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Why Racing Loses A Brian Birkhofer

September 29, 2014 1 comment

$4.00 a gallon diesel fuel adds tens of thousands of dollars in expenses for any driver following one of the national dirt late model series. New engines that once cost $25,000 now cost $40,000.  Freshening those engines is more expensive than it once was.  You don’t swing over to the nearest Walmart to pick up a winning chassis either. While expenses have greatly increased in the last 10-15 years, purses remain stagnant.

 

To follow a series means time away from family. Even a limited schedule means plenty of time on the road.  For a driver trying to make a living racing on dirt, even time at home is spent with the car-maintaining, repairing, preparing for the next race on the schedule because that is what the competition is doing. These days the schedule starts in Arizona in January and doesn’t end until mid-November somewhere in the southeast US.  It can be a grind and wear out and burn out a driver.

 

I can’t really fault promoters for purses that never seem to increase. OK, I probably have in the past when I was mad with someone, but promoters have increased costs just like drivers.  They are fighting for an entertainment dollar with dozens of other businesses. Not many weekly shows make money, so specials have to. It ain’t easy.

 

Tracks need to lure more people inside the front gate. Unfortunately most tracks do not have trained/skilled marketing people.  Tracks, drivers, and series need sponsors with deep pockets, but sponsors want exposure in return.  TV could/would/should be a big help, and a race like Saturday’s Knoxville Nationals feature could generate excitement to get more people to the track and more exposure for this form of racing-except that excitement does not really translate well when the event is taped for showing weeks, even months later.

 

In a post race interview at Knoxville on Saturday, Scott Bloomquist mentioned sponsors willing to cough up $250,000.  What a magical number that is.  With that kind of money tracks could upgrade their facilities to provide for a better fan experience, as well as throwing more dollars into specials purses.  With a quarter of a million dollars, drivers could hire more help to make their job a little easier, but yes, I do realize that most would spend it on getting faster.  With 250 grand a series could add to its point fund and do more to offset expenses of drivers who compete for a series championship.

 

For 1/100th of the cost of a NASCAR Sprint Cup sponsorship, a company could gain plenty of exposure.  Do I see it happening?  No.  Tracks, drivers, and series officials don’t have the skill set needed to obtain this type of sponsorship.  I wish they did, but it just isn’t there and I don’t see it being acquired anytime soon, if at all.

 

So, instead of everything being on an upward trend, racing is losing some icons this year. Sammy Swindell and Steve Kinser are departing from sprint car racing-sure, they are old enough to retire anyway, but they will be missed.  And dirt late model racing is losing Brian Birkhofer.

 

Birky announced his plans to leave the sport after last weekend’s Knoxville Nationals, and winning made it easier for him to do so, not tougher. His departure is a real blow to the sport, but as he said and as I argued above, making ends meet for an owner/driver is a tough job. And being away from a young family is even tougher.

 

Years ago I went back to college to obtain my MBA. One summer I missed almost every one of Matt’s games.  He tried to hide his disappointment, but I felt it.  I decided the degree was not worth missing out on my children’s activities.  That was after just one year.  To miss activities year after year has to be bitter medicine for a racer to swallow.

 

I will definitely miss the 15B. Whenever we went to races that Birkhofer ran, our eyes were always on what he was doing on the track and in the pits. Many, many, many other fans did the same thing-as I mentioned yesterday, no one except for Bloomquist and Moyer put more butts in the grandstand than Birkhofer.

 

While I will miss watching Brian race, I can understand his desire for a more normal life. I hope he enjoys watching his boys’ activities, and that he is a success in whatever he chooses to do for the next 20 years of his life.

 

Thanks Brian for some great memories. And thank you for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

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Birkhofer Bags Big Win In Final Race

September 28, 2014 2 comments

Earlier in the week, New York Yankee captain Derek Jeter hit a walk off single in his final appearance at famed Yankee Stadium. Hundreds of mainstream media members were on hand, and called it a story book ending to a career that will lead to the Hall of Fame.

While no members of the mainstream media were present last night at the famed Knoxville Raceway, Brian Birkhofer won one for the ages in what he says will be the last race of his career. Not only did the 42 year old veteran from Muscatine, Iowa follow his Friday feature win with a win in Saturday’s 100 lap feature, he did so in the most dramatic fashion, passing Scott Bloomquist in the final turn of the final lap of the race, denying the Hall of Famer his third big dollar win this month.

I did not have to read the www.DirtonDirt.com story to know that fans went wild watching that pass. The stands were crazy with Birkhofer’s Friday win and that was just a preliminary. Several years ago a person who closely follows late model racing told my son Matt that other than Bloomquist and Billy Moyer, no one puts more butts in the grandstand than Birkhofer and since Knoxville is like a home game for the 15B, it had to be a major celebration.

On the way home to Fremont on Friday I told Matt I felt like starting a “Don’t Leave Us Birky” Facebook page. However, when the man says his heart is into quitting, you have to respect his decision. Still, fans AND promoters will definitely miss him. And I hope that someone close to the Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame will work to see that Birkhofer is inducted in the 2015 class. Look at his resume-2 World 100 wins, 2 Knoxville National wins, a Show-Me 100 victory, a Firecracker 100 first, a USA Nationals checkered, a Dirt Track World Championship win, a Diamond Nationals win, and a Silver Dollar National victory. He deserves to be enshrined at the Hall of Fame in Florence, Kentucky.

Birkhofer earned-and I do mean earned-$50,000 for the weekend, with a 3rd and 1st in preliminary features, plus last night’s $40,000 win. I have him moving up 8 spots in my top 25, and am tempted to vote him #1 in honor of his retirement.

Mike Marlar, Jimmy Mars, and Don O’Neal rounded out the top five. O’Neal gained a few points in the Lucas Oil series point battle as Jimmy Owens finished fourth. It was a nice finish for both drivers who up until Saturday had a less than memorable weekend. Both had to work for their finishes-O’Neal started 31st and Owens started 32nd. Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year contenders Jason Hughes and Jason Papich started 33rd and 34th and passed plenty of cars, finishing 12th and 13th. Top 25 drivers who did not make the feature included Tim McCreadie, Gregg Satterlee, Jason Feger, and Billy Moyer Jr.

The Lucas Oil series will be back in action next weekend at Dixie Speedway and Rome Speedway in Georgia. Both shows pay $10,000 to win.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Knoxville Friday-A Perfect Day

September 27, 2014 1 comment

I realize that some of you think I am never happy, always grumpy, and can’t be pleased. Of course you are wrong-there is a formula that works well to make me happy, make me smile, and that leaves me thinking it was a great day. Start with three hours of good conversation, although hitting the brakes every time an Iowa State Patrol car was spotted was not so good, especially when I was drinking coffee several of the times. Follow that up with a nice lunch with friends. We ate at the Pizza Hut just north of Knoxville Raceway with Lee Ackerman-race historian and fellow writer, Tony Anville-who for some reason I enjoy, and late model Hall of Famer Joe Kosiski. We were there long after the lunch crowd left. Follow that with a nice outing. We stopped at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame to purchase the Larry Moore/Dave Argabright book and have the authors sign it. Anville insisted we go to Slideways Karting north of Knoxville. While I watched Matt and Tony raced sprint car like karts twice.

Matt was having a little difficulty buckling the safety belts in the kart, so a pretty young lady helped him. I swear this is true-when Tony saw the young lady helping Matt he unbuckled his belts so she had to help him too. The races were another tortoise and hare story. Tony was fast, Matt’s efforts could be called a steady pace. Tony passed Matt on occasion, but spun out often. Despite Tony claiming that the only karts on the track faster than him were cheating, as an impartial observer I would have to declare Matt the winner. Anyway, add a fun outing to the list of what made Friday an outstanding day for me-long before the Lucas Oil late models took to the Knoxville ½ mile track I got to see plenty of three wide racing, bumping, passing, and spin out.

Waiting under the football stadium like grandstands for the gates to open, we saw Iowan Chris Long, formerly of Omaha, and Race Guru Steve Basch and his entourage. After finding our seats Matt said he saw Lincolnite Tom Schwartz, and another Lincoln resident Scott McBride stopped by to talk. Joe Kosiski watched the feature races with us, so add lots of friends to the equation of what might please me.

My thoughts of night #2 of the Knoxville Nationals:

-I like that the track can update times at the end of each lap during time trials. Other tracks don’t seem to be able to show this on a scoreboard, and when cars are on the track it is difficult to hear announcers.

-Of my www.DirtonDirt.com top 25, only Bobby Pierce, Chris Madden, and Randy Weaver were not on hand. Not racing in events like this are why I don’t rank Pierce and Madden higher.

-I had a pork tenderloin sandwich at the track. It does not even begin to compare with the tenderloin sandwich at I-80 Speedway. Anville texted Matt that his hamburger didn’t compare with the hamburgers he gets at I-80, so two thumbs up for I-80 concession manager Mona K.

-The heat races were average at best. Well, all except for the fifth heat. With only three drivers qualifying for the A feature, the starting line-up included Brady Smith and four of my top 25 DOD drivers-Jonathan Davenport, Brian Birkhofer, Scott Bloomquist, and Tim McCreadie. Davenport and Birkhofer finished first and second, while Bloomquist muscled Smith out of the way on the final turn to claim third.

-Lucas Oil point leaders Don O’Neal and Jimmy Owens were once again non-factors. Owens finished fifth in his heat and O’Neal was fourth in his heat. O’Neal started 12th and Owens started 13th in the B feature. O’Neal finished 11th and Owens finished 15th. I assume Lucas Oil provisionals will be given tonight and one or maybe even both might need a provisional to get into the feature. Owens starts tonight’s B feature in 15th, while O’Neal will start the B feature 17th on the grid. Other top 25 drivers in the B feature are Jason Feger, Rick Eckert, Terry Phillips, and Tim McCreadie.

-What dirt track promoter in America would not be thrilled to have a feature that included Darrell Lanigan-current WoO point leader, Dennis Erb Jr., Wendell Wallace, Jared Landers, Kent Robinson, Eddie Carrier Jr., Gregg Satterlee, Tim McCreadie, Rick Eckert, Jimmy Mars, O’Neal, Owens, and Brady Smith? That was Friday’s B feature. That field included 9 of my DOD top 25, and Carrier, O’Neal, Satterlee, Owens, and McCreadie did not make the A main.

-Kudos to USMTS champion Rodney Sanders. He was blazing fast in his heat, and held the early lead in the A feature. Sanders led the first 13 laps of the feature before Brian Birkhofer caught him. Later he jumped the cushion in turn two and allowing Billy Moyer and Steve Francis to pass him. Sanders still finished a respectable fifth.

-The Knoxville crowd went wild when Birkhofer took the lead in the feature. So did the fan contingent from Fremont, Nebraska.

-Birkhofer’s win gave him the most points on either preliminary night, meaning he will start tonight’s 100 lap feature from the pole position. Lanigan will start on the outside of the front row, while row two will include Davenport and Earl Pearson Jr.

-A nice crowd was on hand on a warm Iowa fall evening. Thursday night’s program had three red flags, but the Friday program had no red flags and only a few yellow flags. We were headed to Fremont by 10:30 p.m. and got home just before 1:30 a.m.

I know where my heart lies in tonight’s feature, but Lanigan, Davenport, and Bloomquist who starts sixth will be tough, tough competition. Bloomquist has been big in big money races, so I am picking him, and hoping TROTD’s jinx kicks in.

Anyway, the final ingredient in what made a great day for me was top flight racing and a victory by my favorite driver. Thanks for stopping by.

 

Wild Action, Dominant Davenport, Birky Contemplates Retirement-And That Was just Night One Of The Knoxville Nationals

September 26, 2014 1 comment

If you can’t make it to Knoxville tonight, I strongly recommend the www.DirtonDirt.com PPV. I am basing that solely on all that happened and did not happen on Thursday as late model stock cars took to the track at the sprint car capital of the world. The track was fast, the action was wild, and some very big names were watching from the pits during Thursday’s A feature.

Iowa native and Late Model Hall of Famer Billy Moyer did not even finish a qualifying lap before pulling into the pits, done for the night with engine failure. Jason Feger did not come out for the D feature. Shannon Babb did not make it out of the C feature. Gregg Satterlee, Don O’Neal, Mason Zeigler, Terry Phillips, and Billy Moyer Jr. did not come close to transferring from the B feature to the A main. That is 8 of the DOD top 25 that need a good night tonight to better their chances of making Saturday’s big dollar 100 lap feature.

And I haven’t even mentioned Jimmy Owens who is battling O’Neal for the Lucas Oil series point lead. Feger and Owens came together on the front stretch during heat six, sending Owens for a wild ride-I counted five flips-that destroyed the 20 car.

Owens provided pit reporter Ben Shelton a déjà vu moment which I suppose needs to be called a Birky, since Brian Birkhofer was the first late model driver to use an expletive deleted phrase during a DOD PPV. I don’t think Owens will be sending Feger a Christmas card, unless he exchanges cards with everyone he calls an “effing idiot.” I paraphrased the exact words, not wanting to get into any trouble with any reader. Saying what he said in a NASCAR Sprint Cup race probably would have cost him $25,000.

I do understand reactions like that. As many as 30 drivers in this event make their living on the race track. A torn up race car is a huge expense, and greatly increases the odds of not making the Saturday’s show.

Jonathan Davenport started on the outside of row one in the feature and led all 25 laps, clearly a dominant effort. Darrell Lanigan finished second and Brian Birkhofer came home third in the feature. Davenport stamped himself as a Saturday favorite. Lanigan said he has a good 100 lap car, and Birkhofer’s finish will allow him to experiment tonight, trying to make his car just a little faster.

In addition to the 9 top 25 drivers I already mentioned as needing a good night tonight, add Dale McDowell, Steve Francis, Mike Marlar, Rick Eckert, and John Blankenship to the list. Those drivers did make the A feature last night, but finished outside the top ten.

Matt and I will be leaving for Knoxville in an hour and a half. We’ll enjoy lunch with some friends, head to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame to the Larry Moore/Dave Argabright book signing and then head to the track for what promises to be a great night of racing.

Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. If you subscribe to DOD, check out the article on Brian Birkhofer who is contemplating leaving racing after this season. It isn’t easy balancing the books when you are an owner-operator like Birky. He does have an offer to race for another owner though, so keep your fingers crossed the 42 year old Iowan will be back in action in 2015.

 

SCS, Stewart, Las Vegas, And Knoxville

September 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Below is a press release posted on dirtdrivers.com Shelby County Speedway message board.

 

“Announcing… Effective October 1, 2014, Highbanks Promotions has acquired a lease for Shelby County Speedway for the 2015 race season, and has purchased all assets of the Shelby County Racers Association. All current IMCA classes will be retained, as well as adding a new Bomber class. See General Rules & Bomber Class Rules here. Please notify us of any changes you feel would be beneficial to the success of the Shelby County Speedway. Personnel changes will be made. Therefore, all previous Speedway employees will be eligible to reapply for employment with Highbanks Promotions for the 2015 season. Watch the website and text messages for an upcoming informational meeting to be scheduled & held. Any questions, please contact Bret Pugh, Promoter, at Finishline Racing Products (712.662.3813 or 712.830.9434) or Doug Batz, Race Director (712.830.0214).”

 

I admit that I do not know these people, so my only comment will be on adding a 7th class. And that was my comment-7th class speaks for itself.

 

I am sure you all know by now that Tony Stewart was not charged with any criminal offense by the Ontario County, New York grand jury. As a race fan I thought what happened at Canandaigua Motorsports Park was a tragic accident, but a grand jury is not made up of only race fans.  In New York, 23 people sit on a grand jury.  Data bases such as driver’s licenses, voter registrations, and property tax lists are used to make selections and the selections are made at random.  A simple majority of the grand jury is needed to file charges or to nor file charges.

 

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nascar-from-the-marbles/tony-stewart-not-charged-by-grand-jury-in-death-of-kevin-ward-jr-190047656.html

 

According to the Ontario County D.A., a toxicology report indicated that Kevin Ward Jr. was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the incident and that the amount present in his system was enough to impair judgment. I am no lawyer, and whether or not this report would influence the outcome of a civil suit is something I could not comment on.  To me though, for his own peace of mind and to repair his damaged image, Stewart needs to do something for the Ward family, to do so quietly, and quietly obviously means outside the court system.

 

Still on NASCAR-in early December I will be heading to Las Vegas for the NASCAR Champions Week.  December 2nd and 3rd I will be participating in the Sports Business Journal Motorsports Marketing Forum at the Aria.  Thursday December 4th I will attend the Myers Brothers Award Luncheon at the Wynn and after the luncheon have the opportunity to interview Chase drivers-be thinking of questions I can ask.  Later Thursday I will head to the Pearl Theater at the Palms for a program titled ‘After the Lap’ which will feature all of the Chase drivers. Sometimes good things happen because of a blog, even one titled “Caution for Debris,” and this old-timer is excited about the trip.

 

Tonight is Knoxville night one.  I am not going to argue with anyone over what is the real Knoxville Nationals.  There are two Knoxville Nationals.  Both are the real deal. Obviously track officials thought it was a good idea to add a late model event at the end of the season while keeping the sprint car version of the Nationals in August. This is the 11th Knoxville Late Model Nationals, and 10 events would not have followed the first one if the track was not making a profit with the late models.

 

I am not saying that Knoxville is anything other than a sprint car track that hosts late models three nights a season.  The facility also hosts modifieds, motorcycles, monster trucks, enduros, and if I read correctly, a rodeo.  Hallelujah brothers and sisters for all the events, and may they all be on the 2015 Knoxville Speedway schedule.  And I am not going to make any false claims that the late model version of the nationals is the track’s premier event.  When it pays $175,000 to the winner instead of $40,000 maybe I’ll argue the point.  Not now.

 

But this is a B-I-G late model event. Drivers from at least 21 states will be on hand, and even more states will be represented in the grandstands. Almost every one of the top 25 late model drivers in the U.S. will be on hand, and Thursday and Friday events will be on www.DirtonDirt.com PPV, well Saturday’s 100 lapper will be taped for showing on MAV-TV. For me, part of the fun will be traveling to and from the track with Matt, talking racing, football, basketball, baseball, and of course the best topic of all, one Henry Ross Meyer.  I also enjoy seeing our friends and hope that we will run into Steve, Lee, Tony, Scott, Tom, Don, and Charley before the gates open on Friday. And I love writing about big races too.  This is my second favorite race weekend of the year.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

P.S. As a matter of fact I do enjoy visiting the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, seeing all the displays, attending the morning and afternoon programs, and stopping by to watch some of the video at the second floor theater. It’s all good.

 

 

 

 

Cocopah, Top 25, Knoxville, Pearson, And Berck

September 24, 2014 3 comments

Ivan Tracy commented on yesterday’s blog post:

 

“I have always felt the same as your opine. All races should be more evened out in payout.

The race to see will be at Cocopah on Nov 14 and 15. The finals of the ASCS Sprint season. $65000.00 up for grabs! Then the Winter 410 series on the 2 week ends before the Chili Bowl at Cocopah!

If you were beat with a BIG lottery check, would you happy up then? LOL”

Ivan-if I won the big lottery check I would be so happy I would go to the winter 410 races at Cocopah-well, at least one weekend, probably January 9th and 10th.  I really would like to visit that track.

Here is my www.DirtonDirt.com Top 25 ballot for this week:

  1. com Top 25 Voting Ballot
Voter Name: Ron Meyer
Please Enter Date Below
Position 09/22/14
1 Scott Bloomquist
2 Jimmy Owens
3 Darrell Lanigan
4 Don O’Neal
5 Dale McDowell
6 Jonathan Davenport
7 Billy Moyer
8 Tim McCreadie
9 Steve Francis
10 Eddie Carrier Jr.
11 Bobby Pierce
12 Shannon Babb
13 Chris Madden
14 Gregg Satterlee
15 Rick Eckert
16 Brian Birkhofer
17 Mike Marlar
18 Jimmy Mars
19 Jason Feger
20 John Blankenship
21 Billy Moyer Jr.
22 Randy Weaver
23 Terry Phillips
24 Kent Robinson
25 Brandon Sheppard

 

The other 23 voters continue to like Mason Zeigler more than I do. I like Kent Robinson a littler more than I do Zeigler.

What would it take to make me rank Lanigan higher? Well, a repeat of last year’s Knoxville Nationals finale would probably do the trick, but I don’t see it. I don’t even see him winning one of the preliminary features.  Yes, my anti-WoO bias is showing.

I see Thursday’s feature winner as not one of the usual suspects. Bloomquist always messes around-he calls it testing-during preliminaries, and even though he is the hottest late model driver around, I don’t see him winning on Thursday.  While Owens, O’Neal, Moyer, and others will be stout all weekend, for some reason I am thinking Jason Feger is going to take one of the preliminaries, and it might as well be Thursday.

I think Owens will have his new car sorted out by Friday and he will capture the second night’s feature win. I am hoping that he will do so no later than 10:00 p.m. so a long day won’t be and extra long day.  Matt and I are leaving for Knoxville early on Friday so we can attend the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame program at 11:30 a.m. and we will be driving home after the races. Even at Matt speed-unfortunately not close to the speed of sound if my son decides to start singing Johnny Cash to keep awake-it is a long trip.

I am not going to predict Saturday’s winner. TROTD’s jinx is very real, and I don’t care to be the cause of bad fortune to a possible winner.

I will be watching the www.DirtonDirt.com PPV Thursday.  Unfortunately Saturday’s racing will be taped for showing on MAV TV at a later date.  I don’t subscribe to MAV TV. I will be checking out DOD’s Race Wire for updates.

Apparently Godfather’s Pizza in Knoxville has closed. At least that is what Raceguru Steve Basch told Matt, and Steve is always in the know. Darn, I was looking forward to the buffet with that good Godfather’s Pizza fresh from the oven and a few pieces of Chester’s broasted chicken too. We’ll have to fine some other place to visit for lunch on Friday after the NSCHoF program.

A side note going into the Knoxville Nationals is that Bobby Labonte Racing will not field the Earl Pearson Jr. team in 2014. Though Pearson is a four-time Lucas Oil series champion, he has not claimed a title since 2008, and race victories have been infrequent.  Labonte stated that his resources will be focused on continued development of the Longhorn Chassis.

Kyle Berck is the 2014 NCRA point champion after the series cancelled its last race. It is no surprise that this series cancelled a race, and as far as Berck winning the championship, well, that is about like Midland University beating Peru State College in football-simply inevitable. To me Berck’s win streak and probably championship in the SLMR series is far more impressive than the winning the championship of a once was, but no longer is and should just go away series.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I Had $50,000 To Spend On A Race

September 23, 2014 4 comments

Before I get started, I am not saying anyone is wrong or anyone is right in how they spend their money. I am not saying anyone is stupid or anyone is bright. I am merely saying what I would do if I win Powerball tomorrow and have $50,000 to spend on a race at I-80 Speedway. If someone has that kind of money to spend and wants to do something different than I do, that is great.

 

I would not give all of my money to the driver who wins the race, or who wins two races, or is left-handed, six foot tall, and has blue eyes, was born in Canada but lives in California, has three children-two girls and one boy, and who can recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the National Anthem. I wouldn’t even buy an insurance policy to give that much money to someone who climbs through the hoops. I would not spend it on lap money for the first place driver or the second place driver or the third place driver for that matter. If others want to do that, it is certainly their right. I would do something different.

 

Since the Silver Dollar Nationals is the most likely race I would contribute to, I would start by giving all the Lucas Oil and USMTS competitors a $200 gift card to the truck stop just a few blocks from the track. Drivers could do with it what they want-buy food or fuel, it would just be a way to knock off expenses for the weekend and to say thank you in advance for some great racing. That would take about $18,000 of the $50,000.

 

I have always been fond of promoters who “spread the wealth.” I am not overwhelmed by $100,000 to win, $10,000 for second place, and $1,500 to start. Rather, like the old Show-Me 100, the one before the race moved to the palatial track near Lake Lucas, I would like to see last place pay 10% of the winner’s share of the purse.  In the 2015 SDN, that will be $3,200 as the winner will receive $32,000-no hoops to crawl through, just win one race.  I would add to whatever the track was going to pay, to make sure that every driver in the 80 lap feature made $3,200.  Yes, this would probably run my total to over $50,000, but hey, if I won over $100,000,000 in a Powerball drawing, why would I care?

 

It takes more than one driver to put on a show-more than two drivers, more than three drivers. 80 laps around the big I-80 oval are just as hard on the last place car as on the winner’s car.  “Pay back” may not be flashy, but drivers certainly appreciate it when a promoter beefs up the purse for the non-winners.

 

Back in the days of the NASCAR Busch and later O’Reilly Series, an eastern Iowa driver said that he always checked to see what 5th-10th would pay.  He knew that if he was lucky and things fell right for him, he might win the race, BUT with the competition in the series it was more likely he would finish somewhere in the 5th-10th range.  He wanted to see if he could make money at the race by finishing in one of those spots.  Yes, I am really big on this definition of “pay back.”

 

Whether or not the Midwest Fall Brawl is the premier sprint car racing event in the state of Nebraska is a debate I simply don’t care enough about to enter. Fans of the WoO event at I-80 or the WoO event at Junction Motor Speedway might say one of those events was the premier sprint car event in the Cornhusker State in 2014.

 

However, this race was NOT the premier racing event of 2014 in Nebraska. That was the Silver Dollar Nationals.  First, most of the top national late model drivers were on hand for the Silver Dollar Nationals and the same for the best of the best modified drivers with the USMTS as a support class.  As long as the WoO runs elsewhere, no other sprint car race in America can claim to have the best field, and I would not compare the SLMR series to the USMTS as a support class.

 

Second, if Wayne Johnson had not won twice at the Fall Brawl, what would the Saturday winner’s share have been, $5,000 plus lap money? When the race pays $32,000 to win on Saturday and it doesn’t matter if that driver finished first or last on Friday, then make the claim for the premier race no matter what kind of car is racing.

 

Again, as far as the $50,000 bonus to the winner, that was how the people who put up the money wanted it spend, and money talks louder than my blog. I needed something to write about today, and how I would spend that amount of money seemed to be a good topic. I am not going to get into an argument over this.

 

Thanks for stopping by.