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Dream A Little Dream, Plus Several Editorial Comments

May 31, 2014 1 comment

Anyone unable to attend the Dream weekend in Eldora can still watch the races via a http://www.dirtondirt.com/ PPV.  Thursday night action will cost you $17.95, while the Friday prelims will run $21.95.  Saturday night charges will be $37.95.  Yes those prices are just a nickel less than what you would pay for general admission tickets if you went to the track.  Of course if you went to the track you would have to figure travel costs, outlandish concession prices, and an Eldora t-shirt.  Even I would buy a t-shirt if I went to Eldora. You will have to determine if the value of the PPV’s is equal to the cost, but DOD coverage is top notch, and this is one of the biggest late model races of the year. At Eldora Speedway, the charge is mandated by the track.

 

I misspoke in a previous blog-that hardly ever happens, my bad.  The Thursday night preliminary features at Eldora each pay $2,500 to win, not $5,000 to win as I stated.  The Friday preliminary features each pay $5,000 to win, not $10,000 to win as I suggested. Yes, Saturday’s feature does pay the winner $100,000.

 

I miss the Prelude to the Dream. I would much rather watch big name drivers in late models in an exhibition race than watch the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on dirt. Plus the event raced millions for various charities. I wish someone could come up with an event to replace it.

 

Back to DOD, a source told me that the #1 dirt late model website-TROTD is #2 in my humble opinion-also has the following PPV’s scheduled:

 

-all three days of the Firecracker 100 from Lernerville Speedway at the end of June.

 

-the Lucas Oil late models and USMTS modifieds from Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City on Tuesday July 15th. This may change the Meyer family travel schedule.

 

-both days of the Silver Dollar Nationals (sorry Randy, the sprints and SLMR races on Thursday July 17th didn’t make the cut).

 

-all three days of the Outlaw Nationals from Cedar Lake Speedway in early August.

 

Yes, Matt and I do have our tickets for the Silver Dollar Nationals.  Do you?  Why not?

 

The Lucas Oil late models visited Tazewell Speedway in Tazewell, Tennessee last night.  I don’t know why, but every time I read Tazewell Speedway I think of taser and Tony Anville. Only 21 cars were on hand-sounds more like a WoO show than Lucas Oil-but when you have Owens, Bloomquist, O’Neal, and Francis it is going to be good racing. Owens took the win followed by Bloomquist, Chris “I finally decided to race in May” Madden, and O’Neal. Francis flipped his car on a restart, but was OK other than a sore back. The series heads to Florence Speedway in Kentucky tonight.

 

Lucas Oil wasn’t the only late model sanction racing last night.  The Appalachian Mountain Speedweek took the green at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex in Pennsylvania last night. 43 cars were on hand for this mini-tour event. As always Tim McCreadie raced the high side, and at Roaring Knob used it to win $4,000. Tim Fuller finished second.

 

Two $5,000 to win shows competed for Illinois fans attention last night. Actually, there were supposed to two shows, but the UMP/DIRTcar race at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City was rained out for the second week in a row. Farmer City was sunny and warm though, and Brandon Sheppard and Brian Birkhofer were glad it was. Sheppard finished first, followed by Birkhofer in one of his better performances of the year. Most of the top regional drivers will head to Federated Speedway at I-55 in Pevely, Missouri for MARS show that pays $5,000 to win. Sheppard, Bobby Pierce, Jason Feger, Terry Phillips, Ryan Gustin, and the Moyers should make for an interesting night of racing.

 

A quote from the Twitter account of Drunken Brian France:

 

“A dirt track is more than necessary to make a stock car race a good show.  In fact, stock car races not held on dirt are nowhere near as impressive.”  Bill France-1947 (Stated 67 years ago, but never more true than today.)

 

Landon Cassill’s 2008 BMW was stolen off his father’s car lot last Wednesday at 2:13 a.m. according to a Cedar Rapids, Iowa television station.  Cassill hoped to sell the car and the keys were in it.  TROTD could not confirm the rumor that a flashing neon “STEAL ME,” sign was on the roof of the car. Hey, the redneck racing cliché is “drive it like you stole it.” Apparently whoever stole the BMW drove faster than Cassill in qualifying at Dover. The Iowa driver was 36th fastest, over 5 miles an hour slower than pole sitter Brad Keselowski.

 

Does anyone else get tired of Kyle Busch? OK, 99% of us are tired of him. Let me rephrase the question. Does anyone get tired of Kyle Busch winning the Camping World Truck Series races every time one is run in conjunction with a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race? To me this is like a major league baseball star dropping down to AA baseball and hitting four home runs in a game. Big deal. Maybe Scott Bloomquist could start running a B-mod for fun.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

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Andromeda, Delaware, Furman, Silver Dollar Nationals, Plus Michael Jackson And Me

May 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Measurements from the Hubble Space Telescope confirm that the Milky Way will collide with the galaxy Andomeda nebula in two billion years.  It’s bad enough we have to worry about climate change, now this. Ben Sasse has already blamed it on Obama and Pete Ricketts thinks Chuck Hassebrook must be at fault. There will be a TV ad sponsored by “Friends for a Prosperous Galaxy” decrying Hassebrook.  Ricketts will deny that his father Joe paid for the ad.

 

If one generation equals 25 years, there will be 80,000,000 generations of Meyers before the galaxies collide. I feel bad for numbers 79,999,997 on. Is the Milky Way  like a stalled late model, driver’s side to the traffic, just waiting to get clobbered by Andromeda nebula, a driver who can’t see past the front of his hood?

 

For those of you who are Facebook friends of Stephanie Howard Meyer check out the video of my soon to be 2 years and 9 months old grandson turning into a “gamer.”  Jane says that Henry will be smarter than “all of us” by the time he is 7, but more and more it looks like that will happen much sooner.  And yes, I do know that some of you think he is already smarter than his grandpa.  I don’t mind that-it means he is a member of a very exclusive club.

 

I wondered why the WoO was heading to Delaware for a Thursday night race-which was postponed due to rain.  Duh-promoters wanted to tie in with another race event. Next up for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is one of my favorite tracks-not.  Yup, the big time boys are headed to Dover.  At some point I may say more about Sunday’s Fed Ex 400, or maybe I won’t.  I would rather watch a night of 305 sprints and B-mods than watch a race from Dover. Wow, strong statement.  Maybe it should read “I want to watch a NASCAR race from Dover about as much as I want to watch a night of 305 sprints and B-mods.”

 

I wonder if there is a planet in Andromeda nebula that has 305 sprints and B-mods.  Could the planet host NASCAR by another name?  And have a track like Dover? Is there an alien Carl Edwards? Are there alien rednecks?  Is there an announcer exhorting fans in the stands to visit the concession stand where “good Andromeda pizza is coming out piping hot from the oven” as he speaks? Perhaps there is a Sunset Speedway that was not overrun by urban sprawl. Are there bloggers on the planet?  And if there are, is there one blogger who writes about dirt track racing and is he quite witty when he does? Could there be another me in a galaxy far, far away?

 

There is a really nice article about Iowan Matt Furman in www.DirtonDirt.com this week.  I still remember Matt from the old WDRL days, and his dad Mike, aka Towdad, is one of my favorite racing people. Mike and I used to bench race in the early days of whowon.com, and the younger Furman drives a race car like my son Matt drives his Ford Taurus on the highways of Nebraska. Matt Furman lives in Columbus, Ohio now and travels around the world for his job, but he still manages to come back and race about 20 times a year in the Midwest.  I suspect we will see the 51 car at the Silver Dollar Nationals in July.

 

Speaking of the SDN, it is only seven weeks until Nebraska’s biggest and best race. Do you have your tickets yet? Do we have our tickets yet Matt? Will the Sunday Night Irregulars co-ordinate their ticket ordering efforts with Matt, or will our friends be scattered all over the grandstands like last year? Are we going to the Nebraska 360 sprints and SLMR show on the Thursday night of SDN? Are we going to Lakeside two nights earlier on Tuesday July 15th for the USMTS/Lucas Oil show in Kansas City? Will I ever buy a racing t-shirt?  I say I am going to every July but haven’t yet.

 

I looked at photos of the Show-Me 100 for the first time yesterday.  The laser light show was cool.  Since the animation technology exists to bring Michael Jackson “back to life” like at the Billboard Awards last week, maybe I-80 Speedway could hire someone to “animate” me walking from laser beam to laser beam before calling down from the clouds “Gentlemen start your engine.”  Or I could yell out “Remember fans, red light special, beer’s on sale.” Better yet, they could animate Brian Birkhofer’s DOD interview from the SDN last year, and have him shout from on high “Jared Landers is a !@@#$.”

 

The Show-Me 100 fireworks looked cool too.  I wonder if a certain fireworks expert is going to set off anything at the SDN.  I mean above grassy turn 3 at I-80 Speedway. I won’t mention anything else about “fire,” just his good “works.”

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: May 2014

Thoughts Of Silver Dollars

May 29, 2014 1 comment

This comment from the “real” Sgt. Joe Friday:

 

“Imposter!!!!!………….TRODT…too bad, I kinda enjoyed your company once in awhile…..but that’s cool……..Sarge is Out!”

 

When sprint car people talk I feel like a World War II code breaker.  The code breakers could only read a few words of a dispatch with certainty and guessed at the rest.

 

I do understand mostly what Randy Palmer is talking about, but that is not really something I should brag of. On rare occasions I can decipher my friend Ivan Tracy.  But the above from a Jack Webb wannabe, I am at a loss.

 

Ryan Hunter-Reay earned $2,491,194 for his Indianapolis 500 victory, or as Tony Anville would call it, petty cash.  In his first Indy 500 effort, Kurt Busch took home $423,889 for a 6th place finish.  Although he finished 23rd, Martin Plowman’s check was the smallest of the 33 starters.  Plowman received “just” $225,805. For writing 175,000 words in blog posts in the last year, I received $5.73, maybe not that much-I lost track after $4.00. I shouldn’t admit that since a tax auditor is one of my regular readers, though I just had to renew my web hosting, so there goes any 2014 profit.

 

I am still intrigued by the idea of a co-sanctioned event with both the WoO and Lucas Oil Dirt Series involved.  And of course, I would like to see it happen at the Silver Dollar Nationals.  If that ever happened, I limit the race to 60 drivers-roughly 15 from each of the series would be invited along with another 30 well known drivers who don’t run either series. I am not talking local invitees, rather the best available national and regional drivers.

 

Thursday night of the SDN could be a practice night for the 60 late models and also complete programs for Nebraska 360 sprints and SLMR late models would be run. There would be no local provisionals, no regional provisionals, and no prior race qualifiers for Saturday’s 80 lap feature.

 

Friday night could start with the dual qualifying heats that make the SDN a popular event.  6 heats of 10 cars in round one, invert starting positions for the second round of 6 heats, and the top 18 in passing points at the end of the evening are locked into Saturday’s big race.  Finish out the evening with two special races of 15 laps each.  The first one could be a Fan’s Favorites race-fans could go on line and vote for the drivers they would like to see in such a race, and the top 12 vote getters would race.  The other could be a Race of the States, with one driver from every state represented by the 60 drivers racing. This would probably mean 18-20 drivers.  Line up sponsors to help make these events worthwhile for the drivers, paying at least $1,500 to win.

 

On Saturday night, two 20 lap last chance races would be held, with the 42 cars not already qualified divided up by points earned from the Friday qualifying heats.  Four cars from each race would go to the feature. Each sanctioning body would get two provisionals, and two provisionals would be “promoter’s choice.” That makes 32 cars for the feature and 28 cars for a 30 lap non-qualifiers race. Throw in an unsanctioned modified race as well-invite 20 top areas drivers, run two heat races and a 25 lap feature paying $2,500 to win.

 

This idea would mean 14 races totaling 210 laps on Friday night and 7 races totaling 190 laps on Saturday.  The USMTS modifieds would not be needed as a co-feature class. The late models would be an even bigger draw than they currently are, and the top area modified drivers can put on a show comparable to the USMTS at less cost.

 

If anyone could make this happen, I think promoter Joe Kosiski could. He is a hall of famer as is his brother Steve, and both have a lot of credibility with the national tours and all the drivers who would compete in the event.  There would have to be some compromise between the tours, but logistically I could see this event as feasible.  Whether or not it would be one that could make the track some money, I don’t know because both ends of the purse would need to be increased and I have no idea what the tours would charge for sanctioning fees.  I think such a race would be profitable, but what I think along with $1.29 will buy you a large cup of coffee at McDonald’s.

 

Yes, I do know this is a wild and crazy idea.  Stranger things have happened.  Well, maybe stranger things have not happened, but this sure would be a great event for fans and would gain instant crown jewel status for the SDN.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Top 25, Plus Police Work

May 28, 2014 2 comments

Here is my Top 25 list for the week.  All of the drivers on my ballot this week were on my ballot last week too.  There are a number of changes though. I won’t brag about how many of my drivers ended up on the overall www.DirtonDirt.com list-as a certain Iowa voter suggested, I am merely voting as every one of the other 23 voters did.  Alas, no Brian Birkhofer on my list, though at least one voter is remaining stubborn as Birkhofer is ranked 36th.

 

DirtonDirt.com Top 25 Voting Ballot
   
Voter Name: Ron Meyer
  Please Enter Date Below
Position 05/27/14
1 Scott Bloomquist
2 Darrell Lanigan
3 Don O’Neal
4 Bobby Pierce
5 Jimmy Owens
6 Jonathan Davenport
7 Steve Francis
8 Billy Moyer
9 Rick Eckert
10 Eddie Carrier Jr.
11 Mike Marlar
12 Dale McDowell
13 Earl Pearson Jr.
14 John Blankenship
15 Tim McCreadie
16 Chris Madden
17 Brandon Sheppard
18 Billy Moyer Jr.
19 Shane Clanton
20 Terry Phillips
21 Gregg Satterlee
22 Shannon Babb
23 Kent Robinson
24 Ryan Gustin
25 Jason Feger

 

There are plenty of opportunities for Top 25 change on this week’s late model schedule.  The WoO series heads to Delmar, Delaware for a show at the appropriately named Delaware International Speedway. The $10,000 to win event will run on Thursday night.  The Lucas Oil late models will head to Tazewell, Speedway in Tennessee on Friday and Florence Speedway in Kentucky on Saturday night for $10,000 to win shows.   There are two $5,000 to win shows in Illinois, both on Friday night.  UMP/DIRTcar will race at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, while the ALMS West series will race at Farmer City Raceway in Farmer City.  I wonder which one will play host to the 17 year old wunderkind Bobby Pierce. Federated Speedway at    I-55 in Pevely, Missouri has a $5,000 to win MARS race scheduled for Saturday.

 

The four day Appalachian Mountain Speedweek mini-tour will run from May 30-June 2, with stops in Roaring Knob, Hagerstown, Bedford, and Port Royal.  Hagerstown is in Maryland, the other three tracks pay tax to Pennsylvania.  All four of the events are $4,000 to win, and one or more are likely to see some name late model drivers drop in. In the past some drivers have used these races to tune-up for Eldora, with its $5,000 to win twin features on June 5th, its $10,000 to win twin features on June 6th, and of course the richest dirt track race of the season, the $100,000 to win Dream on June 7th. Appalachia and Ohio with seven races in nine days sounds like a worthy “if I win the lottery” bucket list trip

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To Sgt. Joe Friday-since you didn’t mention names, I won’t use my power to delete.  The track you did not name does fine without any promotional assistance from me-and it most assuredly will get none, and I do fine not going there.  I-80, Lakeside, Knoxville, Deer Creek, Cedar Lake, Eldora and specials at other tracks beckon and I will spend my race dollars at those places.

 

Speaking of doing fine, after a not so good six days health wise, “I’m doing fine, up here on cloud nine.”  Hey, the Temptations song was anti-drug. Me too.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Scary Bad, Lots Of Racing Opinions, And Then Relief

May 27, 2014 Leave a comment

If you visited The Rest of the Dirt this morning because reading one of my blog posts seems like a great way to start your day, well, bless you. You are a member of a very exclusive club. Unfortunately there was no new post to greet you. I started today’s post last night and hoped to finish it before I went to work this morning, but was unable to do so.

Actually I spent about as much time at the doctor’s office this morning as I did at my own office. No, I wasn’t there to have my head examined, though I suppose some of my actions in recent days, weeks, and months suggest I ought to. I refuse to add years to that last sentence, though someone could probably make a strong argument it should be there as well. If how I feel doesn’t turn around in the next few days, apparently I will be having my head examined. And that is enough on my medical problems for now.

I watched part of XSANTV’s webstream of the Hawkeye Dirt Tour race from I-35 Speedway last night. Unlike some writers and too many promoters, I do not believe that XSANTV and others like it are keeping people from going to the track. I am 99% certain I will never visit I-35 Speedway in person, and I was certainly not going there last night, so I did not take any money out of the promoter’s pocket.

I knew a handful of the modified racers of the Hawkeye Dirt Tour-I did a Jesse Sobbing article for Dirt Modified magazine and have interviewed a few drivers for other articles. I have mentioned this before, but not having a rooting interest nor great expectations of a track other than hoping for some good racing makes for an enjoyable night of racing. Well, as enjoyable as can be when five classes are racing, including IMCA Sport Compacts and IMCA Northern Sport Mods aka B-Mods. The IMCA Hobby Stocks and IMCA Stock Cars are always fun to watch, and with five heats of HDT Modifieds, there was plenty of action in that division too.

When watching XSANTV or DOD or other webstreaming, I like to see how the track is set up. Usually, camera angles prevent getting a good look at the grandstands, but the track and pit areas are open to view in most cases. I-35 Speedway is like many other Iowa tracks, good black dirt. Even though it is a half-mile track, pits are outside the track, giving fans a good view of back stretch racing too. Something I found interesting is that part of the pit area is adjacent to turns three and four at the track and this extends to the front stretch grandstands.

This look provided the one question I had about last night’s races. There were people in the pits standing against the catch fence. This is a no-no in the grandstands, and I am not sure why it would be allowed in the pits, though at some tracks, crew and officials can be dangerously close to the track. After what happened in Des Moines last week I think all tracks need to take a close look at this particular safety issue.

My spam software turned away 27 comments today, though it still hasn’t caught any from Randy Palmer. Included among the spam were three comments wanting me to buy John Cena items. I suppose I would be more likely to buy Cena souvenirs than Carl Edwards/Greg Biffle/Ricky Stenhouse Jr. souvenirs, but still. I do love how my spell check always wants to substitute “baffle” for Biffle.

I was wrong when I stated that Matt Kenseth was now the only “big name” NASCAR driver without a win in 2014. Tony Stewart does not have a win either. I realized that when I read an article telling how Stewart had tested a sprint car on Sunday. Will the test lead Stewart back to dirt? It would not surprise me. I have always stated that sprint car racing was ‘Smoke’ and mirrors anyway. I hope for a Stewart NASCAR Sprint Cup win and his return to the dirt-both would be good for the sport.

Along with many others, I was wondering just when Jimmie Johnson was going to win a race this season. I felt it was inevitable, even with his “slow start.” With his win at Charlotte, Johnson snapped an 11 race winless streak. 11 races without a win. Wow. I wonder if Rick Hendrick wants to get rid of him. I am being facetious, ironic, and sarcastic here. With Johnson in the Chase, it looks like every other driver better step up their efforts.

Speaking of Hendrick Racing, three of the Hendrick drivers are in the top six in Sprint Cup point standings: Jeff Gordon is the leader, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is in fifth place, and Johnson is just six points behind Earnhardt in sixth. Much to the pleasure of a certain Auburn resident, Hendrick driver Kasey Kahne is still on the outside looking in when the Chase is being discussed.

Check out comments from TMC and Scott McBride on my previous Coca-Cola 600 post. Both talked about being spoiled by the racing in our area-in the numbers and quality of feature class racing. That doesn’t mean that promoters can’t do better, just that when promoters get things right, Midwest drivers can put on a great show. And hard core fans like this pair, like Matt and his dad, and like the Sunday Night Irregulars don’t seem to mind driving to Wheatland, Missouri or Knoxville, Iowa or New Richmond, Wisconsin or Spring Creek, Minnesota to watch good dirt track racing.

Oh, and thanks to my favorite daughter in-law, wonderful mother to the best grandson a grandpa could even think of having, my medical malaise has been discovered. It was unfortunate, but it will soon be over. Hopefully the past few days will scare some sense into me, though that remains to be seen. Thank you, thank you, thank you Steph.

And thank you for stopping by.

 

 

Coca-Cola 600 And More

May 26, 2014 5 comments

Some people say they’ve had enough of silly love songs. Yeah, that played during my trip through Iowa on Friday. I had enough of silly love songs about five seconds into the music and switched it. Other people say that 600 miles is too long for the Memorial Day weekend race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. They say that the generations of instant gratification won’t watch a race that long. The naysayers want to change the race to some other distance. I say leave it alone-NASCAR has already gone far in the wrong direction ignoring tradition. The Coca-Cola 600 at any other distance wouldn’t be just another race-it is in Charlotte, home of most of the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams-but it would not be nearly as special.

To heck with those who won’t watch 600 miles. I did. Well, actually I didn’t. I was not feeling well yesterday. I don’t want to go into my maladies, but after 125 miles of the race my pillow beckoned, and I couldn’t say no. Jimmie Johnson won the race. At Charlotte-ain’t that a surprise? And Johnson punched his ticket to The Chase. What big name driver still needs a win? Matt Kenseth is the only “name” driver I can think of.

I enjoy reading the tweets of “Drunken Brian France.” Sorry to all you ostriches who think the 11th commandment is “Thou Shalt Not Speak Ill Of Racing.” Here are a few of DBF’s tweets from last night:

-Glad to see #NASCAR isn’t the only series racing to empty seats at the #Brickyard

-Who will DW talk about more today, “Junebug” or Danica?

-Thanks to last night’s failure, we’re now living in the 590th consecutive day that @ClintBowyer hasn’t won a race in. Enjoy your day.

-Regardless of your feelings about tonight here’s something we can all look forward to: next week is the end of @NASCARONFOX!

-Hey #NASCAR wanna show you really do love the troops? Fill all those empty seats & give free tix to service members

My prognostication skills were as razor sharp as ever this weekend. From anointing Brian Birkhofer as the Show-Me 100 winner to Juan Pablo Montoya drinking milk at Indianapolis to Dale Earnhardt Jr. finding Victory Lane at Charlotte, I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Birkhofer did not qualify for the Show-Me, Montoya finished 5th at Indianapolis, and Earnhardt Jr. was two laps down in 19th place when Jimmie Johnson took the checkered flag at CMS.

I also had Kurt Busch finishing 14th in the Indy 500 and 18th in the Coca-Cola 500-or maybe it was the other way around. It doesn’t matter-Busch finished 6th at Indianapolis and 40th at Charlotte. The old saying is “a little bit of knowledge is dangerous.” I prove that every time I pick winners.

I hadn’t planned on watching any of the Indy 500, but when it came on my wife switched channels and I figured getting into an argument over Indy 500 prelims would be a huge waste of what little goodwill I have. Ryan Hunter-Reay won the race, followed by Helio Castraneves of Dancing With The Stars fame.

I am not the only person who has little good to say about B-Mods. I received two emails this week commenting on the multiple cautions in B-Mod features. In this case multiple does not mean two or three it means six-seven-eight cautions. There is such a huge difference in the equipment and talent in this division that cautions are simply bound to happen. Maybe tracks need to go to a C-Mod division. Hey, there are 410, 360, and 305 sprints. C-Mods could be like the 305 sprints. Mostly I am being ironic. I would hate to be known as the father of C-Mods.

I am watching the Hawkeye Dirt Tour race from I-35 Speedway in Mason City, Iowa tonight on XSANTV. I have never visited the track, and this will be my way of seeing the place. The video stream begins about 6:00 p.m. Central time.

Yes, Matt and I did go to Omaha to watch baseball yesterday. Feeling as bad as I felt, the first four innings of the Nebraska versus Indiana game were somewhat of a blur. I do know there were a lot of people dressed in red-I think it may have been 19,935 cheering for NU and 30 rooting for IU. Indiana showed why they are a top five rated team. They made good on their chances, while Nebraska mostly did not, and Indiana deserved their 8-4 win. Still, from a losing record in 2013 to a 40-19 showing in 2014, the Cornhuskers have proven they are well on their way to being a college baseball power again.

Other than having plenty of leg room in the grandstands, I don’t have much good to say about T.D. Ameritrade Park. 31 steps up to the concourse is not a good thing for anyone with an arthritic left knee, and then it is down to your seats, in our case, 8 steps down. I don’t like foul territory behind home plate that is half as big as Cherry County-the Nebraska county bigger than some states, nor do I like the fact that a home run to left-center, center, or right-center is a virtual impossibility in this park. My vote for best ball park in Nebraska remains with Haymarket Park in Lincoln.

What would my vote for best race track in Nebraska be? Ha, darn sure not what a lot of people would say. But I don’t want to create any fire storms today, so I won’t name names. I’ll go with Sunset Speedway even though it has been gone for over a decade.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

A Lot Of Show-Me Plus More

May 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Infield track worker Richard Welch was killed Friday night at the Iowa State Fairway Speedway. Police investigating the incident were not sure if Welch was struck by debris or by a car in a hobby stock rollover accident. When this doesn’t happen for years, you tend to forget that the pits at a race track are a dangerous area. I am as guilty as anyone thinking it won’t happen again, but unfortunately it will. My thoughts go out to the family.

Zack VanderBeek of New Sharon, Iowa won Thursday’s USMTS feature at Buena Vista Raceway in Alta, Iowa. After four wins in a row Stormy Scott could manage only a second place finish at BVR. On Friday Minnesotan Brandon Davis visited Victory Lane at Chateau Raceway in Lansing. Davis has defeated USMTS regulars three of the last five times the series has visited Chateau. On Saturday the series ventured to Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minnesota. Brad Waits of Rochester-that would be the city close to Deer Creek, not the one in New York-led all 40 laps. Once again Stormy Scott finished second. The USMTS band of gypsies visits Upper Iowa Speedway in Decorah tonight.

So much for my prediction of Brian Birkhofer winning the Show-Me 100. Birkhofer fared poorly during Friday qualifying, and didn’t do much better in his consolation race on Saturday, finishing 9th after starting 11th. The Iowan did win Friday’s Race of Champions, defeating Earl Pearson Jr., Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Owens, Billy Moyer and others. I believe the win was worth $1,000 for Birkhofer. The 15B also finished 5th in the non-qualifiers race. There is a past champions provisional, but it goes to the fastest of the non-qualifying past champions and Wendell Wallace was faster than Birkhofer. It looks like Birkhofer won’t be jumping back into my Top 25 this week.

I will have to remember the TROTD jinx still works and not pick the 15B anymore. I’ll just pick Jared Landers every time. From race reports, it appears Landers had a run-in with Billy Moyer Jr. that Kid Smooth’s night. Perhaps there is a reason why Landers no longer races for Clint Bowyer.

Landers replacement Don O’Neal has been having a good year, and the good year got a whole lot better last night as he won the Show-Me 100 for the first time in his career. Earl Pearson Jr. started 24th and moved to second. Bobby Pierce finished third followed by Scott Bloomquist and Jimmy Owens.

One thing that always amazes me about dirt track racing is that if weather threatens, promoters can hurry along an event in order to dodge rain drops. So, if it can be done under those conditions, why can’t it be done otherwise? The race had only three cautions and the final 43 laps went green.

Lucas Oil Speedway did show what having a paved pit area does for a track. A heavy rain fell on the Wheatland track Saturday morning, and while it may have made a mess in the infield and for campers, it did not affect the evening’s racing at all. Yes, I do realize that no other track has the resources of Forrest Lucas behind it.

Congratulations to the Nebraska baseball team on reaching the finals of the Big 10 Baseball Tournament. Matt and I guessed at what a good attendance figure would be for Saturday’s 9:00 a.m. game against Michigan. We thought 8,000 would be a tremendous showing. We were wrong. 12,011 showed up for breakfast with the Huskers. Each Nebraska game has set a new single game attendance record for the tournament, and the previous all-session record was broken on just the second day of the five day event. Despite these glowing numbers, Big 10 Commissioner Jim Delaney stated the tournament was going back to Minneapolis next year-a location that saw all of 6,500 attend the entire 2013 tournament. The Big 10 needs to go into the dirt track promotion business too.

I expect another tournament record crowd when NU plays Indiana in a winner take all championship game this afternoon. I think at least 15,000 will show up, pushing attendance for the five day show above 50,000. So, in 2015 the tournament will go to the city that did not support it instead of the city that did. Yes, the Minneapolis tournament will be played in a big league park, while the Omaha tournament is “only” played at the home of the College World Series. If you ask the players if they would rather play before a big crowd in a great atmosphere at the home of the CWS or play in a major league stadium before a sparse “crowd,” I think they would all vote for Omaha. The Big 10 leadership is truly amazing. It will be impressive TV to show the championship game next year in a nearly empty stadium. Forget dirt track promoting, the Big 10 can promote NASCAR. At least NASCAR TV coverage tries to hide empty grandstands-I don’t know how you hide 39,000 empty seats in a ball park.

Something I forgot from yesterday’s blog. Tom Schwartz-were you driving a Star Tran van west of Des Moines on Friday afternoon? I thought it might be you, but I only got a quick glance as I zipped by on I-80.

Thanks for stopping by. And Go Big Red.