Archive for April, 2014

Rednecks, A TROTD Book, Racing, Questions-Answers, We Got It All

April 30, 2014 2 comments

Craig Kelley sent me an email full of redneck images.  I wanted to link to a few of them, so went to a Pinterest redneck photo site.  I swear this is true, I couldn’t make it up, but as I was looking over some of the photos an ad bad-mouthing U.S. Senate candidate Shane Osborn came up.  Perhaps that was a ploy to get rednecks to vote for Ben Sasse in next week’s Nebraska primary.  However, do rednecks actually go to redneck photo sites?  Putting up a billboard at a dirt track might have been more effective for Sasse. Anyway, here is a redneck photo link:


Speaking of redneck Australians, I find the cries for NASCAR to discipline Marcos Ambrose for punching Casey Mears after Saturday’s Richmond Sprint Cup race rather humorous given that the NASCAR of today started to become the NASCAR of today when Cale Yarborough exchanged punches with Donnie and Bobbie Allison after the 1979 Daytona 500. I know, fisticuffs does not fit with the corporate NASCAR image of today. It just seems a little hypocritical they are secretly pleased for the excitement the punch generated, while publicly condemning it to the tune of a $25,000 fine for Ambrose. I am just full of links today:


I am reading a book by former New York Times Sports Writer Ira Berkow.  It is a collection of the Pulitzer Prize winner’s columns.  I bought if for .50 at the Friends of the Library book sale in Fremont.  It was a discarded library book.  Wow.  Something is wrong when award winning writing is discarded.  Anyway, reading the book made me think of doing a book of my blog posts on TROTD’s 6th anniversary. Maybe call it “Golden Dirt-The Best of the Rest of the Dirt.”  I can’t use “Bruton’s Got the B Mod Blues,” because Steve Basch would want royalties if I did.


I am not sure how many copies the book would sell-even if done cheap as an ebook.  I was going to say at least my mom would buy it, but she doesn’t exactly navigate the internet that well. Henry can’t read yet, though the kid has enough money to buy a book. I can barely lift the jar he keeps his money in (the jar was a Christmas present from my mom-it used to be where my dad, Henry’s name sake, kept his change).  Jane and Matt wish I didn’t blog, so they wouldn’t buy the book. It certainly isn’t looking like a best seller.  Maybe someday the universe will conspire to fulfill my dream of writing a book. At least my blog posts can’t be used to wrap garbage in like newspaper columns can.


A Real Age email posed the question “What is your knee pain saying?” Well, mine is saying “no taking steps two at a time anymore; c’mon, 67 steps up to your football seats; trip all kids who run the steps; you were really stupid walking in the dark when there was ice in the streets; sometime you’ll have to replace me-that will be fun.”


A few final blog thoughts from my Omaha reader:


“Too many unprepared amateur announcers who do nothing but drone on and don’t work up the crowd or create personalities out of the drivers.”


TROTD: I once got in an argument with an announcer in the grandstands at I-80 Speedway days after I mentioned in a forum post how he butchered driver names.  Too bad-and no it was not anyone who works at a sign company in Omaha. Mispronouncing a driver name is worse than droning on about concessions and sponsors.  Checking the correct pronunciation should always be a pre-race task of an announcer. And while the announcer is doing that, he can also ask the driver what’s new.  Use that to create the personalities the reader mentioned.


”Cancelling touring series or special races at the last minute because you don’t do the math ahead of time and/or you’re suddenly afraid Track X down the road will outdraw you.”


TROTD: Once again, not doing the math ahead of time shows a lack of professionalism.  A lack of professionalism is why the sport does not get taken serious. Promoters who do that irritate me, but series that have a schedule full of TBA’s really burn my bottom. The WoO late model series is very good at that. I would hesitate to schedule against a WoO date, yet oftentimes the TBA is never a confirmed date on the schedule.


I got an email from Writer’s Digest announcing a retreat at the Inn at Scituate, Massachusetts. Called “Retreat by the Sea,” it is a time of recharging creativity and “refreshing your writer’s soul.” How come there is never a writer’s retreat at the Stardust Motel in Greenville, Ohio-near Eldora Speedway? That would certainly refresh my writer’s soul.  Why is there no blogger expo in Melbourne, Australia or Melbourne, Florida? Why is the NMX always in Las Vegas?


Maybe racing writers should have their own convention.  OK, the National Motorsports Press Association does have an annual convention in Charlotte and I never go.  Since I don’t seriously cover NASCAR like most members, I would feel uncomfortable at the NMPA meeting.  No, I don’t think they are better writers, but most are “professionals” covering NASCAR and as we all know, NASCAR is S-O-O-O much better than grassroots dirt track racing.


Yeah, a convention of dirt track racing writers and bloggers ought to be held.  Unfortunately, my days of organizing events ended when I still lived in North Bend and did The Biggest Small Town Basketball Tournament In The World.


Or maybe I should get my hands dirty and organize a dirt track racing bloggers and writers retreat this spring-you know “in the spring at the end of the day you should smell like dirt.”  Bill it as “Get down and dirty.”  I would rather the universe conspire to have someone else do it, say at the Crowne Plaza Ocean Front in Melbourne, Florida or the Crown Metropol in Melbourne, Australia.


Hopefully it is off to Werner Park in Papillion for baseball tonight, NU versus UNO. Thanks for stopping by.


P.S.  This comment was made about my “Racing, Ratings, Ranting” post:


“I still say the day when tracks figure out how to serve fresh pizza and are willing to sell a half or whole pizza at a reasonable price is the day tracks will make more money. Most people will buy pizza over plain old hamburger or hot dog. Don’t believe me, ask the fine folks at Casey’s whose plain pizzas have made them the number five pizza retailer in the US.”


I was busy at work yesterday and happened to drive to the Casey’s a few blocks away to grab a couple pieces of pepperoni and a Diet Coke.  Casey’s Pizza is a lot like North Beach Pizza, the Official Pizza of The Rest of the Dirt, maybe a little greasier though.  I like it more than Godfather’s or Valentino’s or whatever other pizza most tracks serve.


Here’s an idea-allow fans to order whole pizzas from their grandstand seats via their smart phones.  When it is ready, the concession stand can notify the fan the same way.  Have a special concession area just for that and drinks to go with it. Or better yet, the technology is there to simply pay from the smart phone too.  Do that and have the pizza delivered-of course make sure the delivery goes to the right person.

Darn, I just gave away a POY idea for free.


P.S.-a second time.  I got a LinkedIn request from Carol Einarrson of Omaha.  I thought I was the only National Motorsports Press Association member in Nebraska, but her profile shows Carol is also an NMPA member.  She has a website called Race Journal Online and writes of NASCAR, but is by no means a party line follower.  Here is a link to her site:


One more-a certain Lincoln resident emailed me last night wondering why I deleted a comment of his.  I did not delete it.  If anyone wants to read it, it follows my announcer spoof post.


















Racing, Ratings, Ranting, Plus My Life On The Big Screen

April 29, 2014 2 comments


Below is my Top 25 ballot for this week.  With Lucas Oil rained out last weekend, I did not make major changes.  My top five remain the same. I did some shuffling in the remaining 20, including adding Illini 100 winner Shannon Babb and removing Dennis Erb Jr. With 26 regional and national series races on tap this weekend-if Mother Nature is in a good mood, the first vote in May could see plenty of changes. Top 25 Voting Ballot
Voter Name: Ron Meyer
  Please Enter Date Below
Position 04/28/14
1 Scott Bloomquist
2 Darrell Lanigan
3 Jonathan Davenport
4 Billy Moyer
5 Don O’Neal
6 Bobby Pierce
7 Chris Madden
8 Jimmy Owens
9 Steve Francis
10 Rick Eckert
11 John Blankenship
12 Brandon Sheppard
13 Mike Marlar
14 Dale McDowell
15 Shane Clanton
16 Billy Moyer Jr.
17 Eddie Carrier Jr.
18 Kent Robinson
19 Shannon Babb
20 Tim McCreadie
21 Gregg Satterlee
22 Earl Pearson Jr.
23 Terry Phillips
24 Brian Birkhofer
25 Ryan Gustin

Dirt Late Model magazine reports that is the Official Media Provider for the Show-Me 100. That’s out of my league, but maybe I can make a deal with US 30 Speedway to be the Official Media Provider of their SLMR race in July.


There are six big money races this weekend-the Lucas Oil series has three (all on DOD PPV’s), the WoO has two, and an unsanctioned event at Southern Ohio Speedway all pay at least $10,000 to win.


Sammy Swindell may be a sprint car driver, and an old and cranky one at that, but I have to admit that I enjoy reading about Swindell and Steve Kinser winning races in the WoO 410 sprint car series.  Swindell won the $10,000 feature at I-55 Speedway in Pevely, Missouri last Saturday. Kinser is 7th in the WoO point standings, while Swindell is 9th.


More blog topics from my Omaha reader:

“Raceceivers and transponders should be federally mandated.”


TROTD: Well Pete Ricketts would certainly be against a federal mandate, and Ben Sasse would read all 1,000 pages of the act that mandated it, so at least 51% of Nebraskans (registered Republicans) to as many as 67% of Nebraska voters (Republicans and Independents) would be against federally mandating Raceceivers. Me? From a safety standpoint, all tracks should use Raceceivers. From a line-up standpoint, all tracks should use Raceceivers. SO, WHY DON’T ALL TRACKS USE THEM?


I realize that transponder technology is more expensive, but all tracks should use them too.


“Jacking up pit pass prices with no increase in driver payouts.”


TROTD: The reader included a specific promoter who has done this, but you know me, I hate controversy. Even though I never venture into the pits until after the races, the reader who sent me this has the utmost credibility, so I assume it is so. I guess if you have a pit full of junk classes this is a good source of income. OK, so I don’t hate controversy.


“Too many babbling announcers that won’t shut up and add nothing to the show.”


TROTD: I did my spoof of such announcers a few days ago. I realize that in many cases announcers are reading a script and are told how many times they have to mention sponsors and concessions. A few times mentioning the sponsors-OK. When getting in the plug means not announcing all driver names before the green flag flies, no, I disagree with that.


As far as concessions:

A. Do you really think that beer drinking race fans have to be reminded the track is selling beer? When my daughter used to go with Matt and me to the races she would say that “gentlemen start your engines,” were not the most famous words in racing, rather “beer’s on sale” were.


2. Not once have I ever got a slice of race track pizza that was “piping hot from the oven.” That piping hot pizza goes behind the pizza that hasn’t sold in the concession stand food warmer and by the time I get it I am lucky it is even warm. Actually at most tracks, what is supposed to be hot is merely warm and what is supposed to be cold is tepid.


III. Readers, please answer this: do you ever have an ‘aha’ moment when the announcer mentions nachos for the 25th time? Do you think to yourself “thank God he mentioned nachos or I would have forgotten to buy them tonight?” In over 50 years of going to races, the only time I can remember buying something because an announcer mentioned it was a pork tenderloin sandwich at I-80 Speedway.


Perhaps cutting down the announcements to only twice as many as at other sports venues would be appropriate. Every 10 minutes-well, with certain announcers it seems so-drives me insane.


I get emails from a website called ‘Real Age.’  My real age is something like 97.  I made that up.  It’s actually only 84. After spending 3 hours in a dentist chair on Thursday I did feel like I was 97 though.  Someone must have a voodoo doll of me-there are plenty of suspects-and keeps smacking me in the mouth.  Thursday was my 5th visit to a dentist in a month, and in a few weeks I get to start my tooth getting pulled routine.  Anyway, Real Age email included a video of “energizing yoga moves.”  I didn’t watch the video.  Even trying one of the moves the email pictured would likely mean a visit to the emergency room.


Maybe I should get into dancing instead of trying yoga. All the stars on Dancing with the Stars seem to lose weight and get in the best shape they have been in years. Picture me doing the tango.  Or quick step.  Or paso doble.  Since the DWTS ratings aren’t as good as they once were maybe producers could start a spin-off called Dancing with Bloggers. Hey, there are millions of bloggers; maybe it would be a success.  I would certainly volunteer to dance with Cheryl Burke.


“In spring at the end of the day you should smell like dirt.” Last week while the dentist was having difficulty removing the part of my crown that didn’t break, she was talking with her assistant about planting flowers in her flower bed-smelling like dirt at the end of the day. All the time she was talking my mouth was wide open. Believe it or not, my jaw does get tired with my mouth being open all the time.


“May the universe conspire.” I am plenty mad the universe did not conspire to make me a rock star or a best selling author or both as well as a poet, a carpenter, an astronaut, and a NASCAR and NBA hall of famer. I wonder who would play me in a movie if the !@#$ universe had actually conspired to do all that. I can think of a few-Brad Pitt, Rob Lowe, Dennis Quaid, Harrison Ford, or George Clooney come to mind. Of course the leading lady would have to be Rene Russo, Meryl Streep, Michelle Pfeiffer, or Susan Sarandon. Or all of them.


Yes Randy, I know you have already Googled “weird old actors,” and can’t wait to comment.


Thanks for stopping by.


P.S. I had to waste time today deleting 59 spam comments-thank you spam software. About 25 of them had to do with Ford vehicles and dealerships. I suppose this is karma striking back at me for all I say about the Roush Fenway Racing team.







Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger, Matt Kenseth, And Joey Logano-NASCAR In Richmond

April 28, 2014 Leave a comment

I forgot to mention two drivers in Sunday’s blog. Billy Moyer Jr. had the best weekend of his career. On Friday he won a Comp Cam race in West Memphis, Arkansas and on Saturday he won $10,000 in an UMP Dirtcar special at Kentucky Lake Speedway.


Rodney Sanders continues to win, win, win. On Friday night Sanders won the USMTS feature in Bloomfield, Iowa. Saturday night he showed that he intends to dominate the series ala Ryan Gustin several seasons ago with a $2,000 victory at I-35 Speedway in Winston, Missouri. With the nickname ‘Rocket,’ he is obviously fast, and if his hometown wasn’t already Happy, Texas they might have to change it.


FOX Sports producers aren’t as quick thinking as racing bloggers. I really thought they should cue up either Jimi Hendrix or Mick Jagger after one of the Richmond tire cautions Saturday night. “Let me stand next to your fire” for the Reed Sorenson caution, and maybe “Don’t ya play with me, ‘cause you’re playin’ with fire” for Clint Bowyer’s barn burner. Things got hot in a hurry. “Genius is initiative on fire.” Maybe so, but on the 15 car it was tire cords, rubber hoses, and a plastic nose piece.


I am not the only person who does not take all of this too serious-hey, I just take it sort of serious. Anyway, after Matt Kenseth made a number of “interesting” moves late in the race, I received an email that stated “Matt Kenseth endorses Pete Ricketts for Governor of Nebraska.” Actually, owning the Chicago Cubs is probably jinx enough for Ricketts without a Kenseth endorsement. I mean today the Cubs lost to Milwaukee 5-3 AFTER Brewer All-Star shortstop Jean Segura was hit in the head in the first inning by a bat Ryan Braun was swinging in the DUGOUT. Not really a good place to be swinging a bat Ryan. Braun stated:


“You never want to see something like that, you know?” said Braun, who exited himself with an intercostal strain in the ninth and is considered day to day. “It breaks your heart a little bit, and obviously it’s never something that’s done intentionally.”


Great to know you didn’t do it intentionally Ryan. I would rather have read “Man, that is the dumbest thing I have ever done. After this season I am going to race B-Mods for a living.” And what is an “intercostal strain?” It sounds like too much swimming in the famed Florida waterway near Melbourne.


No, that has nothing to do with racing-and that has never stopped me anyway, but it was just so stupid I had to tie it in with Pete Ricketts and Brake Check Matt Kenseth.


Other thoughts of the Richmond Sprint Cup race:


-I like Brad Keselowski’s blog a lot better than his racing.


-35 laps after each restart Jeff Gordon had the best car on the track. The trouble is about every 55 laps there was a caution. Nice move by Gordon to come out 3rd after a late lap yellow so he could start on the inside lane. Of course as soon as the green flew Denny Hamlin-with an assist-caused another caution so Gordon’s strategy went awry.


-If Matt Kenseth had not been so intent on blocking Jeff Gordon he might have finished second in the race, instead of fifth.


-I am not a fan of Joey Logano.


-Jimmie Johnson finishing four laps down? Now you don’t see that very often.


-Kyle Busch on four new tires is a mad man. Kyle Busch on four old tires is a mad man. With a few laps to go it looked like he was going from nowhere to Victory Lane.


-Is Tony Stewart really fully recovered from his sprint car accident broken leg? It seemed like the only time he was on TV at Richmond was when he was about to be lapped.


Next week is Talladega, where things get really crazy, and where you will see Tony Anville standing in the front row in the tri-oval all by himself because he bought like 30 tickets to the race. He claims he is also going to go to the Talladega Short Track to watch dirt track racing next Saturday night, but the only way I am believing that is if I get a photo of him taken with the winner of the Southern All-Stars late model race that night.

In the interest of fairness I emailed Tony that last paragraph. OK, so it was in the interest of irritating him, not fairness. Anyway, here is his reply: “I’m in the front row of the Tri-Oval for the Nationwide race.  I’ll be behind the flag stand, 19 rows up, for the Cup race (which is still like the front row when 40 cars come screaming by).” I wish I could afford to go to a NASCAR Sprint Cup race.

“in spring at the end of the day you should smell like dirt.” Long ago in spring and summer and fall and winter, if you read certain newspapers your hands would be covered in printer’s ink. I saw it almost as a badge of honor, sort of like the bruise you got when you were hit by a baseball. If you want to blame someone for TROTD, blame the writers of The Sporting News, because I read it cover to cover and always had to wash my hands after, because they were smeared with ink from the paper. You can also blame long ago Omaha World-Herald sports editors Gregg McBride, Wally Provost, and Conde Sargent.

“May the universe conspire”-I’m really not greedy, it does not have to conspire to fulfill all my dreams. Just a dream or two would be OK with me. Make TRODT profitable. Let me write and publish a book. Let me do a screenplay. OK, the last one was thrown in to give the universe a chance to say no to one and to do the others. I can’t write dialog and I doubt much of what I would write would appeal to the important demographics. Hey, you are important to me, just not to advertisers.

Thanks for stopping by.











April 27, 2014 Leave a comment

My grandson and his mom arrived safely in Phoenix Saturday morning. They flew into a little turbulence descending to PDX and Steph was concerned how Henry would react. She looked at him and he was smiling and said “do it again.” What a character. She bought him head phones the day before and he watched ‘Wiggles’ videos on her tablet during the flight.


This weekend was a total wash for the Lucas Oil late models as the Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex race was rained out. The series will be back in action on Thursday with a three night swing through mid-America, starting at Macon Speedway. On Friday the series moves down the pike to Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Illinois, and finishes the weekend Saturday night at Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky. All three races will be shown on PPV’s. Check it out. DOD PPV’s are better than watching NASCAR on network TV. So I’m biased.


Shannon Babb picked up $20,000 winning the Illini 100 at Farmer City Raceway in Illinois-well, I suppose that is obvious. If it was in Nebraska I don’t think it would be called the Illini 100. WoO point leader Darrell Lanigan finished second, followed by Bobby Pierce, Tim McCreadie, and Rick Eckert.


Here are more blog topics from an Omaha reader:


“No long intermissions, even if there’s some intermission event.  Sponsor stuff or kiddies’ stuff is fine as long as you can do it in 10 minutes.  Nobody wants to sit around for 45 minutes while everybody is lollygagging around doing nothing.  You want to sell lots of beer, buy a bar.”


TROTD:  I am not sure if kid events can be done in 10 minutes-bike races, money grab, candy grab all come to mind and there is no way to get everyone on the track, run the event, and get them off the track in 10 minutes.  Having said that, 99% of those events seem disorganized and that adds to the amount of time they take to run.  Don’t plan them five minutes ahead, or do them on the run.  Have responsibilities delegated, with everyone not only knowing what they are to do, but when. It is called professionalism.


The intermissions that irritate me though are the ones when nothing is happening.  No kid event, no track prep, nothing-and they go on and on and on and on.  Officials need a restroom break?  OK, but that should not take 30-45 minutes.  Here is another bit of news-if people want to buy beer they don’t wait until intermission to do it.


“Letting a crappy class (B-Mods come to mind) drag the show out because “it’s not fair to cut laps, they paid the same to race as everyone else”.   If that’s your attitude, then you can sell 3/4ths of your grandstand because you won’t need it.  Successful race tracks are in the entertainment business, not the business of staging races.”


TROTD: Hornets aka Sport Compacts and B-Mods are promoted as low cost options for racers. Perhaps that is so, but if promoters really want to be honest they will admit that these classes are on the program for one thing only-to hike the back gate.  The pay-out in these classes is small and the return in pit passes can be handsome.  I suppose Hornets and B-Mods also add family and friends to the front gate, but those are the only people who want to see them race. 


I think the junk classes drive away more fans than they add, but that is just my opinion. I do know that Matt and I no longer do weekly racing simply because of all the junk classes.  After years of going racing every week, we now only do specials. This is our 4th year of specials only-maybe it is more years. We aren’t the only ones.  None of the Sunday Night Irregulars do weekly racing anymore.  NO big deal?  Well, my guess is that each one of them means a certain track loses $500 per season off its bottom line.  I am only talking of 10 hard-core fans, but I am sure there are many just like us.  Another 10? 20? 50? 100?  Do the math-that amounts to a lot of cash. Now multiply that number by 2 years-3 years-4 years. 


If profits are razor thin in dirt track racing, every fan lost is a big deal.  The 10 Sunday Night Irregulars who no longer do weekly racing have cost a track $20,000 in income over the past four years.  Are there 10 more like us?  I have no doubt there is.  Maybe even more.  That lost income could pay a lot of bills.


And it is money lost to the racing industry. Matt and I will attend more Nebraska baseball games this year than we will races.  Where we once had season tickets to racing, it is now baseball season tickets. The first year we did not do weekly racing I missed it a lot.  The second year I missed it a little less than the first year.  This year I don’t miss it at all.



When Henry gets a little older, there will be many more games, and even less racing.  Maybe TROTD’s years are numbered.  I still love racing, but I love what I call racing and I only get that at specials. 


“In spring at the end of the day your hands should smell like dirt.” Well, I washed my hands and we went to Johnny’s Steakhouse in Omaha to celebrate Amanda’s birthday. Yes, the place is expensive, but she is getting A’s in college, and she wanted to go there. From toasted ravioli for an appetizer to baked potato soup, to a rib eye and garlic mashed potatoes, to turtle cheesecake for dessert, the food was great. The dining room décor was old black and white photos of Frank Sinatra and other 40’s-50’s-60’s singers, and so was the background music. Johnny’s just became the Official Omaha Steakhouse of TROTD.


As far as the universe-I don’t think one good Saturday night meal means it is conspiring to make my dreams come true. In fact I think it is trying to fool me into believing it is. I am expecting bad news any minute-if not in some email, for sure by Tuesday when the annual financial audit begins at work. I have done these for about 40 years and I can state most sincerely I will not miss them at all when I retire-in about 10 years.


Thanks for stopping by.





Is Brad Keselowski A Genius? MARS/PJ Plus A Reader’s Ideas

April 26, 2014 Leave a comment

The Lucas Oil race in Maryland was rained out. I assume rained out means cancelled, not postponed to a later date. 36 cars were on hand for night #1 of the WoO sanctioned Illini 100 at Farmer City, Illinois. Darrell Lanigan set fast time and won a heat race. Shannon Babb, Kevin Weaver, and teenage idol Bobby Pierce won the other three qualifying heats.


I don’t claim to be a great fan of Brad Keselowski, not even a good fan.  However, the man blogs so he can’t be all bad.  Below is a link to what he calls his dream NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule.


Honestly, it is an interesting schedule-new tracks, double-header weeks with both Prime Time and Sunday races, new dates for many races, a road course in the Chase, the All-Star race as the penultimate event-with the winner starting on the pole in the season finale, and a finish in Las Vegas followed by the Sprint Cup awards.


NASCAR has done worse things.  And, his schedule includes a Sprint Cup race at Iowa.  Do you think a night race at Iowa in June would draw a few fans?  I’m not sure they could add enough seats to meet the demand.  Keselowski had the Iowa race as a double-header with Kansas, and that would be a nice vacation week for fans.


He explains his rationale behind changes, and honestly he makes sense.  TV benefits from having 10 Prime Time races, drivers benefit from having four weekly breaks and the season ending in mid-October instead of mid-November.  NASCAR and the tracks get more exposure and maybe reclaim some lost fans. Like I said, his ideas make sense, and of course with auto racing that is a problem.  How many promoters/sanctioning bodies do things that make sense?


NASCAR fans should look at Keselowski’s ideas.  If nothing else, they are good for arguing over.


A reliable source-DirtWire on has MARS racing at Park Jefferson on Thursday June 26th.  MARS will be racing at I-80 Speedway the next night, and Adams County Speedway on Saturday June 28th in events that are also sanctioned by CBC and MLRA.  With PJ my thinking remains “I’ll believe it when it happens,” but the DOD post certainly makes things seem more real.  Sorry Matt, I-80 is on my schedule, PJ is not, and I don’t much want to talk about ACS either.


One reader heeded my call for story ideas.  I’ll address several of his comments today.  First:


“Lone Ranger rule for all qualifying events.  You bring out the yellow by yourself, you go to the pits.  Period.  Amazing how almost nobody brought out a yellow at Beatrice earlier this year, even with 220 cars in the pits.”


I could be the preacher, choir, and organist on this one. It is a major source of irritation to me when I attend a race. Rarely do good drivers ever spin out on their own.  How many times is the perpetrator-and as far as I am concerned it is a crime-running at the tail end of a heat race or B feature, maybe about to be lapped? And then as soon as the yellow flies, the driver manages to start his engine and drive off.  Think B Mods here. News flash-if you are that far behind after a few laps of a race, the only way you are going to win it is if everyone else crashes. I totally agree with the reader-bring out the yellow by yourself and you go to the pits.   


Finally-“If you’re not in staging when your race is rolling out, you go to the back or you DNS.  You hit up the worst offenders a time or two and next thing you know everyone will get the message.” To me, the only exception would be when a driver runs two divisons-say a USMTS modified and a late model at the Silver Dollar Nationals. With multiple classes running at most tracks, and a too long intermission as well, there is no excuse for a driver not to have his car ready to race and be in staging when a race is called.


This reader suggested a goodly number of interesting topics and I will use all of them in the next few weeks. Thank you reader from Omaha .


Because of my blog, I get all kinds of interesting-that word has many meanings-emails.  One I received wondered if I was ready to examine my b.s. At first I thought it might be my doctor reminding me that I need to do a better job of testing my blood sugar.  Then I thought it might be one of my friendly readers and the b.s. I was supposed to examine is what I have been writing for almost six years.  Actually, it was neither of the above.  I am supposed to examine my belief systems. Maybe I should, but right now I am too busy-I have an annual financial audit coming at work, I have an article for Dirt Modified long overdue, I have a blog to write, I have a tooth to be pulled, and I am tired.  So, checking out my b.s. is like 9,165th on my priority list.


“In spring, at the end of the day you should smell like dirt.” In spring I am glad I have someone take care of my lawn. Summer and fall too. I am not opposed to doing dirty work, but read above regarding my b.s. As Randy Bachman of the Guess Who sang, “I got no time, got no time, got no time.”  And, “may the universe conspire to grant all your dreams.” Maybe in ignoring me the universe is telling me I dream too much.


Thanks for stopping by.


“Official” TROTD-A Spoof Of Officious Race Announcers

April 25, 2014 3 comments

The American middle class is no longer the world’s richest. That honor belongs to middle class Canadians. I am not planning a move to Manitoba though. I am not planning to move to Melbourne, Australia or Melbourne, Florida either. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and the middle class is getting screwed. You can quote me on that. And in the upcoming Nebraska primary I am not voting for any millionaires.


Today is Arbor Day. The holiday was originated in Nebraska by J. Sterling Morton. On April 10, 1872, one million trees were planted in the state of Nebraska. 142 years later it is just a day for state employees to stay home with pay, while most of us have to work. It rivals Columbus Day as a fake holiday.


I subscribe to Pro-Blogger (yes, I know I barely qualify as an amateur blogger) and a recent post gave suggestions on how to kick-start a blog. One idea was a How-To post. So, here is how one NASCAR fan-not me-“watches” Sprint Cup races:


‘Watch’ suggests visual, so obviously a TV will be involved. Many NASCAR fans realize the best audio of the race is not found on FOX or any of the other TV networks that cover NASCAR, but on MRN-Motor Racing Network. So a radio is also needed. Mute Mike and Darrell and Larry and company.


Of course in this day and age, access to information is all important, so bring your lap top computer to your easy chair. Check out NASCAR Race View Premium-at a cost of $59.95 per season. Live, real-time stats are part of the package, as are multiple viewing angles-you can even ride along with your favorite driver. If you grow bored with the MRN coverage you can click on live in-car audio. Instead of the occasional driver whine played on TV, you can hear hundreds of laps of driver whines. You can hear Matt Kenseth say “I can’t make this car turn.” Really Matt, if you can’t make it turn, how are you keeping it off the wall? Or you can hear Kevin Harvick after a pit stop “you bleep, that was a real bleep pit stop. I work my bleep off all afternoon passing cars and you bleep put me behind them again.” Just the audio can he had for $19.95 per season.


*****A side note-NASCAR provides an overload of virtual information. How many dirt track websites still show their 2013 schedule, not their 2014 schedule? I did find a website for a Nebraska track that showed only the feature results for a recent big show, but shows weekly results from much of 2013. Interesting*****


Back to How To: TV provides plenty of commercials/bathroom breaks, and you can take your radio with you. Taking your computer with you sounds a little sick though. As with bathroom breaks, there are plenty of commercial/snack breaks too. The official soft drink of TROTD is Diet Coke-had to get in a plug, but you don’t have to choose a Coke product. Water, beer, Pepsi, or Mountain Dew is OK for fans with less sophisticated taste.


You can have Valentino’s Pizza piping hot from, well, from the drive-thru at Valentino’s, but I suppose Godfather’s or Pizza Hut or Domino’s would work too. The official pizza of TROTD is North Beach Pizza, but to have that you either need to watch the race from somewhere in San Francisco, or have the pizza Fed-Ex’ed to your home in some type of dry ice container, then you can bake it. That sounds expensive.


If you are a popcorn fanatic like me, you can go to Sam’s Club and buy a 50 lb. bag of Blevin’s Pops-Rite Bee Hive Hybrid popcorn. Wow, that brings back 14 years of good memories of a much younger me. Pops-Rite is the official popcorn of TROTD. I don’t think you can find the buttery flavored seasoning known as Savorol though. Clipped to my mom’s refrigerator is a sketch of a Blevin’s semi drawn by Matt over 30 years ago. Nostalgia, big time. Darn I miss those days.


The NASCAR fan that gave me some of the information above happens to be a doughnut and cookie fan. He visits the 19th Street Bakery in Auburn and picks up a dozen glazed doughnuts, then stops at Sun Mart and buys a big bag of Oreos. That is just enough to get him through a 500 mile race. Oreos is the official cookie of TROTD, but the official doughnut supplier of TROTD is Rise and Shine Donuts.


Perhaps you are a sandwich and chips aficionado. Manwich is the official sloppy joe provider of TROTD and Lay’s is the official potato chip. If you prefer luncheon meat sandwiches, here is something few of you have ever tried. When I was young-very young-a sandwich treat was Lebanon Bologna. It is a smoky flavored meat similar to summer sausage. If you can find it in Nebraska let me know. Otherwise, it can be ordered online from the Seltzer Lebanon Bologna Company of Pennsylvania. Seltzer Lebanon Bologna is the official Lebanon Bologna of TROTD. Trust me, it is great. And you know I am a bologna expert.


I hope this post will help you to better enjoy the time you spend watching NASCAR. From electronics to bathroom habits to bologna I think we have you covered.


Oh, “in spring, at the end of the day you should smell like dirt.” The official dirt of TROTD comes from Paradise Beach in Melbourne, Florida. “May the universe conspire to fulfill all of your dreams.” The official universe of TROTD is, well, there is only one universe, right?


Thanks for stopping by.


P.S. That was only 8 “TROTD official products/suppliers.” If it took you five minutes to read today’s post, I don’t even come close to being a decent huckster announcer. OK-the official coffee of TROTD is McDonalds. I drink black coffee; I do not need to go to Starbucks. Midland University is the official college of TROTD. Check out their MBA program. is TROTD’s favorite website. Dirt Late Model is the favorite magazine of TROTD. I’m up to 12 “official TRODT’s,” putting me in a contender spot. Southwest Airlines is the official airline of TROTD. The Rio Hotel is where TROTD stays when visiting Las Vegas. is the official book purveyor of TROTD. Wheel of Fortune is the official game show of TROTD. Enough already-even for a spoof, a lampoon, a farce, an ironic look at the world of race track announcers, though I still don’t come close to some of the shills.









It’s One Of Those Days

April 24, 2014 Leave a comment

I received an email yesterday that stated “Happy Birthday.” I thought “wait a minute, my birthday isn’t until September.” It wasn’t me they were wishing Happy Birthday. It was William Shakespeare. Comparing me with Shakespeare happens all the time. What I found interesting is what seven scholars said writers could learn from the Bard, and that TROTD actually does what they suggest. For example: “love language and use your imagination.” Another was: “be a smart a$$.” OK, maybe they didn’t say the second one, but name one other racing blog that gives you all I do. That is imagination.


My grandson is flying to Phoenix on Saturday. In the 2 ½ years he has been around Henry has logged more air miles than me. He has grown since his last trip and is quite aware of his surroundings now. It will be interesting to see how he fares on his flight.


Thinking about Henry’s trip reminded me of the first time Matt and I flew anywhere together. He was about five when we flew to Kansas City on Braniff. He was quite skinny then. Flight attendants placed pillows around him to get his seat belt half way tight. Perhaps that is hard to believe, but it was true. Henry is just as skinny as Matt was, so I wonder how he will be buckled in.


I received an email yesterday asking me to sign up for a webinar on “How to Plan an Editorial Calendar,” or to plan days or even weeks in advance what I would blog about. That is funny. There are days I stare at the computer screen for what seems like hours trying to come up with something to write about. I am thankful for my son’s curiosity because his emails have enabled me to write thousands of words when I had absolutely no topic in mind. I greatly appreciate the reader who advised me that “in spring at the end of the day you should smell like dirt.” That has added nicely to TROTD. A big thanks as well to the reader who suggested that the universe might conspire to make dreams come true. It has not for me, but that theory has helped me hit my 500 words everyday for several weeks. Anyway, if you have any ideas for topics you would like me to blog about, email me at If absolutely necessary I will even write about sprint cars or B mods.


Speaking of B mods, my friend Tony Anville has been attempting to engage me in an email battle of wits recently. He is not particularly well armed to do that, but I play along. I know I have written of him often enough that you might wonder what he looks like. Picture a younger Slim Whitman as a B mod driver and that is Tony. I heard he sings like the late Whitman, but I haven’t really wanted to find out for sure. Actually Tony has an encyclopedic knowledge of the last 40 years of area late model racing. Other than Lee Ackerman, no one can recount the early days of that class better than Tony. Of course given the fact that I have difficulty remembering races a week ago, he might be lying.


In a Tuesday Sporting News article, Bob Pockrass speculated on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weeknight racing. The TV contract beginning next year is almost obscenely rich for tracks, teams, and NASCAR, and in wanting the most bang for their bucks, networks might insist on some weeknight racing. Instead of Monday Night Football, we could tune into Monday Night NASCAR. I would tag this “I’ll believe it when I see it,” but there have been many occasions under the current regime, the more outrageous something seems, the more likely NASCAR will actually do it. Personally, if NASCAR makes me miss Dancing with the Stars, Mike & Molly, and Castle, it will really irritate me.


Actually, the races that NASCAR shows on Saturday nights this fall will take some kind of a ratings hit in Nebraska. I don’t know how many Cornhusker football fans are also NASCAR fans, but at least five NU games this fall are scheduled for evening kick-offs. I’ll be watching the football game.


Back to irritating, another thing that really irritates me is not being able to get a vanilla ice cream cone at Dairy Queen. Say what? Coming back from lunch yesterday I decided I wanted an ice cream cone. I drove to the Fremont DQ, ordered a medium vanilla cone, go to the window, paid, and waited-and waited and waited. After about 10 minutes the guy comes back to the window and says “I’m waiting for my vanilla to freeze, would you take chocolate instead?” No vanilla ice cream at a Dairy Queen. That makes as much sense as no hamburgers at McDonald’s or TV networks dumping NASCAR Sprint Cup and televising IMCA Northern Sports Mods. Do you think if Warren Buffett came to the Fremont DQ there would be no vanilla ice cream? Do you think the Omaha Dairy Queens are going to run out of vanilla ice cream this weekend when Berkshire Hathaway has its shareholder’s meeting? Memo to self: don’t ever say “I’ve seen it all.”


“In the spring at the end of the day you should smell like dirt.” In spring at the end of the day, the Chicago Cubs just smell. In another ‘Animal House’ quote, Dean Vernon Wormer asked “what is the worst fraternity on this campus?” Well, in Major League Baseball it would be hard to argue the “worst fraternity” in the last century was anyone but the Cubs. At their current pace, the Cubs will finish the season with well over 100 losses. Yes, the Cubs are the B-Mods of MLB. Maybe the Ricketts family should put money into buying some decent pitching, instead of putting so much into Pistol Pete’s campaign for Governor of Nebraska.


And, “may the universe conspire to fulfill all your dreams.” I don’t know about your dreams, but I think the universe is too busy fulfilling dreams in Melbourne-Australia and Florida, and Sweden-though not Cuba, to think of fulfilling my dreams. Back to ‘Animal House,’ Otter, just before the Delta’s destroyed the Homecoming Parade: “I think that this situation requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part!” As the originator of many really futile and stupid gestures, you would think I could come up with a plan. Alas I have no thoughts of conspiracy to nudge the universe.


Or as some of you say about me anyway, my mind is a total blank. Thanks for stopping by.