Archive for October, 2012

All The News That Is fit To Print, And Some That Isn’t

October 31, 2012 3 comments

News from RacewayPark in Jefferson, South Dakota is that the SLMR late models will return in 2013, racing on Friday 8/23.  The track is also negotiating with the USMTS to bring the hot mods back to Siouxland next season, again working on a Friday date.  That seems workable.  There are many tracks in eastern South Dakota, northwest Iowa, and southeast Minnesota that could tie in with a RacewayPark date to make a weekend of racing for tour drivers.


Actually, I wish I-80 Speedway would book another date with the USMTS to bring the tour to Nebraska one more time.  Weekends at Junction Motor Speedway and at I-80 are simply not enough.  Yes, I do realize that I-80 runs its weekly show on Fridays, but the track also runs some events on other days too.


The SLMR is working on a 2013 schedule with the criteria being within a 150 mile radius of Omaha and Lincoln.  I don’t know if this means no Lexington, Nebraska and no Wagner, South Dakota or not.  The tour trek to US 30 Speedway in Columbus played out before a big crowd, so I hope that track will be part of the 2013 schedule, though NOT as part of a five day run.  In 2012 the SLMR late models raced at Wagner, US 30, I-80, JMS, and Lexington over a long July 4th weekend.  I don’t think this works well with the drivers who run the series, and hurts car counts at the races far from the metro areas.


I am also hoping for a US 30 show because a certain auditor from Auburn insists he will buy Matt and me a meal at the Columbus McDonalds after the races.  That wallet does not open often.


Rumor has Crawford County Speedway in Denison running all classes but late models under the IMCA sanction in 2013.  I am not quite sure why the late models won’t be under the IMCA banner, other than sanctioning cost or maybe that Iowa State Fairgrounds Speedway runs on Friday nights. IMCA sanctioning would seem like a win/win situation for everyone-more fees and dues for IMCA, more cars for the track and fans, and a better opportunity for racers to compete for the IMCA National championship.


Approximately 50 cars practiced at Butler County Motorplex last Saturday.  A decision has not been made yet on what day the track will run or what classes it will run in 2013.  I think ultimately promoters would like to run with IMCA sanctioning, but like CCS in Denison this season it will have to run successfully for a year before that happens.  I think Sunday would be a good day for the track since no track within shouting distance runs that day.  I do hope they will go with IMCA type mods as the feature class-no, not the Northern Sports Mods, the A-mods, and work in a special for the SLMR late models.  Yes, Randy, they should also work in a special for the cars that have to be pushed to start.


A mass of Midwest mods are moving to SinCity next weekend.  A strong area contingent includes past IMCA national champions Johnny Saathoff, Dylan Smith, and Jordan Grabouski, as well as Iowan Chris Abelson, and Missouri drivers Jeremy Payne, Terry Phillips, and Jesse Stovall.  I might be spending some of my evenings next weekend watching the Duel in the Desert on XSANTV.


I have been thinking about what some of my friends might be wearing as Halloween costumes tonight.  I can see Tony Anville as Daddy Warbucks, Freddy Kruger, Bill Callahan or Buddy Ray Jones.  My son Matt could go as Albert Einstein or Humpy Wheeler. Randy Palmer might go as John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever-well at least as a disco maniac with the jewelry, open shirt, and high heel white shoes. Me?  Well, I could dress up as an overweight old man with an arthritic left knee, who is currently suffering from labyrinthitis.  Wait, I do that every day.  I could go as a sprint car driver. With this face I don’t need a mask anyway. My grandson Henry could wear a Duke Basketball uniform and a cap that reads “Grandpa says I am perfect.”


Thanks for stopping by.




TV, Desert Duel, Lucas Schedule Includes Silver Dollar Nationals

October 30, 2012 1 comment

For subscribers to Speed TV, you won’t have to suffer through reruns of Pinks or Pass Time or six different NASCAR shows on Saturday night.  The network is actually going to carry live racing from the Dirt Track in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Features of the finals of WoO late models, big block modifieds, and that other WoO series will be shown live Saturday night starting at 7:00 p.m. Central Time. This three day event is on my “if I win the lottery” bucket list.


It appears that XSANTV will not have a webstream PPV from CanyonRacewayPark this weekend.  The speedway’s Desert Classic was to be shown, but apparently a line for internet connection has not been installed at the track.  The Duel in the Desert featuring IMCA modifieds racing on the dirt in Las Vegas will be shown November 8th-10th, as will be the ASCS Western World event on November 15th-17th.  None of this will effect Ivan Tracy who probably has his motor home already parked somewhere in the great Southwest, I am mentioning it for poor working stiffs like me who can’t retire young.


The Duel in the Desert will include two nights of Sports Mod action, so if Jesse Sobbing hasn’t already managed to start his 100th race of the season by then, I am sure he will do so in Las Vegas.  Actually, if the weather is OK, Atchison County Raceway in Kansas will be racing Saturday, November 3rd, and that is close enough for Sobbing to not even consider it as a road trip. That could be his 100th feature of the year too. Like the WoO finals in Charlotte, this event is on my “if I win the lottery” bucket list.


Young Wyoming driver Zach Hensley will also run in the Duel in the Desert.  Hensley cut back on his 2012 schedule to allow his dad Will to heal from heart surgery, but intends to run with a new car next year.  Zach even intends to do some asphalt racing.  He will also be running more in Iowa in 2013, something he wasn’t able to do with Will recovering, plus his grandfather died just three days before the IMCA Supernationals at Boone.  Zach will be dedicating his 2013 season to the memory of his grandfather, which I think is a nice tribute.  Good luck in Las Vegas Zach.


One event I wish XSANTV would cover is the USMTS Texas Winternationals from Baytown, Texas on November 15th-17th.  I often sing the praises of this series, but I wish my words were as good as the racing the USMTS drivers do.  Wherever they go it is one helluva show.  I am looking forward to seeing the 2013 USMTS schedule and hope more events are close to home.


If you go to you will find the Lucas oil Late Model Dirt Series 2013 schedule.  As always, the Lucas season begins with the Winternationals at EastBayRacewayPark in February and will end with the Dirt Track World Championship in Portsmouth, Ohio in October.  43 different events with 57 nights of racing are shown on Lucas Oil schedule.  Eleven of the events will pay $20,000 or more to win.


It was nice to see the Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway included in portion of the Lucas Oil press release talking of major events including the Commonwealth 100, the Show-Me 100, the Topless 100, the Jackson 100, and the Knoxville Nationals. The SDN is a crown jewel in the making, and with a few more years tradition, it is going to be on every late model fan’s must see list.


Thanks for stopping by.









The Cold, Martinsville, Mayetta, And Park Jefferson

October 29, 2012 Leave a comment

When I left for the NU game on Saturday, I expected to spend the evening chilled.  Forecasts called for a game time temperature in the low 40’s and it was breezy.  It turned out that there were at least three times this season that I was colder at I-80 Speedway than I was at the game.


Now, there are some likely and logical reasons for this.  According to some of my readers-you included Tom-if you put 86,000 Husker fans in close confines, there will be an incredible amount of hot air produced.  Actually there may be some truth to this. It would take multiple seasons of race cars fans attending races at I-80 Speedway to total 86,000.


I also went to the game well prepared.  A hoodie over a sweatshirt, long johns, gloves, hand warmers and toe warmers meant I was erring on the side of caution.  I did use the gloves and the hand warmers, though I probably didn’t need the hand warmers.  Actually I had three pair of hand warmers and the toe warmers, though I only used one pair of the hand warmers. When I got cold at I-80 Speedway I was not nearly as prepared.


Mainly though, at the NU game I have most of the structure of the North Stadium behind me.  At I-80 Speedway there is nothing within five miles except corn and soybeans to stop the wind coming out of the north.  No Joe, I don’t expect you to do a Bristol and build grandstands to surround your half mile track.  I just need to come better prepared for the cold.


Years ago when Matt and I journeyed to Siouxland to take in a NASCAR Busch All-Star Tour event at Park Jefferson there was a fan who wore an ABK t-shirt.  If you remember the old Ghost Buster t-shirts with a slash across a ghostly image, this shirt was similar.  It read “Anybody but Kosiski,” with a slash across Kosiski.  After yesterday’s race at Martinsville I think someone needs to print up some ABJ t-shirts, “Anybody but Jimmie.”


Yes, the five time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion is now on top of the point standings, probably headed toward championship number six.  Brad Keselowski managed to overcome a bad qualifying run and finish in the top ten, but far enough behind for Johnson to take over the lead.


Denny Hamlin looked like he had the strongest car in the field, twice overcoming pit row penalties, but his finish was “shorted” by electrical problems, dropping him to fifth in the point standings.  I am beginning to think there might be more to this TRODT jinx than I have been joking about. I can say that I am picking Johnson to win at Texas, Phoenix, and Homestead.


I guess I would want an “Anyone but Johnson, Biffle, and Kenseth” t-shirt.  Show their faces with the hair of Moe, Larry, and Curly.  I would print up hundreds of these shirts, but I am not sure NASCAR would license them and I don’t want to run afoul of NASCAR attorneys.


I am rooting for Clint Bowyer to win the Sprint Cup championship, though he remains a long shot.  I just would like a Midwest born driver not named Carl Edwards to be the last at the podium at the NASCAR awards’ ceremony.


Did anyone notice that Ken Schrader was racing at Martinsville yesterday?  He finished 29th, five laps down, but was running at the end of the race.  Last weekend he was a long way from a NASCAR big time race, running his modified at the Cool McCool 100 at Junction Motor Speedway, just west of McCool, Nebraska.


Friend TMC took in the races at Mayetta, Kansas on Saturday.  He said the races were good, with lots of cars on hand that we don’t normally see in our area. B Mod ace Jesse Sobbing won his 61st feature of the year.  I doubt that any driver in any class anywhere else in the U.S. can claim such a total. 


TMC also mentioned he heard a rumor that Park Jefferson was being sold to a North Dakota pipeline/energy concern and that the property would be leveled and turned into a terminal of some sort.  My first thought to this is “good riddance to a place I never liked.” Of course, racing rumors rarely turn out to be true, so maybe the track will live to see another day. 


Thanks for stopping by.







Some Photos And Words I Didn’t Pay For, Plus More On Silver Dollar Nationals III

October 25, 2012 1 comment


Edwards Struts Down Kansas Speedway pit row

As “clean” a car as Roush Fenway could put on the track.

In this election year I want to play fair and at least acknowledge the opposition, in this case, Roush Fenway Racing.  Tony Anville has access to the garage area and pit row at Kansas Speedway, mainly because he is worth more than some NASCAR car owners.  Anyone he took photos of Carl Edwards and the car of Sunday’s winner Matt Kenseth, and since he thinks I won’t use them, I decided to use up some of cyberspace and share them with you.


Below is on email from Scott McBride regarding Silver Dollar Nationals III Fans Fund:


“I figured I would break my Fans Fund silence. I’ll try not to ramble on too much.

To me, the best way to insure at least some success is to open it up to any team that didn’t participate in SDN 2 or isn’t in the top 10 in Lucas Oil points.  This would include any regional/local or national talent.


Hypothetically, we set a goal of $750 to invite one driver.  Once we hit that goal, we commit to inviting the top vote getter. Then as the next $750 rolls in, we invite the next on list and so on.  Yes, there will probably be guys that won’t come because of schedules and family commitments.  But that’s out of our hands.  We could simply invite them, if they turn us down in good terms.  Then no harm no foul.


After the voting is over and we know how many drivers would be willing to come, then maybe we could work on product certificates and or fuel cards for them.


Two things I believe we need to make this work

1. Be able to use the SDN name
2. A little promotional help from I-80 would go along ways.

I’m committing $25, who knows how expensive the next year will be.”


Scott will become a first time father in 2013 and will learn that it is not just the next year that will be expensive; he can count on the next 25 years being expensive.


I think Scott’s idea would work great if the SDN was more like the USA Nationals in Cedar Lake, Wisconsin.  That race is 25 years old and has long been one of late model racing’s crown jewel events.  It hasn’t always been WoO sanctioned, so it has a history with racers like Billy Moyer, Scott Bloomquist, and Brian Birkhofer who don’t run many WoO shows, but do run CedarLake.  Actually there were plenty of independents and Lucas Oil drivers at the 2012 USA Nationals.


That has not happened with the SDN, and even an event like the Lucas Oil sanctioned Knoxville Late Model Nationals had less than a handful of WoO drivers on hand.  I think you could offer some drivers several thousand Fans Fund dollars and they still would not accept an offer to run in the SDN.  If a driver like Darrell Lanigan will not race in the North-South 100 at Florence, Kentucky, only minutes away from where he lives, I am not sure what would get him to race in a Lucas Oil event in Nebraska.  I think it is futile to spend time trying to get such drivers to come to I-80 Speedway.


I think it is also next to impossible to get drivers who run the UMP Summernationals Tour to also race in the SDN.  They have just spent a month on the road, they are tired, their equipment is tired, and they are looking for down time, not another race 600 miles from home.


Another problem with enticing name drivers to the SDN is there are now so many regional races they can run that pay $3,000-$5,000 to win.  Some drivers will look at an SDN entry list that includes Owens, O’Neal, Bloomquist, Francis, Birkhofer, and Mars and figure they will be lucky to get a top ten finish.  That makes the regional race they have a shot at winning very attractive-close to home, less expense, and a good chance to make money.


Finally, it would not surprise me if the WoO scheduled against Silver Dollar Nationals III.  They did against SDN II, but that event ended up being cancelled by the promoter.


Yes, I have changed my thinking on this from a few years ago. Part of that came from the difficulty we had trying to get drivers to commit to SDN I, but mostly the change resulted from seeing who did not race in other big money events.


I am having a difficult time believing Fan’s Fund dollars can attract a name driver to SDN III.  With SDN I we gave Brian Birkhofer $400, because several other drivers backed out and he is the most popular driver in the Midwest.  He was coming anyway.  We gave Billy Moyer Jr. $400 because we thought if the son came, the father might also come-and it worked.  But no way do we get the Hall of Famer by offering him $400.

So, that is why I am thinking Fans Fund needs to go for numbers, not names.  Right now this is just my opinion.  Nothing is etched in stone.  Others might agree with Scott and want to go in that direction.  Maybe someone else has a totally different idea that is workable.  I would like to hear more ideas, and have more volunteers to help raise money, and set up something firm so everything is a go on New Years Day.


Thanks for stopping by.






70 Is The New 40, MLRA, And Silver Dollar Nationals III

October 24, 2012 2 comments

The Conley family of Wheelersburg, Ohio was well represented at the Dirt Track World Championship.  While 23 year old J.T. Conley did not make the race, his dad R.J. did, starting on the outside of row 2 and ended finishing 8th.  One other Conley family member raced as well, someone I can remember reading about for years-Hall of Famer Delmas Conley.


Delmas happens to be a septuagenarian, meaning he is even older than me.  The 70 year old won a consolation race and started 21st, ahead of drivers like Jared Landers, Ray Cook, and a driver who just a few weeks ago took home $40,000 by winning the Knoxville Nationals, Steve Francis.  He finished 26th in the race, and promised to keep driving his Rocket chassis race car as long as he feels he is competitive.


Wow, I am cringing at the thought of climbing 60 steps to my way up high in the north stadium seat to watch NU play Michigan on Saturday night, and back in Ohio Conley is roaring around race tracks keeping up with Jimmy Owens, Don O’Neal, and Scott Bloomquist.  That is simply amazing.  I still will bitch about my left knee and heel though.


When I talked with Joe Kosiski about Silver Dollar Nationals III, he briefly mentioned Lucas Oil purchasing the MLRA tour.  Joe had already talked with new series director Dan Robinson about dates at I-80 Speedway.  Joe had an interesting idea he presented to Robinson about getting more cars to run the full MLRA schedule.  I believe that good drivers look at the pay-out for 5th-10th place at a track because tour racing is so competitive that even the best drivers aren’t going to get top five finishes week in and week out.  Another thing that drivers look at is the cost to race any given event, including the cost of fuel going to and from a track.


Lucas Oil doesn’t sell fuel, but company products are available at truck stops across the country.  Kosiski’s idea was for Lucas Oil to barter their product for fuel, actually fuel cards that could be given to drivers traveling long distances.  Joe used John Anderson and Terry Phillips as an example of what he had in mind.  When the MLRA races at I-80 Speedway a driver from Omaha would not need to have assistance on buying fuel, but a driver from Springfield, Missouri like Phillips could use that assistance.  When the series goes to Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri, Phillips would not need assistance, but someone like Anderson would.  I think this is a good idea and hopefully something can be worked out to help make the MLRA a stronger regional series.


Joe’s idea showed me why he and Matt get along so well.  Drivers want to race, and tours need to keep promoters happy by bringing a full field to their events.  Joe’s thinking is a creative solution to a problem all drivers and tour directors face.  Of course while Joe’s thought might make him a jet compared with the Piper Cub thinking of most promoters, Matt is like a hypersonic plane shooting into outer space with his thinking. I hope someday Matt can actually display that ability.


Joe’s fuel card thoughts are like what I hope fans can come up with for the SDN III Fans Fund-in addition to cash of course.  Any idea, any product that can make a driver want to be in the pits at I-80 Speedway in late July needs to be explored.  And giving Brian Birkhofer beer for his post race celebration is probably not the best use of resources.  Does anyone have an idea to share?  Does anyone really know what time it is?  Does anyone really care?  Yeah, having Chicago for a post race concert would be cool, but isn’t going to happen.


Thanks for stopping by.




NASCAR Visits Kansas, So Does MLRA. Lucas Oil In Ohio

October 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Rich Auburn rancher Tony Anville-he calls his spread Ponderosa II and drives a Lexus with the license “NASCAR1”-has tickets to both annual Sprint Cup series events at Kansas Speedway.  He emailed some of the details of his day, including that the WestwoodBaptistChurch was preaching their gospel at the track.  This is the goofy one family congregation that protests at military funerals.  Anyway, they were carrying signs that said “God hates NASCAR.”  I’m not sure if this came from the Old or New Testament, or maybe God isn’t pleased with the quality of what NASCAR calls racing these days.


If either Brad Keselowski or Jimmie Johnson wins the NASCAR Sprint Cup title this season, they both can look back on this race for having dodged a bullet.  Keselowski was inches away from being caught up in someone else’s wreck, and Jimmie Johnson spun out and hit the wall, but with multiple pit stops on several lengthy yellow flags, his crew was able to repair his car and get him a top ten finish. 


I didn’t watch the entire race, but it seemed like there was a yellow flag flying every few laps in what I did watch.  I was beginning to wonder if I was watching Sprint Cup cars or just sprint cars in action.


Keselowski remains at the top of the Sprint Cup point standings, followed by Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, and Kasey Kahne.  I will admit to openly rooting for Kansan Clint Bowyer to win the championship.


Anville annoyed Hendrick Racing fans sitting around him by openly cheering on Matt Kenseth to victory.  Several of his emails touted the talent of Roush Fenway drivers, but he must not have checked out or he would have found that the two RF drivers are 9th and 11th in the standings.


While Rick Hendrick’s Sunday announcement of Dale Earnhardt Jr. being cleared to race at Martinsville was premature, it is official today.  Earnhardt will be back behind the wheel of the 88 this weekend.


I was totally wrong about no one not named Anderson, Stovall, or Philips winning the weekend features at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City.  No one with those names won either of the features.  On Friday night Kyle Berck won the $3,000 to win preliminary feature, and on Saturday the $5,000 winner’s went to Will Vaught.


This race was the last MLRA to be officiated by Harriett Chancellor and her husband “Cowboy.”  I haven’t always agreed with how the series was operated, but to run a tour with races in four or five states takes a lot of time and effort.  Hopefully MLRA drivers will do something nice for the Chancellors at the series banquet in November.


I was correct in predicting that the winner of the Dirt Track World Championship in Portsmouth, Ohio would come from a handful of name drivers.  Jimmy Owens iced an already rich 2013 cake, winning the rain-shortened (to one day) event.  He had already clinched the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series crown-worth $75,000, so the $50,000 Owens picked up Saturday night should make for cozy Tennessee winter.


Apparently the second half of the DTWC was run on a one groove track.  Maybe the Portsmouth track prep crew needs to take a look at the video below.  Thanks to Matt for the link.


Owens won 7 Lucas Oil events and finished second in 11 others.  Overall he had nearly 50 top tens for the season.  No doubt he will return to the series in 2013 trying to win his 3rd straight championship, but I wonder if Hall of Famer Scott Bloomquist will be on hand to do battle with Owens.  Bloomquist seems to have to spend more and more time with his chassis building business, and I wonder if the driver of the Zero car will limit his efforts to the really big bucks events, skipping the now common $10,000 to win shows.  Billy Moyer picks and chooses his events, and I can see Bloomquist doing the same.

Thanks for stopping by.








News About Silver Dollar Nationals III

October 22, 2012 1 comment

On Friday I talked with Joe Kosiski about the 2013 Silver Dollar Nationals.  The K’s want this race to be one of the must see dirt track events each season, and continue to seek ways to make it better.


One thing Joe mentioned was that only 32, possibly 33 cars would start Saturday’s $27,000 to win feature.  And, thanks to Al Belt Custom Homes, the non-qualifier’s Saturday night race will pay $2,700 to win and $300 to start.  Hard core fans have probably visited the Dirt Track World Championship website and if you clicked on Purse would see that the non-qualifiers race at this late model crown jewel event pays $3,000 to win, but only $200 to start.  That I-80 is willing to match the efforts of a crown jewel event is a big positive.


I would hope this brings more local and regional drivers to SDN III.  The pay is much better than an SLMR feature, going $2,700-$1,500-$1,000-$800, etc.  down to 20th place paying $300. Local drivers will have a chance to race against the best in the sport AND still make a buck. I can’t picture why a driver racing regularly in the NASCAR late model weekly series or in the SLMR touring series would skip this event.


For fans, an increase in locals competing will be a good thing.  The unique two heat qualifying system is an important part of the Silver Dollar Nationals, but to remain feasible, there needs to be at least 50 late models on hand.  The SDN II field included just over 50 of the 800 horse power crazy fast cars, so anything that can entice more goods is important.


Joe and I talked about how disappointed I was in the Fans Fund effort for SDN I, raising only $800, most of which came from five people.  That is why there was not a Fans Fund in 2012.  However it sticks in my craw that Wisconsin cheese heads can kick our fund in raising money to help out drivers.  The Cedar Lake Fans Fund now raises over $10,000 for the USA Nationals each August and helps out a dozen drivers.


It also bothers me that sprint car fans could raise $1481 in lap money for an ASCS special at a Nebraska track, while we raised just $800 for late model drivers in 2010.  The fans of push to start winged wonders also added non-cash prizes for that event.  As a late model fan I am sitting here red-faced that sprint car fans could outdo us on anything.


So, I am going to give it one more try and see what we can come up with to help out I-80 Speedway and SDN drivers.  As I mentioned, Al Belt Custom Built Homes is putting up the money for the non-qualifiers race at SDN III, but we can help.  I am challenging late model fans to come up with $2,700 to pay the winner’s share of the non-qualifier’s purse.  Actually, I would like to do even more.  Every dollar over $2,700 we raise will be divided among the drivers earning just $300 in the race.  It would be fantastic to raise $3,500 because that would make the race a $400 to start event.


I also would like ideas on non-cash awards that can be given out to drivers other than those racing in the non-qualifier’s race.  I will be contacting tire and parts suppliers and work on getting certificates from them. I would also like suggestions on non-racing businesses that could help out.  Gas cards would be something else that would be of great value, especially to drivers who come a long distance to race.


I am open to any suggestion on how to race $$$ and obtain non-cash prizes.  No idea is too silly-except me getting on a dunk stand, ain’t gonna happen.  And I would like others to work with me on this project.  I already have you penned in Scott McBride, I need more than just us two.


Finally, to start the tire rolling, The Rest of the Dirt pledges $100 to the Silver Dollar National III Fans Fund, plus whatever it costs me to have my web designer change my site.  I don’t want money at this moment, but pledges-cash and contingency awards would be greatly accepted.


With your help we can kick Wisconsin’s butt twice in 12 months-in football in a few weeks, and in Fans Fund too.  Plus we can show that not only do late model rule dirt track racing, but so do late model fans.


Thanks for stopping by.