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Bah Humbug, Plus Basketball, Arena Racing, Podcasts, And Las-Last(??) Vegas

December 27, 2013 1 comment

I survived the cold before Christmas. I survived missing the Action Signs Christmas Eve party. I survived Christmas-barely. I enjoy doing nice things for my wife and children and my grandson for Christmas, but to most of the Yule season I say “Bah, Humbug.” I am glad it is behind us for another year.

Tonight Matt and I are making a quick trip to Wahoo to watch four of the top 20 boy’s basketball teams in Nebraska in action. Monday is a late afternoon Midland University basketball game. Tuesday will be basketball for about 8 hours in Omaha. Yes Joe, I do know I would bitch for weeks if I ever went to an 8 hour race show. Wednesday is football all day, though a Nebraska loss might send me to the computer instead. Next Friday I fly to Las Vegas for three days of the New Media Expo at the Rio Hotel.

Nowhere in the first two paragraphs did I mention racing, though obviously the Action Signs party is all about dirt track racing. It is difficult to be enthused about writing of racing when no racing is happening-well, there are some indoor midget events scheduled, but nothing close to home. What I really wish is for someone to make an investment to bring arena racing to the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs. The venue could use more dates, and I would love to watch some indoor down-sized asphalt type late models race in winter. Wouldn’t you like to see some of the region’s top drivers in action close to home in January? Who do I know with money? See the link for what is happening in Richmond Virginia.

http://www.arenaracingusa.com/

I know I will return from Las Vegas fired up about doing podcasts like the one below, especially with a seminar on how to run podcasts off an iphone. If I could really do that, I would get rid of my throw away phone and join the rest of the world with a smart phone. I could add interviews with drivers and promoters to my blog. I have a ton of interviews I would like to do-maybe even one or two about sprint cars. I am not holding my breath, but will be crossing my fingers that I leave Sin City with a podcast plan of action.

http://dirtcast.com/2NRr/sound-off-brian-birkhofer-ndrl-late-models-121813/

As always, Birkie is a great interview. Thanks for stopping by.

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Santa’s Reindeer-Dancer, Prancer, Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Doc, And Grumpy

December 23, 2013 2 comments

IMCA recently announced the 2014 Deery Brothers schedule. Included on the list is a trip to Crawford County Speedway in Denison. Normally that would please me-the series is competitive and fun to watch. Unfortunately the Denison date conflicts with the MLRA show at I-80 Speedway on April 5th, so I will be missing out on the first Deery Brothers western Iowa show in years.

The powers that be at Crawfish County Speedway-no typo-dropped late models and added 305 sprints to their weekly show. Then to offset that they schedule a late model special, but against another area late model special. Given the history of that track, this in no way surprises me. They do a great job of promoting Figure-8 races though.

I realize the IMCA late models have different rules than the MLRA late models, so the car count at the tracks will not suffer that weekend. It is just the fans who have to make a choice. On another date, Matt and I would have traveled east on Highway 30 all the way to Denison for a Deery Brothers show. Because of the schedule though, that night we will take about five different highways and pull into I-80 Speedway.

Are 305 sprints going to profligate at Midwest tracks ala B mods? I hope not. I don’t want to have to psych myself up to go to races. Will tracks of the future run just three classes-305 sprints, B mods, and Hornets? I cringe at such a thought. The Rest of the Dirt would become a baseball blog if that happened.

I am not grumpy. Its cold out, my left knee hurts like hell, I didn’t sleep much last night, I am not done with Christmas shopping, and I don’t tolerate stupidity well. Each contributed to this post, though mostly my lack of tolerance of what I see as stupid.

Thanks for stopping by.

A Bubba Bash In Florida

December 22, 2013 Leave a comment

Not too many years ago, the dirt track season in America’s heartland ended when the checkered flag flew over the final NASCAR Busch All-Star Tour race of the year at Sunset Speedway, or maybe at Crawford County Speedway in Denison, Iowa. From early October to late March (if we were lucky) or mid-April depending on Mother Nature’s mood, we saw no live dirt track racing unless we could afford to travel south.
Now, through the wonder of the internet and sites like XSANTV, fans are able to watch dirt track racing 12 months a year. Last night I watched racing from Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida and in just a few weeks I will watch the opening of the 2014 season as the NDRL heads to Tucson, Arizona for some January events.
The racing at BRP was weekly racing quality, but it was December 21st and I was watching real racing, so I have zero complaints about no big name late model drivers being present. I knew no one, but enjoyed the racing nonetheless. I can’t tell you who won any race-I suppose I could have taken names and numbers, but I didn’t. I simply watched grassroots racing, and let the choir say amen.
Several things I can tell you about the XSANTV PPV:
-it looked like a decent crowd was on hand, and most were not wearing coats. I was very definitely wearing a coat and gloves when I came home from Fremont High School basketball games last night.
-track point champions were introduced, and BRP probably has the greatest age difference in champions of any dirt track, and not just this season. Tyler Clem-son of Bubba “the Love Sponge” Clem who happens to own Bubba Raceway Park-was the late model champion. He is all of 11 years old, and no, 11 is not a typo. I am not sure of the name of the modified champion, either Charlie O’Neill or Rich Pratt from looking at the standings before last night’s race, but the driver was 72, or 61 years older than young Clem.
Sorry Bubba, champion or not, I don’t believe 11 year olds should be driving a dirt late model.
WWW.DirtonDirt.com will have Tucson PPV’s starting January 11th, while XSANTV will be in Tampa in late January through mid-February covering much of the Winternationals from East Bay Raceway Park. XSANTV will also cover the IMCA Winter Nationals from Cocopah Speedway in Arizona. Cocopah will have the usual IMCA suspects, while the East Bay shows will include about every kind of race car you care to imagine. With Christmas, basketball, New Year’s Day football, the New Media Expo in Las Vegas, and more basketball, I think I will be able to survive no dirt track racing for the next three weeks.
Thanks for stopping by, and keep warm.

I Was So Sure I Was Going To Win MegaMillions; Daytona Will Have To Wait Another Year

December 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Lightning did not strike the Meyer household last night. And I didn’t win the MegaMillions jackpot either, meaning my friends will have to wait yet another year to go with me to Speedweeks in Daytona. If you are wondering if you are included on my Florida list, well, if you wonder, you probably aren’t.

Who would have flown to Florida with Matt and me? I don’t discriminate against friends who are also sprint car fans. Heck, I wouldn’t even leave someone off the list because he believes Bill Callahan should coach NU football. Several announcers would make the cut, as would a sometime hobby stock driver. A former track owner and a slow handed scorer have been on my list for years. If you are a member of the Sunday Night Irregulars, you are automatically on the list. If you are confused about being a Sunday Night Irregular, that is no surprise. Most S.N.I.’s are confused much of the time. You are an Irregular if you sit somewhere near me at I-80 specials (I am pretty sure none of us go to the weekly show there anymore). Basically, if we have ever talked racing, you would be on the Florida list.

I would add my writer friends Russ from Pennsylvania and Salley from Maryland to the list as well. They could document what a long, strange trip it had been. I had the trip well planned and thought having someone video the journey would be interesting. I realized that video would destroy our ability to deny something had happened, so I dropped that idea. Ah well, like I said, let’s set our sites on 2015, and keep fingers crossed I finally hit the lottery.

I bought three MegaMillions tickets-one on Saturday, one on Monday, and one on Tuesday. The person ahead of me in line at the convenience store yesterday bought 90 tickets. I am thinking that was for a group of people, but 90 tickets still leaves me shaking my head. Each ticket has a one in 275,000,000 chance of being the big winner. Actually, buying 275,000,000 tickets would not have guaranteed a winner. Anyway, two people will share the jackpot, and if they take the cash option, they will only get $187,000,000 after taxes.

Nebraska did have a $1,000,000 MegaMillions winner. That would certainly be better than getting maced and kicked in the —-. It would not be as much as Tony Anville has in his bank account, but I wouldn’t refuse it. And the state’s Pick 5 lottery had an $86,000 winner. I wouldn’t refuse that either.

It is just as well I didn’t hit the jackpot last night. How could I have enjoyed this weekend’s racing from Bubba Raceway Park on XSANTV if I had actually won? There’s a cloud in every silver lining. And I did write that the way I wanted to.

Thanks for stopping by.

Silver Dollar Nationals IV-Plus Bold Predictions

December 16, 2013 5 comments

Without much to write about, I will make some bold predictions for 2014, including a few racing predictions. No, nothing really about SDN IV, but every time I put SDN in the title of a post my numbers jump up substantially.

-after a “boo hoo it’s cold out” loss to Chicago and a “let’s choke after leading by three touchdowns at half” loss to Green Bay in less than seven days, the Dallas Cowboys will rebound big time and be the last team into the NFC play-offs. They will win their wild card game because of a blown call by an official. They will win their division game after a defensive holding call on the last play of the game puts them in field goal range and their kicker bounces one off the goal post but through the uprights. They will win the NFC championship game-the longest in NFL history-when a Seattle running back fumbles at the goal line and a Cowboy safety scoops up the fumble and scrambles 100 yards for the winning touchdown. However, the string off incredible luck runs out as the 2014 Super Bowl is being played in New York City, outside, and it will be cold. The Cowboys play another “boo hoo its cold out” game and Peyton Manning and Denver beat them 49-14.

-the Nebraska men’s basketball team will qualify for the NCAA tournament and finally win a game on the Road to the Final Four and not just one game. They will advance to the Elite 8, and only a desperation half-court shot by Duke at the buzzer that somehow bounces in keeps the Huskers from making the Final Four.

-Pistol Pete Ricketts bid to become Governor of Nebraska will end in the cluttered (I used cluttered because there are so many candidates I can’t keep track of all of them) Republican primary. The Ricketts family will then focus all their attention on the Chicago Cubs-not just on adding luxury suites to their 100 year old stadium, and the Cubs will dominate the National League in 2014. For the first time in over a century, the Wrigley Field wonders will win the World Series, dominating the Kansas City Royals in baseball’s October classic.

-Peru State’s football team will qualify for the NAIA play-offs, but will play a GPAC team instead of a church league squad in the opening round, and will lose to Morningside 63-0.

-The NU football team will be undefeated in the regular season, and will hand Urban Meyer a second consecutive loss in the Big Ten Championship Game. I am confused as to how the play-offs will unfold next year, but I know NU will not be National Champs. Despite losing only one game Bo Pelini will be fired at the insistence of a big money donor from Auburn. Mack Brown will replace Pelini as head coach.

-Ron Meyer will lose 100 pounds and it won’t be the same 33 1/3 pounds three different times.

-Speedway Illustrated will print an article I wrote and actually pay me.

-After three incredibly successful years with the Lucas Oil dirt late models as the main sanctioning body of I-80 Speedway’s Silver Dollar Nationals, promoter Joe Kosiski will announce the track wants to go in a new direction, and SDN V will be co-sanctioned by the NDRL and NCRA and will pay $10,000 to win.

-A driver with the last name Moyer will win the World 100, but it won’t be the hall of famer, it will be Billy Moyer Jr.

-A driver named neither Richards nor Lannigan will win the WoO late model point championship.

-I will win the Mega Millions jackpot tomorrow night and take all my friends to Florida in February for late model racing at Volusia Speedway Park and for Sprint Cup racing at Daytona International Speedway.

-Texas Senator Ted Cruz will state that Obamacare is the best thing to happen in US health care in at least five decades.

-Despite staying for all three days of the Knoxville Late Model Nationals, dirt track super fan Tony Anville will eat less than a dozen Pella, Iowa bakery doughnuts.

-On the last lap of the Saturday World Finals feature in Charlotte, all WoO drivers will pull to the side of the track, stop, and allow the King, Steve Kinser, to win not only the race, but his final WoO Sprint Car championship.

-Matt will inform me he would rather attend the Knoxville Sprint Car Nationals instead of the Knoxville Late Model Nationals.

-For the first time in 4 years the infamous internet character Bruton attends a race at a track he vowed to never set foot in again and discovers he loves that track’s feature class so much he convinces me to change the focus of TRODT from dirt late models to 305 sprint cars. I am pretty sure that one ain’t happening, but this is about bold predictions.

-I ask Matt to play nothing but country music on our road trips to races and football/basketball/baseball games.

-Someone comes up with the money to actually publish a book on Sunset Speedway. Hint: it will cost substantially more to publish the book than my prediction for the SDN V’s winner’s share.

-Greg Biffle will win the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in a close battle with fellow Roush Fenway team members Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Biffle will win 8 races including the Daytona 500 to capture his first Sprint Cup crown. Edwards and Stenhouse will each win seven Sprint Cup races and will actually tie in point standings. Edwards will be named runner-up on a tie-breaker. The two will end 2014 tied in wins, runner-up finishes, third place finishes, fourth place finishes, etc. The tie-breaker will end up Edwards finishing 29th and Stenhouse 30th after a major wreck caused by Danica Patrick on the last lap of the fall Talladega race.

-Although he did not capture his 7th championship, Jimmie Johnson won an even bigger prize as fans voted him the Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Austin Dillon finished second in fan voting, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. was a distant third.

-I will get thousands of emails from people who realized I am really a fun AND funny guy.

Finally, a question-Has anyone who subscribes to Dirt Late Model magazine received their December issue? I haven’t, and I am supposed to have an article on Jase Kaser in the magazine.

Thanks for stopping by.

Florida, Nevada, Alabama

December 15, 2013 Leave a comment

I watched XSANTV’s East Bay Raceway Park coverage last night-well, I watched before and after Nebraska volleyball. Basically it was the Tampa track’s final weekly show of the season, but it was dirt track racing in the middle of December, so weekly or a special really didn’t matter. I can’t tell you the name of the late model winner, but he did drive a good race and worth watching. I can tell you the evening temperature at the track was even warmer than at TRODT Speedway. TRODT Speedway maintains a winter temperature of 68, while it was 72 in southwest Florida, about 50 degrees warmer than it was outside in eastern Nebraska.
I just switched on the Off-Road Rage at the River race on XSANTV. So far, all I have seen is one Volkswagen Bug pass by. I haven’t seen this much action since the last B-Mod race I watched. A few more vehicles have passed by, including more VW Bugs. Interesting-the track is in the desert, but at the end of the straight away you can see all the Laughlin, Nevada hotels and casinos. My daughter stated the racers looked like “clown cars.”
Next up and last up for XSANT’s dirt track coverage is the Florida State Nationals from Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida on December 20th-21st. Coverage is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. Central time each night.
Talladega Short Track in Alabama is hosting a Street Stock National on July 19th. Twin features paying $1,000 to win will end the evening. That is substantially more than a Street Stock feature normally pays, but I wonder if it will draw a large number of cars and fans. Would a $10,000 to win Street Stock race draw a large number of cars and fans? How about $25,000? Well, add a $5,000 to win B-Mod feature and there will be more cars that a track’s pit area could hold.
I have to admit I would go to a $25,000 to win Street Stock event if one was held within drive home after the race distance of Fremont. I also have to admit I would do that before I would go to a $25,000 to win 360 sprint car race. I wouldn’t even go to a $25,000 to win 305 sprint car race. I wouldn’t go to a $1,000,000 to win 305 sprint car race if it was held in my backyard. Hey, I wouldn’t go to a $1,000,000 to win B-Mod race either.
That’s all folks. Thanks for stopping by.

Late Models On XSANTV Tomorrow; A Tour Through Hell-Mainly Illinois, Plus More Sprints

December 13, 2013 Leave a comment

If you are suffering from race withdrawal like me, you can feed your habit tomorrow night as XSANTV will be showing races from East Bay Raceway Park near Tampa. It looks like the event is a Florida version of the Cornhusker Classic with a feature class and more support classes than you dreamed existed. Actually, the feature class will be Topless Late Models and there are five or so support classes. The event starts at 7:00 p.m. Central.

East Bay remains my furthest race trip, and while I hope that will change some day, I am not holding my breath. I still laugh thinking about my visit there-the track’s “luxury suites” were straight out of Duck Dynasty or Red Neck Vacation. They were, maybe still are, rusted old trailers sitting on steel beams overlooking turns 1 and 2. I also remember sitting in the pit grandstands right along turn 1 and watching the banzai moves every car made to try to get to the front on the first turn of the first lap, reminiscent of the Park Jefferson post race parking lot exit dash. And I remember on the rain-out night walking back in the dark to my car which was parked alongside a swampy area, figuring for sure an alligator was going to feast on me because I would damn sure not be able to outrun it.

Anyway, it is live racing on dirt, and in December that is nothing to look down on. I don’t know if any of my readers are off-road race fans, but XSANTV will be showing Rage at the River from Laughlin, Nevada starting at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow. I must have at least one off-road fan among my readers as I remember someone told Matt if we tried to pass him on the way home from the July 4th race at US 30 Speedway we would find ourselves “in a corn field off Highway 30.”

The UMP Hell Tour schedule was announced at the PRI show in Indianapolis this week. There will be 33 events starting with a show in Brownstown, Indiana on June 11th. There are two races in Iowa, at Farley and at West Burlington, though not in the same week. Most of the shows pay $5,000 to win, with about 1/3rd paying $10,000 for first place. The point fund for the tour is $65,000 with the champion getting a $25,000 check.

The full WoO late model schedule was also announced at the PRI show, and includes 6 dates at TBA Speedway. Oh wait, TBA is for “To Be Announced.” That is something that irritates me on any schedule, and showing up six times will always get a comment from me. As I have mentioned often, the Outlaw drivers will be traveling around the world, or at least to 20 states and Manitoba.

Someone who knows says that the Nebraska 360 Sprints will not be racing in Dodge City, that it is simply too far for their drivers. I thought as much, but the track in Kansas said so. The N-360 schedule is almost ready to be announced and will include 15-16 dates.

The WoO sprint cars have 92 nights of racing on their schedule, including 9 nights at the previously mentioned TBA Speedway. The winged divas are scheduled to appear at I-80 Speedway on June 6th. For several years, the 410 sprints have raced at Junction Motor Speedway in the week after the Knoxville Nationals. That is not shown on the current schedule, but the first date after Knoxville shows ‘TBA’ so Junction Motor Speedway still could end up on their schedule.

Thanks for stopping by.