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Birthday Boy Craig, Bloomquist Weight Problem, US30, PPV’s, Corning, GOTRA, And SDN V

June 30, 2015 2 comments

Happy Birthday to my good friend Craig Kelley.  I am guessing he must be about 57 or 58, though he doesn’t look a day over 55.  I would take you and Matt to Drover’s for lunch Craig, but I am on a diet.

I didn’t listen to the program, but apparently in an interview on Omaha 590 AM, Scott Bloomquist contends that the Eldora scales-you know the ones that found the Zero car 25 pounds light when every other car made weight after the Dream feature-were not certified by the state of Ohio and that he is considering action for losing the $100,000 winner’s share of the purse.  I have a source said that has a source who informed him that the scales are certified despite Bloomquist’s claim.  I realize I said this came from a source of a source, but both are the utmost in reliability regarding anything dirt late model.

If you are not considering going to US 30 Speedway west of Columbus on Thursday for the SLMR special, well, why not?  The SLMR series has been averaging almost 25 late models per race.  Although the series has only run four times in 2015, there have been four different winners.  There are multiple engine combinations among the series point leaders, and with four different winners in four nights of racing, it is obvious that the rules are helping to make a lot of drivers competitive-in other words, look for cars going around the track side by side, my definition of racing.  Friday will be a holiday for most people.  And it is US 30 Speedway, a track I call a throwback to another era. Plus I give two thumbs up to the US 30 Speedway popcorn. It should be a good night.

If you don’t go to US 30 Speedway, you can watch the opening night of the Aftermarket Nationals from Farley Speedway on Speed Shift TV. IMCA Modifieds and Northern Sport Mods will be racing, and no crate engines are allowed.  Friday night finals-also on Speed Shift TV will pay $10,000 to the Modified winner and $2,000 to the Sport Mods winner. Starting time is 6:30 p.m. each night.

RACEFEEDX.com will be showing the 20th Annual Great American Stock Car Shootout from Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa on July 1st and 2nd. A bunch of IMCA Stock Cars on the big fairgrounds half-mile track should make for two great shows.  The Stock Car winner will take home $2,000 on July 2nd, while Hobby Stock and Sport Mod winners get $1,000 each.  Starting time on Wednesday is 7:00 p.m. while Thursday’s start time is 4:00 p.m.

From Jeff Broeg, race writer extraordinaire on yesterday’s blog:

“Almost joined you in Corning Saturday night, but after driving west for 30 miles I changed my mind and headed north to West Liberty. Races were over at 10:30 and I was home at 11:30 rather than 2 a.m. from ACS.

Oh yes, and the Sport Mod/B-Mod feature at Liberty went 15-laps non-stop with a great three-car battle for the lead over the final four laps. I thought of you :)”

TROTD-I am beginning to think that my problems with B-mods has to do with karma. I would rather watch Henry Ford’s 1896 “Quadricycle” hot lap at 10 miles per hour than watch a B-mod demo derby-wait, I would love to watch a B-mod demo derby, one where the cars are destroyed on purpose, not just destroyed.  Anyway, perhaps I am getting what I expect to get when I go to a race with B-mods on the schedule. “Instant karma’s gonna get you, gonna make you watch B-mods for 32 minutes.” That is a lot worse than instant karma knocking you on the head.

The USMTS just finished their Texas/Oklahoma stint, and remarkably there wasn’t a single rain-out.  Rodney Sanders won at Lawton Speedway in Oklahoma.  This time I did not type this ahead of time.  This time he really did win. The series is off until the Silver Dollar Nationals.  I expect to see Sanders do double-duty at the event, running both his USMTS modified and a late model. I would think Terry Phillips would do the same, and maybe a few others will too.

With a three hour tour of southwest Iowa hills last Saturday, Matt and I talked about everything from college baseball to my grandson building a wooden Captain America motorcycle at Lowe’s in Omaha.  One topic that got us going was if the I-80 Speedway track prep crew got it just right on the Friday night double heat Silver Dollar National qualifying. Yup, I am already getting excited thinking about the racing on July 17th.

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous suggested that if I-80 Speedway wanted to add another class to the Silver Dollar Nationals, it should be GOTRA. No, it is not me pretending to be a reader, though the idea intrigues me. The reader believes fans would like to see the old coupes and sedans in action, and he may be right.  It would be a wonderful way to let fans in on a little of the history of the sport-not just the big crowd that will be attending the show, but if GOTRA would race on the Friday or Saturday of the SDN, www.DirtonDirt.com would be showing it to fans around the country on their PPV. Good thinking anonymous reader. And there handful of races would take no longer than intermission usually takes.

And if you like the GOTRA cars, think of heading to US 30 Speedway on October 3rd or 4th for the Cornhusker Vintage Nationals. There will be plenty of old stock cars on hand.  Sitting in the grandstands one of those days is cheap entertainment, but a pit pass is a good investment-you can take plenty of photos and all the drivers have a story to tell.

Kyle Busch put a check mark beside one of the requirements for him to make The Chase this season, winning Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma.  Now, he has to finish 30th or better in points to claim a Chase spot. Busch needs to make up 137 points in the next 10 races to finish 30th.  Cole Whitt is currently 30th in Sprint Cup point standings and his average finish is about 27.7.  My math says Busch needs an average finish of a little better than 14th to make The Chase.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

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A Tale Of Two Cities

June 29, 2015 2 comments

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  OK, so it wasn’t quite the best, but it was good.  And it wasn’t quite the worst, but it was bad. I’m talking of Friday night at I-80 Speedway, and Saturday night at Adams County Speedway.

The Alphabet Soup Race:

-GOTRA was a good addition to the show. Two heats, a trophy dash, and the feature was enough for the old coupes and sedans, and they seemed plenty racy on Friday.

-My memory isn’t as good as it once was, but I don’t remember the coupes and sedans looking as good in 1955 as they do in 2015-and some of them are 80 years old.  The tires weren’t as good then either. Back in ’55 a lot of the cars had tow bars attached so a passenger car could pull them along to the track.  No fire suits for drivers either.  The uniform of the day included a t-shirt, usually with a pack of Camels rolled in the sleeve.  A lot of disagreements back then were settled with fists and I doubt that anyone in GOTRA is taking a swing at anyone else-and NO, they are not too old to do that.  Anyway, keep the old cars with the Alphabet Soup Race.

-As far as the sprint cars go, well, no red flags is always welcome.  I didn’t quite follow the bounty/challenge, but I guess some sprint car driver did pick up an extra $1,000.  I can’t say who, because like quite a few other fans, Matt and I left after the late model race.

-There were 15 GOTRA cars, 25 sprint cars, and 38 late models on hand. 78 cars is a nice number, especially when none of the 78 were B-mods.

-The opening laps of the late model feature brought back good memories.  The duel between Kyle Berck and R.C. Whitwell reminded me of battles between Berck and Joe Kosiski at Sunset Speedway, circa 1999. Side by side, lap after lap, one getting an advantage on the back stretch, but even as they passed the flag stand.

-Berck’s feature win was his first in a good regional series in almost three years-the SLMR is a Nebraska series, and the NCRA has not been a good regional series for a long time.  To me the best thing about a Berck win was that it meant neither Chad Simpson nor Jesse Stovall took home first place money. Simpson was second, and Stovall finished third at I-80.

-Nebraska 360 Sprints announcer Stan Cisar stated that the track’s pork tenderloin sandwich was the best race track sandwich in the world.  Later he toned that down to the best in the U.S., but I am pretty sure he was correct with his best in the world statement. I doubt that you will find such a sandwich at the Hungarian Grand Prix, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, or the Dakar Rally.  In the interest of science I conducted a taste test last weekend, comparing the I-80 pork tenderloin with the ACS pork loin sandwich.  The I-80 Speedway sandwich was by far the better value, bigger and tastier.

-MLRA announcer Trenton Berry mentioned Silver Dollar Nationals V a number of times during the late model races.  If SDN track prep has the track anywhere near what it was last Friday, the SDN could be the late model race of the year-and I am including all the crown jewel events when I make that statement.  Berry also mentioned previous SDN winners-Don O’Neal, Brian Birkhofer, Jimmy Owens, and Scott Bloomquist.  Will there be a repeat winner, or will Jonathan Davenport at another big money win to his 2015 resume?

-How racy was the track?  Well, Tad Pospisil won the second B-feature, which gave him a 9th row outside starting spot. He was able to move from 18th to 4th in the 35 lap A-main.

Adams County Speedway-Ray Houck Liberty 50

-There were 40 late models on hand, and the track ran four of its support classes as well.  No, that is not a good thing for a special.

-There were only eight A-mods on hand Saturday night.  That is not a typo.  They ran two heat races of four laps each.  Are you kidding me?  Four car heat races? Why bother?  Four cars on a big half-mile track? Don’t run any heats, run twin features of 12 laps each.

-ACS is not getting many late models at their weekly show either.  Checking results, it has been less than 10 cars a number of times.  So, their two “big” classes don’t even get 20 cars between them.  Not good.

-The support classes did include B-mods.  Forgive, but B-mods are a boil on the _ _ _ _ of stock car racing. You can fill in the blanks with any word you want-who wants a boil anywhere?  No one. I sure don’t-and I really don’t want to see the damn B-mods at dirt track specials either. I didn’t think any track could have worse B-mods than Park Jefferson, though if PJ B-mods are #1, ACS B-mods have to be #1-A.  There were six yellow flags before two laps of the B-mod A-feature were completed.  After that, there were “just” two in the remaining 13 laps.  A 15 lap feature took 32 minutes to complete. Why track officials did not start taking off laps after the 5th caution I do not know. Terrible, pathetic, an insult to my senses.

-With the UMP Summernationals a complete weekend wash-out, Billy Moyer and Earl Pearson Jr. were on hand to race with the MLRA/MARS/CBC drivers. Pearson drove the Moring owned car in which he finished second in the Dream at Eldora Speedway.  He finished second in the Liberty 50 as well.  Moyer finished sixth.

-Missouri driver Jesse Stovall built up an almost straight-away lead over Pearson but had some trouble with lapped traffic late in the race, allowing Pearson to close on him.  Stovall did hang on for his second win of the weekend-he won at PJ on Thursday.  I realize that I should have put Stovall somewhere in my www.DirtonDirt.com Top 25 this week, but I did not. He has joined Chad Simpson in my “I will vote for them when they win the World 100 and not before” club.

-I did appreciate that ACS ran the late models second, and that features for the hobby stock, pro-stock, and A-mods were run after the late model feature. We left Corning shortly before 11:00 p.m. and got home just before 1:00 a.m.

Matt was talking on the drive to ACS and suggested that the track go to a specials only schedule, running no more than twice a month, given the car count of the late models and A-mods. Among the possible specials the track could host would be the Liberty 50 MLRA/MARS/CBC race, a USMTS race, an ASCS/Nebraska Sprints 360 show, an IMCA Deery Brothers late model race, an IMCA Hawkeye Dirt Tour race, a National Sprint League show, and their annual season ending support class show, the Tradition. That is seven races and all would be well attended.  They would not have to pay a NASCAR sanctioning fee either, because they would no longer be a NASCAR track.  IF officials wanted more races, they could several SLMR events, and perhaps even a Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series race.

The track could run three of the specials during the summer holiday weekends, and others every two weeks in June, July, and August.  Will they do this?  Hell no. Maybe they’ll drop late models and A-mods and run just B-mods, and the other support classes. I guess since I don’t live in the land of Congressman Steve King it isn’t my worry anyway.

Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. For the MARS announcer, Papillion, Nebraska is not pronounced Pappy-on like the movie, it is pronounced Pa-pill-yon.  And the late model driven by R.C. Whitwell and owned by Al Humphrey is out of Giltner, Nebraska, not Madison, Nebraska.  I am sure because when I interviewed Humphrey for a Dirt Late Model article, I headed west on I-80 to Giltner, not north on Hwy. 275 to Madison.  And for the ACS pit reporter, Billy Moyer Jr. was not at your track on Saturday; that was his dad, the Hall of Famer who is known simply as Billy Moyer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clanton And Stovall Are Hot, Pierce Is Not. Neither Are Fireworks And The Confederate Flag

June 26, 2015 1 comment

Just a reminder-the Silver Dollar Nationals is a mere three weeks away. Tickets can be purchased online at

http://i-80speedway.com/i80/schedule/special/

The UMP Summernationals visited Clarksville, Tennessee for race 10 of the Hell Tour-14 were scheduled, 4 were rained out. Unless you are Scott McBride or are from the Clarksville area, I doubt if you know who Levi Kissinger is.  Well, he’s the driver who earned $5,000 winning the race.  Wendell Wallace was second and Dennis Erb Jr. finished third.  Point leader Bobby Pierce finished 11th. Kentucky gets a night in Hell as the tour heads to Paducah International Raceway.

Night number one of the Firecracker 100 weekend saw Shane Clanton continue on his hot streak winning a $6,000 preliminary feature.  Rick Eckert was second.  Scott Bloomquist arrived too late to qualify, and I did not see Jonathan Davenport listed in the time trial results. Night two of the event will also have a $6,000 to win feature.

28 late models made the trip to Park Jefferson last night.  I didn’t. Jesse Stovall did his imitation of Shane Clanton, continuing his hot streak, and winning yet again at PJ.  Chad Simpson finished second, followed by Terry Phillips, Ryan Gustin, and Jason utter.

After finishing 7th on Wednesday, driver Rodney Sanders got back to his winning ways at the USMTS even at East Texas Speedway in Petty.  Yes, I did write this again before I knew race results. And yes, once again I must have jinxed Sanders, because the winner was actually Phillip Houston. Sanders finished second. The series heads to the Sooner State tonight for a race at Southern Oklahoma Speedway in Ardmore.

We’re off to I-80 Speedway tonight to watch late models, GOTRA coupes and sedans-love ‘em, and my favorites, the sprint cups. Spring cars? Splint cars? Anyway, those cars that have wings. I have my fingers and toes crossed that tonight will not be like every other night we went racing this year-cold.  I could do for a hot late June night, with the 4th of July only a little more than a week away.

I would like to say that the 4th of July is my favorite holiday.  OK, that is a lie.  I would not like to say that because it couldn’t be further from the truth.  It is one week of my two grand-puppies being frightened by drunk and moronic neighbors blowing up things for reasons God must fathom because I can’t. It is a week of illegal fireworks shot off at 11:00 p.m., midnight, 1:00 a.m. or later. Sorry, I just don’t equate “patriotism” with shooting off hundreds of dollars of firecrackers, and it irritates the hell out of me to have to clean up firework debris in front of my house when I never set off anything.

Yes, I do enjoy major displays, though it has been some time since I last attended such an event. I would much rather watch a ball game or a race or watch my grandson swim.

I usually disagree with what Jeff Owens writes, but not this time. I couldn’t agree more with what he states in this article.

http://www.sportingnews.com/nascar/story/2015-06-24/confederate-flag-controversy-nascar-ban-fans-darlington-talladega-charleston-shooting

I am going all in on this and joining the Earnhardt family in being anti-Confederate flag. Yes Dale was against it, and so is Dale Jr.

http://www.sportingnews.com/nascar/story/2015-06-24/confederate-flag-south-carolina-nascar-dale-earnhardt-jr

Is displaying the Confederate flag a symbol of free speech? Would it be free speech if I paraded around some race track buck naked, with a Confederate flag tattooed on my butt?

As far as I am concerned, the Confederate flag flying on some pick-up with outsized tires simply states “I am a redneck, and a not very bright redneck at that.” Those with Confederate flag tattoos should also wear a sign around their neck stating “I am a dumbass.” And no, I do not like Johnny Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd prancing around with the Confederate flag-the music doesn’t need a flag, but if the fans do, well, show them the American flag.

My daughter came from Korean and the racism she has endured sickens me. The idiocy of the law enacted by voters in my hometown of Fremont that is nothing but racist in its treatment of Latinos shames me. Maybe you don’t like reading this, but if you don’t, maybe it is something you really need to read. No person is less than another person because his skin may be a different color.

Back in 1965 the Yardbirds recorded a song called “You’re A Better Man Than I.” Here are lyrics from one verse plus the chorus.

Can you condemn a man, If your faith he doesn’t hold? Say the colour of his skin, Is the colour of his soul? Could you say that men, For king and country all must die?

Well, Mr, you’re a better man than I, Yeah, Mr, you’re a better man than I, Oh, Mr, you’re a better man than I, Yeah, Mr, you’re a better man than I.

Martin Luther King once said “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” Well, my conscience has been bugging me to say something and now I have.

Thanks for letting me have my say.

 

 

 

From Young To Old Plus All Over The Map

June 25, 2015 Leave a comment

119 drivers have raced at least once in the 2015 UMP Summernationals.  Only six drivers have raced all of the Hell Tour events, while two more have raced in all but one event. Bobby Pierce is the current point leader, followed by Billy Moyer Jr., Shannon Babb, Jason Feger, Ryan Unzicker, Timothy Culp, Jim Moon, Billy Moyer, John Hahler, and Mike Spatola.  All are currently eligible for point fund money which is broken down:

$25,000-$10,000-$7,000-$5,000-$3,000-$2,000-$1,000-$800-$700-$600

In trying to determine which if any of those drivers will be at the Silver Dollar Nationals-the UMP Hell Tour ends five days before the practice night of the SDN-I am guessing the only two likely to be in Nebraska are the two Batesville, Arkansas drivers with the same last name. Honestly, I wonder if Moyer Jr. will make the trip from Razorback country after being on the road for much of June and July.

I seriously doubt Bobby Pierce will show, and while it would be nice to see Babb and Feger in action at the SDN, I don’t see that happening if they follow the entire Hell Tour.

Speaking of young Mr. Pierce, in Summernational action at Belle-Clair Speedway last night Pierce led all 40 laps of the feature to leave the track with a $5,000 check in hand.  Shannon Babb finished second. Pierce, Babb, and all the other little devils in the Hell Tour are headed to Tennessee to race tonight at Clarksville Speedway.

Last night’s USMTS race went to Rodney Sanders, yet again.  OK, I typed that up before the race was even run. And I probably jinxed Sanders as he only finished 7th in a race won by Grant Junghans. While it may be a surprise that Sanders did not win, to me the biggest surprise is the series has not had a rain-out in its last five events and four of them have been in Texas.

The USMTS modifieds will visit East Texas Speedway in Petty, Texas tonight. Petty is a town in northeast Texas near the Oklahoma border.  No, it is not named after Richard Petty. Googling Petty, Texas, I found it is a “dispersed rural community,” meaning it is mighty small. Unlike Omaha, Nebraska it IS big enough to have its own race track.

I logged on to Speed Shift TV to watch some of the opening night of the Cheesehead Triple Crown.  Unfortunately I tuned in during intermission, so can’t tell you much about it.  Yes, I could have and should have waited for the intermission to end to see some racing, but I didn’t. Tonight’s feature at 141 Speedway pays a whopping $10,000 to win though.

Last night at Atomic Motor Speedway in Alma, Ohio, Delmas Conley bettered an AMRA field to claim first place prize money of $4,000.  No big deal there-Conley has averaged three wins a season for the past six years. What is a big deal, at least to me, is that Conley is 73 years old and has been racing for 53 years. I am a big, big fan of people older than me winning races.

Thinking of racers older than me, has octogenarian Glen Robey finally retired? Perhaps announcer Stan Cisar would know since he is also older than me. I can remember watching Robey race the 8-Ball in the mid-50’s-the decade, not his age, and I also saw his last win about 50 years later. I had him retired in the early 70’s-again the decade, not his age, but Robey had other thoughts. I also remember sitting in the Alpine Inn interviewing him for a Dirt Late Model article. It was like taking a History of Nebraska Racing course.

If reading “Expected entrants: Darrell Lanigan, Josh Richards, Shane Clanton, Tim McCreadie, Rick Eckert, Chub Frank, Morgan Bagley, Rick Eckert, Eric Wells, Frank Heckenast Jr., Chase Junghans, Brandon Overton, Boom Briggs, Jordan Yaggy, Scott Bloomquist, Alex Ferree, Gregg Satterlee, Russ King, John Garvin, Davey Johnson, Dan Stone, Jared Miley and others” does not make you want to order the www.DirtonDirt.com Firecracker 100 PPV from Lernerville Speedway in Pennsylvania, well, I am not sure what could. Subscribers can get all three nights for $59.99 or anyone can purchase single night packages for $21.99 tonight and tomorrow and $24.99 for Saturday. As I mentioned in an earlier post, NO B-mods or other support classes for this show.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

At I-80 Speedway, ABC-It’s Easy as 1-2-3, As Simple As Do-Re-Mi

June 24, 2015 Leave a comment

Thank you Jackson 5.

Listed below is my www.DirtonDirt.com Top 25 ballot for the week:

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

 

Once again all 26 voters agree that Jonathan Davenport is #1, but I certainly disagree with other voters on many drivers, especially Carrier and Eckert.  Can’t be right every time-I am speaking of the non-Nebraska voters.

The UMP Summernationals visited Peoria Speedway in Illinois last night. 48 late models were on hand, and Shannon Babb beat all the rest.  Bobby Pierce was second, followed by Ryan Unzicker, Dennis Erb Jr., and Billy Moyer Jr.  The Hell Tour heads to Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Illinois tonight. The track is a 1/5th mile oval, and no, that is not a typo.

Yes, there were 48 cars at an UMP Summernationals race.  It was in Illinois.  There should be that many cars at every Illinois race.  I suspect when the tour visits Tennessee and Kentucky later this week that the car count will be down-a lot.

What will the car count be for the Alphabet Soup Race at I-80 Speedway on Friday?  It is a tri-sanctioned event, with the Corn Belt Clash, MARS, and MLRA all on hand, plus there is a race the night before at Park Jefferson and the night after at Adams County Speedway. I think at least 40 late models will find their way into the I-80 pits and it will be a strong regional field.  Matt says 26 at PJ, 44 at I-80, and 40 at Corning.

I don’t care who wins the three Midwest late model races this weekend-as long as the winner’s last name is not Simpson.  Jesse Stovall dominated night two of the Carlson Clash at PJ earlier this month. Terry Phillips seems to do well at I-80 every time he visits.  Ryan Gustin gained late model acclaim at the Silver Dollar Nationals two years ago.  And of course, who can forget Tony Jackson Jr.?  Eastern Iowa drivers are all tough, and not just the brothers with that certain last name. As far as ACS, well you better do well in your heat so you can start up front.  I don’t see the winner being anyone outside of the first three rows on the starting grid.

Here is something I bet you never thought you would read at TROTD.  I hope there will be enough sprint cars to run a B feature.  I said it and I meant it. The only way the sprint car feature runs last is if the car count is enough to have a B feature.  The late models will have at least one B feature, so if the sprints don’t, it will mean the late models run their A feature last, and the Meyer family will have to stay until the final checkered flag flies.

Heading toward Pennsylvania and the Firecracker 100, WoO late models made a stop at Weedsport Speedway in New York. Sounds like a track Scott Bloomquist ought to own.  And no, I do not know what makes me say these things. Anyway, Bloomquist was not on hand, but Shane Clanton was.  Clanton had a good night setting fast time, breaking the track record, winning his heat, and leading all 40 laps of the $8,000 to win feature.

USMTS modifieds began their southwest tour at Heart O’ Texas Speedway in Elm Mott-which is just north of Waco, which is halfway between Dallas and Austin. If you expect to read a name other than Rodney Sanders as the winner, you are going to be disappointed.  The Happy, Texas driver won his seventh USMTS feature in a row.  Where is Happy, Texas?  Right now, any track Sanders races at, though locals would tell you it is south of Amarillo. The USMTS modifieds take to the track at Devils Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas tonight. Yeah, this is a track on my bucket list.

Jeff Gordon tributes continue, seemingly at every track he is visiting.  With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing in Sonoma on Sunday, the track arranged for Gordon and his family to visit the place his racing career began.  See the link below:

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/gordon-makes-emotional-return-track-where-began-career-200412422–nascar.html

No, Henry Meyer’s grandpa is NOT going to buy him a car like that, though I think he would do well if I did. He would have a crew full of-well, I could type a certain four letter word here, but the word is knowledge. Everything Matt and I don’t know about go-karts, some of our friends do, or they know someone who does. Ah well, I think it best he sticks with baseball and basketball.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

Social Neighborhoods? Geez, It Is Dirt.

June 23, 2015 Leave a comment

With a solid 33 late models in the pits-including Lucas Oil regulars Brandon Sheppard and Dennis Erb Jr., it looked like a good night for the UMP Summernationals Hell Tour at Quincy Raceway in Illinois.  Bobby Pierce was fast qualifier and won a heat.  Billy Moyer Jr., Gordy Gundaker, and Jason Feger also won heats.  And then?  Well, Mother Nature thought the Illinois fans had viewed enough racing action for the night, with rains coming just as the B-feature was lining up.  No make-up date has been announced.

I have yet another reason to want to go to Australia.  The Australian dollar is worth just .78 American dollars, or $100 U.S. is worth $128.65 Australian dollars.  The August Pro Blogger event at a Gold Coast hotel in Queensland cost $399 Australian dollars, or just $311.22 US.  Of course a flight to Brisbane from Omaha takes nearly 24 hours, you lose a day going there but gain it coming back, and the cheapest flight is $1700-actually for me that would be $3400 because no way would Jane let me go to Australia on my own. Actually, it would be an adventure to fly there first class-at only $8264 per person.  Yeah, on my “if I win the lottery bucket list.” Yeah, go there in August during the Australian winter for the blog event, and then go back in December to watch sprint car and late model racing.

Microsoft is working with NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports to help improve technology in the sport.  Apparently this includes adopting Windows 10 and Microsoft Azure computing platforms.  I have no idea what that means as high tech for me is getting RACEFEEDX.com or Speedshifttv.com to work right on my computer. Microsoft will be the sponsor of the #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. car at this week’s Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway.

The new Daytona International Speedway is apparently going high tech and includes 11 “social neighborhoods.” Hey, I-80 Speedway will have social neighborhoods too.  There is the Sunday Night Irregulars section, or about 8-10 irreverent race fans sitting around Matt and me.  There is a front row “auditors and their ilk” section. There are separate areas for “rednecks,” including Simpson brothers fans rednecks, southwest Iowa rednecks, three six-packs/no problem rednecks, and southeast Nebraska rednecks,  There is a “sprint car fans standing in front of the grandstands so we won’t be more than 2’ from the beer stand section.” There is a “Carter Flake” section. There is a “parents with children who can’t sit still and run up and down the steps all night” section. There is the elitist social neighborhood east of the bleachers. And, there is a “share second-hand smoke with the people sitting behind me,” that somehow always seem to sit in front of me. That is 11 social neighborhoods and I-80 promoters most definitely did not spend $400,000,000 to turn the place into a racing stadium ala Daytona.

Of course I-80 Speedway does not have 40 escalators or 17 elevators like the Florida center of the racing universe.  Damn, my left knee wishes they had even one escalator-I am glad for the rails in the center of the grandstand aisles.  The track does not have 60 luxury suites either. It does have a reasonably priced, tasty pork tenderloin sandwich though. And good popcorn, not that damn Colby Ridge flavorless variety. And Diet Coke, not Diet Pepsi. I would say it makes the tracks about even.

I have been looking over the Firecracker 100 schedule, and nowhere on the itinerary do I see B-mods.  Or support classes of any kind. Hallelujah brothers and sisters.  You’re preaching to the choir.  Late model time trials.  Late model heat races.  Late model consolations, and the late model feature. That is the schedule for Thursday, that is the schedule for Friday, and that is the schedule for Saturday, with the addition of the Uncle Sam 30, a non-qualifiers race.  If you can’t make it to Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pennsylvania, you can order PPV’s from www.DirtonDirt.com for any or all of the nights.

Or, if you prefer IMCA modifieds-there are some who actually do-you can check out Speed Shift TV for the Cheesehead Triple Crown on June 24th-27th. Or tonight you can check out the IMCA Hawkeye Dirt event from Hancock County Speedway in Iowa on RACEFEEDX.com.  And, RACEFEEDX.com will be showing seven nights of racing starting July 5th-every night of the Dakota Modified Tour, plus a “Night After” event as well. Check out the sites for details.

It appears I will be watching the Hawkeye Dirt Tour tonight, the Cheesehead race from 141 Speedway on Wednesday, and the Thursday Firecracker 100 preliminary night.  On Friday Matt and I will be heading to I-80 Speedway for the Alphabet Soup and 360 sprint race and on Saturday we will head east to Adams County Speedway in Corning, Iowa. Matt has a short memory regarding how many good late model races we have watched at ACS and insists on going.

Unlike Lernerville, I-80 Speedway added two support classes to their late model special-sprint cars and GOTRA. I assume the people blocking the front of the grandstands about 2’ from the I-80 beer stand wouldn’t be willing to call sprint cars a support class. Maybe it isn’t.  Maybe the late models are the support class at the new home of open wheeled racing in Nebraska. GOTRA is OK though. I suppose if I vote for running the sprint car feature last just the opposite will happen.

Adams County Speedway will likely have all four support classes racing on Saturday, including B-mods. And will have their usual incredibly long intermission after the heats and run the late model feature last, meaning about a 2:30 a.m. arrival home time.

Finally, some interesting statistics on the SLMR series, courtesy of Matt:

-4 SLMR races to date in 2015

-43 racers have attempted to qualify for a SLMR A-Feature

-4 different winners in 4 races

-Car counts of 29, 20, 27, and 23.

-Top 4 in points consist of 2 open engines (which are restricted by rules) and 2 non-restricted engines

 

Speaking of the SLMR series, I am very much looking forward to their race at US 30 Speedway west of Columbus on July 2nd, even though there will be four IMCA support classes, including the dreaded Northern Sport Mods. If any Nebraska Dept. of Revenue auditors who live in Auburn are willing to show up that night, I will pay their admission and even buy them a McDonald’s sandwich for the drive home.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

Pizza, Drugs, Kryptonite, Plus TROTD Nebraska Speedweek

June 22, 2015 Leave a comment

A Dallas pizzeria did a parody on Pizza Hut’s ridiculous hot dog pizza.  Check out the link below.

https://gma.yahoo.com/dallas-pizzeria-creates-epic-response-pizza-huts-hot-201245015–abc-news-Recipes.html

Actually, except for the pig’s face, hot dogs, and a side of jalapeno ranch sauce, I kind of like it. Sounds like something we should get Sortino’s to make us if we ever get the old lunch crowd together again.

Watching TV this weekend-no, I did not turn on FS2 to watch the XFINITY race-I was amazed by the number of drug company commercials.  I wish the companies would quit advertising and use the money saved to lower prices. Not once have I ever asked my doctor to prescribe some drug I saw on TV.  I am not going to do that ever, especially since half of these commercials or even more than half are stating possible side effects. You know, “possible side effects include nausea, migraine headaches, high blood pressure, low blood sugar, dizziness, blurred vision, ingrown toenails, and a desire to watch B-mods race.”

Where Mother Nature co-operated, it was a big weekend for dirt late model racing. Superman extended his win streak to nine features, but Randy Weaver, driving a Longhorn chassis like Davenport, finally ended the streak with a Saturday night Lucas Oil series win at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tennessee.  There is a rumor floating around that the side panels of Weaver’s car were made of kryptonite. After nine straight victories, Davenport could “only” manage a third at SMS, trailing Weaver and Scott Bloomquist. Next up for the LOLMDS is a July 2nd event at 201 Speedway in Sitka, Kentucky.

While the Lucas Oil series managed to run all three nights scheduled, the WoO only managed to race twice.  Shane Clanton won on Friday and finished second to Josh Richards on Saturday.  Clanton has a 94 point lead over Richards as the series heads to Weedsport Speedway for a Tuesday night race, and then on to Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pennsylvania for three nights of the Firecracker 100.

Lots of rain in Hell Tour country as three out of four nights of racing were won by Mother Nature.  New father Shannon Babb won at Fairbury American Legion Speedway on Saturday, followed by Ryan Unzicker, Billy Moyer Jr., Bobby Pierce, and Jason Feger. In the point race, Pierce has a 17 point edge of Moyer Jr., with Feger, Babb, and Unzicker rounding out the top five.  The Sunday night race at Quincy Raceways was postponed until tonight, due to rain.

With Jonathan Davenport’s streak ended, the “new” hot driver is USMTS mod pilot Rodney Sanders. Sanders won at his home track, Route 66 Speedway in Amarillo, Texas on Saturday. Sanders now leads in points in three of the USMTS regions. The series begins a five night swing through Texas and Oklahoma tomorrow night at Heart O’ Texas Speedway in Elm Mott. After the southwest trip USMTS drivers have almost three weeks off to prepare for the Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway.

Yes Randy, I do know that Donny Schatz has now won five WoO sprint car features in a row and 16 of the 37 features the Outlaw divas have run this year. Schatz has a 196 point lead over Shane Stewart in the title battle.

This week is going to be a big week for IMCA modified drivers in Badger Country with four nights of racing at three Wisconsin tracks.  The Clash at the Creek takes place at 141 Speedway (owned by Toby Kruse) on June 24th-25th, and pays $10,000 to win.  On Friday night racing action shifts to Luxemburg Speedway, where drivers will be competing for a winner’s share of $5,000.  The final night of racing will be at Chilton Speedway located on the Calumet County Fairgrounds in Chilton, which seems right.  The winner will again receive $5,000.

There is an Appalachian Mountain Speedweek in West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.  USAC sanctions Indiana Midget and Sprint Car weeks. The USMTS modifeds are racing six nights in a row in Texas and Oklahoma this week. There is a Pennsylvania Speedweek for 410 sprints, though a week in Pennsylvania is nine days long and features eight races at seven tracks, including one in Maryland.  East Bay Raceway Park near Tampa has 18 days of racing at the end of January and through February each week. Ohio Sprint Speedweek-again for 410 sprints-just started on Friday and will finish up on June 27. As with Pennsylvania, Ohio is messing with the calendar, having nine races in nine days at eight different tracks. The UMP Summernationals scheduled 28 races in 31 days all over hell, pun intended.

If other states can do this, why not a Nebraska Speedweek.  There are eight tracks that could host a night of racing, and every one of them races A-mods. Obviously a few nights of racing would be mid-week specials, but there are tracks in the Cornhusker State capable of holding such events.  The rest of the racing could be on a track’s regular weekly racing night. Get a sponsor for the mini-series and beef up the purse to $2,500 to win, $300 to start.  Have a point fund for at least the top ten in point standings, though to qualify for the fund those drivers have to race at each stop. Give IMCA regional and national points for the event.

Reading the second paragraph, my thinking is not so original.  It is even less original than you thought. There is an event in its 26th year called the Dakota Modified Tour, with races in four North Dakota tracks plus one in Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada. For 25 years, Dakotans and Canadians have done what I suggested for Nebraska. Are North Dakotans really better than us?

Maybe I’ll add this to my list of things to accomplish “if I win the lottery.”  I think “The Rest of the Dirt Nebraska Speedweek” has a nice ring.  If North Dakotans can add a foreign country to their speedweek, Nebraskans could too-there are two tracks in western Iowa that could be added to a Nebraska Speedweek.

Matt isn’t the only member of the family with crazy ideas. Thanks for stopping by.