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Berck Birthday Bash Befuddles Bad Boys

August 31, 2015 Leave a comment

I would give this blog a “B” even though all I have written so far is the title.

Last night at U.S. 30 was the closest to perfect night of racing I have experienced in a long time.  Make that l-o-n-g time. The temperature was in the low 70’s.  I had a jacket but did not have to use it.  There were only three classes of cars racing, not four, not five, and not six. There were just 57 cars in the pits-not 120, 140, or 160. I don’t go to the track to watch endless heats and B features of support classes, and there was only one B feature last night.

The racing started 15 minutes late, read sprint car lot laps. It took longer to push off the sprint cars for their first session of hot laps than the other class hot laps combined.  Still, 15 minutes late is pretty much on time compared with most tracks, and we were turning on Highway 30 heading home at 8:45 p.m., so two thumbs up and a “hallelujah” was well.

There were 13 of the 305 Sprints, 23 of the IMCA Northern Sport Mods aka B-Mods, and 21 SLMR Late Models on hand. For the most part the sprints and B-mods were well behaved, though a first heat, first lap, first turn B-mod flip had me wondering if that was an omen for the evening.  It wasn’t.

Tyler Frye won the B-mod feature, while Jason Martin won the 305 sprint feature. In the late model A feature Ben Schaller started on the pole and looked strong, like he might win his first SLMR feature.  Josh Krug moved to second, Tad Pospisil was third, and Kyle Berck was fourth. About halfway through the race though Schaller broke.  Krug careened into the stopped Schaller car and then Pospisil damaged the front end of his car hitting Krug.

At that point the race was pretty much over.  Throw the checkered flag and give birthday boy Berck yet another SLMR win-this using an IMCA spec motor for power. The 14 car easily pulled away from Bill Leighton Jr. on the restart, and won by over a straightaway.

Random thoughts:

-Many people around us spoke up when they saw Berck’s hauler pull in.  Like him or not, he does put butts in the stands, and that is important.

-Matt talked with SLMR promoter Joe Kosiski who called the track “Sunset Speedway slick.” In my book that is a good thing, a very good thing.

-I thought it was a good crowd even though it was a Sunday night and a school night too. The July 4th SLMR special at U.S. 30 Speedway is a no-brainer, but I hope they will schedule this race again next year.

-As always, I enjoyed talking with old-timer Stan Cisar. Yes, we do need to get together at Sortino’s with other dirt-y race fans.

-The popcorn was good.

-I have always liked this track, for sentimental reasons if nothing else.  However, I think the new owners are really trying to move it forward and I hope they are successful.

-This will not be my last trip to Columbus this year. I am thinking of spending a Friday night and a Sunday afternoon at U.S. 30 Speedway-the first night of the Abe Lincoln Memorial and the second day of the Cornhusker Vintage Car Nationals.

I enjoy complimenting a track a lot more than complaining about a race program. If more tracks ran more programs like U.S. 30 Speedway did last night I would do a lot more complimenting.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

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100 Laps? Darned If I Can Remember

August 30, 2015 Leave a comment

I hate waking in the middle of the night with a question in mind that I cannot answer.  Tonight was more irritating than most such nights because I woke with two questions-where and when was the last 100 lap race I attended.

My mind is telling me it was at Crawford County Speedway in Denison, Iowa when the track was leased by Howard Mellinger.  It was an October race, cold as always when we went to CCS.  It was before the new grandstands were installed-the track still had the rickety old grandstands, with rickety bleachers east of the grandstands, and we sat in the rickety bleachers that night. The announcers suffered as much as the fans because their “booth” was atop the rickety bleachers. Stan Cisar was one of the announcers that night.

I am not sure if the race was a NASCAR O’Reilley All-Star event or if ORAST had morphed into Jim Wilson’s World Dirt Racing League, aka WDRL. Kyle Berck left the track smoking and I thought he had blown an engine.  He came out right away though, seemingly OK. I want to say he ended up being the series point champion that season, which would mean it was a WDRL race.  But as the song goes, “who knows where or when?”

My mind is likely playing tricks, because I also remember a cold night in Denison sitting in the new grandstands.  Could that have been the last 100 lapper I was actually at?

Of course, at my age there is plenty of confusion too.  I am also thinking that Matt and I may have been at the Saturday night finale of one of the Knoxville Late Model Nationals. I vaguely remember it being a good race for about 80 laps, with the last 20 laps being a follow the leader finish. I don’t remember who won, and it could have been a PPV I am thinking of.

Anyway, perhaps Stan Cisar or Matt can help?  More likely Matt since Stan is already on Medicare and I am not for a few more days.

One of the employment agency sites I am working with emailed me with a job they thought I would be interested in-Treasury Sr. Analyst for a company in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  I’ve always liked the Portuguese language sung in Bossa Nova songs, but I don’t speak it, nor do I understand what is being said.  I would like to visit Sao Paulo though.

The site also thought I would be interested in an Accounting Manager job in Hong Kong.  Probably not.  Another site thought I should apply for a position of Project Account for a real estate firm in San Francisco.  Now, that I would be interested in, if not for the fact that I would not care to live 1,600 miles from Henry Ross Meyer.

Matt has been helpful in my job search, sending me links almost every day.  Today he told me of a position with NASCAR, as an Accounting Manager.  I suspect the position calls for a CPA, but all anyone from NASCAR would have to do is read a few of my blog posts and I would not be working for them.  Oh well, I want to go to some races in Daytona in February but I don’t want to live there.

Scott Bloomquist won the Pittsburgher 100, followed by Jonathan Davenport. I am thinking I predicted that yesterday, which would be a rarity for me. Don O’Neal finished third, and that is only slightly less rare this season than me picking a winner. Jimmy Owens was fourth and Dennis Erb Jr. finished 5th. Most of those drivers will be back in Pennsylvania next weekend for the rained out and rescheduled Firecracker 100-available on www.DirtonDirt.com PPV.

Speaking of PPV’s, I watched parts of four different www.racefeedx.com PPV’s last night-an asphalt race from Concord, North Carolina, hot laps from Bakersfield, California and Estevan, Alberta and interminable time trials from Virginia Motor Speedway. The track ran five different classes last night and every class had time trials. As much as I love time trials-OK, I hate ‘em-this was more than too much for me, and is why I kept switching to the other tracks.

Speaking of PPV’s, if I was going to be home tonight I would log into Speed Shift TV. The site will be showing IRA/NSL 410 Sprints plus Badger Midgets from Angell Park Speedway in Wisconsin. That is definitely a show worth watching.

Tad Pospisil took the checkered flags in the SLMR race at Junction Motor Speedway.  Kyle Berck finished second and trails Pospisil in the series point standing by 20 points.  Those drivers are headed to US 30 Speedway in Columbus tonight, just like Matt and me and not Tony Anville, though I offered him a post-race meal at McDonald’s.

One Batesville, Arkansas driver added $5,000 to his weekend earnings with a win, while the other did not.  Billy Moyer Jr. followed up his Friday night SAS win at Kentucky Lake Speedway with a Saturday win, while his old man finished second to Ryan Gustin in a MARS race in Peveley, Missouri.

Bub McCool won a $2,500 to win show in Mississippi which is enough for some DOD voters to place him in their Top 25, but is not enough for me to.  Actually, I would put Pospisil my Top 25 before I would put McCool. Maybe Berck too. And no, I do not want a McCool t-shirt for my birthday.

It is 2:30 a.m. and I am still perplexed about the last 100 lapper I attended. At least I got my blog done early.  Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

Categories: August 2015

A Good Steak And Some Good Racing Too

August 29, 2015 Leave a comment

Just as I mentioned yesterday, Jane and I celebrated our anniversary going to Fat Brain toy store in Omaha to buy a certain almost 4 year old a birthday present and then went to Farmer Brown’s to eat.  We got to the restaurant just as it was opening, and there was a line waiting to get in.  I used to say “the old people and us,” but I guess we are now part of “the old people.” So, it is the old people with money and us-hey, there was a Cadillac SUV and a Corvette convertible in the parking lot, and that says “money” to me.

There is a reason why Farmer Brown’s is busy-actually three reasons.  The food is good, the service is good, and the price is reasonable. Jane says I always have to get the most expensive steak, but I don’t at Farmer Brown’s. The Club Steak is actually better than the more expensive New York Strip or Ribeye. The restaurant is definitely worth a trip to Waterloo. And the onion rings are good too.

I watched the NSL race from Randolph County Raceway in Moberly, Missouri last night. It is amazing what a new computer will do for the quality of the PPV. A-mods and late models were the support class for the 410 sprints, with each class having 15-20 cars.  Danny Lasoski won the NSL feature, with Bryan Clauson and Terry McCarl following. Lasoski leads the series point race. The racing was over by 10:30 p.m., even though the sprint cars did time trials.

If you can’t go racing tonight, you have three different options at RACEFEEDX.com. From asphalt in Carolina to California or Canadian dirt, RACEFEEDX has it covered. I haven’t watched short track pavement racing in years, so maybe I will watch some of the Lead 2 Real Estate 200 from Concord Speedway.

Scott Bloomquist, Josh Richards, Jimmy Owens, and Jonathan Davenport make up the first two rows of tonight’s Pittsburgher 100 feature. That is 4 of my Top 5 www.DirtonDirt.com Top 25.  Actually, Richards and 10 Lucas Oil regulars make up the first 11 spots on the grid, so it should be a very competitive race.

It is difficult to choose someone other than Bloomquist when he is on the pole, so I will say Bloomquist finishes first tonight, followed by Davenport and Richards.

For the second time this season both Billy Moyer and Moyer Jr. won races on the same night.  Moyer is simply a force at Tri-State Speedway in Illinois, and he won $5,000 claiming a MARS victory.  Moyer Jr. will head back to Arkansas with $5,000 in his pocket as well.  The son of the Hall of Famer won a Southern All-Stars race at Kentucky Lake Speedway.

MARS is headed to Federated Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Missouri tonight, while the SAS is racing again at Kentucky Lake Speedway. Both of these races pay $5,000 to win and the Batesville, Arkansas father and son should be favorites tonight too. A good night at Pevely will move Jason Feger up my Top 25.  Feger has raced three times this week and finished 2nd, 1st, and 3rd.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Pigpen, SLMR, Plus MARS Dirt-The Series, Not The Planet,

August 28, 2015 Leave a comment

A comment from Pigpen on yesterday’s blog:

“The thanks go to you, Ron. A friend (67 Camaro) and I (68 Falcon) are going to tow our vintage late models northbound to US30 for the Cornhusker Vintage Nationals in Oct. You need to put this race on your bucket list.”

TROTD:  Everyone who ever watched the old coupes and sedans or the “real” late models like yours should put this race on their calendar.  It is scheduled for October 3rd and 4th.  This would be a Saturday night and I believe a Sunday afternoon.  I have been to the Cornhusker Vintage Nationals in the past, and loved wondering around the pits taking photos of the old cars. Barring anything strange, I am thinking that October 4th would be a great time to visit U.S. 30 Speedway one last time this year. I’ll stop by to see you.

While Matt and I are visiting the track west of Columbus on Sunday for the SLMR late model special, the series is also racing Saturday night at Junction Motor Speedway as well.  The track is south of York, west of McCool Junction, north of Fairmont, and east of Henderson. Actually if you drive about seven miles south of I-80 and look to your right you can see the track.

An Iowa track I have never been to, but would like to visit is Stuart International Speedway, a ¼ mile oval on the west edge of Stuart, just off of I-80, not far from Des Moines.  It is a Sunday night track which adds to the difficulty of getting there. I have heard good things about it though.  It won’t be this year-this Sunday is Columbus, and next Sunday is a celebration of the 4th birthday of a very important fellow, and that also happens to be the last night of the season for the track.  Maybe next year on a night when they race IMCA late models.

Other jobs I have been thinking of applying for but didn’t mention in my blog yesterday:

-Navy Seal

-stunt pilot

-TV weatherman

-University of Nebraska A.D.

-professional bowler

-Alcatraz guide

-Wrigley Field rat exterminator

-ethics professor at Nebraska Wesleyan University (they’ve never had one)

-alligator wrestler

-cowboy

-circus clown

-Sprint Cup driver for Roush Fenway Racing

-Buddhist monk

If anyone has other idea for my potential employment, let me know.  I will certainly share them.

I was right about Billy Moyer racing with MARS this weekend.  Well, at least he raced with the series last night at Paducah International Raceway.  Moyer was leading the race with seven laps to go when he had a flat. Jason Feger inherited the lead and led the remaining laps, collecting $5,000 for his efforts.

The series heads to Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Illinois tonight for another $5,000 to win show.  This track is one of Moyer’s favorites, so I would be surprised if he does not race there.

Feger is making a strong bid to move up in my www.DirtonDirt.com Top 25 next week.  On Wednesday night he finished second to Ryan Unzicker in the Herald & Review 100 at Macon Speedway. Hey, the man wears glasses while he is racing, is not necessarily svelte, and he has a green race car, not a green Mohawk.

Tonight is the Speedy Bill Memorial at I-80 Speedway.  There will be six classes racing, including the Nebraska 360 sprints. 17 winged wild men are pre-registered for the event-and 60 drivers are already entered in the other classes. Sorry Randy, can’t make it. I am pretty sure my wife would prefer me to do something other than go racing on our 45th anniversary.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Fine And Fancy Rambling-From The East Side Of Fremont

August 27, 2015 3 comments

With a job search taking time I have been giving some thought to what I could do besides some type of accounting position. I have come up with a fairly sizable list:

-sparring partner for Ronda Rousey.

-body double for Carl Edwards.

-roller coaster tester.

-mountain climbing guide.

-daycare provider.

-guitarist in a rock band.

-novelist.

-chef.

-over the road truck driver.

-personal assistant to Bill Callahan.

-blackjack dealer in Las Vegas.

-governor of Nebraska (no experience, qualifications, or talent needed).

-hair dresser.

-financial advisor to Warren Buffett.

-resume writer (just had mine critiqued, which is why this is quite ironic).

-ball boy for the New England Patriots.

-a taxi driver in New York City.

-an airline pilot.

-CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

-farmer.

-dirt track promoter.

-surgeon.

-astronaut.

No, I don’t have any experience in any of those positions.  I can’t have any worse luck applying for them than I have for jobs I am qualified for-maybe too qualified for. Or too old for. Sorry, I am frustrated.  My family and friends are preaching patience and a positive attitude. I’ll try.

Tomorrow is my 45th wedding anniversary.  Yeah, you read that right.  Jane has had the good fortune to be married to me since 1970.  How are we going to celebrate?  Well, either a train trip across Canada, or going to Fat Brain in Village Pointe in Omaha to get Mr. Henry Meyer birthday presents for his upcoming 4th birthday, and then go to Farmer Brown’s in Waterloo.

45 years.  My grandma said years ago “Ronnie found him a good one.”  She knew what she was talking about.  I am sure being married to me is no bed of roses-hey, this is a sports blog even though I am not writing about sports, so there has to be clichés.

To paraphrase Led Zeppelin, “good times, bad times, you know we’ve had our share.” We were married on a Friday, and I started my junior year of college the next Monday. Not much of a honeymoon.  If we had a second honeymoon, it would be more like a first one.  We lived in a trailer-yeah, that is just one reason I can talk about rednecks-in a trailer park that is now part of Diers Ford in Fremont. One bedroom, a tiny bathroom.  A portable black and white TV. Working nights at Hormel.  Watching The Untouchables when I got home after midnight. Skipping classes. A record player-yeah, real records. Three Dog Night, Association, and Chicago concerts at the Civic Auditorium in Omaha-a building soon to be torn down, of no further use, I wonder if that is me.

I drove a ’67 Mustang then. Yeah, I do wish I still had that car.  And the ’64 Chevy 2-door burgundy Impala I had before it, and the ’71 Mustang I had after it. There was no McDonald’s in Fremont-there was a Gold Key Drive-In and an A & W.  We used to buy A & W pizza because we got a free jug of root beer with it. Midland was just a college then, not a university. I hated accounting-and look what I spent almost my entire adult life doing. I did like writing even then.

Do I wish I knew then what I know now?  Hell yes. If I did I would be the richest man in Nebraska. Do I wish I was young again? Not really.  There was no Matt then, no Amanda then, and obviously not the joy of one Henry Ross Meyer either.

Racing?  Yes, we did go to Sunset Speedway then.  Jane hated it, but figured she had to go-at least until she figured she didn’t have to go.  Late models really looked like something from a car dealer’s show room. Jim Wyman’s Mustangs were the best looking late models of all time.  The first 100 lap race in the area was called “The Big One.” Eastern Iowa drivers started racing at Sunset, and kicked butt, even beating Bob Kosiski.  The likes of Ed Sanger, Verlin Eaker, and Curt Hansen were way ahead of their Cornhusker counterparts.  I don’t want to be young again, but I sure do wish I could travel back in time just once to see those races-and to take my dad to them, take Matt too so he could see real racing, and take Henry so he could meet his great grandpa and see how much he is like his namesake-and see the tears in my dad’s eye for how Matt honored him.

Well, I am alone at home-just me and Sophie and she doesn’t care what I am doing, so I am playing music from 1970, thinking of my anniversary, thinking of my 65th birthday, sad, happy, wishing I was working somewhere my talents could be appreciated-hell, just working anywhere other than where I spent the last 29 years.

Anyway, there is no NASCAR Sprint Cup race to write about, not much happening on dirt, so this is what passes for a blog today.

BUT, thank you for stopping by, and a really big thank you for putting up with my ramblings.

 

 

 

 

FALS, Eldora, Santa Fe, And Macon

August 26, 2015 Leave a comment

If you don’t subscribe to OneDirt.com you should.  First, it is free.  Second it has plenty of good reading, lots of photos, and good videos as well.  The latest issue contains an article on Brady Smith, one year after retiring from late model racing, and a great 15 minute long video on Fairbury American Legion Speedway.

According to Eldora Speedway GM Roger Slack, there is “unprecedented” demand for World 100 tickets and camping spots. 350 new camping spots were added just west of the track.  Wouldn’t every track like to have 350 RV’s period for their specials?  However, in addition to the Eldora Village spots mentioned above, there are five other campgrounds at the famed Rossburg, Ohio half-miler. Amazing. Dirt late models most prestigious event is just over two weeks away. With all the time in the world now, I ought to go, but am heeding Raceguru’s advice that I am not “up” for this event.

There is an interesting article in www.DirtonDirt.com about long distance races held decade’s ago-150, 200, even 300 lap dirt races. I am a Sunday newspaper junkie, and I can remember reading about Santa Fe Speedway’s Clay Track Championship in the Chicago Tribune. Drivers like Tony Izzo and John Provenzano won the 200 lap event. Ah, for the good old days.  Santa Fe Speedway has been gone for 20 years, and 200 lap races are no longer. Even 100 lap events are few and far between.  I wonder how drivers would react to a 200 lap race paying $200,000 to win.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the ground Santa Fe Speedway sat on is now a 70 acre housing development. That probably sounds familiar to fans of a certain Irvington, Nebraska venue.

This week’s PPV’s on Speed Shift TV are National Sprint League events from Randolph County Raceway on Friday and Angell Park Speedway on Sunday. RACEFEEDX.com has eight different races-check out their website for details.

The 35th Herald and Review 100 is being held tonight at Macon Speedway.  The race was originally scheduled for July but the “r” word caused a postponement. Not only do fans get to see late model drivers like Shannon Babb, Jason Feger, Brandon Sheppard, and Bobby Pierce driving late models, but NASCAR stars Justin Allgaier, Kenny Wallace, and Ken Schrader will be racing modifieds.

Wallace, Schrader, Tony Stewart and Bob Sargent own the Macon facility. No housing development has silenced action here. The 1/5th mile track has been operating since 1946, and is definitely on my bucket list.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safety, Silver Dollar Nationals, Top 25, And Sunset Speedway

August 25, 2015 1 comment

Justin Wilson died of head injuries received during the IndyCar ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.  Wilson was hit by debris from the crash of another car. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, parents, and a brother, Stefan, who has competed in Indy Lights and the IndyCar Series.

At times like this I always wonder about what can be done to better insure the safety of drivers. This incident seems to be a matter of inches or split seconds, but that is the case with every racing accident. F1 is going to conduct a closed cockpit test next month:

http://motorsportstalk.nbcsports.com/2015/08/25/report-fia-to-conduct-closed-cockpit-tests-next-month/

Tragedy breeds innovation. Hopefully this tragedy will lead to something that will save some other driver’s life in the future.

The Pittsburgher is a Lucas Oil Series race, but apparently WoO driver Josh Richards is also entered, meaning the three hottest late model drivers will be on hand for the two day show that pays the winner $20,000. Wouldn’t it be nice to see those three in action at the Silver Dollar Nationals in July?

At some point in time the two late model national tours need to reach an agreement to actually co-operate so all the top drivers can enter all crown jewel events.  The SDN is sanctioned by the LOLMDS, but it also comes at the end of the WoO Wild West Tour. A $40,000 to win show deserves all the best drivers to be on hand, not just most of them. Richards-Clanton-Lanigan-Frank-Eckert racing with Davenport-Bloomquist-Owens-Pearson-Francis would be well worth whatever the front gate admission was.

No, I am not holding my breath on any co-operation happening. And yes, I do know I have mentioned this before. I am sure I will again.

Here is my www.DirtonDirt.com Top 25 ballot for the week.

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

 

The overall Top 25 had two drivers my ballot did not have. My other two drivers finished 26th and 28th-which if they were NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers would make them at home with Roush Fenway Racing. There were no green haired drivers on my ballot or the overall Top 25.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is off until Labor Day weekend at Darlington. Perhaps the crew of the #24 car can spend it making the car better and not sabotaging the driver-so sayeth my wife, and they should heed what she says.  Back in the good old days when she went to races with me at Sunset Speedway, running hot laps at intermission was almost unheard of.  Bud Burdick in a Chevelle convertible late model did that one time, greatly irritating Jane.  She said “I hope he flips,” and he did. Yes, I always listen and obey.

Thanks to Jim Hitzemann for helping me solve my Windows 10 attachment dilemma. I may have to stop kidding him about setting fire to I-80 Speedway a few years ago. Like me, Jim is a member of the Sunset Mafia, one who remembers what great local late model racing we once had-from the days of Burdick, Bob Kosiski, Jim Wyman, and Bill Wrich to the Final Sunset with Kyle Berck and Joe Kosiski. Darn I miss that place.

Anyway, thanks again Jim. And thank you for stopping by.