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Exploding Head Syndrome

March 31, 2015 Leave a comment

I learned yesterday that I suffer from “exploding head syndrome.” No, it is not something that occurs when you think about B-mods, 305 sprints, and racing promoters. My daughter thought it might be because I have so many brain cells, but it isn’t that either. Google it. It honestly happened to me two nights ago. I am not making this up.

Speaking of people who try to make my head explode, I got the following from a Lincoln sprint car nut. It was a reply to yesterday’s blog.

“At first glance I think there is only a couple of 305’s pre-registered. I’ll make you a deal, you come to see the sprints at I-80 this weekend and I’ll go to a Husker baseball game with you and Boy Wonder in exchange. Sounds like I’m getting the short end of the deal.”

My answer? No, no, a thousand times no. First, I am not going to I-80 Speedway on Saturday-Matt may, but I am not. I am going Friday, but not Saturday. The reason has more to do with watching the Final Four games on Saturday, than not watching 305 sprint cars, though I have no desire to watch them at I-80 Speedway and even less at any other track.

And, I go to baseball games to enjoy myself, not be irritated, so that is just one more reason why “no can do.”

Among the MLRA and CBC late model drivers I expect to see Friday night are Travis Dickes, Kyle Berck, Terry Phillips, Tony Jackson Jr., Chad Simpson, Chris Simpson, Tommy Weder Jr., Ryan Gustin, Dave Eckrich, and Bill Koons. The list isn’t meant to be all-inclusive. The names just happened to be the first 10 names I could think of without going to various websites. My guess on car count:

30-35 late models

30-35 sprint cars

20-25 A mods

15-18 stock cars.

That is in the 100 car range I like, maybe a few less than 100, maybe a few more. Hopefully promoters will keep the races running quickly without a lot of dead time. And run the sprint car feature last. Highs are only supposed to be in the upper 50’s on Friday and once it gets dark the temperature will drop faster than the flipping of a sprint car that tried running side by side with another winged wonder.

Friday’s main event at I-80 Speedway pays $2,000, while the Saturday feature winner will earn $5,000 for his efforts. Who do I think will win? Probably Chris Simpson.

All of NASCAR’s Big Three Series will be off during Easter weekend. The Sprint Cup and Xfininity series will return to action the following week in Texas, while the Camping World Truck Series is off for over a month and will not race again until May 8th in Kansas.

Jason Hughes is King of America, at least the part of America that races USMTS modifieds. Hughes took home $10,500 for winning the 100 lap King of America V Modified Nationals at Humboldt Speedway in Kansas. Rodney Sanders finished second and Derick Ramirez was third. The best of the best mods are off until April 9th when they begin a three night Texas swing at Superbowl Speedway in Greenville.

Both national dirt late model tours are off this week too. The WoO has not raced since February 21st at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida, while the Lucas Oil late models got in only two shows in March. The big event this weekend is the two night ALMS show at LaSalle Speedway in Illinois. The Friday feature pays $5,000 to win, while the Saturday A main pays a whopping $15,000.

We haven’t seen many names in racing headlines this month as Mother Nature has upped her feature win total to about 15,000. One name I am going to miss seeing is Brian Birkhofer. I have been thinking of voting for Birkie in my www.DirtonDirt.com Top 25, but suspect that would be against the rules. Or maybe not. I voted for Josh Richards a few times last year when it was not known when he would be coming back from his then undisclosed malady.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

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Martinsville, I-80, Denison, And Baseball

March 30, 2015 1 comment

What was the best thing about Denny Hamlin winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway yesterday?  It kept Brad Keselowski from winning.  What was the second best thing?  Darned if I know.

After struggling early in the race, Jeff Gordon came on strong at the end and appeared to be in a position to win his first race of the season.  However a caution brought everyone into the pits and NASCAR officials had Gordon speeding in the final pit row segment before his pit box.  I thought it was classy that Gordon accepted full blame and apologized to his crew.  A lot-hint: almost all other drivers, would not have done that.

In Sprint Cup point standings, David Ragan, subbing for injured Kyle Busch is ahead of both Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards.  Danica Patrick is tied with Gordon and Edwards.  No, I never thought I would write a paragraph like this one.  It is likely the one and only time I will.

And continuing their circling of the drain, Roush-Fenway drivers are currently 21st, 26th, and 28th in point standings. Leader of that pack is Greg Biffle, followed by Trevor Bayne, and bringing up the rear is Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Stenhouse is 45 points behind paramour Danica Patrick.  I was going to suggest that was just over one full race behind, but at the rate Stenhouse adds up points, he is more like two races behind Patrick who finished 7th at Martinsville yesterday.

Kevin Harvick’s streak of top two finishes ended yesterday.  Harvick did finish 8th and with two bonus points I believe he not only led a lap, but led the most laps too. Young Chase Elliott had a rough and tumble introduction into the NASCAR’s series, having to go to the garage for repairs and finishing in 38th place, 73 laps behind the leaders.  He did beat Ricky Stenhouse though.  Stenhouse finished 40th, 136 laps behind winner Hamlin.

The Sprint Cup series is off this weekend due to the Easter holiday.  Maybe Stenhouse can run a B-mod at some dirt track to get his groove back.

NASCAR has revised qualifying at Talladega and Daytona-thank goodness.  All drivers will get a warm-up lap, a timed lap, and a cool down lap in round one of the qualifying.  The top 12 drivers will move on to round two and the procedure will be the same. Drivers will line up on pit road and like group qualifying on a dirt track, it is likely more than one car will be on the track at the same time.

According to Lee Ackerman, 27 sprint cars are pre-registered for the Spring Meltdown at I-80 Speedway this weekend.  I have no idea how many are 305’s and how many are 360’s. I had to edit “Spring” as at first I typed “Sprint Meltdown.”  I guess that seems fitting at I-80 Speedway these days. There are also 14 A-mods and 7 stock cars pre-registered.

I would say more about the Deery Brothers IMCA late models heading to Crawford County Speedway on Saturday, but it irritates me immensely that it conflicts with the Spring Meltdown at I-80 Speedway.  We get so little in the way of late model specials in the area, and it is ridiculous for two of them to be on the same night.  Had the CCS show been on some other night than April 3rd or 4th, Matt and I would have headed east on Highway 30 to Denison.

I realize that baseball is not something most sprint car fans follow-it does require a little cerebral functioning, kind of like being a fan of dirt late models-but congratulations to the NU Cornhuskers on sweeping the University of Texas Longhorns this weekend. This was the first time since 1999 that the Huskers swept UTA.  Their 4-1 record last week and a 14-1 record so far in March garnered the team recognition in one national poll, with NU being ranked 18th.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

410’s OK, 360’s Take ‘Em Or Leave ‘Em, 305’s Nope. Lucas Oil Late Models, Plus A Little NASCAR

March 27, 2015 Leave a comment

Below is a link to an interesting article on what is wrong with Michael Waltrip Racing.  It seems like a lot of bad and very little good has happened to MWR since the infamous Clint Bowyer spin at Richmond in 2013.  Oh, and per Drunken Brian France on Twitter, Bowyer now has an 895 day non-NASCAR win streak going.

http://www.sbnation.com/nascar/2015/3/26/8296555/michael-waltrip-racing-clint-bowyer-brian-vickers-future

If I was a sprint car fan, I would say the place to be on Saturday, April 11th, would be 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa.  The inaugural NSL-National Sprint League-event will run that night.  Included in the drivers expected are Danny Lasoski, Terry McCarl, Brian Brown, Ian Madsen, Bruce Tatnell, Tim Kaeding, and Bryan Clauson.  Oh, and just added to the list was a fellow who has won a few 410 sprint races in the past, Steve Kinser.  If you can’t be there, check out Speed Shift TV.  Speed Shift will have PPV’s on ALL NSL events.  Yes, I did say all.

And “all” happens to be a pretty decent schedule. With the addition of a race at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, the NSL had 30 nights of racing scheduled at 16 tracks in 7 Midwest states.  Hopefully this series has the financial wherewithal to last longer than another “National” series, the now defunct National Dirt Racing League.

Kinser isn’t the only “retired” sprint car driver that can’t keep away from the track.  Sammy Swindell will be racing in the $6,000 to win NCRA show at 81 Speedway near Wichita, Kansas this weekend.  The NCRA 360 sprints will race 13 times at 5 different tracks this season, including twice at Butler County Speedway out in the country, south of Columbus and east of Rising City, Nebraska.

Fans attending Lucas Oil late model races will enjoy a new series rule-all series regulars must pit together.  It means no walking all over the pit area to get autographs, buy t-shirts, or simply talk to a favorite driver after the races.  I assume that means all the Lucas Oil regulars will be parked along the front stretch for the Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway in July.

Another Lucas Oil rule will keep drivers from tarping their cars, blocking views of wheel wells or rear ends of cars.  Anyone who does so will be penalized by having to add 50 pounds to the weight of their car. And yes, Anville favorite Scott Bloomquist is whining about this rule.

Drivers won’t get to test the new rules this weekend.  The LOLMDS was scheduled to race in Mississippi, but Mother Nature had other plans.  The race at Jackson Motor Speedway has been rescheduled for April 11th. A $4,000 to win Carolina Clash race at Fayetteville Motor Speedway in North Carolina on Saturday and a Southern All-Stars $7,500 to win event at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, South Carolina are the big weekend races that weather has not yet cancelled.

The Mike Chapin Memorial Race at Junction Motor Speedway south of York has been changed to a one day event and will run on Sunday, March 29th.  Grandstands open at noon, hot laps will go off at 2:00 p.m. and racing will follow after hot laps.  Late models, mods, B-mods, hobby stocks, stock cars, and 4-cylinders are all scheduled to run.

No, I won’t make it to JMS on Sunday.  I’ll be watching the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Martinsville and NCAA basketball regional finals.

It is 42 and raining at Martinsville.  How that will effect qualifying could be interesting.  If qualifying had to be cancelled, owner points determine starting spots, and the most hyped driver since Danica Patrick, that would be Chase Elliott would have no drivers points and would not be making his scheduled Sprint Cup debut on Sunday.  Of course some super-secret NASCAR rule that no one has heard of might be in effect and the son of Bill Elliott might still get to race.  Or, the rain will let off and qualifying will happen.

If Elliott would not get to race, blame it on karma.  Not for the driver, but because the track decided to change hot dog brands after 67 years of serving the same beloved brand.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Links-No Sausage, No Baloney Either

March 25, 2015 4 comments

I wrote yesterday of Irwindale Speedway races being shown on RACEFEEDX.com, but for how long is another question.  See the link below:

http://nascartalk.nbcsports.com/2015/03/24/another-southern-california-track-about-to-bite-the-dust-remembering-irwindale/

I visited Daytona International Speedway when the back stretch grandstands were being built.  At that time it seemed like anything having to do with NASCAR’s top division was like having a license to print money.  Not so anymore:

http://nascartalk.nbcsports.com/2015/03/24/report-removal-of-daytona-backstretch-grandstands-begins/

I am full of links today.  Probably something else too.  Anyway, here are some photos of the old NASCAR North Wilkesboro track:

http://fox8.com/2015/03/23/final-lap-photos-show-now-abandoned-nascar-track-laying-in-ruin/

It is a race against time in the old bootlegging North Carolina area, and time is winning this battle.

North Wilkesboro is just one of hundreds of ghost tracks.  I think of tracks like Sunset Speedway-the noise, the smells, the sights, the excitement, the people, and now grandstands gone, overgrown with weeds and trees and maybe part of a turn is visible or worse, the slice of Americana is now a shopping center or a housing development.

I can think of tracks I wish would give up the ghost or were housing developments, but that is another story.

I can remember the first time I watched 305 sprint cars.  They were a support class for a NASCAR Busch All-Star show at the big fairgrounds track in Oskaloosa, Iowa.  And yes it is a big track.  All of four cars showed up.  Halfway through their heat race three of them managed to collide.  One was able to drive away, leaving two to race.  Yeah, I fell in love with them that night.  Not.

So, if 305 sprint cars were going to show up to race with 360’s on Saturday at the I-80 Speedway Sprint Meltdown, does this mean they aren’t going to on Friday?  Why not?  Sitting here shaking my head. Matt is trying to change my mind about going on Saturday night of the two day show, but I have no intention of doing so.  I don’t like these cars being added to the show, and my protest is that the track is NOT going to get $45 of my money-$30 at the gate and $15 at the concession stand.

Matt was more sensible about baseball last night.  We did not go to the Nu vs. Cal State Fullerton game and sit in the damp cold. Instead, we will do that this afternoon.  Hopefully it will be a little warmer, but I have long johns, sweater, hooded sweatshirt, stocking cap, gloves, and blanket just in case it isn’t.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

Mother Nature, My Not Quite Top 25, And More

March 24, 2015 Leave a comment

Mother Nature decided to continue to make life difficult for the two national late model tours.  The WoO was scheduled to be at Farmer City Raceway in Illinois on Friday and Saturday for the Illini 100.  If you planned on attending this event, you better not head to Farmer City until April 17th because that is when the WoO is now going to be there.

The Lucas Oil late models fared a little better.  The race scheduled for Friday at Jackson Motor Speedway in Mississippi will now be run on Saturday.  However, the race at ArkLaTex Speedway in Vivian, Louisiana scheduled for Saturday is now cancelled, there won’t be any make-up date.

Listed below is my www.DirtonDirt.com Top 25 ballot for this week.  Let’s leave it at the other 25 voters and I did not agree on much this week. Factor in my personal bias against several drivers and that I tend to shy away from voting for regional drivers, and only 19 of my 25 drivers ended up on the overall Top 25.

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

 

Still on is the $10,000 to win King of America Modified Nationals at Humboldt Speedway in Kansas.  The three day USMTS sanctioned event starts on Thursday and ends Saturday with a 100 lap feature.  If you can’t make it to southeast Kansas this weekend, you can still watch the action on www.RacinDirt.com/livevideo all three nights.  A three night package costs $59.95 or single night packages go for $21.95 on Thursday, $24.95 on Friday, and $29.95 on Saturday.

XSAN.TV became www.Racefeedx.com  today.  Check the site to learn of upcoming events.  Although it isn’t a dirt track, weekly shows from Irwindale Speedway in California will be a part of the Race Feed line-up.  And a heads-up to my friend from Auburn, Race Feed will have four nights of the B-Mods National from Springfield Raceway in Missouri on April 8th-11th.

Martinsville is adding a tire barrier to the end of the back straightaway.  The barrier will be in place before this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race.  If David Ragan blocks Jeff Gordon again, the barrier could get an early work-out.

And Mother Nature is messing with me too.  It is raining and I am supposed to be going to the Nebraska vs. Cal State-Fullerton baseball game in Lincoln tonight. It probably isn’t raining hard enough to postpone the game, but it was only 34 at noon.  Cold and misting is no way to play baseball, or as Sgt. Hulka said “I’m getting too old for this s—t.”

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sad Day-Baltes Passes. NASCAR California, Two Thumbs Up Matt, And More 305’s At I-80 Dpeedway

March 23, 2015 Leave a comment

Earl Baltes-the greatest dirt track promoter ever-died today at age 93.  Baltes founded Eldora Speedway and brought fans many iconic events in his nearly 50 years of running the track-the World 100, the Dream, and the Eldora Million among them.  Tony Stewart purchased the speedway from Baltes in 2004.

My thoughts on Sunday’s Auto Club 400 from Fontana, California?  Well, you know what I think of Kurt Busch.  I could hardly be called a fan of the driver of the 41 car.  However, I would rather Busch won every race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule than have Brad Keselowski win one race. Give “Casually Lousy” a big assist from an ill-timed NASCAR debris caution at the end of the race.

As I said when I made the prediction last week, don’t bet your life savings on any of my guesses.  I had Jimmie Johnson winning yesterday and he finished 9th.  I said Kevin Harvick’s streak of 1st or 2nd place finishes was over, and it wasn’t.  In the last eight races Harvick has finished no worse than 2nd.

I didn’t say that like always Greg Biffle was baffled.  Biffle is the star of Roush Fenway Racing, which shows how far this team has fallen.  Biffle’s restarting in 3rd on a late caution with a car that wasn’t very good and on older tires than almost everyone behind him was a not brilliant decision that almost caused a major wreck.  He did manage to wreck himself in the final laps of the race.

I do not understand how the Sprint Cup drivers maintain control of their cars on the Fontana track.  Shots showing them bouncing up and down on the old, worn asphalt reminded me of driving over railroad tracks every morning when I go to work. I am barely moving when I go over the railroad tracks and these drivers are going nearly 200 miles per hour. Crazy.

Brian Vickers who missed the Auto Club 400 because of blood clotting problems will miss at least three months of the season as he takes blood thinning meds to reduce the clotting problem. With his recent medical history-in addition to a heart condition, this is his 4th issue with blood clotting, I would think his future as a driver is very much up in the air.

I am really proud on my son’s decision making this weekend.  My grandson who goes 100 miles an hour most of his wakening hours was running into his bedroom, when he missed the turn.  Mostly.  Instead of racing along the path to his bed he went flying head first into a door.  Some members of the Meyer family may have hard heads, but Henry isn’t one of them.  He came up with a huge bump on his forehead.

Steph wasn’t home, so Henry’s treatment was up to Matt.  I know when my children were little I would have been in a panic in that situation and we would have ended up in the emergency room at the hospital in Fremont.  Matt gave Henry Tylenol, calmed him down, and iced the bump-first with ice, then with a cold pack off and on for an hour. Sunday morning you could barely tell Henry had a bump.  Good job Matt.

The story on the 305’s at I-80 Speedway is that they were going to show up to race the 360’s, so to not mess up the 360’s, promoters were putting them in their own heat(s) and only allowing 1-2 in the feature. Is the thinking of 305 drivers that there would not be enough 360 drivers on hand to make a full field?  If a full field is 24, they may be right.  I guess this is like a B-mod showing up to race against USMTS modifieds or a crate late model racing against the Lucas Oil late models at the Silver Dollar Nationals.  Doesn’t make much sense, but oh well. Does this mean that 305’s will not be racing against 360’s on Friday?

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Am I Having A Meltdown? Just Half Of One.

March 21, 2015 1 comment

 

While I had been planning on going to both nights of I-80 Speedway’s Spring Meltdown and I had been looking forward to two nights of at the track racing, it appears I will only be going on Friday, April 3rd.  Apparently late models, 360 sprints, A mods and stock cars weren’t enough for an early season race at the Greenwood, Nebraska facility.  Now 305 sprints have been added to the Saturday program.  Why not add mod-lites and hornets too?  Maybe throw in some figure 8 races for fun. Oh, and don’t forget the B-mods either.

So, what once was a three class event went to four classes and now five on Saturday. Isn’t Saturday the night before Easter? Has the weatherman guaranteed 75 degree temperatures that night? The likelihood of 45 degrees is much greater than that of 75 degrees. That Saturday will be the track’s second night of the season-will it operate as smoothly as it would in July (and there have been plenty of July dates that weren’t that smooth)? It will also be the first night of racing for many drivers this season-that is a fact that doesn’t exactly promote a smooth evening of races.

I like to consider myself at least as smart as the average sprint car driver. Maybe not, but I think so. And I was totally confused reading about all the “what ifs” with the addition of the 305’s to the event.

I guess I’ll save $30-or hell it probably got raised to $35 with the addition of 305 sprints-and watch the Final Four games on April 4th instead.

In case you haven’t figured it out the past few years, I do not like 305 sprints.  I have no desire to watch them race.  If I really wanted to see them putt-putt around a race track I could go to another venue that features them.  And I don’t go there. And no, I don’t want to hear they are just a little slower than 360 sprints.  I don’t care.  Actually, I am not a big fan of all the 360 races on the schedule either. And anyone who wants to argue will be wasting their time-my delete button is already primed.

MWR driver Brian Vickers has blood clotting issues for a third time and has been put on blood thinners. For you or I this would not be a big deal, but Vickers cannot race while on this medication-if he was injured during a race, bleeding might be difficult, even impossible to stop.  Brett Moffitt will replace Vickers for the “foreseeable future,” according to MWR owner Michael Waltrip.

Talladega is the latest NASCAR track to add to venue SAFER barriers.  The track will add the energy absorbing walls to Turns 1 and 3 and the inside of the entrance to pit road.

There is a thread about smoking on the General Racing board on www.dirtdrivers.com.  Actually the title says smoking, but it is about drinking and smoking at race tracks. My take-I wish Nebraska was like Iowa in banning smoking except in designated areas in all public venues.  I really don’t care to share the smoke from smokers, and I don’t want to go home reeking of smoke.  Make the designated area a place where most people don’t go, unlike the entrances of shopping malls.

Yeah, I realize I have my own problems, like being overweight.  However, I don’t force you to share my fat do I?

As far as drinking, I would say a non-drinking section at the track would be enough. Many tracks do have such areas. And I say this even though drunken fans of a certain eastern Iowa driver spilled beer on me at Adams County Speedway a few years ago. Bottom line, if race tracks can’t sell beer, there won’t be any race tracks left.

Does anyone want to bet against Kevin Harvick in tomorrow’s Auto Club 500 from Fontana, California? He is on a streak that NASCAR fans have not seen since the Petty era, so betting on the 4 car isn’t a bad choice. I think Harvick will get a top five, but his streak of finishing first or second will end on Sunday.  My pick for a winner?  Jimmie Johnson.  Given how bad my March Madness Bracket looks, I wouldn’t take your life savings to Las Vegas and bet on Johnson on my advice.

Finally, XSANTV is now RACEFEEDX.com and you can watch the Bottom Heavy Nationals from Scotland Speedway in Memphis, Missouri at that site.

Thanks for stopping by.

P.S.  I thought Ivan Tracy was rained out for the weekend in Texas.  Turns out he wasn’t in Texas at all.  He is in Tucson at USA Raceway Park watching the Copper on Dirt event-winged and non-winged sprints and West Coast Late Models.  Per Ivan the temperature there is a warm 80 degrees. Also per Ivan the Devils Bowl ASCS Winternationals have been cancelled, no making up the event at a later date.  And he must be heading home as he will be in Wichita for the $6,000 to win NCRA sprint car race next weekend.