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Archive for April, 2016

Ticket To Ride??

April 24, 2016 Leave a comment

This week was another baseball week for Matt and me-no races, not even on the computer or TV. I know most of you do not care that our entertainment this week had nothing to do with the roar of engines, rather with the crack of bat on ball or the smack of a ball falling into the pocket of a glove. So, I will use racing analogies to describe the games for you.

I would compare Friday’s NU victory with a good Modified A feature. It was nothing that would have you doing back flips (yeah, I do know that Carl Edwards won the last two NASCAR Sprint Cup races and that is his trademark), but you left feeling you got your money’s worth for the evening.

Saturday was bad news. Nebraska not only lost, they did not even compete. I kept wondering “do they even have a clue?” It was definitely a B-Mod, B feature night for the Huskers. If I had spent the night at the track I would have left wondering why I even bother-knowing full well I would be at the next event.

And for Nebraska the next event was this afternoon. The first seven innings were sublime. I told Matt those innings were why I love baseball. Young Omahan Jake Meyers was playing the game of his career-pitching and hitting-and it was simply fun to watch. I would compare those innings to the A feature of a national late model tour event. The 8th inning was like the race leader trying to get around a lapped car that would not move over, and for a brief moment I wondered if the Huskers would somehow manage to lose what has been a fun game to watch. Fortunately NU got around that “lapped car,” and did what it needed to do to walk away with a win.

I had hoped to watch an NSL event on Speed Shift TV last night, but for some reason I could not get it to come in. I also hoped to watch some of the NASCAR race from Richmond, but it was all over but the shouting as we were heading home from the ball game. Joe Gibbs Racing won yet again-and Roush Fenway Racing did not win yet again. RFR losing is pretty much conceded, but JGR winning and winning and winning, but Richmond was the fourth win in a row for the team, and teammates Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Carl Edwards have already qualified for The Chase. When you’re hot, well you are not a frankfurter at Haymarket Park in Lincoln.

So, when is the Meyer family going racing?  Good question. No, we aren’t immune to going to weekly racing, but if I have my druthers, we won’t be taking in any weekly shows. There aren’t exactly any late model specials in the area until later in May when the Lucas Oil tour takes to the track at I-80 Speedway, so what do we do?

Well, www.DirtonDirt.com will be streaming the Lucas Oil U-Pic-A-Part 100 from Macon Speedway on April 30th. I have watched other races from the 1/5th mile oval, and it is guaranteed there will be action everywhere on the track during this race. Check out the site for more details or to purchase the live coverage. It is worth the price of admission.

Depending on the weather, our first racing may be in May when NASCAR visits Kansas Speedway. Last fall we visited the track for qualifying and practice and tickets are very reasonable-less than $20 each for Sprint Cup practice and qualifying and Camping World qualifying and the Toyota Tundra 250.

While NASCAR events on TV are not always the most entertaining, when you are barely 100’ away from cars traveling 195 miles per hour, it tends to command your attention. I enjoyed our trip to Jayhawk land last year, and hope we can make it back again on May 6th. I really would like to write about a show where our butts were in the grandstands watching.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

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Ain’t Got The Same Soul

April 18, 2016 Leave a comment

Yesterday was the semi-annual NASCAR soiree in which the “greatest” drivers in the world imitate fans leaving the Park Jefferson Speedway parking lot-bumping, slide jobs, and tempers flaring at the Roman Coliseum known as Bristol International Raceway. The Bristol Sprint Cup races USED to be ones I looked forward to for months. Now? Well, sad to say Bristol is just another stop on the NASCAR tour.

Perhaps it is just that I am getting old, and drivers I enjoyed are no longer racing. Most of the current generation of drivers simply make me yawn. Austin Dillon may drive the #3, but he is not now and never will be Dale Earnhardt. His brother Ty may be substituting for an injured past champion, but he is certainly not anything like the old Tony Stewart. To me, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano drive Penske Fords, but they can’t compare to one time Penske driver Rusty Wallace. Bobby Allison or Ricky Stenhouse Jr.? Get real. David Pearson or Denny Hamlin-I remember Pearson, and Denny you are no David. Terry Labonte or Greg Biffle? Davey Allison or Carl Edwards? “Today’s music ain’t got the same soul, I like that old time rock and roll.” Even Bob Seger agrees with me.

Maybe it is me, maybe it is the drivers-or maybe it is NASCAR and the track owners. I absolutely hate the words “track position,” just a spin doctor version of “can’t pass on this damn track.” And the latest game at some tracks would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad.

Did you notice the traffic jams after every pit stop at Bristol? No one wanted to come out 3rd-5th-7th-9th, etc. and have to restart on the inside lane of the track. The difference in the two lanes was almost bizarre. Kevin Harvick had to start on the inside row after a late caution. His car was just as good as the leader’s car, as good as if not better than cars starting 4th and 6th. However, because of the difference in speed in the lanes, Harvick dropped from 2nd to 4th in less than a lap and would have dropped further is his teammate Kurt Busch had not let him move up to the high side.

Boo. Hiss. But maybe track owner Bruton Smith can’t afford to fix things, despite being a near billionaire. Bristol supposed has a seating capacity of 146,000 but NASCAAR site Jayski reported yesterday’s attendance as 90,000. That is a whole lot of seats generating no revenue. Bristol used to be the toughest ticket in all of NASCAR. Not so anymore. Maybe fans are thinking like me, that Bristol simply comes after Martinsville and before Richmond. It is nothing special.

I used to be a fan of the Chicago Cubs before the current owners took over. Like every other Cub fan I thought “next year” will be the year. It seems like every year I am thinking the same thing with NASCAR-next year will be the year. Yes, there is an occasional good race (although I am not sure that an incredible finish makes up for a ho-hum rest of the race). Yes, I still watch and will continue to watch. I do like Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.-hate Junior Nation though. And Matt and I are kicking around going to the Friday qualifying at Kansas Speedway in May. So, what is all my bitching about?

Well, I have been a fan of NASCAR since the early 60’s. I would say that is big-time loyalty. Tens of thousands have been every bit as loyal. I am simply asking that our loyalty be repaid with a product as good as it once was.

Bristol may not be on my bucket list anymore, but Marshalltown Speedway in Iowa is. I watched racing from “Motown” on Speed Shift TV on Friday, and enjoyed what I watched. Well, mostly enjoyed. I watched B-Mod, Hobby Stock, Stock Car, and A-Mod heats, followed by an A-Mod consolation and the Mod-Lite A feature. Mod-Lites? I call them Mini-Me B-Mods. When these cars are on the track you can count on almost as many cautions as there are laps. I began to grow restless watching the Mod-Lites and called it a night when the IMCA Northern Sport Mods aka B-Mods came out next.

However, I still would like to visit Marshalltown. I like how the track keeps the program moving-one race is leaving the track and the next race is coming on. And I like the Hobby Stocks, Stock Cars, and A-Mods in that area. Maybe I can talk Matt into visiting on a night when late models race there.

Finally, there will be no racing at I-90 Speedway in South Dakota this year. Below is a link to a good article about the Sioux Falls area track:

http://www.argusleader.com/story/sports/2016/04/15/silent-speedway-hartfords-history-auto-racing/83090374/

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Lack Of?????

April 10, 2016 Leave a comment

I received an email from my friend Lee Ackerman, stating he was starting to worry about me. I assume that would be because I haven’t posted a blog for some time. It isn’t a lack of desire that has kept me from posting. Rather, it is simply a lack of material.

Both nights of the Spring Meltdown at I-80 Speedway were cancelled. I have watched races on the computer-thank you Speed Shift TV for showing a wide variety of racing so early in the season-but I have not watched more than a handful of heats and a few B features on any given night. Last week’s Sprint Cup race conflicted with an NU baseball game Matt and I attended, so I missed Martinsville. Last night’s Sprint Cup race started late, so I only watched about half of it-not a bad race at all thanks to the new rules package, but again, not a lot of material to write about.

Thanks to the internet I know that Kyle Busch won the Duck Commander 500-OK, I am not a big fan of Duck Dynasty or the Robertson family-and he has swept both the XFINITY and Sprint Cup races at Martinsville and Texas. A few years ago I would have complained loudly about such a happening, but I have to admit I am becoming a fan of the “new” Kyle. Marriage, a baby, his accident in 2015 at Daytona, and his championship have changed Busch. I like the change.

I have not been following the national late model scene as closely as I have in past years either. For several years I was one of the Top 25 voters for www.DirtonDirt.com, but the site changed the procedure on voting to one that is pretty much in-house. Actually I have only visited the site a few times in the last month-work, a commute, Jane’s knee replacement, basketball, baseball, etc. were the priorities. Same with the Lucas Oil late model site, and in all honesty I haven’t visited the WoO site since February.

OK, I just checked the Lucas Oil site. Boy was I surprised-not. Jonathan Davenport leads Scott Bloomquist by 215 points. Apparently the 2016 rules changes didn’t slow him, rather fired up Davenport. Or as Jim Croce once sang, “you don’t tug on Superman’s cape.”

I don’t know. Maybe I have a lack of enthusiasm right now-different than a lack of desire. I simply have no idea when Matt and I will see our first race of 2016. It has been years since I cared much about weekly shows, and the next late model special in the area will be the Lucas Oil show at I-80 Speedway in May-weeks and weeks from now. Matt has talked of road trips to eastern Iowa and Illinois races, but those are summer races. I need something to fire me up now and if there is something out there to do that, I am not seeing it.

Oh well. I have NU baseball to watch. And for the next five Thursday nights, Mr. Henry Meyer is playing ball at Miller Park in Fremont.

Thanks for stopping by.