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What? Only 10 On My Ballot Made The www.DirtonDirt.com Top 25. That Can’t Be Right

February 25, 2015 Leave a comment

Below is my www.DirtonDirt.com Top 25 ballot.

 

DirtonDirt.com Top 25 Voting Ballot
Name: Ron Meyer
Date: 2/23/2015
 
Position
1 Shane Clanton
2 Billy Moyer
3 Josh Richards
4 Darrell Lanigan
5 Don O’Neal
6 Scott Bloomquist
7 Eddie Carrier Jr.
8 Jimmy Owens
9 Jonathan Davenport
10 Brandon Sheppard
11 Chris Madden
12 Steve Francis
13 Dale McDowell
14 Tim McCreadie
15 Dennis Erb Jr.
16 Devin Moran
17 Gregg Satterlee
18 Earl Pearson Jr.
19 Billy Moyer Jr.
20 Bobby Pierce
21 Rick Eckert
22 Stormy Scott
23 Brandon Overton
24 Mason Zeigler
25 Jason Papich

 

Yes, Shane Clanton is at the top of the list.  No, I have not become a Shane Clanton fan, but with all the wins he had in Florida, it was impossible not to rank him first.  I thought I did a good job of prepping for my vote-I made a spreadsheet for all the driver finishes in the Georgia and Florida races, but only 19 on my ballot appeared in the top 25.  Oh well, that means that except for Jeff Broeg the other 24 voters were wrong. And Jeff is from Iowa and a Hawkeye fan, so he can be excused for irrational decisions.

I saw that the only way to get a down front ticket to the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Merryweather fight at the MGM Grand is to have a $250,000 line of credit at the hotel casino and be willing to play it.  For nights around the fight date, a king room goes for $2,350 per night, three nights minimum.  Reading this I thought “this sounds like the Bristol night race a few years back.”

The Corn Belt Clash schedule is out.  Mostly made up of eastern Iowa drivers-and mostly good eastern Iowa drivers, the schedule includes stops at 11 tracks in 5 Midwestern states, with 3 dates at I-80 Speedway, 3 dates at Park Jefferson-Matt is already pestering me on this, and a single night of racing at Adams County Speedway in Corning, Iowa.

No doubt many of the CBC dates will be co-sanctioned with the MLRA series, and make for really good regional racing.

Tonight it will be Midland University basketball, but tomorrow night TROTD Speedway will be open with USAC Sprint Cars from East Bay Raceway Park on XSAN.TV.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

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Daytona-500 And More

February 23, 2015 1 comment

Before I talk about the Daytona 500, I want to first mention Saturday’s bad day at the famed tri-oval for the Busch brothers.  Kurt-he wants people to think of him as being a bad-ass.  He has it half right, he is an ass.  Thousands of people would be thrilled to have the talent he has racing a stock car, a talent worth millions of dollars of income in a year, and he has tanked his career from actions on and off the track.

Jane has worked with families in the court system in Nebraska for over 20 years.  Most families end up in the system for two reasons-drugs and domestic abuse.  Through Jane I see what domestic abuse can do to families, so I have no respect or sympathy for any man who hits a woman.  The description given in court of what Busch did certainly fits an anger problem he has shown both off and on the track.  The on track behavior is border line, but there is no question the off track behavior shown is unacceptable. NASCAR acted properly in suspending Busch.  Honestly, if car owner Gene Haas was footing much of the bill for the Busch car, I am not sure any sponsor would want to pay large sums of money to have Busch as a spokesman.

Do not think that I am in anyway a Kyle Busch fan either.  I am not.  However, what happened to him on Saturday is a travesty.  Daytona International is spending $400,000,000 on improvements to its facility.  They will have 21st century grandstands, with Wi-Fi and neighborhoods, escalators, elevators, and injectors.

I guess I understand race track neighborhoods.  My neighborhood at I-80 Speedway is definitely wrong side of the tracks.  I like the idea of escalators too-damn steps are no fun to climb when you have a knee needing replacement.  I have no idea what an injector is-is that like the tubes banks you at drive-thru windows, only like really big?  You climb into one and it shoots you to wherever you are going.

Anyway, before Saturday, not one penny of that $400,000,000 was going for SAFER barriers.  It seems to me that driver safety is just a little more important than Wi-Fi and injectors, but what do I know?  Anyway, Kyle Busch slid hundreds of feet into a wall with no SAFER barrier and hit it head on at incredible speed, breaking his left foot, and causing a compound fracture of his right leg.  Later track officials stated a SAFER barrier would be put up.  Ain’t that just grand?  Love him or hate him, Busch is a NASCAR star and once again a star has to get hurt to get safety improvements made.  Read my lips, or at least what I am typing: EVERY inside or outside wall surrounding a race track should be required to have a SAFER barrier.

I realize that having a NASCAR Sprint Cup race is not the equivalent of printing money like it used to be.  However, if tracks aren’t making money on these events, why would they host them?  And if they are making money, then some of that money should be reinvested in making there facility as safe as possible for the drivers who are the reason thousands fill the grandstands.  Yes, it is expensive, but one driver seriously injured or worse is more than reason enough to spend the money.  Anyway, most states would likely give the track some type of tax benefit for such an investment.

OK, the Daytona 500:

-I don’t happen to be a Joey Logano fan.  I don’t claim to be a Roger Penske fan either.  So, as Logano drove his Penske Ford across the finish line first, I was thinking “well, that is 3 ½ hours of my life I just wasted.” And that Logano is now in The Chase.

-Wearing a cowboy hat does not make you a cowboy.  Driving the #3 Chevy does not make you Dale Earnhardt.  No one will ever mistake you for Earnhardt.  They will likely see you 10 years from now as in just another toy Grandpa bought you.  Congratulations on wrecking one of the all-time greats in his last Daytona 500 start. You are more like the “Ineptigator.” If you can’t figure out who I mean-well, you didn’t watch the race, so I won’t tell you.

-Jeff Owens continues to be the most irritating NASCAR writer, at least to me.  He is already proclaiming Logano to be the next Jeff Gordon.  Not likely.  Say that after 4 championships, not a Daytona 500 win.  Heck, Derrike Cope won the Daytona 500 and he wasn’t even the next Donnie Allison.

-I am amazed at how many laps of yesterday’s race included three wide racing.  Yes, NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers are the best around, but the cars are quite unstable at 200 miles per hour, and even side by side racing can be difficult.  More than once I expected a “big one” to happen, even before Austin Dillon’s last lap deficiencies.

-Gotta love FOX.  Actually, no you don’t.  Commercial after commercial after commercial.  Even one they claimed was “side by side” was 1/12th the race and 11/12ths the commercial. And Darrell Waltrip just won’t retire his most irritating of lines.  However, he needs to remember that Danica is racing too-it can’t just end “Let’s go racing boys.”

-I am not quite sure what to think about the new PRO-Pit Row Officiating system.  It did catch Carl Edwards though, so that was good.

-I still want to take a trip to Daytona before I am too old to enjoy it.  I went to lunch with Craig Kelley and Matt on Friday.  Craig asked me when I was going to retire.  I told him probably never, so if I can’t afford to retire, there is no way I can afford a Daytona trip. .  Maybe I should start a “You Fund It” account.

-I did not fall asleep once during the race.

The first regular season www.DirtonDirt.com Top 25 will come out in the next few days.  I’ll show by ballot tomorrow, but everyone will be quite surprised at my #1 pick.  I never expected to name this person #1.  NO, it is not someone from eastern Iowa named Simpson.  That will happen when birds fly north for the winter.

And if you are a fan of USAC wingless sprint car racing, check out XSANTV starting Thursday for racing from East Bay Raceway Park.

Thanks for stopping by.  Oh, at about 1100 words, count this as two posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Moyer Makes Himself At Home At East Bay, Plus More

February 17, 2015 1 comment

I have often stated that the SLMR series is Kyle Berck’s petty cash fund.  It seems I should say the same about Billy Moyer and the late model races at the East Bay Raceway Winternationals.  Moyer won three of the six races, with Dennis Erb Jr., Eddie Carrier Jr., and Josh Richards each winning one A feature at the Gibsonton, Florida track. Moyer has won more races in February at this track than most drivers have won at all the tracks they have raced at combined.

At Bubbaland, aka Bubba Raceway Park, Kerry Madsen won all three All-Star 410 sprint car races.  The World of Outlaw late models followed the sprints to Bubbaville, and A features were won by Scott McBride favorite Frank Heckenast Jr., and Josh Richards.

Volusia had five nights in a row of 410 sprint car races.  Talk about cruel and unusual punishment.  Two of the nights were sanctioned by the All Star Circuit of Champions, while the final three were WoO sanctioned.  Greg Hodnett and Daryn Pittman won All Star races, while Pittman, Donny Schatz, and Brad Sweet won WoO features.

Last night’s late model racing at Volusia was rained out.  You can catch tonight’s races on a www.DirtonDirt.com PPV.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin had qualifying times from Sunday disallowed when both failed to pass a post-race inspection.  Earnhardt will have to start 25th in one of Thursday’s Twin 150 qualifiers, and Hamlin will start 24th in the other.

I am not a big fan of Daytona scheduling the Twin 150’s at night.  Yes, it will allow me to watch the races on TV, but racing at the big track at night would have to hurt dirt tracks racing in the area that night.  Well, TV calls the shots when it is putting millions and millions into the pockets of NASCAR and track owners.

In just three weeks, Nebraska will play its first home baseball game of the season.  A few days later Matt and I will be heading to Lincoln again for the NSAA Boy’s State Basketball Tournament for something like the 30th time.  Going on the same time as the tournament is the Spring Nationals at Beatrice Speedway.  So, does that mean winter will be over? I can remember waiting to enter the Devaney Center for late afternoon games when the temperature was in the 70’s.  I can also remember beyond cold temperatures with the wind coming right out of Canada at a few state tournaments. Hopefully the weather will warm up so baseball and racing can start in the Cornhusker state.

Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. I just read about a Boeing 747-800 jet sold to a private buyer.  The jet sold for $350,000,000 and the luxury interior added $250,000,000 to the cost.  Maybe that is why Auburn International Airport is adding 7,000 feet of runway.

 

 

 

 

 

Daytona Duds

February 16, 2015 1 comment

I watched the NASCAR race from Daytona on Saturday night.  It had been over two months since the final race of the 2014 season, so I was excited to be watching the “big boys” race again.  What a disappointment-a crash fest with multiple red flags stopping action, and the highlight of the race being  Brad Keselowski being the first to wreck and end his night.  Once again half of the cars were wrecked and could not complete the event. So, I have a suggestion-

Rather than do this over 75 laps, just make it the annual NASCAR Demolition Derby from Daytona. Line up the cars on pit row ala how real demo derby cars are lined up. The Sprint Cup cars already provide plenty of protection for the driver, but maybe beef up the rear of the car and protect radiators better.  And let them have at it. Last car moving wins.  It would probably be the biggest TV audience of the year, and every trailer court within 100 miles of Daytona would empty out.

And I can say trailer court because Jane and I lived in a trailer for 4 years after we were married.  Plus I suspect many trailer court residents in Florida are old like me, well, older than me.

I also watched the pole position qualifying yesterday.  Of course I am pleased that Jeff Gordon won the pole in his final Daytona 500 and hope for better things to come this week for the 24 car.  However the group qualifying procedure at Daytona and Talladega is a joke. Sit and wait and wait and wait, then go out and try to run fast, but also try to ensure other cars run slower.  NASCAR needs to come up with something better. Hopefully the Twin 150’s on Thursday night will be better, and the 500 on Sunday will be really good.

A few thoughts from Saturday:

-drivers and TV crew alike were bundled up for the cold.  Then right before the race they announced the temperature was 52.  Well, on Saturday night coming out of the Iron Horse after eating in Hooper it was 20, with a strong wind from the north, so boo-hoo Daytona.

-Did I miss it, or did Darrell Waltrip not say his trademark phrase at the start of the race?  If not, thank you lord.

-One thing that did not change from November is Greg Biffle seems to be around wrecks quite frequently, yet if you listen on the radio, he never is the cause.  The FOX announcers begged to differ, and the driver Biffle-aka Baffled took out, Jamie McMurray, replied to Biffle’s comment that McMurray’s car was loose stating “they’re always loose when the back two wheels are off the ground.” Biffle, the face of Roush Fenway Racing.  With Stenhouse and Bayne as teammates it should be another mediocre season for Roush.

-Working on your car during a red flag is something straight out of sprint car racing, not Sprint Cup racing. I hate it with sprint cars, but might like it with Sprint Cup cars.  I guess there has been some sprint car racing going on in Florida too.

More tomorrow about dirt-y Florida.  Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short And Fast-Like Most Racers

February 12, 2015 Leave a comment

Is he back?  NO, not me.  I am back.  I am talking of Josh Richards.  After sitting out most of last season with a medical condition that was kept secret until late in the year, Richardson has already picked up a win in 2015-in the Winternationals at East Bay Raceway Park last night.  Yes, Josh Richardson won a Lucas Oil race.  I know, hard to believe.  Next thing you will be reading that Darrell Lanigan is coming to the Silver Dollar Nationals this year.  OK, that IS too far-fetched. Anyway, Richards is headed north to Bubbaland for two WoO sanctioned events at Bubba Raceway Park on Saturday and Sunday, leaving with $7,000 of LODLMS money.

Mark Whitener finished second to Richards.  Who is Mark Whitener?  Well, I wondered that too, though not enough to do a great deal of searching. Whitener has won several races already in 2015, including a $5,000 to win UMP show at North Florida Speedway. Anyway, him finishing second is not a total “whoa” moment.

Steve Francis finished 3rd, Don O’Neal was 4th, and as he has dozens of times, Billy Moyer got a top five finish at East Bay.

Drum roll-I am going to watch tonight’s races from East Bay on XSANTV.  That is right, TROTD Speedway will be open for business. No basketball tonight, just racing. No Florida alligators to worry about, my only worry is that my computer will run ultra-slow.

Yes, just a short and sweet post today, to the point, no lollygagging.  Yesterday I received and email from Ivan Tracy asking if “rstar got your tongue?” Not now, not ever.  More tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back In Black

February 11, 2015 Leave a comment

That would be black sweater, and black slacks.  Oh, black socks too.

My son Matt told me I needed to do a blog post; that I hadn’t posted in quite some time. Who am I to argue with the father of Henry Ross Meyer?  It is the truth, I haven’t posted.  No, I have not been ill.  Yes, there were things I could have written of. No, I am not suffering from writer’s block.  No brain freeze or cramps in my typing fingers either.  I just didn’t post.  No excuses, something inside said I needed a break and I took it.

Actually, I have not watched any racing either, though there have been many opportunities to watch PPV’s on XSAN or Speed Shift.  I have been feeding my basketball jones of late.  I have thought of the NU baseball season starting, but not much of racing.

I haven’t done my NASCAR ‘Caution for Debris’ blog lately either, so it isn’t just TROTD readers I have ignored. With racing from Daytona starting Saturday night I will have to start paying attention again.

Racing at the big track in Daytona also means dirt track racing happening elsewhere in Florida. Dennis Erb Jr. won again at East Bay near Tampa, taking the checkered flags on night one of the East Bay Winternationals.  It seems this is an every year thing for the Illinois driver.  Though he claimed to have an ill-handling car, Erb was able to hold off Earl Pearson Jr and Billy Moyer.  Tonight is round two-what was supposed to be round one was rained on and will be held on Saturday afternoon.

Pearson won one of the Georgia races, and the Lucas Oil series now has had four winners in four different races, none of them named Owens, O’Neal, or Bloomquist. Bloomquist does have three top fives, but Owens has only one top ten finish so far this season, and the best O’Neal could muster is a 7th place finish. Check out XSANTV for the East Bay races.

In two WoO late model races, no driver named Lanigan or Richards has won either.  Lanigan has finished 8th and 11th, while Josh Richards has finished 4th and 15th.

Ivan Tracy is on the reservation in Cocopah, Arizona to take in the IMCA Nationals at Cocopah Speedway.  He says there were 64 Modifieds on hand last week.  For those of us who can’t travel all winter like Ivan, check out Speed Shift TV for PPV’s on Friday and Saturday.

Well, that wasn’t so bad.  OK, it was bad, it took me forever to write less than 500 words.  Usually that is about a 30 minute job.  I’ll get back into the swing of things soon-ah, already am with the clichés.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Arizona, Florida, And NASCAR

February 2, 2015 1 comment

The Winter Challenge in Tucson took a hit from Mother Nature.  With rain on Friday and more forecast for the weekend, racing was cancelled and won’t be made up.  Arizona can always use the rain, plus rain is much more agreeable than the two feet of snow and 50 mile per hour winds Boston received last week. It is also more agreeable than 8” of snow and 40 mile per hour winds that we got on Saturday and early Sunday.

Ivan Tracy missed out on a couple of nights of racing, but he’ll make up for that the next few weekends at Cocopah Speedway with the track’s IMCA Winternationals.  I asked Ivan about Cocopah Speedway, and here is what he had to say:

“It’s one of the top 10 dirt tracks I’ve been to! I say that because a bunch of us started with a track that had been closed for 12 years and stripped of everything except the sand! All volunteers until the Cocopah Tribe got involved 6 years ago. Now all new and seats 4000. Track prep is next to none! Never saw a track so smooth after 50 ASCS Sprints and 30 A Mods!”

The place has moved up quite a few spots on my bucket list this year.  Maybe someday.

I did not watch much racing this weekend.  On Saturday I logged on to XSANTV in time to watch sprint cars hot lap from East Bay.  I quickly switched over to the races at Bubbaland and got there in time to watch hot laps for the “sweet 16” of the NeSmith late models.  I discovered that was the 16 cars already qualified for the night’s feature.  After hearing “sweet 16” about 20 times during hot laps I decided to watch basketball on TV instead.

I mentioned retiring Jeff Gordon’s number and didn’t understand why Rick Hendrick did not do so. Mainly because Jeff Gordon didn’t want it retired.  Gordon felt that sponsors are associated with that number and it would not be fair to retire it.

Did you see the NASCAR commercial at the end of the Super Bowl last night?  Two thumbs down. Let’s bring out every stereotype and play them up.  With this kind of thinking and showing many races on some woe begotten cable channel, I can see ratings falling, falling, falling for the next eight years.

Several days ago I mentioned I was pleased that NASCAR CEO Brian France didn’t toy with the 2015 Chase, leaving it as it was in 2014.  It is good, but I would still like to see a point reversion in future years-when a driver is eliminated from the Chase his point total will be what it was prior to the beginning of the Chase plus all points accumulated during the Chase.  In theory, a driver who did not qualify for the Chase could actually finish as high as 5th place in season points.  Think Kyle Larson last year-he barely missed out on the Chase but did much better in the last 10 races than many of the Chase participants.  Despite this, the best he could finish was 17th place, one spot behind all the drivers who qualified for the Chase.

If you look at the final standings, Larson had more Top-Five and Top-Ten finishes than Aric Almirola, Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, and Kurt Busch, A.J. Allmendinger.  So did Jamie McMurray and Clint Bowyer. I do love when my spell check wants to use baffle every time I type in Biffle.

To me, a driver still has a great deal of pressure to win and advance, but if luck fails him, the fall won’t be so hard-a driver eliminated after the first round with the format in place can finish no better than 14th, while under my format he could finish as high as 5th.  Of course the downside would be this driver could finish below 16th.

My format would also give the TV network covering the Chase a reason to show and talk about other drivers than those who made the Chase.  It seems like Chase drivers get about 90% of the coverage in the final 10 races, with non-Chase drivers being shown only when they are in the way of Chase contenders.

I may not always be right, but I always have an opinion. And this goes along with my post back in November saying that drivers who advance by points during the Chase do so based on the best 2 out of 3 races.

Thanks for stopping by.