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Archive for April, 2012

Fisher Price, Edwards, Pastrana, Posse, USMTS

April 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Visiting my grandson Henry is like walking into a Fisher Price toy outlet.  The young man does have lots of toys-so many that Steph hasn’t even brought out all the Christmas 2011 presents yet.  His latest has two race cars and a battery operated track that spins like a record turntable and finally throws the cars down a ramp to a checkered flag finish.  I don’t quite understand the how and why of the toy, but then again I still don’t understand how and why Juan Pablo Montoya managed to crash into a jet dryer at Daytona.

What is my reaction to Carl Edwards whining about NASCAR’s penalizing him for jumping a late lap restart Saturday night at Richmond?  Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time.  Can you dig it? He was not penalized for beating race leader Tony Stewart to the starting line, he was penalized for accelerating before the area he was supposed to, and TV showed that quite clearly. Me mentioning Carl Edwards right after talking of Fisher Price toys in no way means I think he is a big baby.

Travis Pastrana did not do as bad as I thought he would in the Nationwide Series race at Richmond.  He finished 22nd, one spot behind Danica Patrick.  Pastrana defeated such Nationwide stalwarts as Casey Roderick, Taylor Malsam, Timmy Hill, T.J. Bell, Jason Bowles, Blake Koch, Mike Harmon, and Chase Miller.  Never heard of these drivers?  I know the feeling-I had to double check to make sure I was at www.nascar.com and not looking at the results of an SLMR race.

The Pennsylvania Posse is ready to do battle with the WoO Sprint Cars at Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown, Pennsylvania on May 9th, and then at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg on May 11th and 12th.  I have to admit that watching the Keystone State home team do battle against the WoO invaders would be worth the $35 price of admission, especially at the famed Williams Grove track.  Shocked?  You shouldn’t be.  Horse racing provides a good analogy.  The Pennsylvania shows are like the Kentucky Derby.  360 sprints are like a claiming race at Fonner Park in Grand Island.  If I had a chance I would go to the Kentucky Derby.  I’ve had the chance but never done Fonner Park.

I have a friend who lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania who has never been to a car race.  He thinks a demolition derby is a car race.  Maybe someday when I finally retire I can head east for some races and take him to a special at one of Pennsylvania’s many outstanding race tracks. Races like those mentioned, or the Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek would be possibilities-eight days of racing at seven different tracks and seeing Freddy Rahmer in action does have an appeal.

56 USMTS modifieds raced at Rice Lake Speedway in Wisconsin last Thursday, with Chris Brown of Spring,Texas capturing the $4,000 top prize in a National Championship Series race.  52 cars signed in the next night at Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Fountainhead, Wisconsin for another National Championship Series battle.  Terry Phillips went to the front early in the 40 lap event and went home to Springfield, Missouri $4,000 richer.  The event at Deer Creek Speedway in Minnesota was cancelled because of a weather forecast that called for rain, wind, and cold temperatures.

Ryan Gustin leads the USMTS National Championship Series point standings, followed by Rodney Sanders.  The order is reversed in Casey’s Cup standings.  Tony Anville’s favorite modified driver, Stormy Scott of Las Cruces, New Mexico has a huge lead in the USMTS Rookie of the Year standings.  It is just a little over a month until the fastest modifieds anywhere roll into Junction Motor Speedway for two nights of racing on June 1st and 2nd.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Outlaws and NASCAR Fireworks

April 29, 2012 1 comment

Two first time winners captured WoO late model features this weekend, Brad Neat at North Alabama Speedway, and Bub McCool at Tazewell Speedway in Tennessee.  With the race in Jetmore, Kansas postponed, Billy Moyer and Billy Moyer Jr. both ended up racing with the outlaws.  However, after 23rd and 25th place finishes in Alabama, the father and son duo headed home to Arkansas, skipping the Tazewell high banks. Darrell Lanigan continues to lead the WoO point standings, followed by Rick Eckert and Shane Clanton.  The tour can claim 16 regulars-drivers who have participated in all 9 WoO events.

There were plenty of fireworks in Richmond, Virginia Saturday night, with enough controversy to irritate almost all fans.  Mark Martin won the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series race-nothing controversial there; just amazing that he also won a pole at Richmond 30 years ago.  The always inspiring 53 year old driver finished the 400 lap race in 8th place.

I have to admit that much to my delight both Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards were penalized during the race.  Johnson was penalized for an unattended tire during a pit stop and was forced to go to the back of the longest line for the restart.  Edwards jumped a restart, was black flagged and had to serve a pass-through penalty.  Johnson recovered to finish 6th in the race, and Edwards managed a 10th place finish. 

A late race caution for “debris” saw Kyle Busch leave the pits in first and he easily outdistanced Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win his 4th straight Richmond spring race.  2011 Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart was leading the race when the caution was thrown for a plastic bottle on the backstretch.  The caution did not please Stewart, and his pit stop and restart weren’t good enough to get him to the front of the pack at the end of the race.  Stewart finished 3rd.

Earnhardt climbed to second in series point standings, just five points behind Greg Biffle. Jeff Gordon continued an almost surreal streak of bad luck.  While the 14 car qualified well, his set up for the chilly Virginia night caused him to slide out of the top ten.  After the first pit stop Gordon came in contact with the car of Kurt Busch-not necessarily the fault of Gordon or Busch, had a tire cut and was forced to pit, putting him two laps down to the leader.  Gordon never recovered from the deficit and finished 23rd.  Despite another mid-pack finish Gordon managed to move up one spot in the standings to 17th.  He is 57 points out of 10th place and a spot in The Chase and needs to break out of his funk.

The Michael Waltrip Racing teams continue to show strength.  In addition to Martin’s 8th place showing, Clint Bowyer came home 7th.  Martin Truex Jr. finished a disappointing 25th, but remains in the top five in Sprint Cup standings. Supposedly in past seasons MWR was not getting the support from Toyota that Joe Gibbs Racing was, but they are this season and it shows.

Next up for the Sprint Cup teams is Talladega, NASCAR’s longest track.  Will the race be a super bore, or will restrictor plate racing rule changes bring exciting racing back to Alabama? 

Thanks for stopping by.

Trees, Rain, Bristol, Richmond, And A Nice Steak

April 27, 2012 2 comments

I have a very strong belief that ANYONE not knowing how many trees were planted on the first Arbor Day should NOT get the day off today.  I also believe that anyone not willing to plant at least one tree should not get a paid holiday on Arbor Day.  Third criteria for getting the day off should be the person has actually visited Arbor Lodge in Nebraska City-I have, but do not get the day off.  So, person this paragraph is directed at:

-without doing a Google search, how many trees were planted on the first Arbor Day?

-did you sleep in, or did you actually get up and plant a tree?

-have you ever visited Arbor Lodge, one time home of J. Sterling Morton?

1,000,000 trees were planted on the first Arbor Day, something a certain state employee did not know.  He has sent me trash talk emails about sleeping in, so no way did he plant on a tree on the Ponderosa, and I seriously doubt he has visited Arbor Lodge.  This sham holiday is something the Nebraska legislature definitely needs to talk about.

In the days following the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol, 70% of fans surveyed wanted changes made to the track configuration.  However, as these people got their wish, many more people began to state they wanted the track left alone.  In fact, in an article for Sporting News, writer Bob Pockrass stated the final tally was 60% opposed to making a change.  A change is being made anyway, with grinding down the top groove being somewhat of a compromise to tearing up the entire track.

Clint Bowyer has been named the National Motorsports Press Association first quarter of 2012 Spirit Award winner.  Bowyer’s 79 Fund donated over $1,000,000 to the building of a community center in his hometown of Emporia, Kansas.

I hear US 30 Speedway got rain before the end of the show.  I suppose it was a good thing I ended up not going last night, though some people accuse me of leaving before features are run anyway.  I wonder if the track will have double features next week. 

A thread on one of the forums mentioned that US 30 Speedway had trouble with its lap counter.  I have to admit this is a pet peeve of mine.  Too many tracks have lap counters with what appears to be burned out lights, but may be something more serious.  At other tracks the lap counters are difficult to see.  It is impossible to hear most announcers during a race, so fans have to decipher a poorly placed or not working lap counter, or wait until a yellow flag when they can hear the announcer to learn how many laps remain in a race.  I don’t like that. US 30 is hardly the only track with a problem-I just thought of three other tracks in about five seconds.  And the problems have been long term at all three.

It looks like rain may disrupt many outside activities this weekend.  Matt and I have already cancelled our baseball plans, and at least two tracks have cancelled or postponed races scheduled for tonight.  The NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Richmond will be on FOX TV tomorrow night though, and that should be a good one. 

Denny Hamlin is on a roll right now, and Richmond is his home track.  It would be foolish to pick against the 11 car this weekend.  Hamlin’s teammate Kyle Busch is ready to break out.  Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have been finishing consistently in the top ten, so they can’t be discounted.  If Jeff Gordon can keep all eight cylinders working he is past due for a win.  Martin Truex Jr. of Michael Waltrip Racing has been fast week after week.  Nope, the crystal ball is not seeing any Roush Fenway Fords near the top of the finish order. I see Hamlin-Gordon-Busch-Earnhardt-Truex-Johnson, then maybe Greg Biffle.  I forgot to capitalize Biffle and my spell check changed it to “baffle.”  That seems about right in describing several Ford drivers.

No baseball, no racing, and no writer’s conference in New York-maybe I’ll head to the Iron Horse in Hooper for a nice steak tonight.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jimmie Johnson, Badwater, UMP Hell, Showdown, Richards, Busch, And Plastic Bullets

April 26, 2012 3 comments

I don’t often agree with five time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, but I do on ways to “fix” NASCAR.  He believes there should be fewer 1 ½ mile tracks.    His suggestion is that as tracks are scheduled for resurfacing, to reconfigure them, doing away with the 1 ½ mile length and adding progressive banking.  In a Sporting News article by Jeff Owens, Johnson was quoted “Maybe we reconfigure some of these tracks and get rid of the mile-and-a-halves. “I mean, there are plenty of them. Let’s get more mile-and-under tracks on the circuit.” Hallelujah, praise the Lord, pass the collection plate, amen brother.

In July there is a 135 mile foot race called the Death Valley Badwater Ultramarathon.  The race begins at 282 feet below sea level, crosses three mountain ranges, and finishes at 8,500 feet above sea level.  Air temperature can exceed 130 degrees and ground temperature along asphalt roads can be more than 200 degrees.  There are NO aid stations along the race route.

Reading this I started thinking there ought to be a dirt track auto racing survival of the fittest event like the foot race in Death Valley.  I realized that that there already is a late model version of this event-the UMP Summer Hell Tour.

This year’s Hell Tour starts at Brownstown Speedway in Indiana on Wednesday June 13th, and participants get only three nights off through July 8th.  They get three of the next four nights off, and finish with races on 7/13 and 7/14 in Attica and Wauseon,Ohio.  There is an eight night stretch of racing in Illinois,Tennessee,Kentucky,Missouri, then back to Illinois.  Some drivers may have a full-time crew member or two, others may have friends or family who help where possible, but none of them have a team like Sprint Cup drivers do.  Plus, most drivers also get behind the wheel of the hauler to head on down the road to the next night’s stop.  To me racing every night like this does not seem romantic, it seems brutal.  But drivers have been following this tour for years, despite the fact it is not a good payback tour.

Traveling along with the Hell Tour as a fan would be plenty difficult with 25 tracks in 8 different states in 31 days.  To do it as a driver seems almost insane, though not as crazy as running 135 miles in the Mojave Desert. People who run in the Badwater have been known to follow the entire WoO sprint car tour.  That is crazy.

The $12,000 to win Showdown at the Great American Dirt Track in Jetmore, Kansashas been postponed to July 6th-7th.  Weather forecasts for this weekend call for windy and chilly forecasts.  I think July is a better date for a major race anyway.  There is always the threat of rain in the Midwest summer, but there is no threat of wind chills in the 30’s.  Last year Deer Creek Speedway in Minnesota moved their huge USMTS show from early in the year to late July.  It was a big success and they kept the July date for this season.  I’m a fair weather fan I guess, but hot is always better than cold.

I can always count on my son Matt or Scott McBride or both to clue me in on things I don’t know but should know on late model racing.  Scott emailed that Josh Richards is once again leaving the Rocket Chassis house car to pursue a NASCAR career.  I suppose most young and talented racers dream of racing in the big leagues, but in driving for his dad Richards had the best possible ride on dirt.  Of course if things don’t work out on asphalt, the prodigal son can always return home.  This move makes a Richards appearance at the Silver Dollar Nationals highly unlikely.

Someone who will be making a Midwest appearance though is Kurt Busch.  The former Sprint Cup champ will be racing at Iowa Speedway in a Nationwide Series event on May 20th.  Yes, Danica Patrick will also be there, along with Austin Dillon, Sam Hornish, and Ricky Stenhouse.

I am not sure what bizarre dream I was dreaming before I woke up this morning, but when I woke up I was thinking of a plastic Winchester “rifle” I received for Christmas when I was 8 or 9 years old.  I am not sure toymakers could sell this product anymore, because it actually fired a “bullet.”  A hard plastic bullet fit on a metal shell and could be loaded in the rifle.  Pull the trigger of the rifle and out flew the bullet-it was fast enough and hard enough to sting if it hit you.  I can remember shooting my brothers-I am sure they deserved it, but shooting up a manger display my Mom always placed under the Christmas tree got me in some trouble.  The gun was taken away for quite some time after I shot and broke a Christmas ornament-hey, I didn’t know they were breakable.  I don’t know why this came to mind 50 years after the fact.

I am going to have to postpone my visit to US 30 Speedway to another Thursday night.  I have auditors at work and will not get away until late.  Maybe next week.

Thanks for stopping by.

A Classic; Tire Test Blow Out; Invitees To A July Soiree

April 25, 2012 2 comments

Last week I mentioned Midwest Classic Stock Cars in a blog, though I didn’t know much about the organization.  Promoter Eric Cerny emailed me with information.  If GOTRA were Star Trek, MCSA would be Star Trek: The Next Generation.  From Cerny:

“Ron, the MCSA is a new club that takes over, where GOTRA leaves off. After years of trying to convince John Ferguson to start a sedan class in GOTRA, a few of us started our own new club that will be racing 1950-75 cars.  John has been a big supporter and help in this building process.  As of now, we look to have about 10-15 cars lined up for our first season-everything from a 53 Chevy to a 72 Monte Carlo, with several Mopars and a few Fords thrown in too.  Our first race will be May 31 at US 30.  Sam has agreed to have us a couple of times this summer and Norfolk plans to have us once in August.  Beatrice is interested, but is still trying to figure out where we can fit into their tight schedule.  After racing Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks for almost 20 years, I was ready for a step back to a division that was all about having fun!  I do hope you will attend our first race and hopefully give us some favorable press in your great blog!  I enclosed some pictures of a few of our cars.  We basically took the GOTRA rule book and just modified it to fit our cars.  The one big difference is the motors that are left somewhat open to start with.  We wanted guys to be able to run the big blocks that they used to.  We have a Facebook page, feel free to join. This way you can stay up to date on results and upcoming events.”

Thanks Eric.  The photo shows Cerny’s nice looking stock car.  I believe it is a ’53 Chevy.

Earlier this season Scott Autry won $20,000 in the Carolina Crown race at Lancaster Speedway inSouth Carolina.  However, after testing his tires, a lab stated that Autry’s tires had been chemically altered and Autry was disqualified.  Now, less than a week later the lab stated there was a mistake in the testing process and that Autry’s tires had not been altered. This isn’t the first time tire test results have been reversed, and calls into question the entire process. 

So, in seven days Autry went from being a winner to being a cheater to being a winner again. I would be very upset to be labeled a cheater, and despite the ruling, there will be some who will believe he cheated and got away with it. At first glance I thought “typical short track, no wonder so many people consider everyone who likes dirt track racing a redneck.”  Then I remembered the Jimmie Johnson fiasco and realized it isn’t just local racing tracks that seem to mess up, the big bucks boys do too.

The Great American Dirt Track in Jetmore, Kansas is hosting a $12,000 to win late model show this weekend.  Included in the stellar field are Billy Moyer, Wendell Wallace, Terry Phillips, Chad Simpson, John Anderson, Billy Moyer Jr., Jesse Stovall, Brad Looney, and Kyle Berck.

With the WoO late models racing at North Alabama Speedway and Tazewell in Tennessee this weekend and Billy Moyer Jr. racing in Kansas, it appears the young Moyer is giving up his quest for WoO Rookie of the Year.  If I were a promoter of a big race in late July, I think I might work hard at recruiting both Jr. and his dad to appear at my race.  Maybe it is just me, but any race that can get both Scott Bloomquist and Billy Moyer-the dad, has to be considered big time.

If you are a www.DirtonDirt.com subscriber, check out the video of Lucas Oil Late Model heats at Roaring Knob, Pennsylvania.  It seems like Brian Birkhofer and Josh Richards do not like to battle for the same piece of turf.  They bumped in heat one, Richards hit the wall, but both ended up having to qualify for the feature through a B Main.  Richards finished 7th in the A feature, and Birkhofer ended up 13th.  The duo will have plenty of chances to renew and rekindle this rivalry-both raced at the Gopher 50 in Deer Creek, the USA Nationals atCedarLake, and a WoO race at Independence, Iowa last year.

The WoO late models finish their Wild West Tour on July 14th in Brainerd, Minnesota.  They do not race again until August 1st at Shawano, Wisconsin.  If the WoO had just a weekend off between races, I would not suggest trying to recruit series drivers to the Silver Dollar Nationals.  However, with 17 days between races, it might be worth phone calls to WoO regulars inviting them to race.  Darrell Lanigan, Rick Eckert, Shane Clanton, Chub Frank, Vic Coffee, Clint Smith, and Tim McCreadie would be great additions to the event.  I thought Josh Richards wouldn’t even consider an invite, but he will be racing in four Lucas Oil events starting July 24th, two nights after the Silver Dollar Nationals. Promoters should have a go with him too.

Nebraska race fans do not get many opportunities to see top national late model drivers in action.  This coupled with the fact that Nebraska fans spend money on souvenirs might interest some drivers.  If a driver can sell some t-shirts on the SDN Midway, he can pay for his fuel from home, a big expense even with gas prices dropping.  It becomes a win for the drivers, a win for the track that can promote name drivers racing, and a win for the fans that get to see the drivers in action.  Isn’t a win-win-win worth some phone calls?

Thanks for stopping by.

NOT The Meyer Family; A Little NASCAR; Silver Dollar Nationals and Auditors

April 24, 2012 2 comments

Sprint car fans invade Sprint Cup race

The photo was emailed to me with the caption “Meyer Family at Kansas Speedway.” We weren’t there, and I didn’t recognize anyone, so I don’t think it was a family reunion.  It did remind me of several cousins though.  Actually, it looked like these people were better equipped for a sprint car race than a sprint cup race. 

A later email explained the photo:

“The picture I took of your next of kin…I was standing in a “tent” of one of the doctors from Auburn.  He’s a younger guy and a big race fan.  There stood those rednecks…and Doc had a satellite on his pick-up, watching SPEED on a big screen computer with a nice heater running in the tent.  You see both sides of the food chain in racing.”

That you do.  There are the big money fans like Palmer,Tracy, and Anville, than there are the poor slobs who can barely afford a ticket at the local track like me.  I have to write about racing just to get a little cash to be able to watch it.  Woe is me, alas, and alack.

I have always thought Victory Junction Camp was one of the best charities in the country.  Over 14,000 chronically ill children have attended the North Carolina camp-free, since 2004.  Funds are being raised to build a second camp near Kansas City, but the economy has hampered these efforts.  I was surprised to see that Pattie Petty has been removed as Chairman of the Board and CEO.  Petty is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, but reportedly that was not part of the VJC’s board decision to remove her.  Petty will become a goodwill ambassador for the camp.  Husband Kyle, Kyle’s father Richard, and son Austin remain on the VJC board but did not take part in discussions surrounding this decision.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had another top ten finish at Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Kansas.  Earnhardt has six top ten finishes this year and is 4th in the Sprint Cup point standings.  There are many who have questioned his ability to drive a race car-including me-because of his victory drought.  However, there are 60 drivers behind Earnhardt in the standings, so he is obviously doing something right.  When he finally wins again NASCAR pundits will try to rank the popularity of the victory alongside his father’s win at Daytona.  They have to write something.  It won’t be that popular, but it will be a huge positive for a sport that needs all the positives it can get.

Maybe Earnhardt will remove the monkey from his back by winning at Richmond on Saturday.  A Denny Hamlin win is just as likely.  With two wins already this season, Hamlin is likely locked into The Chase already.  Same with 2011 champion Tony Stewart.  Drivers like Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon have work to do to move up in the standings in the coming weeks.  Both run well at times, but seem to be unlucky in their race finishes in 2012.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 2011 champion Austin Dillon is racing 15 nights with the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model series, as well as full time on the NASCAR Nationwide Series.  That seems an unlikely combination, but in an AARN article Dillon said: “I think racing on dirt has made me a better driver already on the mile and a half tracks. The way you are on the edge on dirt, it’s the same way you have to drive to be fast on the mile and a half tracks, on the same kind of edge, with the same kind of aggressiveness.”

Richard Childress supports his grandson’s racing efforts-read that provides the $$$-and also provides late model driver Dale McDowell support as McDowell mentors the young Dillon. McDowell will certainly be at the Silver Dollar Nationals in July, but Dillon is scheduled to race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 22nd

I am keeping my fingers crossed on the weather for this weekend.  Young Scott McBride of Lincoln will be wed in an outdoor ceremony, so hope for sunny skies Saturday and throughout the marriage. 

I begin my annual audit ordeal at work today.  Whenever I think of auditors I am reminded of a quote from the movie Geronimo-“must be Texans, the lowest form of white men there is.”  I love being asked why I did something eleven months ago.  Most of the time I can’t remember why I did something a week ago.  A fiscal year audit is like a sprint car race.  You have to push to get the auditors started, and then there are stops in the action when you want to go, and the whole thing takes far too long. I am looking forward to the end of May and not having to worry about auditors for another year.

I am still planning on US 30 Speedway Thursday night.  I’ll need to relax after three days with CPA’s. Thanks for stopping by.

Clique Not Click; Wizard Of Oz; The Names Are The Same

April 23, 2012 5 comments

Brian Dieterman took me to task for correcting Randy Palmer’s comment to a recent post.  Brian didn’t say Randy didn’t deserve to be corrected, rather that my correction was also incorrect.  The correct spelling of clique is clique, not cliché as Palmer suggested, nor click as I rebutted.  I stand corrected, though in my defense, unlike Randy I have never belonged to a clique before. Believe me, the group that meets for pizza once a month at Sortino’s shouldn’t be considered a clique either-there is nothing exclusive about it.

I probably should not have corrected Randy about cliché anyway.  I knew who he was talking about-that person called Matt and told him he did not want to wait in line at the front gate of a track he was visiting and was going into the pits if we wondered where he was.  Since we did not go to any races last weekend, I didn’t wonder where this person was, though Matt may have wondered.  Anyway, after giving it much thought-three seconds-this person could be considered a Bruton cliché.  So I apologize for correcting you and for incorrectly correcting you Randy.

An anonymous source emailed five blog titles he wanted me to use.  Three of them were sent mainly to irritate me because he knew I would not use them, but there are two I can mention:

NASCAR race in Kansas starts on time, with no dust.

 Blank has easier time getting out of Kansas Speedway than any dirt track in America (without being covered in dirt nor sitting through an intermission).

I don’t really have anything to add to the points Mr. Anonymous made.

In the movie “Wizard of Oz” the scenes in Kansas are all black and white, while the Land of Oz is colorful.  The message was Kansas of that era was bland.  I think Fox should have televised the STP 400 from Kansas Speedway in black and white too because it was definitely bland.  It wasn’t as bad as Fontana was or Chicago will be later in the season, it simply wasn’t exciting.  It was like showing up at an Omaha steak house hoping for a nice New York strip and finding they were out of everything but hamburger.  It was not bad; it simply did not have much “oomph” to it.

What do I call exciting racing?  Side by side racing where you could throw a blanket over the top four cars, and the top ten cars are within seconds of the leader.  If I wanted to watch follow the leader single file racing I could go to sprint car races, I don’t need to see that in the Sprint Cup Series.

The one really exciting moment in the race came with just a few laps remaining as Martin Truex Jr. tried to regain the lead in a race he had dominated, but like some members of my clique, Truex just couldn’t get a grip.  His second place finish did bump him up in the point standings, to a solid second place.

At least seven cars had engine problems, including Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, and Mark Martin.  The talking heads of Fox Sports seemed to blame in on the NASCAR gear mandate, but teammates of Gordon, Bowyer, and Martin did well.  Gordon’s teammate Jimmie Johnson continues to have the proverbial golden horseshoe up his —, as Gordon dropped a cylinder and ended up finishing 21st, while Johnson grabbed another top five, finishing 3rd.

The Lucas Oil late model race at Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland was cancelled.  The series will race at Tri-State Speedway near St. Louis next Friday, then move to Paducah International Speedway in Kentucky on Saturday. 

Ray Guss took first in the IMCA Deery Brothers race in West Liberty,Iowa, and veteran Darrell DeFrance went to victory lane in the series race at Dubuque Speedway.  DeFrance is closing in on attending 400 consecutive Deery Brothers events. 43 late models raced at West Liberty, with 28 moving on to Dubuque. Mike Murphy Jr. leads the series point race.

Maybe it is just me, but it seems like a lot of names making headlines in national and regional late model racings are the same as were making headlines 15-20 years ago.  I don’t mind that, but it makes me wonder what late model racing will be like in 15 years-other than engines running on natural gas.

Thanks for stopping by.