, Nebraska.  He also won the hobby stock feature at the Eagle Shoot-Out over Labor Day weekend.  He is what I would call an aggressively smooth driver, kind of like Chris Alcorn is in modifieds.  He has great control of his car and is patient, but when he sees an opening he pounces.  Dusty has a great looking car too.  I would love to see him run for IMCA national points some day, though this spring he moved back to his home town of Atkinson and opened a body shop, so that might be a tough trail for him to follow.  Anyway, I will be writing more on Dusty Poessnecker in the near future.

 

I am also looking forward to writing more about Saturday night heroes in the coming months.  What I never seemed to be able to accomplish through pleas on my own site or talking with promoters, I have been able to accomplish because of Facebook.  I have become Facebook friends with over 3,000 drivers, fans, and tracks, and am developing a nice list of drivers to write about.  I would much rather write about Dusty Poessnecker than I would Jimmy Johnson or Juan Pablo Montoya.

 

I am sure many of you have heard of the passing of Pro-Am driver Greg Cooper from injuries he sustained in a fall in the grandstands during the State Fair races.  You can purchase Greg Cooper stickers or buttons at the Cornhusker Classic at I-80 Speedway this weekend, or the track is also donating $5.00 to the Greg Cooper Benefit Fund for every Cornhusker Classic t-shirt they sell.  They will also be taking donations.  If you are unable to get to the track this weekend, you can send a donation to:
Greg Cooper Benefit Fund
TierOne Bank
P O Box 83009
Lincoln NE 68508-2083

 

Thanks for stopping by.

This Boomer Leads The Pack, Super Late Models, Irregulars, And A Lost Championship Bid

September 22, 2009 1 comment

Congratulations to Mark Martin on his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at New Hampshire yesterday.  The 50 year old veteran may not have had the best car on the track, but couple his experience and talent with a great crew and the best young crew chief, and he walked away with a win. 

 

Runner up Juan Pablo Montoya complained about Martin’s driving on the last few laps of the race, but there were many more drivers likely to complain about Montoya’s bumping his way around cars yesterday. Montoya is a good driver, he has a good team, but he is starting to sound like Kyle Busch when he doesn’t win. Not good. 

 

Now that it doesn’t matter for him, Dale Earnhardt Jr. seems to be racing closer to the front than earlier in the year.  He still finished behind Paul Menard, but his late race crash was not of his own doing, and he seemed to be heading for at least a top ten finish before the wreck.

 

If Martin actually wins the Sprint Cup this year, it would be a great ending to a mediocre year for NASCAR.  There have been lots of complaints about the car of tomorrow, or I guess it is now the car of today, and there have been plenty of B-O-R-I-N-G races played out to less than full stands.  Martin winning his first championship at age 50 would gloss over a lot of the faults in most fans eyes.  He is a good spokesman too.  Our house is rooting for the 5.

 

Depending on the weather, it looks like both Matt and I will be spending an evening at I-80 Speedway this weekend.  Right now the plan is to attend the super late model show on Saturday night, but if the weather is the least iffy, we will probably stay home and watch the Nebraska game.  I have spent enough iffy weather nights at that track, getting home late and not seeing any racing. This may be the last time this season there is a gathering of the Sunday Night Irregulars, so I am hoping for good weather.  Really, I am.

 

Speaking of I-80, I hope their decision to cut short the modified feature during the non-wing sprint car show did not cost Dylan Smith a national championship.  Smith had just taken the lead in that race when a caution came out.  Reverting back to the last completed lap and throwing the checkered ended up costing Smith a win. Smith is now one point behind Keith White in the IMCA national standings and has no chance of scoring more points as he already has raced the allowed 55 starts.  I believe the top 20 finishes determine points, and while Smith had 24 victories in his 55 starts, he could have replaced one of his wins at Albion with a win at I-80. I believe the I-80 win would have brought more points because of the car count-Albion was barely meeting the required field to receive points and the I-80 field was more than 20, giving maximum points.

 

Jesse Sobbing is in third place in IMCA Northern Sports Mod national standings, and Garrett Rech is in first place in the Sport Compact standings.

 

Thanks for stopping by.