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Archive for December, 2014

Sad News From Fremont, Better News From Cocopah, And “New” News From Speed Shift TV

December 31, 2014 2 comments

No, I am not sick.  I am as healthy as any overweight 64 year old with a crappy left knee.  No, TRODT is not going to change and be all about B-Mods and 305 Sprint Cars.  I damn sure am never going anywhere that runs 305 Sprints regularly and wish I could say the same about B-Mods, but every dirt track has them.

What is sad is for Fremont basketball fans. All-state post Jess Shepard tore an ACL in a game Monday night, and is out for the season.  Some said she was the best girls’ high school basketball player in the US this year.  ESPN had her ranked 3rd.  With her Fremont nearly beat the #2 team in the country, losing on a last second basket.  Without her?  Well, how do you replace 38 points and over 10 rebounds per game?  Fremont will still have a Top Ten in Nebraska team, but I don’t see them bringing home the first state basketball championship since 1961 when the Fremont boys were champions.

Shepard is not just a top notch basketball player.  She is a good student and a great role model too.  After an MRI yesterday revealed her injury, she tweeted that God has a plan for her and she will come back stronger than ever. I have no doubt she will.

Drivers are already arriving in Arizona for the start of Winter Heat.  Highs in the upper 50’s are predicted through this weekend, with lows in the 40’s.  Yes, that would make for a cool night of racing.  However, here in Fremont it was -4 on the way to work this morning, and there is not going to be any racing anywhere in the area for a long time.  I would take the Arizona temps and go racing if I had the opportunity.

I received an email from elite race writer Jeff Broeg informing me that the Ice Bowl from Talladega short Track in Alabama will be on Speed Shift TV.  Going to their site I discovered that this site will be covering the IMCA West Coast Nationals this weekend, with PPV’s from Antioch Speedway in California on January 1st-2nd, Merced Speedway on January 3rd, and Chowchilla Speedway on January 4th.  Each night costs $19.95.

Other events on the Speed Shift TV schedule include the Ice Bowl on January 8th-11th, the USAC/IMCA Winter Challenge from Canyon Speedway in Arizona on January 23rd-25th and January 30th-31st, and the IMCA Winter Nationals from Cocopah on February 6th-7th and 13th-14th.  Check out the link below for more details:

http://speedshifttv.com/schedule/

As always, thanks for stopping by. 2014 has been a good year for TROTD and I am looking forward to another fun and successful 12 months in 2015.

Happy New Year to all my readers.

 

 

 

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USMTS, Chili and Ice In A Bowl, And More

December 29, 2014 1 comment

Please keep Ivan Tracy and his family in your thoughts.  Ivan’s mom Elaine passed on Saturday.  Today would have been her 88th birthday.

I received a yearly summary from www.wordpress.com about The Rest of the Dirt.  I made 274 posts in 2014, or almost exactly 75% of the days. My busiest posting days were Tuesdays and Fridays-I made 46 posts on each of those days.  What surprised me the most was that I blogged every day from 3/16-5/16, a total of 62 straight days.  Reminder to myself: “self, don’t do that again.”

The USMTS schedule is out, and the best of the best modified drivers will be racing 75 nights in 10 different states.  The USMTS will again be the co-feature class at the Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway on July 17th-18th.  That will be the tour’s lone Nebraska stop.  There are only 4 stops in the Hawkeye State too-Decorah, Rock Rapids, Webster City, and Cresco.  There are plenty of stops in Kansas and Missouri for those who want to head out on the highway, looking for adventure.

Will Rodney Sanders return to the USMTS to attempt a three-peat, or will he race more in his late model this season?  After losing his ride, will Lucas Oil series ROY Jason Hughes be back in a modified? Darned if I know.

I thought the Ice Bowl from Talladega Short Track was going to be shown on XSANTV the second weekend of January, but checking the XSAN schedule it is nowhere to be found. No, I am not having flashbacks from trips I took in the 60’s-I never took any trips. And I do believe it was actually on the XSAN website. Oh well. First auto racing event on XSAN is now going to be the Snowbird Classic from Arizona Speedway on 1/17-1/18.

Despite the enormous size of the River Spirit Expo Center in Tulsa, Chili Bowl promoters are asking competitors to consolidate trailers and pit with other drivers to save space.  The event has 316 entries, with 303 drivers confirmed.  Yes, it does remain on my bucket list, but will be there yet when 2016 comes around.

Perhaps one of the regular attendees of the event can answer this:  Are bowls of chili sold at the Chili Bowl?  If so, is the chili any good, or typical concession stand fare?

I won’t get to find out what the Chili Bowl fare is like, but I will get to find out what the food is like at the Ralston Arena.  Last week was basketball, some football, a lot of Pawn Stars and NCIS. Tomorrow will be Metro Conference Tournament semi-finals in Ralston, Wednesday will be an early dinner at Farmer Brown’s, and then January 1st and 2nd will be lots of football. Maybe the 3rd will be racing from Cocopah. Maybe.

After 5 ½ days off from work, it was not easy getting up this morning.  What made it worse was knowing that Tony Anville still was on his annual sabbatical. I got 5 ½ days off, but that was less than 1/4th what agitating auditor got off.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas

December 28, 2014 Leave a comment

I had 5 ½ days off over the Christmas holiday. It was nice, though it was only about 1/4th of the time off my friend Tony Anville gets every December. For me, the highlight came on Christmas day watching my grandson open up his many, many, many packages. He is such a delight and is the source of most of my smiles these days.

ESPN calls this period “Bowl Week” and I did watch some football during my time off, but I watched more reruns of ‘NCIS’ and ‘Pawn Stars’ than I did football. I am not sure what that says about me.

Matt and I went to Omaha last Tuesday to watch quarter final games of the Metro Conference basketball tournament. We watched two full games and a half of two other games. We probably spent 5 hours total at the event, although the second game full game we watched seemed a lot longer, almost as long as a typical B-Mod feature.

The games were played at Creighton Prep High School. I felt like I was going into the land of the evil to watch basketball. My dad used to say he hated just three things-“Creighton Prep, the New York Yankees, and Notre Dame Football.” I think a lot of people can say they hate all three.

Anyway, Prep had 14 different championship banners displayed in the gym, with dates of state championships listed. By my count, Prep has won 150 state championships, though I did not know that table tennis and croquet were sports in which the Nebraska School Activities Association conducted championships.

I thought very little of auto racing. I didn’t even read any of the Sporting News or National Speed Sport News daily emails I receive. I did look over the NSSN Cocopah Speedway Winter Heat emails, but that was about it. It ain’t easy saying that I am looking forward to sprint car racing and that I am actually going to spend hard earned dollars to purchase PPV’s of sprint cars racing, but I am.

Counter that a little with Cocopah being the only game in town. The only game in Arizona in early January. Actually the only game in the U.S. the first weekend of 2015. With snow on the ground and temperatures in the teens in Nebraska, I am looking forward to spending some time “in the desert.” Actually, the way my mind works, I was thinking it would be fun to Cocopah on January 9th and 10th, fly to Las Vegas for a few days, then fly back to Tucson to take in the Wild West Shoot-out on January 16th-18th. Aw, if only I was retired and had money. I only know one person who could do that, and he would likely drive is luxury motor coach to the various venues.

I did watch the Holiday Bowl last night, and once again the Nebraska defense gave up a ton of points and big play after big play. This I do not understand. Harvey Perlman/Shawn Eichorst fan Tony Anville says last night was the end of such happenings, with the Mike Riley era dawning. I am afraid that year one of the Mike Riley era will kick off with a 7-5 regular season record, followed by a trip to Detroit for the Quick Lane Bowl. And ask any Lion football player, playing in Detroit in December is not fun, more like punishment.

Well, hopefully there will be some ‘NCIS’ or ‘Pawn Star’ reruns on today. I already finished one of my Christmas present books and have started a second, and I don’t want to finish all of them before 2015 even begins.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Arizona, Australia, Georgia, Tennessee, Washington D.C., and North Carolina

December 18, 2014 1 comment

I mentioned yesterday that Winter Heat in Cocopah, Arizona was not the only big racing event in the Grand Canyon State in January.  While the sprinters have a pre-registered who’s who list of drivers, the late model rumor mill has 60+ drivers racing in each of the six events at USA Raceway in Tucson, and some of the names being tossed about are Ryan Gustin, Jimmy Mars, Jimmy Owens, and hall of famer Billy Moyer.

The young man who carries the burden of being named after a hall of famer-not Dale Earnhardt Jr., rather Billy Moyer Jr. will also we racing in Arizona. After a breakthrough season in 2014, Moyer Jr. will try to garner some success on the Lucas Oil Series in 2015.  That is good for Midwest racing fans because it will mean he will be on hand at I-80 Speedway and likely will be bringing along that other Moyer fellow too.

One driver not mentioned as racing in Tucson is veteran Steve Francis.  Francis is leaving for Australia on Christmas night and will be racing down under in December and January before heading out on the Lucas Oil tour at Golden Isle Speedway in Brunswick, Georgia in early February. Don’t worry, I am done with Melbourne’s.

Before even Cocopah pushes off for the 2015 season, 411 Motor Speedway in Seymour, Tennessee is running a late model special-the 5th Annual Hangover Race.  The event pays $4,000 to win and will run three support classes.  Seymour is 12 miles from Knoxville, Tennessee.  The average temperature in Knoxville on January 1st is 47.  It is an afternoon race though.

Buried in the spending bill Congress passed to keep our government running was a provision that benefit race tracks to the tune of paying $76,000,000 less in taxes over the next 10 years.  The provision allows tracks to record depreciation over 7 years instead of the normal 25 years on construction projects.  While the provision covers all race tracks, I assume the figure mentioned was just on premier NASCAR tracks since a NASCAR writer did the story.  Tax breaks and increased TV revenue, you can’t beat that if you are a big-time asphalt speedway.

Hopefully-at least for Jimmie Johnson fans-the six time NASCAR champ will be more adept at saving fuel on the race track in 2015, than he was in Charlotte yesterday.  Johnson ran his SUV out of gas-and of course being a slow news day someone captured a photo of him adding gas to his vehicle.  And being a slow day for bloggers too, I am writing about it.

http://motorsportstalk.nbcsports.com/2014/12/17/jimmie-johnson-6-time-nascar-champ-runs-his-suv-out-of-gas-photo/?ocid=Yahoo&partner=ya5nbcs

Anyway, don’t NASCAR champions have limos to take them everywhere?

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

Go Tigers, Winter Heat, Wild West Shoot-out, Plus Life On Mars

December 17, 2014 Leave a comment

I realize this isn’t racing, but I have to congratulate the Fremont High School girls basketball team on their invitation to play in the Nike Tournament of Champions beginning tomorrow in Phoenix.  84 girls and boys teams were invited, and the schools represent 15 states and Canada.

The Fremont Tigers feature Jessica Shepard, ranked 3rd in the U.S. among girl high school players by ESPN, but also have two girls who have signed NCAA Division I commitment letters in other sports, another girl who has signed an NCAA Division II commitment for basketball, and their junior point guard is receiving interest from Division I and II teams.  Yes, they are good.  And no, I am not going to compare them with any racing teams.  I started to and then figured the replies I would get, so deleted the sentence.

I would much rather watch four days of wall to wall basketball then go to Washington to watch the swearing in ceremony of Congressman Brad Ashford, though I have been invited to that ceremony.  The best thing about Ashford being sworn in is that it is not Lee Terry being sworn in yet again.

I have been talking about Cocopah Speedway’s Winter Heat, but Arizona will play host to the start of the 2015 dirt late models season as well.  USA Raceway in Tucson will feature open late models on 1/10, 1/11, 1/14, 1/16, 1/17, and 1/18.  Three of the races will pay $3,000 to win, two will pay $5,000 to win, and the final race will pay the winner $10,000.

www.DirtonDirt.com will show all six of the races from Tucson, including the support class USRA modifieds each night.  A six day package for DOD subscribers is $75.99.  Non-subscribers pay $85.99 for the same package.  Single day coverage is available for $21.99.  If you have watched DOD presentations in the past, you know their PPV’s are top notch and well worth what you pay. I suspect I am going to be one of at least two Nebraskans who get the $75.99 package-yes Scott, you are the other one.

NASA’s Curiosity rover has sent signals suggesting the possibility of life on Mars.  No, it was not photos of a rusted out pick-up full of empty Bud Light cans sitting in front of a trailer with no door. That would be life in rural Georgia. Rather, it was a presence of methane gas. Isn’t methane what B-Mods use for fuel?

If you want to be a blogger try coming up with 500 words every day in the racing off season. As Three Dog Night sang “it ain’t easy.” This was only 444 words.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

No Whine Before Its Time; NASCAR, More Cocopah

December 16, 2014 Leave a comment

What a great morning-I had blood drawn and got a shot at the doctor’s office.  Like Lynyrd Skynyrd said “stuck a needle in your arm, ya’ fool you.” A little “sting” or a “pinch” depends on which side of the needle you are on. Yes I am a big baby.  And I get to do this again in three weeks.

I subscribe to a Diabetes website sponsored by Everyday Health.  Today there was an article on “Odd Things That Make You Fat.”  No, pizza.  No Twinkies.  No potato chips.  Odd things that make you fat:

-Late night TV.  I’m too old for that.

-Traveling for work.  I love to fly, but have done so exactly 4 times this year, two round-trips to Las Vegas.  Otherwise I have about a 6 minute drive to my office.

-Cardio Obsession.  I wish I did.

-Blasting air conditioning.  Nope.  I like it comfortable, but not bone chilling.

-Jam packed refrigerator.  No again.

-Multi-tasking.  I have enough trouble concentrating on one thing anymore.

-Daily Diet Soda habit.  This I confess too. However, I don’t use Diet Coke as a weight loss tool.

It was announced today that Sprint will no longer be the title sponsor of NASCAR’s most prominent series after the 2016 season.  I thought their contract was up in 2015, but as happens occasionally, I was wrong.  I wonder if NASCAR has a rabbit ready to pull out of its hat.

There are new qualifying rules for the Sprint Unlimited race that kicks off Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway.  Apparently the qualifying rules are similar to those of the Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway-“ya’ll got a race car, bring it, and you make the feature.”  OK, not quite, but the rules are such that even Danica Patrick is now qualified for this race.  First, all 16 Chase drivers are qualified.  Next all 2014 pole winners make the race.  Any past winners of this race are in, AND any past Daytona 500 pole sitter also qualifies.  There will be 250 competitors in the 75 lap race. Or maybe just 25 will start.

For the third time in six seasons, Brian Vickers will miss part of the Sprint Cup season for health reasons.  Vickers body was rejecting an artificial patch that was used to fix a hole in his heart in 2010.  There is no time table on when Vickers will return to his ride at Michael Waltrip Racing, and no one has been named to replace him while he heals.

I am more than a little surprised that both Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson will be racing sprint cars at Winter Heat in Cocopah, Arizona in January.  After the Tony Stewart/Kevin Ward incident I didn’t think owners would allow Sprint Cup drivers to race in the open wheeled vehicles.

Kahne and Larson are among the more than 50-410 sprint car drivers pre-registered for the event.  Drivers from at least 15 states and 2 Canadian provinces will be racing, including Brian Brown, Christopher Bell, Craig Dollansky, Dale Blaney, Danny Lasoski, Joey Saldana, Paul McMahan, Rico Abreu, Steve Kinser, Stevie Smith, and Terry McCarl. Names like that pique even my interest. To sort of quote former Nebraska Congressman Lee Terry “darn straight I would bitch and moan about 305 sprinters being pushed off, but not make a peep over the same thing happening with these guys.”

Cocopah Speedway will be a busy place this winter.  In addition to the five nights of Winter Heat, the track will host two weekends of the IMCA Winternationals as well as its first three weekly racing shows-all between January 2nd and March 6th. That is 12 shows in 10 weeks. I wish I had the money and vacation time to winter in southwest Arizona.  Yes Ivan, I know you will be there thinking of me. Well, at least you will be there.

I’ll be here working.  Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basketball, NASCAR, Cocopah, And Talladega

December 15, 2014 Leave a comment

I watched 3 ½ basketball games at two sites in Fremont on Saturday.  Between the games and warm-ups, that was about 7 hours of basketball and I did not complain once.  Yes, I would be screaming in outrage if I had been stuck at a race for that long.  The difference?

-the basketball games ended at 8:45 p.m. not 11:00 or 11:30 p.m. or later.

-I was never more than a mile from home.  The closest race track is about 45 miles from Fremont.

-The games all started on time and I knew almost exactly when they would end. No “brief” intermissions that last forever

-I was not sitting outside with a cold north wind blowing in my face, or a hot summer breeze coating me in dust for all those hours.

-No one shared second hand smoke with me.

-And most importantly, there were no B mods.

The biggest news in NASCAR this weekend was that Joey Logano married fiancé Brittany Baca.  Oh wait, not so.  The big news was that Brad Keselowski tweeted about Logano’s wedding reception.

Remember the idiot drunk who brought out a caution during the fall Richmond race because he crawled on the catch fence?  He is now paying the price for his 10 minutes of so called fame.  He was convicted of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.  He was ordered to pay a fine of $100 and serve 15 days in jail-on weekends.

The only thing I wonder about with this sentence is the public drunkenness.  Yes, it was embarrassingly obvious in this case, but I would think tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of others could be arrested for public drunkenness while leaving a race track.  And that is not even adding in dirt tracks.

Kevin Harvick received $4,800,000 for winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.  Add $853,000 in special awards and $7,100,000 in race earnings, making a total of nearly $12,800,000.  I would assume that Harvick’s contract with Stewart-Haas Racing calls for the driver to receive at least 50% of race earnings, so 2014 was not bad at all for the driver of the #4 car.

My contract with The Rest of the Dirt calls for me to receive 100% of net earnings, but I can tell you for a fact it was substantially less than $6,400,000. Start dividing that figure by 10 and don’t stop until you get tired, and you will be close to TROTD’s earnings for the year.

Carl Edwards states that anything less than a 2015 championship for him will be a disappointment.  Well, he came from Roush Fenway racing, so he has learned how to live with disappointment.  The way I see it is that Edwards is only the fourth driver on a four car team, and Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth aren’t likely to pull over to let Edwards become the big dog in the Joe Gibbs Racing.

Pen in Edward’s RFR replacement as NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year.  No, I don’t think Roush Fords are going to somehow become more competitive in 2015 than they were in 2014.  As of this moment, Bayne is the only candidate for ROY.

Actually, I think Richard Petty Motorsports will become the #2 Ford team (Penske is definitely #1) in 2015.  Aric Almirola won a race for RPM last season, and I think his new teammate Sam Hornish will prove that he belongs back in the Sprint Cup series by winning a race this year.

I am sure that Ivan Tracy will be spending early January in his luxury motor coach parked near Cocopah Speedway in Arizona, so he won’t be interested in this offer.  And Randy Palmer is having surgery to remove his head from his-well, to improve his eye sight, so he probably won’t be interested in this offer either.  For the rest of you though, if you want to watch all five nights of Winter Heat for just $99.95, today is the last day to register.  After this, prices go up.  Here is the registration link:

http://speedsport.tv/live/?utm_source=Winter+Heat+PPV+12%2F15%2F14&utm_campaign=WinterHeat_stream1&utm_medium=email

My intent is to watch the final night of Winter Heat-January 10th, and then on January 11th watch the Ice Bowl from Talladega Short Track on XSANTV.

Thanks for stopping by.