Archive for May, 2010

Whatever Happened To Gary Puckett??

May 28, 2010 3 comments

Below are some of the responses I received on rock songs and racing. 

From Stan Cisar:

Oh yeah….I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a certain Kenny Rogers song about a certain wheel that came dislodged from its car…… KNOW the title…..HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  The Commodores “Celebrate”after victory lane interviews and The Doobies”Rockin’ down the Highway” on the way home……………….This should be a good blog.
  See Ya’    SC 

Obviously, “I’m Alright” after the driver emerges unhurt from an accident, plus the one’s you never stick around to hear…….”The Final Countdown” just as the sprints push off for the A, Sirius (tunnel walk) as the lineup is announced, “Welcome…to the MAIN EVENT” w/ Michael Buffer, and S-S-S-Saturday Night at Eagle…….plus, “The Danger Zone” as the sprint heats races start, and “Life In The Fast Lane” as the first modified heat rolls onto the track……………………..SC

From TMC:

The National Anthem of Dirt Track Promoting:  “Couldn’t Get It Right” – (the old Climax Blues Band song)

From epsg

I used my rstar reference previously when I mentioned “Ballad of the Green (Grey) Berets”, so I’ll have to figure up another one.

I’m a “horn rock” aficionado, always have been so maybe I should go with some of those.

I would say Ivan Tracy would be “Spinning Wheel” by Blood Sweat and Tears for all of the travelling he does annually.

Keeping with the B S & T theme, let’s propose “You’ve made me so very happy” to Roger & Michelle Hadan for preserving Eagle Raceway.

“Beginnings” by Chicago would be apropos for Midwest Speedway as that is where the 360 sprint car rules first originated.

Chicago’s “Hard habit to break” would be the dirt track fever that so many of us suffer from.

Getting off of “horn rock” and on to “swamp rock” (another of my favorite groups is Credence Clearwater Revival.

“Who’ll stop the rain” is the anthem of too many track promoters in April and May.

I suppose rstar could be their mini-hit “It came out of the sky”.

“Commotion” very well describes the 1st lap of last weeks sprint feature at Eagle where Mike Boston ended up going over and also taking out his son’s sprinter.

Lastly I would propose that “I heard it through the grapevine” be declared the theme song for all keyboard commando, message board denizens everywhere.

I’m surprised that no one used these songs:

Rocket Man

Free Bird

Psychotic Reaction

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

Sympathy for the Devil

All My Rowdy Friends


Your Cheatin’ Heart

We Gotta Get Out of this Place.

In doing this I am some unanswered questions that maybe someone can help me with. First, was Lighthouse the most under appreciated band to ever come out of Canada, and was it’s song ‘One Fine Morning’ a true horn band classic?  I say yes to both.

Second, whatever became of Gary Puckett?

Matt called me last night and asked if I thought it was too late to go to the Show Me 100.  Sort of Matt.  Right now we are debating on a road trip.  He wants to go to the Masters at Cedar Lake in mid-June, and I want to go to the Deery Brothers and Stock Car Shoot-Out at Independence, Iowa later in June.

This week it will be the Alphabet Soup race at I-80 Speedway on Sunday.  My pick for a winner is John Anderson, though I admit that isn’t going too far out on a limb.  Hopefully some of the Sunday Night Irregulars will make it there too, even ex-officio member Randy Palmer who got me in trouble at last year’s race.

Thanks for stopping by.


Are Late Models Becoming The NASCAR Of Dirt Track Racing?

May 27, 2010 2 comments

I can remember when Memorial Day weekend was a very exciting time for Nebraska late model racing fans.  The Alphabet Soup race was one of the top one day events in the country, with 60 drivers from 12 different states making up a tough field.  The race forums would be buzzing with activity, and scores of posts from dozens of fans filled several threads about this race.

This morning I checked to see what people were saying about this year’s event.  I found one thread with just three posts, and two of them came from the track’s general manager.  There is not much excitement about the race, and I am not feeling a lot of excitement either.  Sure, there will be a decent crowd-this race and the topless 410 race in August seem to be the events that pay the bills at this track and keep it open one more year.  However, to me the crowds at this race are similar to the crowds that filled Memorial Stadium during the Callahan era of NU football.  You went because of what once was, and though you hoped to catch just a glimpse of past in the present, you went with no expectations so you wouldn’t come away disappointed.

My wife and daughter in-law are surprised that it is Memorial Day and Matt and I have been to just two races.  Jane shakes her head when I talk of how discouraged I am by the state of late model racing in our area and how I would much rather watch a good modified show.  An alter ego of mine used to take pot shots at modified fans, and more than once went on the internet searching for an argument.  Now I am a big fan of this class.  I wonder if I would be as big a fan of modifieds if late models produced the excitement they once did in the late 90’s with Sunset Speedway and the NASCAR Busch All Star Tour. 

There is no way for me to answer that question, but I do think I would be a fan of modifieds.  I used to hate hobby stocks, and now they are my second favorite division to watch.  The hobby stocks and modifieds can be counted on for plenty of side by side racing, and since I was a youngster, that is what has excited me most about auto racing.

I’ll enjoy the mods and hobby stocks and keep my fingers crossed that the late models will wow me once again.  Maybe it will be Sunday night at the Alphabet Soup Race at I-80 Speedway.

Thanks for stopping by.

You Picked A Fine Time To Leave Me Loose Wheel

May 26, 2010 3 comments

No, I am not encouraging a certain race announcer to imitate Kenny Rogers. Tom McLaughlin suggested playing the association game with songs instead of rock bands.  The rock band post got a good response, and maybe this will too. And I am feeling a little lazy today, so how about these rock and race connections?

-The Rolling Stones ‘Start Me Up’ before every sprint car race? Or maybe ‘Pushin’ Too Hard’ by the Seeds would be better.

The Beatles ‘Don’t Bother Me’ was what Denny Hamlin might have said to Kyle Busch as Busch tried to pass him in the Sprint All-Star race last Saturday in Charlotte. The Beatles ‘Tell Me Why’ is what Busch was expecting from Hamlin after their incident led to Busch smacking the wall and departing from the race. Because you are a ‘Nowhere Man’ was Hamlin’s retort.

‘Long and Winding Road’-what Matt and I take to get to Eagle Raceway.

The Beach Boys ‘I Get Around’-Superfan Ed Reichert aka Cheesehead, from Wisconsin.

The Beatles ‘Good Day Sunshine’-what promoters want after a day of ‘Rain.’

Taxman-the Nebraska Department of Revenue’s highly valued employee, superfan Tony Anville, the Auburn auditor.

Martha Reeves ‘Nowhere to Run’-Midwest drivers who don’t want to travel to Florida, Arizona, or Texas in the winter.

The Beatles ‘Baby You’re A Rich Man’-NASCAR great Jeff Gordon.

‘Fixing a Hole’ from the Beatles Sgt. Pepper album-what too many dirt tracks need to do midway through a program.

‘Helter Skelter’-the start of the Indianapolis 500.

‘I Am the Walrus’-definitely not the former race forum trailblazer of truth known as Bruton.

‘I’ll Be Back’-what I am thinking every time I say I am never returning to a certain track.  ‘I Should Have Known Better’-what I am thinking after I return to the track I said I would never visit again.

‘Come Together’-what seems to happen frequently with a group of cars in a B-mod feature.

‘Get Off My Cloud’-late model driver Scott Bloomquist

‘No Reply’-what a famous NASCAR Sprint Cup driver once gave to a ‘Little Child’ from Nebraska who wanted his autograph.

‘Mother’s Little Helper’-not wanting to touch off an internet firestorm, I think I’ll pass on this, though TMC and Humpy know what I am thinking.

‘Drive My Car’-something Matt asks me to do ONLY when it is 3:00 a.m. coming back from a race, or when it is pouring down rain coming back from a race, or both.

‘Strange Days’-the IMCA Supernationals at Boone.

‘Shut Down’-something that all back gate only promoters eventually have to do.

‘Magical Mystery Tour’-Ivan Tracy’s travels from January through March each year.

‘With A Little Help From My Friends’-how I got Prilosec OTC sponsorship for my blog.

‘Bad Boy’-Randy Palmer.  Of course ‘Mean Mr. Mustard or ‘Wild Thing’ also can be used to describe this Lincoln super fan.  I was going to add ‘Fool On A Hill,’ but I figured Eagle Pit Shack Guy would use that one.

‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’-the select group of fans who still go to the weekly show at a certain Nebraska race track.

‘Paperback Writer’-what I could claim to be if Craig Kelley would quit telling me “next year’ every time I bring up doing a book on Sunset Speedway.

Even though I needed ‘Help’ from Wikipedia to come up with a many of these tunes, I still got a great deal of ‘Satisfaction’ doing this blog. However, ‘It Won’t Be Long’ before you ‘Ask Me Why,’ and ‘I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party’ so I’ll go. 

Thanks for stopping by, and remember I’m always ‘Happy Just To Dance With You.’

Prilosec OTC Sponsorship

May 25, 2010 5 comments

D-Day was Monday May 24th, though the information I wanted to announce wasn’t available until after I posted my blog.  You might remember that I pestered, begged, badgered, cajoled, and pleaded for you to vote for me in my attempt to get Prilosec to sponsor my blog. If you go to you will find that I am one of the second group of “officials” named by Prilosec yesterday.  Your votes and comments helped to impress the judges, and I am grateful to all of you for your help.

I do want to give special thanks to several people.  First, is my son Matt who discovered the Prilosec contest and suggested I enter it.  GOTRA leader John Ferguson allowed me to use his race car as a wonderfully noisy prop in my entry video.  My daughter Amanda videoed my entry, my first ever video(also second, third, and fourth attempts at doing this commercial-we didn’t save the outtakes, but if you thought the finished product was rough, you wouldn’t believe what we didn’t use).  She also took photos of me at the Fremont YMCA Wellness Center to help promote my entry. I don’t know how many of you voted for me every day as the rules allowed, but if you did, I am overwhelmed by your kindness.  I do know my writer friend Salley Shannon and race-goer supreme Ivan Tracy voted regularly.  However, my daughter Amanda would do well in Chicago politics as she voted early and often.  Between old and current email addresses Amanda made sure I got a handful of votes every day. Thank you Soo In.

My grandpuppy Sophie (in a voice that sounds strangely like Amanda’s) told me that I needed to thank her and my other grandpuppy Kahlua because both were in the first photo I sent to Prilosec and cute puppies always warm the heart of judges.  So thank you Sophie and Kahlua for sitting still for at least 10 seconds while Amanda took that photo.

I have a few easily met responsibilities to go with my sponsorship, and will be receiving a flip camera and a very nice check from the Prilosec people.  I can use the flip camera for some video blogging, and part of the check will be used to purchase audio equipment so I can add podcasts to my blog.  My techno advisor Amanda is already researching what will work best for me.  Part of the check will also go for my air fare, hotel, and registration expenses to attend the Blog World Expo in Las Vegas in October.

I am very excited about improving my blog-I’m already reading Podcasting Solutions, sort of a Podcasting for Dummies type book.  Matt has made numerous suggestions for interviews, and I will now be able to reach out to drivers, fans, and promoters around the country to share their thoughts with my blog visitors.  I love to write and words will always be a big part of my blog, but being able to provide audio and video as well is important to the future of The Rest of the Dirt.  Don’t be surprised if one day your phone rings and I am asking to interview you.

Again, thanks to each of you for your help in making this sponsorship a reality.

Sprint All-Star Race-The Good, Bad, and Really Ugly

May 24, 2010 1 comment

Just like an old Clint Eastwood western, the Sprint All-Star race from Charlotte Motor Speedway had a little good, a little bad, and some ugly too. 

The Good:

-The pre-race prayer given by the three year old grandson of team owner Joe Gibbs.  The three year old is recovering from leukemia, and gave a prayer as good as many of the adult religious professionals do.

-The driver and crew introductions, especially the introduction of the Matt Kennseth crew, all wearing royal regalia signifying Kennseth’s Crown Royal sponsor.

-The first 10 laps of the qualifying shoot-out.  If every NASCAR race had that much action, there would be no empty seats at the track, and TV ratings would sky rocket.

-Kyle Busch smacking the wall, taking himself out of the competition.

-Jimmie Johnson spinning into the infield.  I realize this is petty of me, but when it comes to the Johnson/Knaus team, I don’t seem to be able to keep from applauding misfortune.

The Bad:

-Jeff Gordon being a non-factor after hitting a wall early in the race.

-Jimmie Johnson dominating segments 2 and 3.  Boring

-The 50 lap first segment of the race epitomizes what NASCAR racing seems to be about, simply put, too many laps being run just to get to the handful of laps that might include some actual racing.  Terribly boring.

The Ugly:

-Once again Juan Pablo Montoya is involved in an incident, mostly of his own making, and like every other incident he has been involved in he sees himself as blameless.  My respect for this driver would increase immensely if just once he admitted when he made an error.

-Fans voting Carl Edwards into the All-Star race.  Like Matt said, Edwards is the Milli Vanilli of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing.

-Kyle Busch blaming teammate Denny Hamlin for his getting into the wall in the final segment of the race.  Hamlin definitely blocked him, but TV replays could not show there was any contact.  Busch acted as “Busch” league as ever after the incident, stomping into Hamlin’s trailer and refusing to be interviewed.  The young man has incredible talent and it would be good for the sport if he could become a driver fans loved to hate.  Right now he is just a spoiled brat.

On a scale of 1-10, I would not give this race more than a 5.5.  Many previous All-Star events have been much more exciting.  To be honest, the Sunday morning Dale Earnhardt tribute on Speed Channel was more entertaining than the All-Star race.

Thanks for stopping by.

Cornhusker/Hawkeye Challenge Series??

May 21, 2010 3 comments


Today is D-3.  I think this time I have it right.  Hopefully I can make an announcement on D-Day, which is Monday.

My apology to Greg Soukup-EPSG.  I gave credit to Ivan Tracy for names provided by Greg.  I am not sure how that came about.  Maybe that he went easy on Randy Palmer threw me off.  Anyway, sorry Greg, and shame on you Ivan for trying to take credit.

The following purportedly came from a New York Jets email address, though I have reason to believe it originated in Auburn, Nebraska.  Are all these emails you use real Tony?

From Tony Anville-Paul Menard fan and the Nebraska Dept. of Revenue’s right hand man to Governor Dave Heineman:

The Accounting Crows is a great band for us auditors to “get in the mood” for an audit.

Not bad, though Matt’s Carl Edwards=Milli Vanilli is the best one so far.

59 mods showed up in Independence, Iowa for the first ever Hawkeye Dirt Tour race.  The eastern Iowa tour has 10 mostly midweek events scheduled through late September.  IMCA Sports Mods and IMCA Hobby Stocks were the support classes at the first event.

With all the modifieds in this area, I wonder if a similar tour would work in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa.  Give regional and national points along with a $1,000 to win and decent pay back purse, and I think area tracks would see a similar car count.  Add the hobby stocks and sports mods as support classes and tracks would have a good show.  Beatrice, Rising City, Columbus, I-80, Albion, and Doniphan in Nebraska coupled with Harlan, Alta, and Stuart in Iowa and Raceway Park in Jefferson, South Dakota, and you would have a 10 race series. Call it the Cornhusker/Hawkeye Challenge Series. I even know a good tour co-coordinator and spokesman, and I don’t mean me.

A second reminder-tonight is the Showdown at the Uptown Saloon in Greenwood, NE.  Area drivers are invited to display their cars on Main Street in Greenwood and sign autographs, while fans and drivers can bench race, eat one of the Uptown Saloon’s famous hamburgers, and quaff down a beer or two.  Check out the Eagle Raceway forum on for more details.

Rain washed away another night at US 30 Speedway last night.  Double modified features are scheduled for next week.  Maybe I can talk Matt into skipping his 6:00 a.m. workout class in Omaha next Friday, and we can head up to Columbus for some racing action Thursday night.  Since NASCAR on TV will be my racing fix this weekend, I could use a night like that.

Thanks for stopping by.

Rock And Roll Racing Names-Good Stuff

May 21, 2010 5 comments

I received some great responses to yesterday’s post about fans/drivers/promoters/tracks as rock bands. 

From Ivan Tracy (retired superfan who takes in 150+ races a year):

Ivan Tracy: The Statler Brothers. Still hanging around, but no one knows why.
Randy Palmer aka rstar: Barry Sadler (Ballad of the Green/Grey Berets)
Humpy and Bruton: Dolly Parton (What a pair!!!)

From Tom McLauglin (Omaha P/R man and race fanatic):

Some promoters of race tracks not located on Highway 34:  Me First & The Gimme Gimme’s
Boone Supernationals:  Ten Thousand Maniacs, OR, INXS (in excess, get it?)

NASCAR:  Nickelback (Media-friendly crap that has little in common with talent, creativity or respectability)
Jimmie Johnson:  Bowling For Soup.  Very talented, he sadly resorted to excessive and inescapable cheesiness.

Kelly Boen:  The Bad Brains
Scott Bloomquist:  Drivin’ ‘N Cryin’

From former promoter Craig Kelley:

Names for me?

Gov’t Mule for my stubbornness

Rolling Stones for my longevity and being able to progress with the times.

Humpy – Sugarland Express since he is a country lover. 

Bruton – The Doors for being so anti-conformist

From my son Matt who obviously got his sense of humor from me:

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS – Scott Bloomquist

MIKE AND THE MECHANICS – Mike Collins (Council Bluffs, Iowa late model driver)

HANK WILLIAMS JR – Stan Cisar (Eagle Raceway announcer)


JOHN MELLENCAMP – CLK (former Sunset promoter Craig Kelley)

TENACIOUS D –Joe Proctor aka Stroker Ace, I-80 Speedway announcer

ALL AMERICAN REJECTS – Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Crew

CRASH TEST DUMMIES – Kelly Boen, Robby Gordon, and the Bodine brothers.

BLACK FLAG – Larry White (Eagle Raceway Flag Man)


DIRE STRAITS – Promoters of a “certain” track

GREEN DAY – Mike Kelley (CLK’s younger and better looking brother)

MOODY BLUES – Bruton (nickname of a famous writer)

SKID ROW –A “certain” track-see Dire Straits

BUZZCOCKS – Sport Compact Drivers

JEFFERSON AIRPLANE or RENAISSANCE – Dr. Ed Raines (heart surgeon, modified driver who owns and flies a two engine Cessna Duke).

JIMMY BUFFETT-John Kaanta (Wisconsin late model driver)

DOLLY PARTON – the Simmons (SPI) Tornado Tuesday purses

SOUNDGARDEN – Mike Pierson (super fan from Omaha)

LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS – Glenn Robey (Ageless late model driver from Omaha)

CASH MONEY MILLIONAIRES: Rstar (aging super fan)
THE ROMANTICS: Dave and Kathy Cook (Lincoln late model drivers and owners of
THE TRACTORS (as in tire): Rick Bradley (former?? Hobby stock driver)

W.A.S.P – Steve Basch aka Race Guru and that Humpy guy (Matt)

INSANE CLOWN POSSE – a few of the “big wigs” of a certain Hall of Fame

PRE FACE-LIFT KENNY ROGERS: Dan Hall (GQ poster boy and former Pro-Am champ)

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS: The Zeitners (Omaha late model drivers)
MILLI VANILLI – Carl Edwards (that is FUNNY)
THE SEX PISTOLS – All of the GoDaddy.Com Girls

BAD ENGLISH – An individual who puts out sloppy track PR’s

From Dean Cudly:

Kyle Busch:  Bad Company
Fox Sports Race Coverage:  Motley Crue
Dale Jr.:  The Who

Steve Kinser:  Elvis (the king)
Danica Patrick:  Queen or The Who 2
NASCAR:  The Cars or maybe The Doors
Eagle Raceway:  The Eagles (both classics)

I thought of a couple to go with the Rolling Stones or the Doobie Brothers but I don’t want to get into trouble here . . .

From Randy Palmer-aka rstar (aging superfan):

ESPG (Greg Soukup-supreme commander of Eagle Raceway’s pit shack):  Lawrence Welk
Ivan Tracy:  The Moody Blues

Bruton:  Huey Lewis and the News
Humpy: Either the Brainiacs or the Einsteins
Craig Kelley:  Colonel Tom Parker not a band but a hell of a promoter)
Stan ‘the Man’ Cisar: Pavarotti (the man with the golden voice)

Me (Rstar): Gary Lewis and the Playboys or Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers or The Headhunters (I’m always hunting for…)

From Me:

Back Gate Barrister and The Boogiewoogie Biker Boys-Craig Kelley and his Sunset officials

The Bald Knobbers(straight from Branson)-Super fans Steve Basch aka Raceguru and Randy Palmer aka rstar.

The Big Bopper or Hobby and The Wide Body Tractor Tire Jumpers-Rick Bradley

Mothers of Invention-Promoters who get it.

The Searchers-Promoters who don’t get it.

Pink Floyd-Tom McLauglin ever since he wrote new lyrics to The Wall I hear them every time Matt and I go to the races.

Donny and Marie-Tom and Judy Schwartz (Lincoln late model lovers)

Kid Rock-IMCA 2009 Modified Champion Dylan Smith

Shania Twain-Danica Patrick

Johnny Cash-Randy Palmer

Pat Boone-Jim Hitzemann (Eagle Raceway scorer)

Talking Heads-Fox Sports TV race coverage

Public Enemy-Kyle Busch

Gerry & The Pacemakers-Mark Martin

Iggy & The Stooges-Jimmie Johnson and the 48 crew

Arrested Development-The Sunday Night Irregulars

Bob Dylan-Bruton (his words are always poetry)

From Anonymous:

Puddle of Mudd-Park Jefferson

The Doobie Brothers-Scott Bloomquist

TMC suggested we do this with songs, so I suspect a post in the near future will do just that.

Thanks to everyone who replied, and thank you for stopping by.