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Brevity Is The Soul Of Wit

July 31, 2013 Leave a comment

Matt sent me a link to a report on NASCAR TV rights.

http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2013/07/sbj-espn-and-turner-were-not-interested-in-nascar-rights/

NBC was willing to pay a bundle for rights that ESPN and Turner were not interested in. Which network was correct? Damned if the France family cares-NASCAR will be getting $740 million A YEAR from FOX and NBC, compared with the $560 million currently paid by FOX, ESPN, and Turner. $180 million a year buys a lot of comfort, fans be damned.

Pennsylvanian Gregg Satterlee was a surprise winner of the WoO race at Shawano Speedway in Wisconsin. Tim McCreadie was second, followed by Josh Richards and Rick Eckert. It’s on to Cedar Lake and three nights of racing in the USA Nationals. I already have my http://www.DirtonDirt.com PPV ordered. Do you? There are not many fields that compare with the cars at the USA Nationals, and if you can’t be there, DOD does a great job in bringing the races to you.

There are a number of previous winners on hand, including Billy Moyer, Scott Bloomquist, Brian Birkhofer, Josh Richards, and Darrell Lanigan. I hate to see it, but I believe Josh Richards is going to add the USA to his Firecracker win. I just hope he gets a challenge in this race.

I watched a little of the XSANTV late model and modified specials from North Dakota and Canada this weekend. It wasn’t bad, but I have to admit it made me a little more appreciative of what we have for tracks in the Heartland. My thing was to watch up to intermission, and then go to other things. I probably missed some decent racing, but I am sure I also missed five long intermissions.

I know some of you expect more than this, but today, this will have to suffice. It has been one helluva day, and I am glad it is over and I can relax. Thanks for stopping by.

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Smoke Got In His Eyes, Top 25, And A Rare Jewel

July 30, 2013 1 comment

After the Brickyard 400, Tony Stewart was quoted as saying “If you want to see passing, we can go out on (highway) 465 and pass all you want,” Stewart said. “If you can tell me that’s more exciting than what you see at IMS, the great racecar drivers that have competed here, this is about racing. This is about cars being fast. It doesn’t have to be two- and three-wide racing all day long to be good racing.
“Racing is about figuring out how to take the package you’re allowed and make it better than what everybody else has and do a better job with it.”
No Tony, ENGINEERING is about figuring out how to take the package you’re allowed and make better than what everybody else has and do a better job with it. Racing DOES happen to be about cars going two and three wide-well, unless you are talking about go fast, turn left, single file winged wonder racing.
I can tell you Tony that the last dirt track race I went to was far more exciting than the Brickyard 400. There were cars from the top to the bottom of the track racing two and three wide, there was lots of passing, AND the crowd was going crazy. That race was not won because the pit crew of the dominant car had a bad final stop.
Tell me this Mr. Stewart-if the Brickyard 400 is so exciting, why has attendance fallen from 200,000 fans crowding the track to an estimated 80,000-90,000 fans in the stands? Stewart should have basked in the glow of the successful truck race at Eldora, been happy his teammate won at Indy, and let homer b.s. flow from the McReynolds, Hammonds, and Waltrips on the sundry, and sometimes Sunday NASCAR shows. He knows better.
Lots of changes in my Top 25 for the week of 7/29/13. The top two remain, Richards, and Owens, but there is quite a mix up after that. One change I made that I wish I could have done different is put Chris Madden in the top 25. I have explained my feelings about the multiple times caught cheater, but honestly had no one else to put in my top 25 that I felt should be there. So in went Madden. Maybe in the coming weeks I can kick him out.
2013 WEEKLY DRIVER POLL BALLOT

Name 7/29/2013
Please Enter Date Below
Position Ron Meyer
1 Josh Richards
2 Jimmy Owens
3 Steve Francis
4 Darrell Lanigan
5 John Blankenship
6 Shane Clanton
7 Tim McCreadie
8 Shannon Babb
9 Dennis Erb Jr.
10 Billy Moyer
11 Scott Bloomquist
12 Don O’Neal
13 Brian Birkhofer
14 Jonathan Davenport
15 Rick Eckert
16 Brandon Sheppard
17 Bobby Pierce
18 Chris Simpson
19 Tony Jackson Jr.
20 Jason Feger
21 Mike Marlar
22 Doug Drown
23 Earl Pearson Jr.
24 Chris Madden
25 Ryan Gustin
24 of my 25 picks are in the combined Top 25 on http://www.DirtonDirt.com. Perhaps the other 22 voters are wising up and just didn’t watch Ryan Gustin blow through the field at the Silver Dollar Nationals.
Would you go to an event that featured Shannon Babb, Brian Birkhofer, Brandon Sheppard, Billy Moyer, Don O’Neal, Chris Simpson, Chad Simpson, Jason Feger, Jimmy Mars, Bobby Pierce, Dennis Erb Jr., Dale McDowell, Scott Bloomquist, Pat Doar, Jonathan Davenport, Donnie Moran, Devin Moran, Scott James, and Brady Smith? What if the special also included Josh Richards, Darrell Lanigan, Shane Clanton, Rick Eckert, Time McCreadie, Eric Wells, Tim Fuller, Chub Frank, Morgan Bagley, Bub McCool, and Clint Smith? All of those drivers have the USA Nationals on their schedule this weekend.
If you can’t be in Wisconsin this weekend, you can still watch three nights of racing via the http://www.DirtonDirt.com PPV. Subscribers can get a three night package for $39.99. Non-subscribers and those who only want a single night of racing can order Thursday night for $18.99, Friday night fort $18.99, and Saturday night for $21.99. This is a quality broadcast-if you watched any of the DOD Silver Nationals broadcast, you can expect similar coverage this weekend.
And no, I do not get a deal from DOD for promoting this. I’ll be paying the same $39.99 that other subscribers getting the three night package pay. Some day I would like to go to this race, but until then, the DOD PPV is a good substitute. I think Tony Stewart ought to get this so he can be reminded about what racing is.
Thanks for stopping by.

13 SLMR Late Models At Beatrice. Are You Kidding Me?

July 29, 2013 1 comment

Congratulations to Ryan Newman on his Brickyard 400 win, coming just weeks after he learned he will not be back with Stewart-Haas Racing next year. The excitement of Newman, his family, and his team was fun to watch. I realize it is petty of me, but Chad Knaus strolling from the pit box after the race with a pout on his face was almost as entertaining. Look for someone to lose his job over the poor final pit stop of the 48 car that cost the team a win.

The jinx of TRODT continued-I picked Carl Edwards to win, and you had to go back to about 12th to find Edwards, and even more to find either of his teammates. Too bad.

Congratulations as well to former Busch All-Star Tour and WDRL veteran Dave Eckrich of Cosgrove, Iowa for collecting his first ever Corn Belt Clash win. The victory at Lafayette County Speedway in Darlington, Wisconsin was worth $3,000. Jason Rauen followed Eckrich across the finish line. I was surprised neither of the Simpson brothers went to Darlington. Both are racing in Cedar Lake this weekend, and Chris is also racing as Shawano on 7/30. Maybe they needed to put time in on their WoO effort.

Do you think it is strange that I congratulated a driver in NASCAR’s top series and a dirt late model driver just a few paragraphs later? Sometimes I can’t explain how my mind works. I watched as much WISSOTA late model and IMCA mod racing from Williston, North Dakota last night as I did the Brickyard 400 earlier in the day. Again, it is how my mind works. Next thing you know I will be asking for tickets to some of the sprint car races happening in central Iowa in the next few weeks.

There were all of 13 late models at the Beatrice SLMR show last night. What do I think of that? I think it sucks. There were more WISSOTA late models in Williston, North Dakota last night. I would compare the state of Nebraska late model racing to a pimple on the posterior of what it was 15 years ago. Mayetta cancelled their SLMR show because they were worried about car count. Do you think Beatrice will bring the SLMR back next year? I think not. Promoter Joe Kosiski is trying to do something right for area super late model drivers, so I don’t get why this is happening on shows that aren’t far away from Omaha and Lincoln.

Tad Pospisil won the Beatrice race, followed by Jesse Sobbing, Justin Zeitner, Dylan Smith, and Kyle Berck. From the results it did not look like there was much passing going on. Popisil leads tour point standings.

I have to admit I am glad we did not drive 90 miles to Beatrice and fight county fair parking just to see 13 late models race. Matt has talked of going to Riviera Raceway in Norfolk on Saturday to watch the SLMR show there, and later in the month going to Raceway Park in Jefferson, South Dakota for another SLMR race. Right now, I see no point in going to either.

I am afraid that area race fans will never again see the likes of the weekly Sunset Speedway late models, or the NASCAR Busch All-Star Tour. Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday Night’s Alright

July 28, 2013 Leave a comment

Shannon Babb dueled veteran Dale McDowell and youngster Bobby Pierce for the $20,000 first place prize at the Prairie Dirt Classic, and ended up winning one of his home state’s biggest races. It was the third PDC win for the Moweaqua, Illinois driver.
Josh Richards went from a 20th starting spot to 6th place, and hung on to his WoO point lead over Shane Clanton and Darrell Lanigan. Clanton finished 5th and Lanigan came home 19th. Pole sitter Billy Moyer dropped to 9th during the 100 lap race. Next up for the WoO series is the USA Nationals from Cedar Lake, Wisconsin.
Maybe some home cooking will help Jimmy Mars. The Wisconsin driver is having a sub-par season, and the PDC was just a continuation of his woes. He finished 6th in his B feature-only two went on the to A feature-and chose not to run in the 30 lap non-qualifiers race which paid $2,000 to win and $300 to start.
The second night of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series east coast swing was rained out. The series takes next weekend off, though many regulars will go to Cedar Lake for the USA Nationals. The Lucas Oil drivers will be back in action the following week for the $50,000 to win North/South 100 at Florence, Kentucky.
Tony Jackson Jr. won the MLRA feature at L.A. Raceway in Lamonte, Missouri. Jesse Stovall finished second and teammates Chase Junghans and John Anderson finished third and fourth. Jackson takes over the MLRA points lead from Terry Phillips. Phillips chose to race his modified at the World Modified Dirt Track Championship at Deer Creek Speedway in Minnesota this weekend.
Oklahoman Jason Hughes was the weekend’s other $20,000 winner, capturing the WMTC at Deer Creek. Stormy Scott was second, and Joey Jensen finished third. Phillips ended up sixth, collection $3,616 for his efforts. Scott’s twin brother Johnny finished an eventful evening in 10th place in the A feature. Johnny started the C Main fifth and finished second, advancing to the B Main. He started the B Main 16th and finished 12th, barely making the A Main. He started the A Main 29th. If I did my math right, he passed 28 cars to take home $3,316. The USMTS travels to Batesville Motor Speedway in Arkansas next Friday.
The SLMR is racing in Beatrice tonight. I won’t be going, but I am wondering how many late models will be racing tonight. I have not been overwhelmed by the car count of this series when it is away from I-80 Speedway and think it deserves far better support from local drivers.
The overhyped Brickyard 400 is today. Since I usually jinx whoever I pick to win a race, I am going with Carl Edwards.
Thanks for stopping by.

Missouri, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, and French Polynesia

July 27, 2013 1 comment

I lied about French Polynesia.

Next Friday and Saturday the WoO sprint cars are at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 near St. Louis for the Iron Man Challenge. The 55 lap race is the longest of the season for the winged prima donnas, and pays $20,000 to win. The winner’s trophy is a 55 pound dumb bell. Ah, the things I could do with that if I wasn’t so polite.

The Thursday night for the USMTS World Modified Dirt Track Championship was rained out, forcing promoters to run a double header on Friday night. The Thursday night show was scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and the Friday night show was scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. Both shows were going to run support classes, and the grandstands were going to be cleared in between the two shows. Wow, I know a track in south central Nebraska that has run USMTS in the past but is not this year, where doing that would mean the second show would be getting over about the time the sun comes up.

So, how did Deer Creek Speedway and the USMTS do? Well, they finished both sessions long before sunrise. The six drivers qualifying for Saturday’s A feature from the make-up program were Terry Phillips, Jason Hughes, Brandon Davis, Rodney Sanders, and Tommy Weder Jr. Unofficially, Friday program qualifiers were Stormy Scott, Jason Krohn, Tommy Myer, Jordan Grabouski, Ryan Gustin, and Craig Thatcher-those were the top finishers in the A feature, but points are given for all races, so someone else might have been among the top six in Friday points.

Already qualified from Wednesday night were Jason Hughes, Lucas Schott, Jason Cummins, Mike Sorenson, Joey Jensen, and Steve Wetzstein.

http://www.racindirt.com/ has a PPV of Saturday’s finale, for $29.95. The evening will include a pot full of consolation races (starting with an F feature) allowing drivers who did not qualify well a final chance at racing their way into the Big $$$ A feature, which pays the winner a handsome $20,000 check-hey, I don’t see any $20,000 check as being ugly. I would love to see one of those addressed to TRODT. The race also pays $1,500 to start. The A feature is 100 laps, something Modified drivers do about once a year, so expect some mayhem to go with the usual outstanding USMTS competition. The A feature will be the 74th USMTS A feature at Deer Creek Speedway.

The 1,042,638th reason why most people think EVERYONE associated with dirt track racing is a redneck-California racer Leslie Charles Hunter was arrested for drunken driving. OK, though that is a serious offense-one I think should be treated a helluva lot more serious by our courts-it is hardly an uncommon one. Well, Leslie Charles Hunter was arrested at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, California. Yeah, there are plenty of drunks leaving a race track, though most don’t get arrested. Nope, Leslie Charles Hunter was not leaving the track when he was arrested. Leslie Charles Hunter was driving a race car in a heat race at the track.
Reports said he was driving erratically in his heat, meaning he wasn’t in a B mod, because everyone in a B mod drives erratically. So, what do I think should happen to Leslie Charles Hunter? Well, the court will take away his license for a few months and he’ll drive anyway like 99% of those convicted of DUI, but I am talking about on the track. I think he should get a life-time suspension. It wasn’t just his own safety he compromised; it was the safety of all his competitors. If he doesn’t get hammered-I mean with a penalty, not Budweiser-it sends a bad message to all drivers, though I don’t think most are stupid enough to drink and drive a race car.
The 1,042,639th reason why most people think EVERYONE associated with dirt track racing is a redneck-the blogger who wrote about this thought was funny and also wondered why the police were able to arrest the man on private property.
Jimmy Owens won the Lucas Oil series race at Roaring Knob in Pennsylvania. Race writers have been saying that if Owens gets hot he might run off four or five wins in a row, and with back to back victories he is looking like he could do just that. John Blankenship finished 20th, allowing Owens to retake the point lead, and Steve Francis to move into second in points. Owens led all 50 laps of the race.
Much to my delight, only two of the WoO regulars qualified for tonight’s $20,000 to win Prairie Dirt Classic. Shane Clanton and Chub Frank are in, while Richards, Lanigan, and McCreadie are among those with work to do. Illinois drivers accounted for 13 of the 18 qualifying spots. Billy Moyer won his heat race, as did Dale McDowell in a rare trip outside the southland. With provisionals, emergency provisionals, double secret provisionals, made up on the spot provisionals, even if the WoO travelers don’t race their way in, I think all of them will be in the feature.
One driver who will not be in the feature is Brian Birkhofer. Birky broke his right hand in the Jared Landers incident at I-80 Speedway last weekend, and is resting and hoping his hand heals enough to allow him to race in the USA Nationals next week.
Thanks for stopping by.

Thoughts On Dirt Track PPV’s And More

July 26, 2013 Leave a comment

A week ago I was excited about the weekend and two days of the Silver Dollar Nationals. This weekend? Well, I could watch the Governor’s Cup on XSANTV from several North Dakota tracks. After Lucas Oil late models and USMTS modifieds, there is nothing like six different classes of cars-including B mods-to bring a person back to reality.

If you subscribe to http://www.DirtonDirt.com you could watch last week’s Silver Dollar Nationals feature. I already did. And it even has Brian Birkhofer’s unedited remarks. The guys from DOD did a great job with this, and they will be in Cedar Lake next week to do a PPV for all three days of the USA Nationals. Site subscribers can get a three day package for $39.99, while daily PPV’s are $18.99 each for Thursday and Friday, and $21.99 for Saturday.

Here is a thought-PPV’s do not hurt dirt tracks, they help them. Anyone who purchased last week’s Silver Dollar Nationals PPV came away thinking it was the best race of the year, and a race they want to see in person. I can’t see that many fans would choose to stay at home and watch the race on their computer if they could be at the track instead. The PPV’ers are fans who can’t go to the track, so the track is not losing any income from them. Actually, it gains some income because it gets a share of profits from the PPV.

It is too bad that DOD could not do this weekend’s Prairie Dirt Classic from Fairbury American Legion Speedway in Illinois. I realize that the race is WoO sanctioned, and DirTVision.com is the WoO’s PPV host, but the USA Nationals are also WoO sanctioned and DOD is doing that PPV. I love all the initials. I feel like I am texting, something I have never done. Anyway, DirTVision.com is doing an audio of the Prairie Dirt Classic, and it is free, but hearing and not seeing race cars doesn’t much appeal to me.

I need to put the Fairbury track on my bucket list. It is just a quarter mile bull ring, but you can tell its age from the covered grandstand and wooden poles for the catch fence. I love old race tracks, and this one has raced for 67 seasons.

There are times when I wish I had talent as a photographer instead of as a writer-and yes Randy, I know most people don’t think I have talent as a writer either. Anyway, I love abandoned farms, old buildings, old ball parks, and old race tracks and would love to capture them on film. Maybe when I get old I can do this.

If you subscribe to DOD, you could also read a great post by Dave Argabright, Randy Palmer’s favorite racing writer. Argabright talks about lessons learned from NASCAR’s venture into dirt track racing. You’ll have to go to the site to read all of it, but I will comment on one point because it is one I have made countless times. The trucks were fast, but not nearly as fast at Eldora as the late models. BUT, they still had great racing. Speed isn’t everything. Side by side is what racing is.

In regional action, the Corn Belt Clash was rained out at Columbus Junction, Iowa before the feature could be run. The Simpson brothers were on the front row, so you know how that was going to turn out. A make-up date has not been scheduled.

The MARS race at Springfield, Missouri was not won by Tony Jackson Jr. Jackson finished second behind Jesse Stovall. MARS is now off until August 9th-10th when they are part of the King of the Hill show from Junction Motor Speedway, south of York, Nebraska. The MLRA and NCRA series will also race at JMS.

Matt is thinking a double-header weekend the second weekend in August, going to JMS on Saturday, then to the USMTS show at I-80 Speedway on Sunday. I am thinking not-I am always frustrated by how long it takes JMS to finish a show. I suppose I will end up going to both, but it is with reluctance on Saturday.

I have no reluctance to end this post though. I have been too wordy for a week, so a 700 word blog is about right for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Sometimes Even I Am Amazed At How Much Information You Get Here

July 25, 2013 3 comments

Did anyone notice the photo of a Southwest Airlines 737 with its nose landing gear collapsed on a runway at LaGuardia Airport in New York City? There is a bridge in the background. Where that runway ends, a river passes by. More than once landing there I have wondered if the plane was going to stop or if we would end up in the river. I am pretty sure that skidding along the tarmac, heading toward the river with no nose gear would have scared the you know what out of me.

Tom McLaughlin emailed with information of a possible MLRA event at Fairmont Raceway in Minnesota. I checked their Facebook page, and liked what TMC posted about an MLRA/USMTS show at Fairmont. I think that would be a great show. Fairmont doesn’t get late models very often, and it seems like every USMTS Minnesota show gets a huge car count. It has been years since Matt and I went to Fairmont, but for a show like that, I think we would be heading north. For just an MLRA show, very unlikely. We get plenty of those close to home.

I can’t remember if the Fairmont show we went to was a WDRL or Busch All-Star Tour event. Obviously Jim Wilson was in charge. I remember there was a good crowd on hand, that the concession stand served pork chop sandwiches, and that it was a long drive home. I wonder if the track still has pork chop sandwiches.

I watched all of three qualifying races of the much hyped NASCAR Camping World Truck Series from Eldora Speedway. I watched them because I was at Matt’s to see my grandson Henry, and that is what was on the TV. I just can’t get into watching trucks race, even at Eldora. Anville favorite Austin Dillon won the race, not Jared Landers. Landers finished 12th, which was better than Scott Bloomquist. Or at least someone using Scott Bloomquist’s name drove a truck in the race. I would have expected Bloomquist to do much better than finish 20-something.

If the Mudsummer Classic at Eldora was a success, will NASCAR keep coming back to the legendary Ohio track?

All the TV trucks have left or will be leaving Eldora, and they won’t be there for the World 100, a race that truly does deserve to be on TV. When I say TV, I do not mean an outlandishly priced, track produced computer PPV. Ah well, if the race does not have NASCAR or Indy in front of it, TV moguls haven’t a clue what to do with it.

One thing you can watch for free is the replay of last Saturday’s Silver Dollar Nationals feature. You do have to be a subscriber to http://www.DirtonDirt.com, but if you are reading this blog, you should already be a subscriber to the best racing website on the internet. If you aren’t a subscriber, once again, it costs $1.25 a week-$65.00 a year-and you get access to more late model information that a normal human being can process.

The USA Nationals Fans Fund is giving $1200 to 14 different drivers to race at Cedar Lake Speedway next weekend. The Fund also has a meet and greet luncheon Saturday afternoon where fans who gave $25 or more can eat lunch, meet the 14 drivers, and also receive a t-shirt. For those of you without a calculator, $1200 x 14=$16,800, or 11.2 times more than was raised for the Silver Dollar Nationals. That is the racing equivalent of what the University of Wisconsin did to Nebraska in the Big Ten title game last year.

The 14 drivers getting expense money to race in Wisconsin are Timothy Culp, Brett Swedburg, Dan Stone, Kevin Weaver, Jesse Stovall, Donnie Moran, Devin Moran, Ross Componovo, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Jared Hawkins, Nick Avelink, Bobby Pierce, Jonathan Davenport, Clay Fisher. I’ve heard of some on them, not heard of some of them, though that is not an invitation to provide biographies of any of them. The drivers come from 11 different states.

201 Speedway in Sitka, Kentucky will host the Hatfield-McCoy 50 on August 3rd. The race pays $5,000 to win and $500 to start. If dirt late models had been around in the late 1800’s, the feuding families could have settled matters at the track instead of ambushes in the Appalachians. Still, I can see strange looking southerners with long beards arriving at the track for this race in pick-ups adorned with Confederate flags and gun racks. Chew tobacco, chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit. Maybe I’ve seen too many Duck Dynasty commercials.

My favorite group of sprint cars, the Nebraska 360 Sprints raced at the Crawford County Speedway in Denison, Iowa last night. When I say favorite, the N360’s register a 7 on the Bruton Interest Scale. To give you an idea of what this means, 305 sprint cars register .01 on the BIS, as do B Mods. Dustin Salvage of Indianola, Iowa won the CCS A feature, followed by Greg Bakker of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Billy Alley of Bennett, Nebraska was the first series regular to cross the finish line, following Salvage and Bakker to the checkered flags.

I don’t know if the series has a point championship or not. Point standings may be on the tour’s website somewhere, but I could not find it. Perhaps a series insider could provide such information. Oops, I take back my ironic comments. SpeednetDirect.com has series points-up to date even. Tyler Drueke tops the leader board with 1028 points, followed by Trevor Grossenbacher with 970 points, and Stu Snyder with 959 points. Next up for the winged wonders is an August 17th date at Mid-Nebraska Speedway in Doniphan.

Thanks for stopping by.