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Archive for June, 2013

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Some Other Race

June 30, 2013 1 comment

Call them 360 mods. Call them Northern or Southern Sport mods. Call them Midwest Modifieds. Make up a name, I have. It doesn’t matter, a B mod by any other name still stinks up the track. What happens in Nebraska happens in Minnesota. And Wisconsin, And Illinois. And dozens of other states. B mods have spread throughout the US like a plague from the bible. The machines are diabolical and the drivers demented. Even Congress does not irritate me as much as this division does.
Last night at Adams County Speedway in Corning was typical of tracks everywhere. A 15 lap B mod feature took 30 minutes to complete. Pregnant women on bicycles could finish 15 laps at Corning quicker than B mods. An older man-older being 15 more calendar years than I claim-sitting behind us made a wise statement. His comment: “This will take forever. The same thing happened last week.” And, likely the week before too-unless it rained that week. Maybe the Fans Fund donation should be changed from supporting late models at the Silver Dollar Nationals to getting rid of B mods everywhere.
For much of the race it appeared the late model Liberty 50 was going to finish its 50 laps in less time than the 15 lap B mod feature. A flurry of late race yellow flags changed that. Ryan Gustin led the first 14 laps, and Tony Jackson Jr. led the final 36 laps. There was a lot of speed in the race, but it really could have finished when there was a caution on lap 31. After that Chris Simpson moved from 3rd to 2nd, Terry Phillips moved from 4th to 3rd, Ryan Gustin dropped from 2nd to 5th, Bart Simpson aka Chad moved from 6th to 4th, Tommy Weder Jr. dropped from 5th to 6th, and Kyle Berck passed Denny Eckrich for the 12th spot. That they lined up single file on cautions says a lot about track conditions.
Congratulations to the quixotic Will Vaught for what may be the season’s head up your butt award. Vaught started far back in his heat and moved to second. All he had to do to run the qualifying dash that determined the first three rows of the feature was to maintain his position. Instead he tried a banzai slide job on race leader Justin Gregg and wrecked both of them coming out of turn four on the last lap of the heat. Instead of starting no lower than 6th, Vaught ended up starting 17th. He moved from 17th to 10th, instead of a likely top five finish.
Despite comments from the MLRA announcer lobbying for a Top 25 ranking for Tony Jackson Jr., it is not happening on my ballot. A quick check shows Jackson with three feature wins, same as Ryan Gustin. I would argue that Gustin’s Friday win at I-80 Speedway was a better win than Jackson’s at ACS. Jackson’s win and fourth for the weekend was no better than Gustin’s win and fifth place finish. And, I don’t consider just one weekend when I am ranking my top 25. Does Jackson deserve more credit that Brian Harris who is not ranked in the top 25, but has won four straight Deery Brothers races? I don’t think so. Jackson does have the opportunity to move into my top 25 in the next three weeks by running well at the Diamond Nationals at Lucas Oil Speedway, than challenging Lucas Oil series drivers at Lakeside Speedway, Hamilton County Speedway, and the Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway.
I made the mistake of purchasing the Firecracker 100 preliminary Saturday afternoon PPV. I was thinking of calling it a full day of racing, but there was more racing at Adams County Speedway than there was in the 30 lap preliminary feature. In the re-draw for feature starting positions, Josh Richards drew the pole, and Shane Clanton the outside pole. Guess where they finished? Live and learn, though in my case I probably didn’t learn much.
Richards made it 3 for 3 in the $30,000 to win hundred lap finale. Tim McCreadie finished 2nd, and Darrell Lanigan was 3rd, meaning I am a fan of one of the top three in the race-hint: it isn’t Richards or Lanigan. Brian Birkhofer would have had a better weekend if he had UMP’ed it. Birky had a sub-par 14th-17th-21st for the three nights of racing at Lernerville.
After two nights of live racing, plus the Lernerville PPV on Thursday night and Saturday afternoon, I don’t know if I am up for another night of racing, but I might tune in for some of XSANTV’s IMCA modified Great Basin Showdown from Ely, Nevada tonight. Some. I am already thinking of a nap during the NASCAR Sprint Cup race that was rained out last night and is about ready to start.
Nothing new on the Fans Fund, and that is hardly a surprise. Thanks for stopping by.

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Ryan Gustin Knows His ABC’s

June 29, 2013 1 comment

When you think of Ryan Gustin, you think of a talented young driver who dominated the ultra-competitive USMTS the past few seasons. He is in his rookie year as a late model driver and already is proving he is much more than just a modified driver. Last night Gustin picked up his 3rd late model feature win of the season, and did so in a convincing fashion against a strong regional field of drivers.
49 late model drivers were on hand for the Alphabet Soup Race. None of the support classes had more than a full field, a good thing. There were no serious cautions-not even in the B Mods, and MLRA officials did not even irritate me until the caution with two laps left in the late model A feature. There was good racing in the late model heats and feature, something that does not always happen. The weather was nice, the crowd was good, and I was surrounded by seven smart asses, so there were plenty of laughs during the evening.
Other thoughts:
-I like the barbecue sandwich, but at $5.00 it is overpriced.
-Chris Simpson had a good run, going from 13th at the start to a 3rd place finish. If caution that came out with 2 laps to go had come out with 6 laps remaining, he might have won the race. His brother Bart started a few spots ahead of him and finished 5th. Yes, I do know what I just said.
-The Marquette Missile showed he had more speed than the Osceola Rocket. Dylan Smith may be heir apparent to the best driver in Nebraska throne, but as he showed in the A Mod feature, Kyle Berck is not ready to give up his crown yet.
-Anyone arriving late for the races, and giving a bogus excuse, does not get credit in the Ron-Matt-Tony fan competition.
-I am OK with the winner of the late model race getting a provisional for the Silver Dollar Nationals feature. I don’t really agree that the winner gets $3700 because the provisional to the SDN is worth $1300. I also do not agree with the feature being just 35 laps.
-Why does it take only a lap, two laps at the most for the USMTS to get the line up correct on a restart, but it takes lap after lap after lap after lap for the MLRA to do so? Both have transponders.
-Randy Palmer’s tutor came by for a chat. I had an adjective between Palmer’s and tutor, but Matt said I could not use it. Anyway it is always nice talking with another sprint car fan.
-Ken Schrader will be racing at the Silver Dollar Nationals. While I do not think that causes the same buzz as 10-12 years ago, Schrader is still one of the sport’s goodwill ambassadors and I am glad to see he will be at I-80 Speedway in July. I am a little confused as to whether he is running a USMTS modified or a Lucas Oil late model or both. Anyway, with all the provisions the track gives out for late model races, they ought to add a “really nice old NASCAR driver provisional” if Schrader does not make the feature.
-It was also announced that Jimmy Owens will be racing in both the late models and USMTS modifieds at SDN III. The current Lucas Oil series point leader is a past modified champion and builds modified chassis, so this is no stretch.
Tonight will be the Liberty 50 at Corning, barring moisture from the heavens. 50 laps and $5,000 to win at Corning, but same series, same cars was 35 laps and $3,700 to win at I-80 Speedway.
Elsewhere, Billy Moyer broke out of a slump-well, slump for him-winning $10,000 in an UMP Series race at Tri-City Speedway last night. The second night of Firecracker 100 preliminaries was postponed because of rain. Barring bad weather again today, the preliminary event will run this afternoon and the Firecracker 100 will run tonight. And you can still get PPV of each on http://www.DirtonDirt.com.
If anyone wants to donate to the Fans Fund for the Silver Dollar Nationals, please go to http://www.therestofthedirt.com. On the right side of the home page is information on how to donate. There were no donations today.
Thanks for stopping by.

Time For Some ABC’s, er CBC’s, MARS, Plus MLRA

June 28, 2013 1 comment

I received several comments on a recent post discussing the Hawkeye Dirt Tour. First from Ivan Tracy:
“Jay Noteboom was in a terrific roll over accident and destroyed a 3 race old car. He was taken to the hospital.”
Thanks Ivan. I Googled “Jay Noteboom” trying to find more information on the crash and his condition, but did not find much. There was a Facebook video supposedly showing him in action last night at the “Clash at the Creek,” running a heat during the preliminary night of the $10,000 to win Modified show at 141 Speedway in Francis Creek, Wisconsin.

From Tom McLaughlin:

“Don’t think too many guys follow the HDT but on paper in looks like Alta had a pretty stout field of cars and if Alta was an hour closer I’d have gone. You’d think a track like Harlan that gets 20+ mods a night would want to run one of these. Alta doesn’t seem to have trouble drawing a crowd on a Tuesday night.”

I have to agree with TMC about Harlan. It seems like the people running the track will not go out of their comfort zone-the weekly show and the Tiny Lund Memorial year end special. I would love to see a Tuesday or Wednesday night Deery Brothers or Hawkeye Dirt Tour show at Harlan. Ditto Denison, and even Stuart.

Josh Richards battled Steve Shaver for the lead for the first half of the race in the Firecracker 100 preliminary, and then pulled away until a late lap caution bunched the field. Richards still won easily, picking up $6,000 and increasing his point lead over Shane Clanton and Darrell Lanigan. Eric Wells finished 3rd.

Brandon Sheppard continued his winning ways on the UMP Hell Tour, coming home first at Clayhill Motorsports Park in Atwood, Tennessee.
Dennis Erb Jr. finished 2nd, followed by Ryan Unzicker. The tour has three straight $10,000 to win shows this weekend-at Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky, Federated Auto Parts Raceway in Pevely, Missouri, and Lincoln Speedway in Lincoln Illinois.

If MLRA officials would run a program with 1/10th the efficiency that WoO officials ran last night’s Firecracker 100 preliminary at Lernerville Speedway, you would never read “if MLRA officials would run a program with 1/10th the efficiency.” Yes, I know the threat of rain kept the races moving, but to me, the time WoO officials used to reset the field during cautions bordered on USMTS efficiency, and in all the years I have watched MLRA races, that level has never been approached. We’ll see what happens tonight at the Alphabet Soup Race at I-80 Speedway.

Since the MLRA is the only late model game in town-well, the MLRA and the CBC and MARS are also racing tonight-I’ll go and hope for a good time with my friends, Guru, Matt, Tom, Don, Dirt/Ice(?), and of course threatening me with bodily harm often, Tony Anville. Late models, friends, an overpriced barbecue sandwich or two, and nice weather; I couldn’t ask for more.

From Facts You Did Not Know:
-Bromine is a chemical used to keep carpets from catching fire. It had been part of the mix of Gatorade drinks, but PepsiCo is removing it from Gatorade. It had also been a part of Mountain Dew and PepsiCo has no plans to remove it from that drink. You’ve heard of Mountain Dew-The Official Soft Drink of 305 Sprint Car Fans and Drivers.

Finally, to contribute to the Silver Dollar Fans Fund, please go to

http://www.therestofthedirt.com

Fans Fund information is located on the right hand side of the home page. Click on the amount you would like to donate, click “Donate Now,” and follow the instructions.

Dan Shea contributed $10 today. Thanks Dan. The total donated is now $1320.

Thanks for stopping by.

Bloomquist To Silver Dollar Nationals???

June 27, 2013 Leave a comment

For the first time in five years, Scott Bloomquist missed a Lucas Oil point race last weekend. Actually he missed all three series races last weekend, and is no longer running for the Lucas Oil championship. There is a very good interview of Bloomquist by Dave Argabright on http://www.DirtonDirt.com. The Zero car driver talks of his decision to stop chasing points and also discusses his future.

If you have been too cheap to subscribe to http://www.DirtonDirt.com you are missing out on tons of stories, videos, and results on late models across the United States. If you are a hardcore fan, you need to subscribe. For Tony Anville, the cost is $1.25 per week. You’ll be spending more than that on Hostess Twinkies when they go back on sale July 15th, so brush the cobwebs off your credit card and sign up.

Bloomquist has listed this weekend’s Firecracker 100 at Lernerville Speedway as “tentative.” It is hard to believe he would pass up a $30,000 to win crown jewel event, but he may. He also has listed the Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway as tentative. He did make some nice comments about the event and the track after last year’s event, but I hope promoter Joe Kosiski is bending Scott’s ear about coming to Nebraska.

While series point racing does work for some, and has for Bloomquist for many years, being an independent can work too. Hall of Famer Billy Moyer is able to pick and choose races he wants to run. So do Jimmy Mars and Brian Birkhofer. All are able to make a living off the sport, though all are now into chassis building too.

I’ll be following the Firecracker 100 on DOD’s Pay per View tonight. Lernerville Speedway has been on my bucket list, and this might be the only way I get to watch races at that legendary track. I am not sure if I am going to purchase the entire three day package or just tonight, with the Alphabet Soup Race at I-80 Speedway on tap for the Meyer’s tomorrow night, and the Liberty 50 from Adams County Speedway tentatively on for Saturday night. Go to the DOD website to get details.

Brandon Sheppard continued his winning ways in the UMP Summernationals, chalking up a victory at Clarksville Speedway in Tennessee last night. 32 cars were on hand. Sheppard has a better than one race lead in series point standings over Shannon Babb. The series stays in Tennessee tonight, racing at Clayhill Motorsports Park in Atwood.

While I do enjoy the races XSANTV covers, I wish they could sign a deal with a late model tour, like the UMP Summernationals. Watching late models on week nights for a month would be a good thing.

Finally, to contribute to the Silver Dollar Fans Fund, please go to

http://www.therestofthedirt.com

Fans Fund information is located on the right hand side of the home page. Click on the amount you would like to donate, click “Donate Now,” and follow the instructions.

Thank you. And I haven’t made any donation announcements because there are no donations to announce.

Thanks for stopping by.

Too Much Class For Me, Bub Is Cool, 25 Good Ones

June 26, 2013 2 comments

I watched heat races from Buena Vista Raceway in Alta, Iowa last night, courtesy of XSANTV. Yes, just the heat races. Like most other promoters, running class after class after class is the course of action at BVR. There were Bombers, IMCA Sport Compacts, IMCA Hobby Stocks, IMCA Sport Mods, IMCA Stock Cars, and the Hawkeye Dirt Tour IMCA Mods.

BVR runs midweek shows, so I assume they run all of those classes every week. To me that is far too many classes, but I’ll use an overused phrase and just say “it is what it is.” From different camera angles, it looked like a good crowd was on hand, so I’ll use the Omaha hotel outrageous CWS rate analogy-if people will pay, it isn’t too high, or in this case, if people keep showing up, six classes isn’t too many.

I won’t argue that maybe if people did not have to suffer through six classes, MORE people might fill the grandstands, because promoters seem to be happy with their crowds.

I am having a difficult time figuring out the 2013 Hawkeye Dirt Tour. There is a shortage of big name modified drivers following the tour this year. I have watched most of the tour races on XSANTV, and I don’t think I have known the names of more than a handful of drivers at any race. Last night it was Richie Gustin, Chris Abelson, and Jesse Sobbing. Someone who wasn’t there, in fact someone who has raced in only one of the HDT events I watched was Jay Noteboom. Alta is not that far from the Sioux City area, and I figured Noteboom would be there last night. That he raced in an IMCA Northern Star tour event in Slayton, Minnesota a few weeks before and then did not race at Alta has me scratching my head.

I know that racing politics irritates drivers as much as it does hard core fans, so maybe there is some racing politics going on within the HDT. Or perhaps it is that most of the HDT events are east of Des Moines. I still enjoy the racing though.

I can’t tell you who won the race. I checked the track website, the IMCA website, and tried to check the whowon.com forums, with no luck.

I have been ranking Bub McCool in my Top 25 Late Model drivers ballot, but other voters have not agreed. While I had McCool 19th, his overall ranking in the http://www.DirtOnDirt.com poll was 35th. Perhaps he will make garner more votes next week as he won the WoO event at Canandaigua in New York last night. Another one of my Top 25 that other voters ignore is Tim Fuller. Fuller finished second to McCool. Josh Richards finished 13th, and Darrell Lanigan came in 14th. 23 cars were on hand.

Next on tap for the World of Outlaws is three days at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pennsylvania, culminating in the Firecracker 100. You can watch all three days or any one of the days on a DOD PPV.

After rain washed away the Monday UMP Hell Tour race in Peoria and after a night off last night, the Summernationals is in action in Tennessee tonight, racing at Clarksville Speedway. Brandon Sheppard leads the tour point standings, with Shannon Babb in second, Bobby Pierce in third, and Ryan Unzicker in fourth.

Here is my June 24th Top 25 ballot:

2013 WEEKLY DRIVER POLL BALLOT

Name Ron Meyer
Please Enter Date Below
Position 06/24/13
1 Josh Richards
2 Darrell Lanigan
3 Jimmy Owens
4 Dennis Erb Jr.
5 Shane Clanton
6 Scott Bloomquist
7 Tim McCreadie
8 Brian Birkhofer
9 Don O’Neal
10 John Blankenship
11 Steve Francis
12 Rick Eckert
13 Billy Moyer
14 Dale McDowell
15 Jonathan Davenport
16 Jimmy Mars
17 Earl Pearson Jr.
18 Eddie Carrier Jr.
19 Bub McCool
20 Chris Simpson
21 Mike Marlar
22 Brandon Sheppard
23 Brady Smith
24 Eric Wells
25 Tim Fuller

According to Matt, another driver who will be at I-80 Speedway on Friday and Adams County Speedway on Saturday is ‘The Reaper,’ Ryan Gustin, past USMTS champion. I think that the field for both races will be a good quality regional field. We can’t ask for more than that before the Silver Dollar Nationals.

Finally, to contribute to the Silver Dollar Fans Fund, please go to

http://www.therestofthedirt.com

Fans Fund information is located on the right hand side of the home page. Click on the amount you would like to donate, click “Donate Now,” and follow the instructions.

Thank you.

And thanks for stopping by.

The ABC’s Of Late Model Racing, Plus The Silver Dollar Nationals

June 25, 2013 4 comments

As I often do, I woke up in the middle of the night thinking something strange. This time it was “just because something is old, it doesn’t mean it is worth anything.” I am not sure if I got that from Antique Road Show or Pawn Stars. And yes, Randy, I do know I am living proof of the theory.

Both the good and bad Simpson brothers have the Alphabet Soup Race at I-80 Speedway on their schedules for this weekend. Brother Chris drove a Brian Birkhofer MB Chassis to a $10,000 win in the UMP Summernationals at Tri-City Speedway in Illinois. It was his first big money win, and came against arguably the best competition to date in the 2013 Hell Tour. Simpson won earlier in the year at I-80 Speedway and has to be the favorite going into Friday’s race.

Tony Jackson Jr. and Jesse Stovall are coming off MLRA wins last weekend, and they could compete with the Simpsons for first place money. I would not count out veteran Kyle Berck either. As far as car count for the race, I will say 42 Late Models, 22 Modifieds, and too many B Mods and Hornets.

TRODT Speedway will be hosting the Hawkeye Dirt Tour from Buena Vista Raceway tonight. Action starts at 7:00 p.m. On Friday night, TRODT Speedway will have IMCA Wild West Modifieds from Ely, Nevada. I might also take a glance at the Open Wheeled Nationals from St. Croix Speedway in Wisconsin. It looks like winged and non-winged sprint cars with A Mods and B Mods will be racing in the cheese state.

Speaking of the cheese state, here are several highlights from the Cedar Lake Speedway Outlaw Nationals Fans Fund:

2013 FANSFund Highlights:
• The goal for 2013 is to provide a minimum of $1,200 for each driver that gets invited by the
• The goal is to raise enough funds to invite 12-13 drivers. Note, this is somewhere between $14,400 and $15,600.

Here is a link to the site if you want to learn more.

http://www.fansfund.com/

Yes, this FansFund has been around for years, and the Silver Dollar Fans Fund is just in its second year. Yes, it does have corporate sponsorship, including both the track and the WoO sanctioning body. However, as of today their FansFund has a balance of $7,850 compared to our balance of $1,310. This is really discouraging.
I know several times I mentioned possible fundraisers for the Fans Fund, but fundraisers can take a lot of time and effort and still not raise much money. I would like to raise money through donations alone, giving fans ownership of the fund.

As I said, I am discouraged by the results of the Fans Fund, even more in the number of donors than I am in the amount donated. Only 13 people have donated to the fund. To me that says people simply are not interested in the Fund. That I don’t understand. The Silver Dollar Nationals has the potential to be mentioned in the same breath as the Show Me 100, the Topless 100, the North/South 100, the Firecracker 100, and the USA Nationals. Nebraska could host one of the top ten late model events in the country, and to me, not just every late model fan, but every dirt track fan should want to help make the event bigger and better.

I wrote before that you don’t want to see me beg. Well, you aren’t going to see me beg. I am not going to pester you either. I won’t even ask. I will continue to acknowledge donations, and from now until July 11th when donations end, I will close my blog with this reminder:

To contribute to the Silver Dollar Fans Fund, please go to

http://www.therestofthedirt.com

Fans Fund information is located on the right hand side of the home page. Click on the amount you would like to donate, click “Donate Now,” and follow the instructions.

Thank you.

And thanks for stopping by.

It Might Not Be All Of The Rest Of The Dirt, But It Sure Is A Lot Of Dirt

June 24, 2013 1 comment

Omaha hotel managers attended the same price gouging seminar that Daytona Beach hotel managers did. Just like the Florida hotels during Speedweeks, the Omaha hotels increased room rates to obscene levels during the College World Series. At least one hotel within walking distance of TD Ameritrade Park had a room going for $500-tax included. I have paid what I consider outlandish rates in San Francisco and New York City and those rates did not approach $500. When the Omaha Chamber of Commerce tells people how friendly the city is, I am pretty sure hotel rates are not mentioned. According to one hotel manager the price is not too high if people are willing to pay it.

Thanks to Steve Basch, aka Raceguru, for donating $50 to the Silver Dollar Nationals Fans Fund. To date 12 donations totaling $1310 have been received. Obviously we have a long way to go to meet our goal, so please, if you are going to donate, do so now. No donation is too small, and I will acknowledge each donation on The Rest of the Dirt.

I watched POWRi/USAC/Badger Midget heat races last night from Angell Park Speedway in Wisconsin. The track is a 1/3rd mile oval with lots of open wheel tradition, including being home to the National Midget Hall of Fame. If you have ever been to Mineral City Raceway in Ft. Dodge, Iowa, the Angell Park Speedway seating is similar, planks on a hillside. 25 drivers from at least eight different states raced. For several laps of one of the heats you could have thrown a blanket over the top six cars. If six winged wonders were that close, a red flag would be flying and two or three of them would be upside down.

I do like the midgets enough to watch them six more times on XSANTV, just not enough to drive to Belleville, Kansas to see them up close and personal. Next up for XSANTV is another Hawkeye Dirt Tour modified race from Buena Vista Raceway in Alta, Iowa, and the next POWRi show is July 14th, again from Angell Park Speedway.

I can’t say with total certainty from any of the sites that gave results, but it appears 25 of the winged wonders, Nebraska 360 Sprint Car version, were in action at Butler County Speedway on June 22nd. Jack Dover won a make-up feature from a rained out event in May, and also won the regularly scheduled event. The Palmer Paradox Tour visits Junction Motor Speedway next Saturday.

There was almost too much late model racing last week. Nah, that isn’t true. There can never be too much late model racing. Fortunately I subscribe to http://www.DirtonDirt.com and they cover it all-Lucas Oil, WoO, UMP, and MLRA all had several stories and/or videos on the site this week. At $1.25 per week, it is cheaper than a Big Grab bag of Lay’s Potato Chips, and a lot healthier for you too. I get more value than that from the site everyday.

DOD will be providing a PPV of the Firecracker 100 from Lernerville, Pennsylvania this weekend. The three day crown jewel event is WoO sanctioned, but drivers like Brian Birkhofer and Jimmy Mars also have the race on their schedule, and with no Lucas Oil Series races this weekend, look for a few of their drivers to pop in. Separate night programs can be purchased for $18.99 on Thursday, $18.99 on Friday, and $21.99 for Saturday’s 100 lapper. DOD subscribers can purchase a three day package for $42.99, while non-subscribers can get the three day package for $45.99 (including a free month’s subscription to DOD).

I watched the last 20 laps of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Sonoma yesterday-first because I love the Bay Area, and second because Jeff Gordon was doing so well. Although the FOX NASCAR coverage irritates me to tears, to call the TNT announcing crew of Adam Alexander, Wally Dallenbach, and Kyle Petty The Three Stooges would be an insult to Moe, Larry, and Curly-well, not necessarily to the 2012 Three Stooges movie. Someone who is trying to talk me into going to ACS in Corning next Saturday said the best reason to go would be that I would not have any temptation to tune in The Three Amigos doing their number from Kentucky. He may be right.

Thanks for stopping by.