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Nebraska 360 Sprints, Elliott Plus More NASCAR News, Last Night, And Tonight

January 30, 2015 3 comments

The Nebraska 360 Sprints schedule is out and shows 19 dates from early April through mid-October.  The wonderfully winged wanderers are racing at 4 Nebraska tracks plus Park Jefferson in South Dakota.  I have been told their home track is Butler County Speedway, but that track only hosts the series 4 times, while I-80 Speedway will be the site of 8 Ne360 races.  Park Jefferson will host the series 3 times, as will Junction Motor Speedway.  The tour will also visit Dawson County Speedway in Lexington 1 time. Check out the link below for details of the schedule:

http://www.nebraska360sprintseries.com/schedule/

While everyone assumed that young Chase Elliott would take over Jeff Gordon’s seat in a Hendrick Chevrolet, I wondered what his car number might be.  News on Wednesday has Elliott driving the #24 and Alan Gustafson remaining as crew chief for the car. While mostly I don’t care, the one thing I find somewhat irritating is that if Gordon races a few times next season-say the Daytona 500 and maybe at a few of his favorite tracks, he will be racing a new number.  NASCAR doesn’t retire numbers, but I wish Rick Hendrick would reconsider putting Elliott in the 24.  HMS could continue buying the number rights from NASCAR, but just not use 24 on any car, a fitting tribute to one of NASCAR’s all-time greats.

Yes, I do realize that Austin Dillon ran the #3 car last year, and that number is as iconic as the 24.  Maybe his Grandpa and car owner Richard Childress thinks young Dillon is the next Earnhardt, but I don’t think so. Elliott is far more likely to be the next Gordon than Dillon is to make us forget someone else once drove the #3. Anyway, 3 or 24 should not be run anymore, and add the 43 once driven by Richard Petty to that list.

If you think that finding NASCAR Sprint Cup Races on TV this year will be difficult with several obscure cable channels hosting many races, you will really need to be alert to decipher exactly when a race is going to start.  NASCAR announced the starting times of races in its primary series, and there are 12 different starting times. 8 races will start at Noon, and that is the highest number for one start time.

I know I mentioned the Florida races that XSANTV was showing last night, but I did not watch them.  I was invited by a friend to watch two 7th grade girls’ basketball games and that was my entertainment for the night. 7th grade girls’ basketball or Top Gun 360 sprints?  It was a tough choice but the junior high basketball won out.

If TRODT Speedway opens up tonight it will be late as I will be viewing more basketball-tonight it will be Fremont High vs. Omaha North.  Actually, the Speed Shift TV PPV of the Winter Challenge from USA Raceway in Tucson does not start until 8:00 p.m. CST, so that might work out.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bubba Land Plus NASCAR’s Most Irritating Personalities

January 29, 2015 1 comment

In my humble opinion-I don’t do IMHO-there is no better breakfast than a slice of cold pepperoni pizza. Yes, that is what I had for breakfast, along with a cup of coffee.

TROTD Events Center and TROTD Speedway vied for my attention last night.  The Events Center hosted two Midland University basketball games, while the Speedway had NeSmith late models from Bubba Raceway Park in Florida on XSANTV.  I switched between during the two during lulls in action-there were a lot more lulls in the race.

Last night was the first night of Bubba’s Army Winternationals, but from shots of the grandstands it appeared many of Bubba’s Army were AWOL.  They do love their time trials down South.  The first 14 in time trials last night were locked into the feature.  I didn’t watch that much-after the time trials there was a medical emergency in the pits and every time I checked back for about 30 minutes nothing was happening on the track-but if I understood the announcer, there were no heats, just B features for drivers not locked into the A feature. Can’t say I am a big fan of that format.

Tonight XSANTV will show racing from Bubbaland again, but will also show the first night of the famous East Bay Winternationals as well.  Classes at East Bay include UMP Modifieds and Top Gun Sprints.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup season is almost upon us and I haven’t done a list post in some time and thought that should change today.  Yes, I did title it 10 Most Irritating Personalities in NASCAR, yet I start with #9 and end up with 12 people listed.  That is called creative accounting.

10 Most Irritating Personalities in NASCAR

  1. Clint Bowyer-I suppose this has to do with Jeff Gordon run-ins as much as anything. That and him wanting to name his baby son Bocephus.
  2. Jeff Hammond-I think I would trust what a used car salesman says more than what Jeff Hammond says. Do not like his spray tan.  Do not like his bling.  Do not like the cowboy hats at Texas. But he fits in well with the rest of the Fox team.
  3. Kurt Busch/Kyle Busch-While ESPN commentator Keith Olberman can’t distinguish the two brothers (Olberman is a chauvinistic, overpaid idiot and try not to lump me in with all the other racers and fans who think that of you Keith), I know which is which. The trouble is both of them make you want to punch them.
  4. Danica Patrick/Ricky Stenhouse Jr.-Do any other drivers who finish 25th or back in most races get more attention than this star-crossed pair? Danica is in her last contract year with Stewart-Haas and sponsor GoDaddy, but I would be surprised if the team and the sponsor don’t renew. I think Ricky should be driving for a second tier team, but anymore Roush Fenway Racing fits that description.
  5. Darrell Waltrip/Michael Waltrip-I liked Darrell the driver, but the next “boogety, boogety, boogety” from Darrell the announcer is liable to make me puke. In the name of all that is good in NASCAR, retire the line Darrell.  I never really cared for Michael the driver, but that Michael is much, much, much more graceful than Michael the Dancing with the Stars contestant.
  6. Brian France-At least he didn’t mess with The Chase in 2015. It will be the same as in 2014. He has presided over years of lagging attendance and falling TV ratings, giving us new cars, new rules, loads of gimmicks, and lots of reasons to watch something else on Sunday afternoons.
  7. Carl Edwards-As my favorite Motown group The Temptations sang, “Beauty is only skin deep.”
  8. Chad Knaus-How about some Hank Williams?

“Your cheatin’ heart will make you weep You’ll cry and cry and try to sleep. But sleep won’t come the whole night through Your cheatin’ heart will tell on you.”

Except, Knaus sleeps well. I know many fans think it isn’t cheating if you don’t get caught-Knaus has been caught plenty, and that a good crew chief will always push the envelope. I think Knaus would cheat if it made more sense not to cheat, plus his arrogance is maddening.

  1. Brad Keselowski-Sorry Lee Ackerman, I have to rank him at the top-or the bottom, or at the top of the bottom. Keselowski reminds me of a 7th grader who when you weren’t looking would run past you and knock your books out of your hands, but never get caught. When you tried for revenge he would scream bloody murder, a nearby teacher would see you, and you would end up staying after school. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that ever happened to me.

Knaus and Keselowski end up at the top not just because they irritate me and 99% of race fans, but because they irritate my wife Jane. She doesn’t follow racing closely, but they irritate her. If someone who doesn’t know racing is irritated, you know this is a pair of jokers.

Tomorrow, the 10 bloggers that irritate me the most. OK, so I don’t read 10 blogs regularly, and don’t read at all blogs I figure will irritate me. I suppose if I was in a firestorm starting mood I could list the 10 local racing personalities that irritate me the most. Or not. I got to #4 quickly, but was having trouble naming more.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Sprint News, Do The Hustle, Millionaires, Plus Big Ten Football

January 28, 2015 1 comment

The big dirt track news today is that Tony Stewart has acquired both the Renegade Sprints and All Star Circuit of Champions and combined the two under the All Star name.  The series has 50 dates scheduled in 2015. I would say it brightens the future of 410 sprint cars as well.

When I don’t have enough to write about I sometimes plug other sites, but if you are a dirt late model fan and don’t have DOD, you are missing out on far too much good stuff.  It now costs $79.99 per year to subscribe, or about $1.54 per week. There are enough stories and videos on this site that even Scott McBride cannot get through everything in a week.  In addition to all the news, subscribers have the opportunity to get PPV packages of certain special late model races at reduced rates. It is a good deal. Subscribe.

And no, I do not get any freebies for endorsing the site.  I pay what every other subscriber does. And I am not complaining at all.

I will also mention yet again, that National Speed Sport News is a good buy too.  For $29.95 you get 12 monthly magazines, plus a very informative email every day.  As with DOD, I do subscribe and I don’t get any freebies from NSSN either for pumping them up.

Going through some of Jeff Broeg’s blog posts at

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=backstretch32+jeff+broeg

I had to laugh at one talking about winning the Powerball lottery.  Apparently someone who did win a big lottery formed an entertainment LLC and among other entertainment possibilities is reopening the Mineral City Speedway in Ft. Dodge, Iowa.  This is an interesting facility, as you enter through a sand pit to get to the track and seating is bench seats stuck into the ground on a hillside. I hope they do hamburgers like the old MCS did as the hamburger I had at that track a few years back was the best I have ever experienced at a race track.

Like I used to want, Jeff still wants to buy a track if he wins the lottery.  I think Jeff would be a great track owner and I hope he does win the lottery-right after I win a big one. Well, a few drawings after I win so he can get a big check too-remember the saying, the way to make a small fortune in racing is to start with a big fortune.

My days of wanting to own a dirt track are over.  I figure I am too old to suffer the stress, and me being a silent partner with Matt running a track wouldn’t work out-we all know I could not remain silent very long.

Now I do have race plans if I would win the lottery. First, would be to upgrade this blog with the equipment I would need to provide audio and videos to the amazing written content. To do this as I would want to do it would not be cheap, and would take more technical ability than I possess.

I would also use some of the winnings to enjoy race trips with my friends-maybe a trip to Cocopah and Tucson some January.  Or to Daytona and Volusia some February.  The Show-Me 100 would be a great bus trip.  I have always wanted to take in the World 100, though RaceGuru Steve Basch says I am too boring to do Eldora in September.  And, I would like to visit Las Vegas in November for the Duel in the Desert. For now the private jet would have to hold 18 people, but that number could change-remember that, all you people who sit around me at I-80 Speedway and make fun of me during late model specials.

I do envy Ivan Tracy and his January and February and March races, but I would not be able to do that even if I won a big lottery.  There is a young fellow living in west Fremont who is going to start playing basketball in November and my winters for at least the next 14 years will be spent watching him in action.

No track, not even a series, but I would back Matt to promote the race of his far out dreams.  He would be displeased if I start listing details, so I will just say it would be bigger and better than anything ever at a dirt track. I think it would make money, but even if it didn’t, it would be a helluva show. Sans any loss, my function as a backer would be to ride around on a golf cart watching Matt in action and getting my photo taken with famous people.  I could handle that.

Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. Catching up on Jeff Broeg’s posts, I notice we have another thing in common-grousing about our favorite football teams.  He is not happy about all that isn’t happening in Iowa City, and I am not overwhelmed by all that is happening in Corvallis East, aka Lincoln. I am afraid that Iowa and Nebraska will be vying for 4th place in the Big Ten West in 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let It Snow-In Boston, Plus Deep Racing Thoughts

January 27, 2015 1 comment

Did anyone watch the Rolex 24 from Daytona?  No, I didn’t.  The thought of cars going fast at 2:00 a.m. would intrigue me more if it hadn’t happened a time or two at local tracks.  Or maybe it just seemed like 2:00 a.m. at the local tracks. Anyway, the Chip Ganassi team of Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Jamie McMurray, and Kyle Larson finished first, just 1.333 over the second place finisher Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Team.   I admit to knowing virtually nothing about this type of racing, but a one second difference after 24 hours of racing is amazing.

I don’t know if the 24 Hours of Daytona ever began with the old LeMans start-drivers lined up across the track from their car, raced to it at the drop of the green flag, buckled in and took off.  Or didn’t buckle in, but took off anyway.  I can see some real difficulty with that type of start in a dirt late model race with some drivers having near Bruton-esque body frames.

When I went home from work yesterday it was 56.  No blizzard in Nebraska.  Did the weather make me anxious for racing to begin?  Honestly, not really.  I thought more of NU baseball starting and also of seeing my grandson outside playing ball.  I suppose part of that is because I have watched races from six different tracks already and it is still January.  Why worry about freezing my butt off watching a race outside when my luxury suite at TROTD Speedway has a constant temperature of 68?  Plus the concessions at TROTD are both better and cheaper than at most tracks. Two thumbs up for PPV’s.

I am not sure where this thought came from, but some of my past aggravation with a certain dirt track came from the fact that it wasn’t   Sunset Speedway and their officials were not Craig Kelley or members of the Sunset Mafia who became my good friends over the years.  Some, of my aggravation, NOT all of it. Perhaps this track did not deserve all of the shots I took-just some of them. Or, maybe I am mellowing in my old age.

I’ve worked up my preliminary www.DirtonDirt.com Preseason Top 25 Ballot.  As I looked over it, it appeared to be a lot like my final 2014 ballot-at least most of the same drivers appeared on each ballot.  So, who is #1?  Will it be Scott Bloomquist coming off an amazing fall in 2014? Will it be Jimmy Owens or Darrell Lanigan who have already won two races this season? Will it be Josh Richards coming back all the way from the injury that sidelined him much of 2014? How did I treat youngsters like Bobby Pierce, Mason Zeigler, Billy Moyer Jr., Devin Moran, and Ryan Gustin? Will veterans like Steve Francis, Dale McDowell, Jimmy Mars, and Terry Phillips make the grade?  Check out DOD next week.

Race writer and great thinker-he is from Iowa and they don’t have many great thinkers-mentioned me in his blog today.  Jeff also votes in the DOD poll and posted his preliminary ballot.  Check it out-not just because he gave me a shout, but because it really is a good racing blog.

http://backstretch32.blogspot.com/

Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. Here is a clue to my ballot-while Jeff and I don’t agree on positions, we agree on 21 drivers that belong in the Top 25.

Also, I admit that Ivan Tracy knows more than I do, and here is his comment about yesterday’s blog:

“Jessie is headed USMTS racing in Corpus Christi TX and I think the low sprint count was due to the fact it was NOT a point show.”

 

 

 

A Winter Challenge

January 26, 2015 2 comments

OK, so Arizona had light jacket weather.  In Nebraska we had a few drops of rain over the weekend, but we had nothing to shovel like the two feet of snow predicted for the Northeast.  It is a winter challenge for me to feel bad that the N.E. gets snows and we didn’t.

Conclusions from watching several nights of the real Winter Challenge from Canyon Speedway Park in Arizona:

-only 14 wingless sprints were on hand, and that was a disappointment.

-Canyon Speedway Park has a big outside the track pit area.  This enable the sprint cars to be push started before reaching the track.  I liked that.

-there were more than 14 Mini Sprints on hand on Friday and Saturday, though it would have been OK if there had been less than 14.

-Mod Lites are simply Mini B-Mods. I lost count of the yellow flags for these cars.  I didn’t take my socks off, so with ten fingers there were at least 11 yellows in the 4 heats I watched. I was alternating between the Winter Challenge and the Fremont High School girl and boy basketball games on The Cube, and even the girl’s game seemed to have fewer stops in action.

-there was plenty of action in the IMCA modified division, and the car count was around 40.

-it appeared to me there was a station wagon racing in the Pure Street Stock division.  Perhaps it was a Dodge Magnum.  Very strange. Usually station wagons are a demo-derby type car.

-I thought Jesse Sobbing might be racing in Peoria last weekend, but he did not.  Now I am guessing he will be racing at Cocopah Speedway in February.

-Ricky Thornton Jr. finished 2nd in the modified feature on Friday and won the Saturday and Sunday features.  Tim Ward won on Friday, finished 2nd on Saturday and 3rd on Sunday.

-Brady Bacon won Friday’s USAC feature, while Ryan Bernal won the features on Saturday and Sunday.

-Even without a great car count, drivers from at least 11 different states were on hand.

-Apparently something called the Super Bowl is getting in the way of Canyon Speedway Park hosting the second weekend of the Winter Challenge.  It will be moved to USA Raceway in Tucson.  The wingless sprints will still be the feature class-hopefully more than 14 will show this weekend-with IMCA modifieds, stock cars, dwarf cars, and x-mods also racing.  An X-mod is just a B-mod with a different letter trying to disguise it. As with last week you can catch the action on Speed Shift TV.

If you are in need of a racing fix this winter, you can catch 13 events on Speed Shift TV from now through February, with at least another 8 scheduled for March, or you can also tune into www.XSAN.TV XSAN has 7 racing event scheduled this week, and 27 in February.

Yes, that is a lot of races.  The only person I know who can afford to attend all of them is Ivan Tracy and he will be at the Arizona events.  IMCA modified fan Tony Anville will likely purchase many of the PPV’s as well.  Me? I’ll work in as many as possible in between basketball games.

Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. I almost forgot.  The 8th rated Midland University men’s basketball team disposed of one Wesleyan school on Saturday, defeating 3rd ranked Dakota Wesleyan 76-52.  Next up and going down is the Methodist school from Lincoln, Nebraska.

 

 

PPV Paradise

January 23, 2015 1 comment

Tonight is opening night of the five night Winter Challenge from Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Arizona.  The feature class of the event will be Non-Winged Sprints, and who doesn’t like these open wheeled daredevils?  IMCA Mods and Stock Cars will also be on hand each night.  I suspect Ivan Tracy is already parked at the track, but if you want to watch the action, Google Speed Shift TV. Their PPV costs $19.95 and action will begin at 8:00 p.m. CST. Maybe I can get Ivan to be a TROTD reporter-unpaid reporter.

Unfortunately you will have to sift through a lot of other classes to get to the good stuff in this back gate delight event.  The first three nights of racing will include Micro-Sprints and Mod-Lites, while the final two nights of the event will have Sport Mods (aka B-Mods) and Dwarf Cars.  I am not sure what the difference is between Mod-Lites and Dwarf Cars, but then again I am not sure what the difference between watching B-Mods and having a root canal is.

Still, there will be some good IMCA Modifieds on hand, and drivers like Brady Bacon and Dave Darland-the People’s Champ-are scheduled to run with the Sprint Cars, so I am sure I will tune in a night or two this weekend. I am pleased that Tony Anville has finally agreed that PPV’s can count as a race in the Matt-Ron-Tony Super Fan 2015 Contest.

There will be plenty of PPV action next week.  XSANTV will show both the Bubba Army Winternationals from Ocala, Florida and the Winternationals from East Bay Raceway Park near Tampa, while Speed Shift TV will host the second weekend of the Winter Challenge.  The Bubba Show will run from January 28th-31st, while East Bay action will take place January 29th-31st. The final two nights of the Winter Challenge are January 30th-31st.

Bubba will run NeSmith Late Models and Street Stocks, while East Bay will host UMP Mods and Top Gun 360 Sprint Cars.

Only 22 days until the NASCAR Sprint Unlimited from Daytona and only 30 days until the Daytona 500. Honestly, after the end of last season I am looking forward to the 2015 Sprint Cup season, more so than in years.  I hope that Jeff Gordon will capture one last championship and I hope I will be in Las Vegas again for the Champions Week at the end of the season.

I almost forgot-only 46 days until the first NU home baseball game, and just 56 days until Spring begins. AND, most important, only 157 days until the Silver Dollar Nationals.

Thanks for stopping by.

Gordon Says 2015 His Final Year Running For NASCAR Championship

January 22, 2015 1 comment

Until a few minutes ago the big news in racing today was that Brian Vickers was cleared to race again starting with the Las Vegas event in March.  Vickers had heart surgery in December. Vickers car owner Michael Waltrip will race in the Daytona 500 in his place, but no driver has been named as a Vickers replacement for the Atlanta race.

News from the Hendrick Racing compound trumps that by far.  Jeff Gordon announced that 2015 would be his last year competing for a Sprint Cup championship.  To me, Gordon’s tweet announcing his decision leaves open the possibility he would compete in selected events, but he will not be running a full schedule.

Since the death of Dale Earnhardt, Gordon seems to have taken on the responsibility of senior statesman for the drivers in NASCAR’s #1 division.  He is well-spoken, by far the best interview in the garage, and he has served his sponsors and his team well.  I have also been very impressed with the work of his foundation.  No question, he will be missed.

I will have to find a new favorite driver after 2015.  I don’t know who that might be, but I do know that it will not be anyone from Joe Gibbs Racing, especially the new fair-haired boy of the team.  I could see me rooting for Earnhardt Jr., except I cannot be a member of Junior Nation.  Those people drive me nuts.

Maybe it will be Jimmie Johnson.  Stranger things have happened.  I was a big Earnhardt fan, meaning that Gordon was the anti-Christ of stock car racing.  That changed, so perhaps I can learn to accept and respect Johnson more.

I am not sure how you ask race team members to give more, when what they already give is almost beyond belief.  I just hope that everyone on the 24 team will dig a little deeper to give Gordon the best car every week and to get him out of the pits faster than ever.  And I hope Lady Luck will be on his side as well.  It takes hard work, talent, and plenty of luck to win a NASCAR championship, and Jeff Gordon deserves one more on his resume.

Thanks for stopping by.