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Archive for June, 2010

Trifecta-And I Don’t Mean TNT’s Booth Announcers

June 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Matt went back to work today, so I guess he is recovering nicely from his surgery.  He insists we are going to go the Trifecta at I-80 on Friday, so we will see.  I have two memories of last year’s Trifecta.  First was the yellow and checkered were thrown right when Dylan Smith took the lead.  The checkered was thrown after drivers were warned that one more stop of the race would mean the feature was over, but it certainly came at a bad time.  I thought it might impact Smith’s chances on winning the 2009 IMCA Modified National Championship, but he won it anyway.

My other memory of the 2009 event is that it seemed the program was going to last forever.  We did not stay for the entire final race and still got home after 1:30 a.m.  A few weeks later we went to a WDRL show in Ft. Dodge, Iowa (about 150 miles away) and got home earlier that night than we did from the Trifecta, and I-80 Speedway is only 50 miles away from Fremont.  I certainly hope this year’s event goes faster. 

It will be interesting to see how many IMCA modifieds show up for there 1/3rd of the program.  Beatrice, Rising City, and Albion are all IMCA tracks and they are all running that night.  Anyone running for points at those tracks will probably race at home, despite the $1,000 to win I-80 show.

I did what anyone worthy of being called a true race fan did during the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from New Hampshire yesterday.  I took a nap.  I woke up once during the race and thought I must still be dreaming.  It looked like Paul Menard was racing Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne for the lead, but it turned out those cars were lapping Menard. I laughed and went back to my nap.

I have no idea who TNT Announcer Adam Alexander is, but I would rather listen to Matt sing Johnny Cash songs from Knoxville to Fremont than listen to this guy talk about racing.  Kyle Petty is a disappointment as an analyst, and don’t get me started on Wally Dallenbach.  After finding out from Matt that Jimmie Johnson won yet another time, I can say I don’t have an ounce of regret watching only 4-5 laps of this race. And I’m glad TNT only has a few more races to cover.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Pundits Call July 23rd Event “Best Racing Value Of The Summer”

June 26, 2010 6 comments

Matt went through his surgery OK this morning.  He was kind of groggy and still in some pain, but they were getting him dressed and ready to go home about 30 minutes ago.  It will be interesting to watch him TRY to sit still and recoup over the next few days.  He is not a person who enjoys doing nothing.

Early this morning I was at the Fremont YMCA working out when ESPN showed a Nationwide Series commercial.  The entire ad was dedicated to Danica Patrick who will be returning to the series after a several month absence.  The first thing to come to my mind during the commercial is there will be 40 or so other drivers in the race, including a few Sprint Cup Series regulars. Most will finish ahead of Danica. The second was to wonder if Las Vegas is taking bets on what lap she would crash out on.

The July 23rd race at Eagle has people from all over the world showing interest.  At least one person is coming all the way from Africa just to take in the event.  OK, so he is actually coming back for other reasons, including several speaking engagements, but Dusty Reynolds will be attending the race. Some of you probably remember Dusty was a member of the late Terry Golder’s pit crew.  Dusty and his wife Julia are in Bamako, Mali, doing missionary work.  The work involves setting up a t-shirt factory.  You can find out more about what Dusty is up to by checking out his blog @ http://www.sababu-blog.com.

How many national champions will be at the July 23rd race at Eagle?  How many series champions will be there?  How many track champions will venture 10 miles east of Lincoln late in July?  It is still too early to tell, but between the super late models and IMCA modifieds, I am guessing I will run out of fingers and have to take off my shoes to count all of the champions who will be entered that night.  I have already talked about Dylan Smith doing double duty, but with a $1,000 to win check waiting for the first place finisher in the modified feature, I suspect Kyle Berck’s IMCA open wheeler will be in the pits too.

Pundits are already calling this event the “best racing value of the summer.”  OK, so I am the only pundit (my dictionary defines pundit as one who is erudite or authoritative) to say that, but others will be.  24,000 people watched TCU come back from a 7-2 deficit to defeat Florida State in the CWS two nights ago.  The next day 50,000 people said they were at Rosenblatt Stadium to see the grand slam homer that helped win the game for the Horned Frogs.  Do you want to be part of the crowd who is actually at the July 23rd race, or will you be one of the people fibbing, saying they were there when they hear about how great the show was?

Thanks for stopping by.

The Real Story Of Hobby Stocks Not Running At Eagle On July 23rd

June 25, 2010 1 comment

I received my Prilosec OTC sponsorship check today, so I am in a good mood and am officially looking for Podcast equipment.  I am looking forward to interviewing drivers from around the country, but I am also looking forward to interviewing members of the Nebraska racing community too.  Would any of you consider it a coup for me to interview Randy Palmer and Greg Soukup on the same program?  Yeah, me neither.  But who I can interview will be left only to imagination-mine and yours.

I hope there are no hard feelings over us not scheduling hobby stocks for the July 23rd special at Eagle.  When we first started working on this event back in January, one of our guidelines was that we would NOT run any IMCA class that ran at either Beatrice or Rising City, meaning hobby stocks were out, even after we realized Beatrice was not going to race on July 23rd because of the county fair.  We decided that support classes would be GOTRA and Pro-Ams since neither class had an IMCA conflict.  After only 9 Pro-Ams showed for their portion of the Eagle Nationals, we looked into other options. Our first thought was combining Pro-Ams and Beatrice Factory Stock, but everything we read from Beatrice Factory Stock drivers in the forums seemed to have the message “if you don’t change our rules we would consider coming.” We were afraid that was going to lead to another disappointing turn-out and started looking for some other class.

Hobby stocks were discussed, but never seriously considered, even after we discovered that like Beatrice, Rising City was also skipping their weekly show on July 23rd. We did not want to do anything to jeopardize the regular weekly show at Eagle on July 24th, and felt some drivers might race one night, but not the other.  An open modified show went to the forefront, but even better would be an IMCA sanctioned modified show-no track points, but state, regional, and national points offered.  Eagle already has a fantastic modified show, and we figured many of the regulars would be interested in a good paying IMCA show. 

We talked with promoter Roger Hadan about obtaining an IMCA sanction.  From Des Moines to Grand Island, the only IMCA track running that night is Albion and Albion is well over 100 miles from Eagle.  I have nothing against hobby stocks.  I enjoy watching them run at the various tracks we go to.  Adding the modifieds turned a great show into a fantastic show.  It really was a no-brainer.

This weekend is going to be a down weekend for Matt and me.  My son is having a minor outpatient surgical procedure done tomorrow, and even though he insists he will be ready to go to Eagle on Saturday, my daughter in-law Stephanie vetoed that idea.  With the NASCAR Sprint Cup series racing in New Hampshire, I probably won’t watch any racing at all this weekend.  

Thanks for stopping by.

Reasons 1,002-1004

June 24, 2010 4 comments

After yesterday’s press release from Eagle Raceway, I can explain my post of a few days ago stating that Dylan Smith had “1,001 reasons” to race at Eagle on July 23rd.  Actually he has several more than that.

The first 1,000 reasons are greenbacks he could pick up from winning the IMCA modified feature ran that night.  Although track points won’t be given out that night, IMCA state, regional, and national points will be, so there are three more reasons for the 2009 IMCA Modified National Champion to be at Eagle that Friday night.  Smith has raced Al Humphrey’s late model in several SLMR events, and since the NCRA is a step up from the SLMR, this race would be an opportunity for the Osceola resident to gauge his progress in this division.

This will be a super event for IMCA modified drivers.  With no track closer than Albion racing IMCA modifieds that night, the stellar group of Eagle Raceway regulars is likely to be challenged by drivers from the Sioux City area, northern Kansas, mid-Nebraska, and western Iowa wanting to pick up the big pay check. 

Junction Motor Speedway’s stand alone show drew 23 NCRA super late models last week.  Our goal is to beat that count-the Eagle show is part of a two night Nebraska, northern Kansas swing for the NCRA tour, with a Saturday night show scheduled for Mayetta, Kansas, just a few hours drive south of Eagle.

Getting the best late model drivers in the Midwest AND the best IMCA modified drivers from a four state area is a coup for the track, and as a fan I am looking forward to a spectacular show.  I also hope that all the members of the Sunday Night Irregulars will show up for a special Friday evening meeting of the group. That includes you Rick Bradley.

While I would like to name the NCRA feature The Rest of the Dirt 50, and the modified feature The Rest of the Dirt 25, I am not sure how many laps either race will have yet, and I suppose that would seem a little too opportunistic of me if the races were named after my blog.  Maybe there is a way we can name the mod feature The Randy Palmer 25.  Better yet, since he is a huge modified fan, The Tom Schwartz 25.  I’ll have to give this some thought.

If you don’t already have Eagle Raceway on your calendar for July 23rd, you’ll be sorry if you don’t.  No, I don’t make threats, that is a fact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Major Announcement For July 23rd Eagle Special

June 22, 2010 1 comment

When a late model special at Eagle was first discussed last winter, what support classes to schedule was an important topic.  We did not want to conflict with any IMCA track so we were looking at non-IMCA classes.  Sprint cars have their Eagle specials, so they were out.  GN late models have plenty of places to race, and would have been an expensive class to add.  That left us with Pro-Ams and GOTRA, and we decided to run them on July 23rd.

After the Eagle Nationals, the very disappointing car count from the Pro-Ams had us looking at the support classes a second time.  Maybe there were legitimate reasons for a poor turn-out, maybe not, but 9 cars are not what we were looking at for a support class car count for the Eagle Late Model Shoot-Out.  Thought was given to combining Pro-Ams and Beatrice Factory Stocks since Beatrice was not going to run that night.  The trouble with that was “if you don’t change our rules, some of us might come” seemed to be the theme on a dirtdrivers.com thread about the race. It became apparent that even combining these classes might not get us a full field.

We had GOTRA as one support class but still needed another one.  Hobby stocks or open modifieds became possibilities.  In checking to see what hobby stock drivers ran both Rising City and Eagle I discovered that like Beatrice, Rising City was not racing on July 23rd because of its county fair.  The second support class became a no-brainer then. Most modified drivers race more than once a week and if we could get IMCA sanction for state, regional, and national points, we would get a good car count with that class. Plus, IMCA modifieds at Eagle put on a fantastic show.  Promoter Roger Hadan was able to get an IMCA sanction for the modifieds, and I just received the following email:

IMCA Modifieds added to the Eagle Summer Shootout

June 2010

(EAGLE, NE.) –  Officials with Eagle Raceway are pleased to announce that IMCA Modifieds have been added to the Eagle Summer Shootout on Friday, July 23rd.  The race will be sanctioned by IMCA for National and State points, and pays $1,000 to win.

Event promoter Roger Hadan is excited about the addition of the IMCA Modified division to the July 23rd lineup.  “We have one of the most competitive fields of modifieds anywhere in the country.  And with Beatrice Speedway and Butler County Motorplex both having the night off, not to mention a $1,000 payday for the winner, we are anticipating an outstanding field of IMCA Modifieds.”

Full details for the Friday, July 23rd Eagle Summer Shootout race will be announced shortly.

As the email said, more details will follow, and I will have them for you in my blog.

Thanks for stopping by.

If We Can’t Get Billy Moyer and A B-2 Bomber, We’ll Have To Settle For rstar and Taxman

June 22, 2010 2 comments

Forgive my tardiness in posting today.  My ineptness at anything technical carries far beyond fast cars that race on dirt.  Today I did my best to delete extremely valuable software at work, along with years of data that could not have been replaced.  Fortunately our software supplier designed the system with people like me in mind and added redundancies.  With the help of a very nice tech support person from Massachusetts and several hours of prayer, the system was restored to what passes as normal around here.

Of course since we have a service agreement with our software people, the only expense of my brain fade was my time, and believe me, that comes far too cheap.  My mistake was not made in front of thousands of fans and on national TV like the mistake Marcos Ambrose made in yesterday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.  It may or may not have cost him a victory, but it did cost his team over $150,000, and handed a race course win to Jimmie Johnson.  Is Ambrose an Australian version of Paul Menard? Thanks to lengthy rain delays at the College World Series I watched far more of this race than I had planned.

I love people over 50 kicking much younger butts in any sport.  Arkansan Billy Moyer did some major butt kicking in dirt late model racing this week, taking home the $100,000 first place prize at The Dream in Eldora, and then following that win with three victories on the U.M.P. Summer Hell Tour.  Dirt’s hottest driver is 52.  My version of racing’s dream would be to get Moyer to race at the July 23rd show at Eagle Raceway. Who knows how much longer he will race? Yes, I know, that kind of thinking sounds more like Matt than me, and is even wild for Matt. 

Having Moyer race at Eagle is certainly no wilder than my idea of having a B-2 fly over after the national anthem that night.  It also would have been nice to get Larry the Cable Guy to do “Gentlemen start your engine,” but his agent and I aren’t even in the same book, let alone on the same page on that one.  Maybe we can get Randy Palmer to parachute from a small plane with the flag, and Tony the Taxman to do the engine start instead. Hey, if we can’t get the A list celebs, we’ll have to settle for the C list.

Tell everyone you know there will be a B-I-G announcement about the July 23rd race on my blog and the Eagle Late Model Shoot-Out Facebook page tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by.

Butler County Motorplex

June 21, 2010 2 comments

Friday was our annual trek to Butler County Motorplex, northwest of Rising City, southeast of Shelby, south of Columbus, and the only track I know that you have to traverse miles of country roads to find.  The facility reminds me a little of Eagle Raceway.  I guess you could call it a “poor man’s Eagle,” and I do have to hand it to the promoter, he does attempt to bring in a variety of racing for fans.

Friday was one of the SLMR series visits, and honestly I was surprised that only 18 late models were on hand for the race. Apparently if the series does not race at I-80 Speedway numbers drop off.  None of the five classes required a B feature Friday night, and given that we were going to get home after midnight, that was OK with me. Denny Bergahn Jr. is hands down the winner of the Hard Luck Driver for the first half of the 2010 season.  As at Eagle a week ago, Bergahn went off the track on a hook, with extensive front end damage.

Mike Marushak of David City won the SLMR feature, followed by Travis Dickes and Joe Kosiski.  The highlight of the evening for me was watching young Dylan Smith in a late model provided by Al Humphrey.  Yes, the 2009 IMCA National Modified Champ was racing a late model.  Smith showed that in racing talent is talent, and he has it.  Smith took the 6X car to a 4th place finish, and while you could see his inexperience in a late model, you also could tell that it won’t be long before he drives under the twin checkers first in a late model.

Smith will have plenty of incentive to appear at the July 23rd special at Eagle.  I can think of 1,001 different reasons for him to be there, and hopefully we will see him racing against a talented group of NCRA late model drivers. 

Chris Alcorn won the IMCA Modified feature.  Alcorn seems to be heating up with the weather at that was his third feature win in the past few weeks.  I enjoy watching the Lincoln driver race, and hope he can challenge for the IMCA National championship as he did in 2007 and 2008.  Who knows, maybe we will see Chris on July 23rd at Eagle.

Congratulations to Bob Zoubek for capturing the IMCA modified feature at Eagle last night.  Somehow capture seems fitting at that track.  Zoubek held off past national champions Dylan Smith and Johnny Saathoff for the victory.

I would like to say I am looking forward to today’s NASCAR Sprint Car series race from Sonoma.  I would like to say that, but I would be lying. Sonoma is actually a track I have been too, but I am not into NASCAR on road courses.  Sorry.  If the rain stops I’ll be watching the College World Series, not NASCAR.  If the rain continues I’ll be watching the U.S. Open from Pebble Beach.  I’ll probably watch the last five laps of the race just to see that Jimmie Johnson did not win.

Thanks for stopping by.