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Hello, It’s Me-No, Not Todd Rungren, Ron Meyer AKA Bruton

December 23, 2017 1 comment

Wow, I am doing a blog post. That hasn’t happened in quite some time. I have reasons, but if I am honest, they are just excuses. I can say I will try to do better, but being honest again, I know that isn’t so. Anyway, quality is better than quantity, right?

It is still not too late to get someone special a Christmas present, and you don’t even have to fight all the nut cases at the mall. I have three suggestions that any race fan would appreciate.

First, is a subscription to www.DirtonDirt.com. First because I just happened to do what I am saying you should, give a subscription. If you love late models, and most of you reading this blog do, this site is a must. Day after day all the information you could possibly want about the sport is on display. The articles are great, even though they don’t think I am good enough to write for them, and the videos are top quality. DOD also does PPV’s, and does them professionally-to me they do live late model races better than the networks cover NASCAR races. And often subscribers get a package deal that is better than what non-subscribers get. For example, DOD is covering all six days of the Wild West Shoot-out from Phoenix in January. Non-subscribers have to purchase the races each day, but subscribers get a package deal that saves them more than $50 off the non-subscriber package. Check out the site for more information. And yes, I am a subscriber. Actually I am to all three of these sites.

The next subscription you could give that race fan of yours is to Lucas Oil Racing TV. LORTV is going to provide live coverage of 17 nights of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, including 8 nights of racing in late January and early February from Georgia and Florida. That alone makes a subscription a great deal, but as the commercials say, “wait-there is more.” For open wheel fans-and there are a few reading this, LORTV will air one night of the Chili Bowl, and 8 nights of the Lucas Oil ASCS 360 sprint car series. 10 ARCA races will be shown live, including races from Nashville, Toledo, Elko, Madison, and Berlin-that is in Michigan, not Germany. There are 16 other live events scheduled, meaning 53 live events will be aired. AND, there are over 80 different shows covering any division of racing you can imagine. This is a great value-like DOD and Speed Shift TV.

Yes, Speed Shift TV is the other site you can subscribe to. Thanks to Speed Shift TV I watched more sprint car racing in 2017 than I ever have. And yes Speed Shift does late models, modifieds, and midgets too. The site has 23 events scheduled for January and February-starting with the Ice Bowl from Talladega, and every month has 10 or more live events.

I know some reasonably intelligent people who do not like the onset of racing coverage on the internet. I like it. I never stay home and watch an event on the computer that I would otherwise go to-OK, the Beatrice spring and fall races are ones I might attend-rather, I get to see races at tracks around the US that I would never visit otherwise. Sprint cars in Washington, modifieds in California and New Mexico, USAC sprint cars in Indiana and Pennsylvania, late models in Arizona and Mississippi, and midgets indoors in Oklahoma. I watched them all in 2017 and will again in 2018. Do these races keep me from going to weekly shows at a local track? NO. With the advent of 6 (or more) weekly classes at most tracks, I have no desire to go to weekly shows.

As far as specials Matt and I will attend in 2018, there are only three for sure-the Silver Dollar Nationals in Nebraska, the Prairie Dirt Classic in Illinois, and the Knoxville Late Model Nationals from Iowa. A USAC sprint car race-if there is one-in Nebraska is a possibility, as is a USAC midget race from Fairbury-in Nebraska, not Illinois. Matt seems to think a show from Park Jefferson and one from Junction Motor Speedway are musts for us, and I go, reluctantly. Matt also has been talking up a WoO Sprint Car race at River Cities Speedway in North Dakota. That is a far away track, but no further than FALS in Fairbury, Illinois and like the journey to FALS, all but about 75 miles are on Interstate highways. Who knows?

2018 is going to be an important year in my life. Yes, the Sunset Speedway book. Yes, my grandson’s activities-personally I which he had games every night as I would rather watch him play than watch any pro event. I don’t know if I will still be working full-time as I am now in Omaha or if I will be working part-time, temporary, or not at all. I do know that January 25th is a big day, and one I am concerned about. My left knee will be replaced that day, and I am more than a little worried. But I survived prostate cancer in 2016 and I know I will get through the knee surgery too-but keep me in your thoughts in late January.

I am not real hung up on making sure I say Merry Christmas. If someone says Merry Christmas to me I say the same to them. If they tell me Happy Holiday, that is what I say to them. No one has ever said Happy Hanukkah to me, but I am saying that now to several of my readers. Mainly just enjoy the season is what I have to offer. That, and a big thanks for stopping by.

 

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Sunset Legacy

November 13, 2017 2 comments

Yes it has been a long time-yet again-since I last posted on TROTD. I could say that yet again I am unretired, but that would just be a convenient excuse. “Unretiring” just means I have another temporary gig. This one I really like though. Anyway, I do not have writer’s block either. I just haven’t had much to say. The last race I attended in person was the Friday of the Knoxville Late Model Nationals. I have watched a number of races on the computer, but none that made me really want to write.

I was in Philadelphia the weekend of November 3rd-5th, attending Book Baby’s Independent Author Conference. There is a lot more to publishing a book than putting pen to paper, and I wanted to learn more of the various steps necessary to be successful in publishing a book. And I wanted to get fired up about the Sunset Speedway book. The conference was fantastic-I definitely reached my goals, and then some.

Many people at the conference were already authors, meaning they had already published one or more books. I am still just a writer, but that will change in 2018. I am looking forward to working with many people on the Sunset book-yes, it will be a history with plenty of photos, but much of it will be in the words of former owners, drivers, crew members, officials, and fans.

I want the book to be the best ever racing book, and will work hard to make it so. There will be a book website, fundraising, get-togethers, interviews, AND hopefully items other than the book for you to purchase. We are calling the project “Sunset Legacy,” and the person who came up with the name for the Alphabet Soup Race came up with Sunset Legacy to honor the place where many of us spend many enjoyable summer Sunday nights over the years.

If you would like to be part of the Sunset Legacy, contact me at:

brutonnb@yahoo.com

I can’t guarantee that every story or photo given to me will be in the book, but those that aren’t will be on the website-OR, maybe there might even be a second book if the first one is a hit.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

A Knoxville Wrap, Plus For Your Viewing Pleasure

September 19, 2017 Leave a comment

Before calling it a wrap on the 2017 Knoxville Nationals, I would like to make a not so bold prediction for 2018. Josh Richards will finally add a Knoxville victory to his impressive resume. I would say the track owes him one, but in reality it owes him more than one. Richards led much of Saturday’s 100 lapper only to be passed by Mike Marlar on lap 92 and tire trouble ended his night a few laps earlier. Last year Richards was running second and ran out of fuel, and the West Virginia driver does have four runner-up finishes at Knoxville. Yeah, snake bit, Heartbreak Hotel, or any other cliché for a tough loss you want to add.

The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series heads to Brownstown Speedway in Indiana for two shows this weekend. Richards continues to lead the series point standings, followed by Tim McCreadie and Scott Bloomquist.

The World of Outlaws late models have a three night swing through the nation’s heartland. On Friday night the outlaws will be at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City. On Saturday they venture into Oklahoma for a $10,000 to win show at Salina Highbanks Speedway. They finish the weekend with a Sunday night race at 81 Speedway near Wichita, Kansas. Brandon Sheppard holds a commanding lead in the series point battle, with Chris Madden and Shane Clanton trailing.

Lucas Oil Racing TV will show all three nights of the Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial from Wheatland Missouri, starting on Thursday. The Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars and the WAR Sprint Cars will be featured. Speed Shift TV has multiple events this weekend, starting with 410 Sprints from Susquehanna Speedway on Thursday then going to Williams Grove Speedway on Friday and Lincoln Speedway on Saturday for more winged wonder racing.

If sprint cars aren’t your thing, Speed Shift TV will also show the IMCA Septemberfest from Beatrice Speedway on Friday and Saturday. What will I be watching? Some of the sprints and some of the IMCA action, especially the IMCA stock cars.

Although the 2017 season is coming to an end, Speed Shift TV still has 27 nights of racing on its schedule. Lucas Oil Racing TV has 10 live events scheduled through November. And www.DirtonDirt.com will be showing 11 nights of late models, including the season ending indoor Gateway Nationals in December. Yes, TROTD Speedway will be open for business no matter how cold the Nebraska weather may be.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

Knoxville Nationals-No, Not The Winged Wonders, Real Race Cars

September 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Like the World 100, the Knoxville Nationals reads like a Who’s Who of dirt late model drivers with a solid group of locals added. Like Eldora, Knoxville track prep is first rate. The campgrounds will be full in Knoxville, and there is a plethora of golf carts and 4-wheelers clogging streets. The winner’s share of the 50-50 raffle at Knoxville won’t be in the $25,000-$35,000 range, but it will still be substantial. The Knoxville grandstands won’t host 20,000 be this weekend, but they should. This is definitely a crown jewel event.

Like the World 100, except for hot laps, every time a car is on the race track it is earning points. At Knoxville, only the best preliminary point night counts-I like that, and the points don’t determine starting spots in Saturday heats, they determine starting spots in the various features. I like that too. That is a just reward for a good effort.

I also like the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series method of time trials. Well, if there has to be time trials, I like it. The field is divided in half and a driver’s best lap time is compared only with drivers in that half. I do wish a provision was added that would divide the top 20 drivers in Lucas Oil points so heats don’t become “top heavy.” Too many times I will watch a heat that is almost like the line-up of a feature, but the next heat will be what I call a “bozo heat,” full of drivers that would be more adept at racing locally than in a national event.

Having the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame adjacent to the track is something I enjoy. I will take a quick trip through the displays and head to the souvenir shop to buy a book or two. The programs are always fun to attend, and if it is hot, well, the theater is a good place to rest and take a nap.

The food at Pizza Hut is Pizza Hut food, but on Friday it is location, location, location. Matt, Lee, Tony, maybe Joe, and I will gather around a table and tell lies and eat pizza. I am not sure how I get stuck with the bill given I am the poorest in that group.

Later, we will head to Slideways Karting, just north of Knoxville. Matt and Tony will race-more like bumper cars for them, and I have always watched. In the immortal words of Sgt. Hulka, “I’m too old for this shit.” I hear a miniature golf course has been added to the site, so that I may do.

We’ll breakfast at the Hy-Vee store across from the track, but more importantly, we will park there as well, helping the Knoxville Boy Scout troop to raise funds. We do, but so do race fans from about a dozen states. When the race is over we can take a side street for about 8 blocks and miss all the congestion. Matt learned his logistics from an expert.

This is a great road trip. The conversation is always good, especially when we talk about my grandson. It only takes about 3 hours to get to Knoxville, and all but about 40 miles are divided highway. All the drivers we want to see will be on hand. The racing is great. The atmosphere is great. All the side events are great. I only have one complaint, and that is because of my soon to be replaced left knee. Aisle rails are needed.

Since Lucas Oil Racing TV is showing Saturday’s action, Matt and I are just going for the Thursday and Friday prelims. It should be a great time.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

Harvey-Thanks K’s, And Rock-n-Roll 40

September 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Before I talk about last night’s racing at I-80 Speedway I need to mention something more important. Kosiski Auto Parts belongs to a network of salvage yards and this will allow them to send free of charge a load of supplies to the areas of Texas devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

Fans are being asked to bring non-perishable items to the track on Sunday for donation. Bins will be placed outside both the front gate and the pit shack so if someone is unable to attend the All-Star Championship races, they can make a donation without having to buy a ticket or pit pass.

Non-perishable items would include bottled water, diapers, cleaning supplies, toilet paper and other paper products, and canned food. Houston relief workers have asked that used clothing NOT be included in the donation.

Two thumbs up to the Kosiski family for this effort. Now, last night’s racing.

What do you call a dirt track event that starts only 10 minutes late? That is like most events starting early. An event in which only 15 B-mods are racing? Yes, 0 would be better than 15, but 15 is better than 40. An event that has 23 stock cars on hand? Yes, stock cars are a close second to my favorite division, late models. An event that ends at 9:35 p.m.? Yes, Joe Kosiski, that was early enough for Matt’s dad.

I call a night like that “my kind of race.” I almost forgot, the B-mods ran two heats and a feature and managed to bring out the caution flag just one time. Amazing. I don’t have a clue who Matthew Andrews is, but he won the B-mod feature and pocketed $500.

Mike Nichols won the stock car feature. I do know who Nichols is. He is a multiple time IMCA National Champion in sanction’s Stock Car Division, and sits on top the 2017 standings. Starting 3rd in the feature, it was only a matter of time before the Harlan, Iowa driver roared to the front of the pack. His win was also worth $500.

There were 22 MLRA late models on hand for the Rock-N-Roll 40. It was a disappointing turn out, with locals like Tad Pospisil, Bill Leighton Jr., Ben Schaller, and Brian Kosiski no-shows. Given this is championship week at both I-80 Speedway and Adams County Speedway in Corning, Iowa, perhaps a shortage of locals was to be expected. Still, only 22 late models for a “special event,” is not real special. I really do think the MLRA needs to change its rules to something like SLMR rules that allow any engine package to be competitive. That, and either reduce the number of series events to 20 or allow drivers to toss out some of their worst finishes. Without changes like that I fear MLRA numbers will continue to dwindle.

Chad Simpson started on the pole for the MLRA feature and appeared ready to walk away from the field. A number of cautions brought him back to reality, and at the end, Kansan Chase Jungans was inches away from making a slide job for the lead work. Simpson finished first, Junghans was second, and MLRA point leader Terry Phillips used timely cautions to come home third. Fan favorite Kyle Berck started 20th after problems in his heat race, but moved to 6th in the feature.

Great weather-maybe a little cool for old, tired bones, good company-Matt, Scott McBride, and Steve Basch, and surprising my wife by being home well before 11:00 p.m. made for an enjoyable evening. I would be a happy camper if there were a few more event like this during the season.

Next up for me is the Knoxville Late Model Nationals in a few weeks. Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Gustin, McCreadie Take Home The BIG $$

July 23, 2017 Leave a comment

Mother Nature cut race fans at the Silver Dollar Nationals a break on Saturday. No, I am not talking about rain. I am talking about the heat index. On Friday this weather indicator stood at 113 degrees. Not just hot, but damn lucky there were no heat strokes hot. But Saturday was a different story. The temperature was in the low 90’s, the sky was partly to mostly cloudy, and there was a nice breeze as well. All in all it was not uncomfortable.

There were few empty grandstand seats and the bleachers appeared full as well on the final night of Silver Dollar Nationals VII. There were 43 USMTS Modifieds and 51 Lucas Oil Dirt Late Models filling the pits. As I mentioned yesterday, drivers from 23 states were on hand, including Hall of Famers, past national tour champions, and if wins shown on resumes were added up it would number many thousands. The best dirt drivers in the nation were on hand to entertain the crowd.

Random thoughts:

-I was not overwhelmed by any of the B-feature races. By biggest take from these races was who had not qualified for the A-feature. Lucas Oil regulars Gregg Satterlee and Jimmy Owens (a past champion) had to take provisional starting spots. Brandon Sheppard (current World of Outlaws Late Model point leader) and Jimmy Mars (a former Dream winner) were forced to run in the Belt Dash non-qualifiers race.

-The first three finishers in the Belt Dash are offered the opportunity to take their winnings and be done for the night, or forfeit the winnings and garner a spot in the 80 lap A-feature. Brandon Sheppard won the Belt Dash and gave up a $3,000 payday to race again-a wise decision. Jimmy Mars finished second with an engine that was overheating and decided to keep his winnings and not risk blowing an engine in the main event. Kyle Berck ended up third and decided to race.

-My predictions as always sucked. I said Steve Francis would not lead a lap in the feature. He led the first 10. I thought the big money would go to either Don O’Neal or Scott Bloomquist. Neither was much of a factor in the race. O’Neal led for about 10 laps but tangled with Brian Shirley and the back stretch wall and dropped back, finally finishing 10th. A Bloomquist pit stop sent him to the back of the field, and for much of the race he was running mid-pack. A late charge took him to a 4th place finish.

-O’Neal’s 16 year old son Hudson energized the crowd with a run to third. Kyle Bronson managed to get around the “New Deal” and on the last lap the 71 car climbed the turn one wall and looked like it was going to roll over. Somehow the youngster was able to save the car but dropped to 9th place.

-Brandon Sheppard showed why driving the Rocket house car is not a bad gig. He started 32nd and roared past 30 other cars to come home second. He gave up $3,000 in Belt Dash earnings, but second place in the 80 lap A-feature paid $20,000, a pretty good trade.

-Tim McCreadie started 15th and moved to the front of the pack early in the race. When Shirley and Don O’Neal bumped, McCreadie passed both drivers and led the rest of the race. Several cautions and one red flag bunched the field, but McCreadie pulled away each time. This was McCreadie’s biggest win and was very popular with fans.

-Rodney Sanders in not invincible in a USMTS Modified at I-80 Speedway. The Happy, Texas driver was going after his 8th straight feature win at the Greenwood, Nebraska track, but it was Ryan Gustin who took the checkered flags for another 2017 big money win. Sanders finished second. Sanders also finished 20th in the Late Model feature.

-No one went crazy on lap one of the three wide start of the USMTS feature. It was lap two when the first caution flew.

-Like Sanders, Terry Phillips did double duty, finishing 8th in the USMTS feature and 32nd in the Lucas Oil Late Model feature. So did Chase Junghans who finished 13th in the Modified feature and 23rd in his Late Model.

-Ben Schaller was the highest finishing Nebraska driver, coming home 14th. Tad Pospisil was 18th, Corey Zeitner was 22nd, and Kyle Berck finished 26th.

-The Late Model A feature was completed before 11:00 p.m. Last year it did not even begin until 11:50 p.m. A finish before 11:00 p.m. should be the goal every year, not just on Saturday night, but on Thursday and Friday as well.

-Was this Billy Moyer’s last SDN? The “retired” Batesville, Arkansas Hall of Famer spun on lap 13 and backed into the turn two pit fence. Moyer finished a disappointing 30th.

-There will be no increase in the first place prize money for the Late Models at SDN VIII. Good. I would like to see more money put in positions from mid-pack to the back of the field. 53 is a number long associated with the Kosiski family and $53,000 is a great first place prize.

-Lucas Oil announcer said “I-80 Speedway never disappoints.” That is not quite true, but there was more than enough excitement on Saturday night to keep people coming back for more and to enhance the Silver Dollar Nationals crown jewel status.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

Silver Dollar Nationals-Thursday and Friday

July 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty.
Been down, isn’t it a pity,
Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city.

All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head.

Thank you Lovin’ Spoonful for a great description of the heat this week at the small city of I-80 Speedway during the Silver Dollar Nationals. Thursday was damn hot. Friday was sickening hot, hotter than a match head. I guess I didn’t feel half dead, but I did feel half sick. And 100% crazy for being there instead of sitting in my air conditioned home.

Day One of the SDN

-Sport Mods, how I loathe thee. Even less than a full field is too many of this creature. I do have to admit there was some artistry to the B-Mod feature presentation. Call it ‘synchronized spinning.’ Turn three seemed to be difficult for cars near the back to journey through. Several times the yellow flag flew as multiple cars spun, including one amazing effort in which four cars spun. Blows my mind.

-41 Malvern Banks SLMR late models and 19 Carpetland Nebraska 360 Sprint Cars were on hand.

-Danny Lasoski could not get his car fired until the Sprint Car feature. He moved from the back of the starting grid to third place before an ill-timed caution set him back to fifth. He ended up finishing fourth. Without this caution I think he might have won the race.

-Hall of Famer Terry McCarl won the Sprint Car A-feature, but if the race had been 26 laps instead of 25 laps, he might not have. With two laps remaining in the race, Cody Ledger took the lead from McCarl, but McCarl took it back on the last lap and won by about a half car length.

-I thought the $5300 winner’s share of the SLMR purse might entice a few MLRA drivers to race instead of just practice. It didn’t. I also thought that with that much money on the line, no one but Kyle Berck would come home first. I was right. Well, sort of right. Berck had won the last SLMR feature and claimed the Home Pride $777 bonus for winning two features in a row.

-Some people might not enjoy watching race cars practice. When drivers are of national caliber like the Lucas Oil series drives, it is a pleasure to watch them test. Certainly a heckuva lot more fun than watching Sports Mods.

-Just my opinion, well probably the opinion of a lot of fans, Sports Mods have not business racing at the SDN.

I would call Day One of the SDN “OK.” Not great, not bad, just OK. I give it a B-. Without the Sports Mods, it would have been a solid B. And as hot as it was I wish I had stayed home at paid $11.99 to watch the races on the www.DirtonDirt.com PPV.

 

Day Two of the SDN

I call the SDN “Christmas In July.” Santa must have me on his naughty list this year, because unlike previous SDN’s, Friday’s show was simply NOT exciting to me. Yes, there was “some” passing, but the qualifying races simply lacked drama. That is my opinion and I am sticking to it. A B-, maybe.

-If I counted right, drivers from 22 states were on hand. California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Florida were represented.

-With 8 cars less than the Lucas Oil Late Models, the USMTS Modifieds got the same number of heats. I don’t quite understand that. I also do not quite follow Late Models qualifying 18 cars for their Saturday feature, but the USMTS Modifieds qualifying only 12 cars for tonight’s A-main.

-It was great to see veteran Steve Francis finishing 1st and 2nd in his two qualifiers. His point total for the two races should garner a front row starting spot for the $53,000 to win main event.

-Don O’Neal was 1st and 2nd in his qualifiers and should start Saturday’s feature on the front row as well.

-In addition to Francis and O’Neal, other qualifier winners were Chad Simpson, Darrell Lanigan, Dennis Erb Jr., Brian Shirley, Tim McCreadie, Rodney Sanders, and Brandon Sheppard. Unlike most events, SDN qualifiers actually have a pay-out, $250 to the winner, $150 to the runner-up, and $100 to the 3rd place finisher-all paid in Silver Dollars.

-Scott Bloomquist did not bother to hot lap, but not warming up had no effect on his qualifying efforts. Bloomquist finished 3rd in his first heat and won his second qualifier. He will start on the outside of row 2 in tonight’s feature. Oh-oh.

-Drivers who will have to race in last chance qualifiers tonight include Josh Richards, Terry Phillips, Mike Marlar, Gregg Satterlee, Chris Simpson, Jimmy Mars, Jimmy Owens, Brandon Sheppard, Jesse Stovall, and Kyle Berck. Tell me one promoter who would not love having these drivers in a feature.

-Nebraska drivers did not fare well on Friday night. Corey Zeitner grabbed the most qualifying points, and he was 25th in the overall standings. Tad Pospisil was 27th, Ben Schaller was 31st, Berck was 34th, Al Humphrey was 38th, Matt Buller was 47th, Brian Kosiski was 49th, and Bill Leighton Jr. was 51st, suffering a fiery blown engine in his second heat.

-For me the most memorable moment of the evening was heat 3 of the second round of qualifiers. FIVE past national tour champions were entered. Perhaps this happened somewhere in the past, but I don’t think so. Until a late lap caution the five champs were running 1-2-3-4-5 as you would expect. Bloomquist won this race, followed by Earl Pearson Jr., Billy Moyer, and Darrell Lanigan. Jimmy Owens dropped out at the caution.

-I wonder how many feature races those five past champs have won. Bloomquist and Moyer have won close to 1400 features, so it would be no surprise to me if the total W’s was close to 2000.

-“Retired” Hall of Famer Billy Moyer will start next to Hudson O’Neal in tonight’s feature. Moyer is 59, and the New Deal is 16.

-My friend “Big Show” was on hand for the big show, but I did not see him during the second round of heats. Interesting.

-Johnny Scott, Cade Dillard, and Ryan Gustin finished 1-2-3 in the USMTS pole dash and will make up the front row of tonight’s $10,000 to win Modified feature. No, I did not lose count, the USMTS A-main will feature a 3-wide starting grid.

-The non-qualifier race tonight pays $3,000 to win. The first place finisher has the option to take the cash or tag on to the back of the Late Model feature. If Kyle Berck should win, I think he ought to take the money and run. That would bring his winnings for the weekend to $9,077 and only the first three Late Model A-main finishers and the winner of the USMTS feature will take home more money.

-Bloomquist won The Dream at Eldora in June. That race paid $100,000 to win. A win tonight by the 0 car would give the Tennessee driver victories in at least two of the season’s three top paying events. The Dirt Track World Championship at Portsmouth Raceway Park in October pays $100,000 like The Dream.

-My predictions for winners tonight. NO question that Ryan Gustin will add another big USMTS win to his resume. Dr. Evil has reared his long-haired head in the 0 Late Model. Scott Bloomquist is the only driver with two SDN wins, and I fear a third is on the horizon. Don O’Neal may disagree-perhaps he will be Austin Powers to Bloomquist’s Dr. Evil and he has an SDN win. Brian Shirley has won a crown jewel event in the past. Earl Pearson Jr. looked stout in his qualifiers. My sentimental favorite would be Francis, but I don’t really see him leading a lap. All I am hoping for is a racy track.

Matt and I always enjoy seeing our friends at the races-Tom, Scott, Tony, Steve, Tom (another one), Don, and Charley the first two nights.

Thanks for stopping by.