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Archive for April, 2013

A Lack Of Enthusiasm

April 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Apparently I don’t listen as closely as I should to my son Matt. He tells me that on a regular basis, and yesterday explained that I had made a mistake on my blog. Club tickets to Omaha Storm Chaser games are not $10.00 as I posted, rather $15.50 on Sunday-Thursday and $16.50 on Friday and Saturday. The tickets are located directly behind home plate and offer access to the Jim Beam Club.

Still, you know when you go to a ball game that it will start on time, and that approximately three hours later you will be walking out the front gate to your car after watching a complete game. Not many tracks can say they start on time and finish their program in just three hours. I’m not too smart, but it seems to me that might be a big reason why fans don’t flock to the track.

Below is my http://www.DirtonDirt.com Top 25 ballot for the week. I did make some changes, factoring in the tire penalties assessed Jimmy Owens and Jason Feger. I also rewarded drivers who raced last weekend over drivers who did not race.

2013 WEEKLY DRIVER POLL BALLOT

Name Ron Meyer
Please Enter Date Below
Position 04/29/13
1 Josh Richards
2 Jimmy Owens
3 Don O’Neal
4 Shane Clanton
5 Dennis Erb Jr.
6 Darrell Lanigan
7 Brian Birkhofer
8 Billy Moyer
9 Tim McCreadie
10 Jonathan Davenport
11 Scott Bloomquist
12 Steve Francis
13 Rick Eckert
14 Steve Casebolt
15 Eddie Carrier Jr.
16 Mike Marlar
17 Scott James
18 Eric Wells
19 John Blankenship
20 Jimmy Mars
21 Earl Pearson Jr.
22 Bobby Pierce
23 Bub McCool
24 Jason Feger
25 Tim Fuller

As always, check out the site for the combined rankings of the 19 voters.

I have to admit this was probably the least enthusiastic I have been since I was asked to be one of the site’s voters. To me the raft of tire penalties in late model racing is scandalous and calls to question the integrity of the sport. I fear it is becoming like steroids in baseball where even those who may not want to do it feel they have to or lose money to those who do.

One thing that bothers me is that perhaps only now is technology to catch tire cheaters catching up with the technology tire cheaters use.
And that is why so many penalties are coming out. A former crew chief suggested that there are new treatments coming out and competitors may be trying to see what they can get away with before the start of the big money season begins later this month. Why do I picture some wizened old timer with a chaw of Red Man filling his cheek and tobacco juice running down his chin thinking that cheating the system is a good thing? And we wonder why non-fans label anyone going to a dirt track show as rednecks.

I realize that since the very first race between motorized vehicles, competitors have been trying to gain an advantage on others they race against. “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t winning” is a saying that irritates the hell out of me. To push the envelope-nice paragraph, full of clichés-is one thing. If the intent is to cheat, that is a case when severe penalties need to be enforced.

I understand that intent is the key word. Did Jason Feger intend to doctor his tires with an illegal chemical, or was he merely cleaning them for winter storage as he contends? If he didn’t intend to, the penalty could be a fine-$1,500 pops into my mind for some reason-and he should be put on probation, with his tires checked regularly no matter where he finishes in races. If an appeal board decides there was intent, then the penalty should be as severe as has been mentioned-forfeiting his $20,000 winning from the Illini 100, suspension for 90 from all WoO and UMP races, as well as a fine and probation.

I think intent needs to be determined in the Jimmy Owens case too. Owens contends he was 100% legal, and his tires have never been a problem in Lucas Oil series tests. Bloomquist gave a long reason why his tires did not pass the recent test, and given how little I know, he may be telling the truth-it was not his first tire issue though. As far as Chris Madden, 4 times caught certainly shows intent and he needs to be hammered with a penalty from all sanctioning bodies.

When I started this blog I had no intention of turning it into another tire rant, but this issue has me wondering why bother caring about the sport any more if its participants care so little about the reputation of the sport.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Time Gentlemen, Plus Lapped Cars

April 29, 2013 Leave a comment

Ben Shelton had a great column in this month’s edition of Dirt Late Model magazine. It seems like I am not the only person who thinks that starting a show 45 minutes to an hour or more after the advertised time is not a good thing. Shelton makes his living covering the sport and sees far more races than I do. Although he has not marked late starting times on a calendar, he believes as many as 7 out of 10 dirt track shows start late. Wow. Name one other sport as bad as dirt track racing for late starts. You can’t-there aren’t any.

He went on to point out unorganized cautions as a source of some irritation. As I read his column I kept repeating “Amen, brother!” His point here was that many times it seems like minutes after a caution flag flies before a tow truck moves-minutes that add on to the length of the show. Then more minutes than necessary are spent clearing the track and getting cars lined up for the restart. When tracks are running 5-6 classes per night, they need to do everything possible to save time, not waste it.

Another columnist writing about safety wondered how many tracks practice or at least talk about what to do in various scenarios. You might think that is a no brainer, but I wonder. If safety personnel and the tow truck operators have in mind what they should be doing in a specific instance, it saves time and more importantly, seconds could be of great importance in a bad crash.

I do think it is important to start on time, at least close to the advertised time. Matt and I attended a baseball game at Haymarket Part in Lincoln on Wednesday, and the first pitch was three minutes after the scheduled time. On Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha the first pitch of game one was five minutes late, and of game two, one minute late. With racing that would almost seem like an early start.

Even more important than starting on time is finishing by 10:00 p.m. That is the witching hour. People with little children are not going to stay longer. People who have to get up early the next morning to go to work don’t want to stay longer. With 5-6 classes if a show does not start on time there is no way it will be over by 10:00 p.m. Fans will be walking out without seeing feature races and that is a very, VERY bad thing. The casual fan is going to spend his entertainment money where he gets the most enjoyment, and if he misses the most important part of the racing show because it is running too long, he is going to spend that money elsewhere.

The following comment was made by someone trying to pass himself off as Ryne Sandberg: “Bruto missed a good game at Werner Park!! The Storm Chasers were whooped by the Iowa Cubs, but it was still a good game and an exciting atmosphere. Hadn’t yet been to a Storm Chasers game, but I was pleasantly surprised!

Nice park, good game, GREAT stadium steaks!!!!”

Matt has made this comment to me several times-for $10.00 you can sit in club seats close to the action at Werner Field and watch past and future big league ball players in action. There are rides and other activities for kids and there lots of promotions too. And the concessions are decent too.

I blog about auto racing not baseball-well not usually-but instead of spending our entertainment money going racing this last week, we spent it going to baseball games. We thought that baseball was the better value. From several emails I received, I am glad we decided to do baseball. I am pretty sure I would not have been a happy camper this morning had we decided on racing instead.

Only 22 cars were on hand for the SLMR show at Butler County Speedway. Kyle Berck won the feature, followed by JC Wyman and Andrew Kosiski.

I have expressed my opinion many times on lapped traffic affecting the outcome of a race. Too many times a great race is ruined because someone a lap or more down does not get out of the way of leaders. Last night at Duck River Raceway Park the top THREE cars in the WoO show were involved in a crash with a lapped car with just three laps remaining. Instead of finishing 1-2-3, Josh Richards, Scott James, and Rick Eckert crashed trying to get around the lapped car of Mark Gant, a local driver, and finished 9th, 11th, and 12th.

Enough ranting. Thanks for stopping by.

The Rain, The Park, & Other Things

April 28, 2013 2 comments

Matt and I spent most of the day at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha watching Nebraska lose a baseball double header to Oklahoma State. The normally fun to watch hitting attack of NU was no fun at all. “Everybody was kung fu fighting.” Make that fake kung fu fighting-there was lots of swings, but very few hits. Where do I begin with the Husker pitching? Try the intersection of Suck Avenue and Can’t Keep A Lead Boulevard. Nebraska pitching is the B modified division of college baseball.

NU has now lost four straight games, games the team really needed to win to be considered for an at large berth in the NCAA tournament. Despite it all, we continue to go to their games-we are going to a game again next week. What can I say? Blame Matt. And yes, I still would rather go to an NU baseball game than watch sprint car races.

TRODT Speedway was shut down last night. While it was sunny in Nebraska, it was rainy in Illinois and Kentucky. Next up for XSANTV is late models from Southern Ohio Speedway on Friday and Saturday. The Friday preliminary pays $4,000 to win, while Saturday’s 100 lap feature will pay a stout $12,000 to the victor.

I only looked on the Facebook page of Nebraska 360 Sprints, the website for Nebraska 360 Sprints, the Butler County Speedway website, and the forums of Butler County Speedway and N360 Sprints on dirtdrivers.com, so maybe results were somewhere else, but the only news I can pass on about the debut of the series was that Jack Dover won the inaugural feature. I have nothing on how many cars, or who finished behind Dover.

The Scott brother rumbling through the USMTS series isn’t Stormy, but his twin Johnny. Johnny Scott won his second USMTS feature of the weekend, adding another $4,000 to his bank account. 42 USMTS mods filled the pits at Southern Oklahoma Speedway in Ardmore. One of the things I like about this series is that the big names often have to qualify through a B main to make the A feature. Last night Jason Hughes, Rodney Sanders, and Kelly Shryock all ran in a B. Another thing I like is there is plenty of passing. Sanders started 15th and raced to 5th, while Shryock started 17th and finished just behind Sanders.

After racing in Texas and Oklahoma this weekend, the series heads north in the coming week. First up is a Thursday show at Rice Lake Speedway in Wisconsin. Friday night the best of the best modified drivers head to Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Fountain City, Wisconsin, and finish the weekend with a Saturday show at Ogilvie Raceway in Minnesota. Ryan Gustin will be racing with the USMTS this weekend after racing a late model with the MARS series. Gustin finished 19th at Tri-City Speedway in Pocola, Oklahoma on Friday, and the race at Muskogee was postponed until tonight.

The WoO race at Tazewell Speedway was rained out. The series heads to Duck River Raceway Park in Wheel, Tennessee tonight.

Yes, I did watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Richmond last night. It was a race. I did nap, but not long. I do not regret spending time watching it. And, of course, I wonder who NASCAR will clobber with a huge penalty this week. Juan Pablo Montoya looked like he had the race won, but a late lap caution allowed Kevin Harvick to win for the first time this season. Clint Bowyer finished second. Among those wrecking at least once were Mark Martin, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, and Jimmy Johnson. Next week is Talladega for the most hyped series in all of motor sports.

There is no race today, no baseball game I am going to, so maybe I’ll read a book, work the Sunday crossword puzzle and take a nice nap. Thanks for stopping by.

Owens, POWRI Midgets, USMTS, WoO, Feger, And More

April 27, 2013 1 comment

Jimmy Owens is appealing the NDRL ruling that he used a chemically altered tire in route to his win at Federated I-55 Speedway in Pevely, Missouri. It would be interesting to learn more than the decision of the appeal board-i.e. witnesses and rebuttals, as well as the reasoning behind the decision. I doubt that will happen, but given the problems that continue to crop up regarding illegal tires, I think it would be appropriate for a more open process. Owens raced with the WoO series last night in Tennessee.

TRODT Speedway was showing racing from Jacksonville Speedway in Illinois courtesy of XSANTV. POWRI Midgets, Micro Sprints, 410 Outlaw Winged Sprints, and Street Stocks were racing. I have to admit I like the size challenged open wheel cars. Not quite as much as the 410 non-winged sprints, but a lot more than any of the winged open wheel cars.

Unfortunately, when these cars go over, they go over and over and over. What might be just a rut for a Street Stock is a launching pad for a midget. And as my friend Randy has pointed out, there is no wing to absorb the energy of the crash.

It would be an expensive show, but a non-winged 410 and midget show would be a good one. I suppose that spells USAC, one of my least favorite acronyms, but it would still be a good show. Illinois has a 4 night POWRI Midget week in June. Even with Micro Sprints as a support class, those would still be decent races. XSANTV will televise 7-9 more POWRI events, and yes, I will be watching them.

Whoever did the scheduling in Jacksonville gets two thumbs up from TRODT. The POWRI midget semi’s followed the heats. A micro sprint semi came after the midget semi’s and the midget feature was the first feature staged. Shane Cockrum won his first POWRI midget feature, and was followed across the finish line by Andrew Felker, and Darren Hagen-like I know who the hell these guys are.

Call me stupid, but since this was the first time I ever watched micro sprints, I don’t understand why they don’t have to be pushed, while sprints do.

The modified show from Kentucky scheduled for tonight has been cancelled. XSANTV did some scrambling-they are very good at this-and will webstream the show from Fairbury American Legion Speedway in Illinois in place of the mod action.

While there was a lull in the action from Jacksonville, I was checking updates from the $5,000 to win UMP DIRTcar show at Farmer’s City, Illinois and the WoO event from Smoky Mountain Speedway on http://www.DirtonDirt.com. Yeah, that is almost sick. That I also checked out the USMTS site for any updates from Kennedale Speedway Park in Texas probably was a little over the top. There were no updates last night, but results this morning show that Johnny Scott won the race, taking home $4,000. Chris Brown won the USMTS feature on Thursday, but had to use a provisional to make last night’s show. He finished 8th. The other provisional went to Iowan Zack VanderBeek, putting Stormy Scott on the trailer after he finished 14th is his B Main. Wherever USMTS champion Ryan Gustin might have been, it was not in Texas last night.

There were 35 cars on hand for the WoO race. Mike Marlar set fast time. Heat winners were Steve Casebolt, Marlar, Shane Clanton, and Jonathan Davenport. Clanton led every lap of the feature, with Casebolt, Jimmy Owens, and Josh Richards following him across the finish line.

In Farmers City, Tyler Reddick set fast time. Heat winners were Brian Shirley, Kevin Weaver, Dennis Erb Jr., and Ryan Unzicker. Jason Feger, like Jimmy Owens another possible tire miscreant, passed Erb with three laps left in the feature to take the win. Erb finished second, Bobby Pierce was third, and Reddick finished fourth. 32 cars signed in.

Interesting that Feger and Owens not only chose to race this weekend, but put on quite a show, seeming to make the statement that tires that tested outside benchmark figures had nothing to do with their big time wins earlier in the season. I haven’t followed Feger enough to really comment on his success, but Owens has been a dominant figure in the Lucas Oil series the past few years, meaning he has had to have tires checked frequently and nothing was found amiss. I am beyond confused on this issue.

In fact, I am so confused I am getting ready to go to Omaha to watch NU play baseball against Oklahoma State today. I am not going to think about tires at all. Tonight I’ll watch either the NASCAR race from Richmond or go to XSANTV to watch the dirt track show from Fairbury American Legion Speedway in Illinois.
Thanks for stopping by.

Quirky Denizens, Including Three Sprint Car Series-Friday Post #2

April 26, 2013 1 comment

When possible I like to prepare my blog posts a day in advance. I had this post prepared Thursday night and it was going to be my post for today, until Jimmy Owens was busted for an illegal tire. So, you get two posts from me today. Be sure to read my “Re-Tired” post too.

I have been reading about baseball in the 50’s. To me that decade and the early 60’s was the sport’s golden age. Yes, it does coincide with my youth, but if you take a serious look at all the stars and great teams of that era, you would have to agree with me.

Actually, I have not been reading about baseball stars of the era, rather workman like players who filled out rosters and never got much publicity for their efforts. To put it nicely, some of these players were rather strange. Oddball might be an appropriate word. Crazy, flaky, and kooky also fit. Though baseball had-and has-more than its fair share of unique individuals, it is not the only sport with whack jobs.

Most of us know of some quirky denizens who haunt our local tracks, but think of this-even with track closings in recent years, there are still close to 1,000 dirt tracks in the USA. I can think of 6-7 incomparable souls sitting by me at the races, so applying the law of average, there has to be at least 100 unparalleled race rarities at most tracks. A conservative estimate of dirt track double talkers would be 100,000. Think of how many books I could write just about the characters of dirt track racing. Think of how many of those books no one would buy, let alone read. Of course those unrivaled race track fiends could be the source of 100,000 blogs. Isn’t that a scary thought?

A certain nameless race track fiend has a birthday next week. In case I forget in a few days, Happy Birthday to one of the real wits of dirt track racing. Who is it? Hint: his racing nickname came from a really bad movie starring Burt Reynolds. Yeah, Burt Reynolds had a lot of bad movies, but the person I am talking of is not named Smokey, Bandit, Gator, Boss Hogg, Jack Horner, David Dilbeck, Stick, J.J. McClure, or Billy Clyde Puckett.

I am being badgered to attend the WoO Sprint Car show at I-80 Speedway on June 9th, and not by a sprint car fan. This blackmailer is offering a sizable donation to the Silver Dollar Nationals Fans Fund if I attend, so I may have to. Anyway, there is nothing better in racing than a sprint car show with B Mods as a support class. Oh wait, there are a lot of things better in racing. Well, I still am going to go, even if my race going buddy does not.

The 410 WoO driving divas were to race at both the Salina High Banks in Oklahoma and I-55 Speedway in Pevely, Missouri this weekend. The Oklahoma race is still a go, but the race in Missouri has been cancelled. The track south of St. Louis is near Mississippi River tributaries, and there is major flooding along the Mississippi. The Heartlands have moved from severe drought to major flooding in just a few weeks-amazing. Unfortunately a lot of the moisture that Midland farmers need is heading to the Gulf of Mexico.

I had hopes that at least one of the WoO late model Tennessee Triple Header would be televised on DIRTvision.com, but none are. I would love to see what Tazewell Speedway is like. I am not really into listening to races-it doesn’t seem to be as conducive as stick and ball sports to audio, but anyone who wants to listen to those shows can listen for free. Just go to the DIRTvision.com site and click on the “watch/listen” icon. The site won’t cybercast late models again until June 26th-27th with the Firecracker 100 from Lernerville, Pennsylvania.

The UNOH All-Stars 410 sprints are in Pennsylvania to do battle with the famed Pennsylvania Posse this weekend. Friday racing is at Williams Grove Speedway and Saturday action is at Port Royal Speedway.

Last, but certainly not least, I would be remiss if I did not mention as I have several times in the past, the Nebraska 360 Sprint Car Series opens its season Saturday night at Butler County Speedway, north and east of Rising City, Nebraska. Believe it or not, I have been to Rising City-the town, not the track-about 20 times, though not for many years. I don’t know if it is still the case, but when I went there Rising City was one of the few small Nebraska towns that did not have a bar. I have only been to the track twice, and the third time will not be the charm this weekend Randy.

I enjoy kidding my sprint car friends because they deserve it. I do hope that this series is a major success though. Good people are running the series, and I don’t want to see a form of racing that I keep hearing was founded in Nebraska come to an end in the Cornhusker State.

Again, this is actually my second post for Friday. Please read “Re-Tired” too. Thanks for stopping by.

Re-Tired. This Is Getting Out Of Hand.

April 26, 2013 1 comment

Yet another name driver has been stripped of a major race win because of tires that failed to meet benchmark standards in a lab test. Jimmy Owens must forfeit his NDRL win at Federated Auto Parts I-55 Speedway, along with the $20,000 winner’s share of the purse. Owens must also pay a $1,500 fine and pay lab test costs before he will be allowed to compete in further NDRL events.
It seems like every time I visit http://www.DirtonDirt.com I am reading of a driver being penalized for illegal tires. Scott Bloomquist, Chris Madden, Jason Feger, and now Owens-all have been penalized within the past month. Exploring gray areas is almost expected of racers, but if samples are being taken of tires at national and regional events, even weekly races, it seems the likelihood of getting caught is great and the risks are extreme. I realize that a sizable number of drivers are trying to make a living on dirt, that most are highly talented and experienced, and even if they are racing for more money than ever before, the pie isn’t that great when you divide it. Are tires becoming dirt track racing’s equivalent of steroids? Is everyone trying to get an edge with tires?
Or, is there something wrong with the test procedures?

As far as the DoD Top 25 balloting, every voter will have to determine their own thinking regarding tire penalties. Chris Madden is not in my Top 25, the other three are. My vote for Feger was primarily due to his victory in the Illini 100. With that taken away I don’t have a lot of reason to list him on my ballot. Owens and Bloomquist are an entirely different matter. A Top 25 without either of these drivers is a joke.

If I go with the same thinking on these drivers as I did with Feger, I would discount a 5th place finish in a Southern Spring Nationals event for Bloomquist and Owens first place NDRL finish. With that thinking I would not drop Bloomquist at all. Owens would certainly drop below Josh Richards, though how much farther I am not sure. I have the weekend to think about what I am going to do with my vote.

I do not have a clue as to how to stop tire cheating. Madden seems to have become a serial offender-maybe he isn’t cheating more than others, he is just getting caught again and again. Bloomquist has been around the block more than once regarding tires, but I can’t recall reading anything about Feger or Owens having been penalized for illegal tires in the past. Should a multi-time offender be treated different than a first time offender? Should a first time offender be suspended? For how long? Should a multi-time offender face a stiffer penalty?

Would an agreement between sanctioning bodies help the situation? God forbid that for a moment egos could be set aside for the betterment of the sport. There are several national tours and more regional tours than I can count. If a driver is suspended by one sanctioning body he can merely travel a different road to some other track and race with another tour. What if that wasn’t the case? What if the sanctions agreed that a suspension by one would be a suspension by all? When getting caught means losing one’s source of income, I would think any racer earning a living on dirt would not chemically treat a tire again.

When two of the most successful late model drivers in recent years are smacked down in a short period of time, I honestly do not know what to think. Should I be disappointed? I am. Should I be angered? Should I be outraged? I’m not. Maybe I have been around the sport so long that I am inured to cheating. I would like to think not, but I just do not know. Perhaps most bothersome to me is it won’t be long before the integrity of the sport is called to question. That is a sad situation.

Thanks for stopping by.

NASCAR Math: 3 Paper Clips = $200,000 Plus More Dirt

April 25, 2013 2 comments

Although I have written about him recently-mainly to incite one reader-I am not a big fan of Matt Kenseth. Actually, I am not a little fan either. Still, I was surprised when I found out the engine from his Kansas win failed to pass inspection and the Joe Gibbs racing team was hit with a huge penalty.

Apparently a connecting rod in the engine was too light. I am techno challenged, but experts have claimed that this was likely a quality control problem on the part (JGR engines are provided by Toyota Racing Development) and would not have provided a competitive advantage. The rod was 2.3 grams light-about the weight of three small paper clips. The neighboring rod was actually 4 grams overweight.

So, JGR did not realize it had an illegal part, and the part was not responsible for Kenseth’s win. Of course there should be some type of penalty, but a week after issuing bizarre penalties to Roger Penske teams, NASCAR officials issued Kenseth insane penalties. Kenseth was docked 50 points-more than what winning the race got him, plus the win does not count for seeding in The Chase or to secure a wild card spot in The Chase. Kenseth’s crew chief Jason Radcliff was fined $200,000 and suspended for six races. Joe Gibbs had his owner’s license suspended for the next six races.

The penalties for JGR and Penske Racing are simply absurd. Hit the drivers with a 25 point penalty-plenty severe-fine the crew chiefs $25,000 and put them on probation for six races. The severity of the penalties, especially if they are abated in the appeal process, makes NASCAR makes NASCAR a joke with no punch line. Only in NASCAR-and maybe the Pentagon-do three paper clips cost $200,000.

Matt talked last night about going to the baseball games in Omaha on Saturday, but coming home in time to watch the Sprint Cup race from Richmond that night. While Richmond is one of the better tracks on the NASCAR circuit, I am not enthused at all about the race. Two weeks ago I did not watch the Sprint Cup race at all. Last Sunday I watched less than 25% of the race. I want to watch racing, racing where the winner is decided on the track, not in the pits or in some boardroom in Daytona Beach. Maybe I’ll just watch UMP modifieds from Kentucky on XSANTV on Saturday night.

Speaking of baseball, yes it was chilly last night in Lincoln. I thought of taking a blanket, should have taken a blanket, but did not take a blanket, a lack of action I regretted. I enjoy baseball though, and sorry Randy, much more than I do watching sprint cars in action. Nebraska has a great hitting team, but until they get some pitching, their record is going to remain mediocre. A slew of pitchers gave up 15 hits to Kansas State, walked 8 batters, and hit 4 other batters. Nebraska trailed 8-1 after two innings, but came back to take the lead 9-8 in the fifth inning. Unfortunately NU pitchers gave up 5 runs in the sixth and seventh innings and the Huskers lost 13-8.

I just checked the http://www.Dirtondirt.com Top 25 poll, and it does differ from mine. Four of my Top 25 were not included when the ballots were combined, and yes, enough of the other 18 voters added Chad Simpson to their ballot to secure a spot in the Top 25 for the Iowan.

I have been chastised for not including Simpson on my ballot, but I believe emotion overrules logic in a case or two on all of the ballots. It does with me on three different drivers-one up, one down, and one not around. The strangest things might trigger my emotion, but as some promoters know, I have a very long memory.

I submitted my ballot before I knew of the Jason Feger suspension, and others must have too as he remained in the Top 25. I am not sure how I will consider Feger in the next ballot. Much of his ranking came because of the Illini 100 victory, and he has now been DQ’ed in that race, but is appealing the penalties.

Some of you might think I am a hypocrite regarding Simpson. Too bad. I mean that as politely as possible. Some of you might think I am a hypocrite for my low ranking of Darrell Lanigan. I downgrade Lanigan for not competing outside the WoO, but it is doubtful many Lucas Oil drivers will be racing with the WoO during that sanction’s Tennessee Triple Header this weekend, even though the Lucas Oil series is off. My problem with Lanigan is not his skipping a regular series race put on by another sanction, it is skipping big dollar events like the North-South 100 or the NDRL race at Paducah, both not far from where he lives. Yeah, the man can race wherever he wants-and I can rank him wherever I want.

Matt and I flirted briefly with going to LaSalle Speedway in Illinois on May 10th and 11th for the Spring Shoot-Out, two complete Lucas Oil shows. Yes, we love the Lucas Oil late models. LaSalle is about 420 miles from Fremont, but mostly interstate highway. With Matt behind the wheel the trip would take a lot less time than MapQuest says. Unfortunately family priorities are making that a no-go. Instead, we are thinking of Lakeside Speedway on the Tuesday before the Silver Dollar Nationals for a Lucas Oil/USMTS show. We also love the USMTS.

Thanks for stopping by.