Archive

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Young Moran Captures Biggest Win-The PDC At FALS.

July 29, 2018 Leave a comment

Matt and I took a flying trip to Fairbury, Illinois yesterday. Flying, in every sense of the word. Yes, several airplanes were involved-Southwest 7377’s from Omaha to Chicago Midway and back, and a rental car (driven by Matt made a fast trek down I-57 and U.S. 24 to Fairbury American Legion Speedway for the 29th annual Prairie Dirt Classic.

Normally, well, that would be the two other times we went to the PDC, we would leave on Thursday and drive the 500 miles to the Illinois town not far from Bloomington. This year though because of my new job I could not leave on Thursday. Yes, I do know I have had a number of jobs since I wised up and left the one I held for 29 years. I am just doing temporary gigs now, and my current job is my fifth such position, working anywhere from a month to a year.

Anyway, though we don’t have deep pockets like our favorite auditor, we discovered this was the way to go. From the time we left my house until I got home, I was gone just 33 2/2 hours. The drive from Midway to FALS is a piece of cake, although Matt considers Chicago drivers to be rude (that is my translation of what he actually said a number of times). The Omaha-Chicago flight is a short one and Midway is not a difficult airport to navigate. We stayed overnight at Pontiac, which is about 25 miles from FALS and on I-57.

A jumble of thoughts:

-4 drivers we thought might be there were missing in action, Scott Bloomquist, Darrell Lanigan, Josh Richards, and Tim McCredie. Lanigan is not having a Darrell Lanigan type season and since the Lucas Oil series is off for two weeks he might have headed home to regroup. Josh Richards had two cars to rebuild after the Silver Dollar Nationals last week. Tim McCreadie went home to race a big block modified. Oh, and the sport’s drama queen Bloomquist was banned from the race for the second time in three years.

-I have wondered why the track runs the PDC under a WoO sanction, but as long as the Lucas Oil Series does not schedule against this race it is a good idea. Obviously the PDC gets all the WoO regulars, a goodly number of national drivers like Billy Moyer and Shannon Babb, a fairly stout group of locals, and 6-10 Lucas Oil regulars. No way do the WoO regulars show up in those kinds of numbers if the Lucas Oil series sanctioned the event. 61 late models were on hand.

-There were also 61 modifieds on hand for the PDC. I realize you can never get rid of these cars, but here is an ID. Run modified time trials and heats on Thursday, along with practice sessions for late models drivers. You have hundreds of RV’s and campers surrounding the track from Wednesday on, so this could be a new income source for the track. You get pit passes from mods and late model teams and aren’t paying out a penny that night. I am sure MANY fans would wander over to the track to watch. On Friday run modified last chance races and the championship feature. Since promoters seems to equate number of races with how much admission they can charge, have a $2,000 to win modified invitational on Saturday night. The top 24 in Friday’s feature will race in one of two heats on Saturday and then in a 25 laps feature.

I say this because the last chance modified races are at the very least an irritation, and border on a joke. In the first two modified last chance races on Saturday, there were 11 cautions. Friday’s program as I described above would not be longer than previous Friday programs because time trials are eliminated. Saturday’s program would be shorter-no way does 2 heats of A feature type mods take as long as 3 last chance races of B feature caliber modifieds. And the mod feature that night would be 15 laps shorter than last night’s mod feature. That would darn sure get the program done before midnight, which it seems is fairly common anymore.

Or maybe I am just getting chauvinistic about mods again. I bitched about the weekly mods at the Silver Dollar Nationals too.

-Texas Tornado Tyler Erb did it again. If you haven’t figured out my nickname, how much damage does a tornado do? During the 100 lap PDC feature, Erb spun out in turn 3. Don O’Neal could not avoid Erb’s car and ran over the nose, ending what could have been a top ten finish for The Real Deal.

-We sat in the middle of the backstretch grandstands this year, instead of close to turn 3. I didn’t think anything in dirt racing could top watching late models fly into FALS turn 3, but I was wrong. Watching them roar out of turn 2, side by side or even three wide, and slide up to the backstretch wall is even cooler.

-Iowan Chris Simpson started on the pole for Saturday’s feature, but pitted early and often and finally pulled in. Superman Jonathan Davenport hoped to back up his SDN win with a PDC win. Early in the race Davenport moved from 16th to 8th place, but like Simpson pitted often and was never a factor in the race. Simpson ended up 21st and Davenport finished 16th.

-Brandon Sheppard looked like he might run away with the race, but a caution bunched the field, and young Devin Moran grabbed the lead from Sheppard. Moran held the lead despite numerous cautions, but Sheppard caught up with him and looked to regain the lead. Moran changed racing grooves and ended up distancing himself from the field. WoO point leader Mike Marlar finished 2nd and Sheppard was 3rd.

-One of the many things I like about FALS is there is action everywhere on the track, with 2 and 3 wide and pack racing the norm. Unlike sprint car fans who think single file, going really fast, and turning left is racing, FALS produces what I have loved about racing since 1955.

-Illinois fans are rather passionate about the sport. In three trips to FALS I have seen more “you’re #1, one finger salutes” from backstretch fans than I did in years at Sunset Speedway or I-80 Speedway. Just stating a fact.

-Yes, the American Legion Commander should speak at this race. However, how about doing it during one of the farming sessions. That would shave another 10 minutes off the length of the program. And yeah, I do think that is important. Every minute any race lasts past 11:00 p.m. is a bad thing.

-I cannot believe the number of golf carts being driven around FALS-AND on the streets of Fairbury. MORE than any golf course has for sure.

-Two local businesses, Dave’s Grocery and Casey’s General Store must be solid gold during the PDC weekend. We stopped for pop and ice at Dave’s Grocery, and the person helping Matt said this weekend was the second best of the year for the store.

-I may make certain “Ill-annoy-uns” unhappy, but for the second year in a row, I think the SDN feature was better than the PDC feature. Both tracks have set the bar high for fan expectations, so what was a good race last night was not what I would call a classic. I am very glad Devin Moran won-I am always happy when someone I wrote about in Dirt Late Model magazine wins a race, but the young man is simply a good kid. Here’s to more success for the #9.

-At least part of the PDC lived up to its name last night. Dirt. In the early 70’s, one of the first Cornhusker-Hawkeye Challenges at Sunset Speedway was rained out on Saturday, so they held it on a Sunday afternoon. I remember that well. Jane and I had not been married long. We were poor. I did have a new parka I wore to the track, and at the end of the afternoon it was coated in dirt. BUT, that was nothing to last night at FALS.

Now, I do not mind getting hit by small dirt clods during a race. That reminds me of Sunset Speedway. But the dust was unreal. I had dust in every uncovered bodily orifice-that would be eyes, ears, nose, and throat. I don’t know if fingernails are considered to be orifice like, but I had dirt under every fingernail as well. And yes, I ate dirt for those of you who have been at least thinking I should eat dirt. I was eating a sandwich and fries during the modified featured and I thought the fries seemed a little gritty. I looked at the cardboard tray the food came in, and the entire area above the food was covered in dust. This morning I opened my wallet to see how much money I had left, and the inside of my wallet was dusty. I am not lying and I have no clue how that could have happened. But it did. And the roof of our car rental held enough soil I could have planted corn-and the car was parked behind the backstretch bleachers. Perhaps this was a little too much dust?

-One thing the grounds crew at FALS did that I-80 Speedway ought to actually think about doing is water the roads in the parking area.

-Perhaps it is karma, but once again I sat by an idiot, just like last week, although the SDN idiot was simply an idiot about facts. Last night’s idiot was beyond believe. If he had one beer, he had 15-and I know he had one beer because he was holding one in his hand and had two more beers sitting on my seat. Then he smoked almost the entire time he wasn’t drinking beer, at least early in the night. I always love someone’s cigarette smoke blowing in my face. Since I look stupid-I admit it-this guy decided to enlighten me on dirt late model racing. Perhaps you did not know it, but the PDC is the second richest dirt late model race, exceeded only by the World 100. That is what he told me, among other things that had me wishing I wasn’t so polite. So, being stumbling drunk, sharing totally incorrect information and cigarette smoke wasn’t enough to irritate me. About halfway through the evening he pulled out some Beechnut chewing tobacco. I swear I am not making this up. We were sitting in the front row and this guy thought he could spit unto the grassy area in front of the stands, maybe three feet away. Mostly he couldn’t.

Matt got Jonathan Davenport’s autograph for Henry. Henry likes Davenport, aka Superman, and loves it when he beats Darth Vader, aka Scott Bloomquist. In NASCAR he likes Kyle Busch-driver of the M & M’s car, and calls Keselowski “Bad Brad,” and says Denny Hamlin is a crybaby. Two guesses where he got that from, and no it is NOT grandpa.

Yes, I still believe you should visit FALS during the PDC weekend if you are a dirt late model fan. 29 cars starting on a 1/4th mile track means action all over. The backstretch midway is awesome-and includes popcorn, BBQ, sweetcorn, and pizza vendors as well as a ton of t-shirt trailers. You can enter the pits from the backstretch midway-you do have to upgrade your admission to a pit pass, which Matt did, talking with Shannon Babb and going to the WoO driver meeting. The small town atmosphere is awesome, and 500+ RV’s and campers is mind blowing. It is like a dirt racing state fair.

Are Matt and I going again? Very likely in 2019 we will do what we did this year, a fast flying trip to Illinois.

Thanks for stopping by.

-Darn, I almost forgot. The best race of the night was the 25 laps Prairie Dirt Shoot-Out, a race similar to the Belt Bash at the Silver Dollar Nationals. The winner can take $2,000 first place money or start at the back of the 100 lap PDC. As he did at the Silver Dollar Nationals, Bobby Pierce did not impress in PDC qualifying. He was so bad he started far back in the Prairie Dirt Shoot-Out. And then proceeded to give fans and drivers a 25 lap clinic. Running close enough to the wall to bend his spoiler and bouncing through turn 2 time after time did not stop Pierce from passing Jason Feger late in the race and claiming a PDC spot. I have not been a Pierce fan, but after his SDN run last week, and this race, I do admit he can driver the wheels off a race car.

 

Advertisements

Silver Dollar Nationals

July 15, 2018 Leave a comment

Is it the prodigal son coming home, or me returning to the scene of the crime? Likely both. After not posting a blog for some length of time, here I am Maybe it is just spending $200 for the right to keep this site another two years-and NO, it has not been making money since the early years, or maybe it is the time of year I truly am excited about racing.

I openly admit that I have been less excited about racing in 2018, than I have in any year. I have watched only a few laps of NASCAR this season, and that was at best inadvertent. I have attended one race live, though I was at Junction Motor Speedway a few weeks ago when the rain poured down before the start of hot laps. Due to another commitment I missed Matt’s trek to Adams County Speedway in Corning, and Park Jefferson was rained out on the night we planned to head to greater Sioux City. I’ll explain more of my no tears later.

Thanks to Speed Shift TV and Lucas Oil Racing TV I still have watched plenty of racing this season. I have visited tracks in Washington, Oregon, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. I have watched late models, modifieds, midgets, winged sprint cars, and non-wing sprint cars in action. And have tried my very best to miss support class racing.

This coming week I will be watching Lucas Oil late models race in South Dakota and Minnesota prior to heading to I-80 Speedway for three super nights of the SDN. Thank you to www.DirtonDirt.com for the coverage. The site will also be covering the SDN if you can’t make it to the track, and next week will be showing both nights of the Prairie Dirt Classic from Fairbury, Illinois. Like the SDN, the PDC is simply a race dirt late model fans need to see. Because of my new job, Matt and I won’t make it to Friday’s PDC prelims, but we are flying into Chicago on Saturday and will be there for the main event. It is that good of a show.

As I mentioned, I have held little enthusiasm for racing in 2018-at least until this week. I have enjoy the computer races because I visit tracks I know I will never go to otherwise-I won’t be going to Washington or Oregon or Ohio or Pennsylvania, even though the tracks do put on great shows. But more important is the convenience these races provide. It is a constant 72 degrees where I sit, and there is no threat of getting wet if an unexpected shower takes place. In all honesty, I have watched very few features this season. I watch hot laps, time trials, and heats of the feature class, and usually turn off my computer and go on to something else.

It is after the feature class heats when tracks start to irritate me. Support class races that go on and on and on bore me. Intermissions that last forever infuriate me. But at The Rest of the Dirt Speedway, I control all of that. A couple clicks on the computer mouse and I can be on to something else, instead of sitting in the stands fuming over shows I feel are not professionally run. With my feelings running like they are, I suppose it is for the best I do not attend more shows. Right now the three nights of the Silver Dollar Nationals, the final night of the Prairie Dirt Classic, and the three nights of the Knoxville Late Model Nationals are all I have scheduled to physically attend the rest of the season, though I suspect Matt will somehow finagle me into going to Park Jefferson or Junction Motor Speedway sometime.

And I am looking forward to the next few weeks. I was hoping that Scott Bloomquist would not win his 600th feature before the Lucas Oil late models pulled into the I-80 pits, but he took care of that last night at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri. That doesn’t mean there is a shortage of stories for the Nebraska event. Tim McCreadie has not won a Lucas Oil feature this year, and a repeat of his 2017 SDN win would be very popular.  Last year’s point champion Josh Richards has not won a Lucas Oil feature since the Georgia-Florida Speedweeks in February. Youngsters Hudson O’Neal and Bobby Pierce will put on a great show. Don O’Neal, known now as much as Hudson’s dad as being a former Lucas Oil champion has won at I-80 Speedway, and put together back to back wins in Ohio a few weeks ago. Superman, Jonathan Davenport leads Lucas Oil points, but of late has been racing more like Clark Kent. Will any regional driver other than the Simpson brothers (boo) actually compete with the national drivers? There are 14 Lucas Oil regulars and they will all be on hand, but what other well know drivers will journey to Nebraska?

I am hoping the temperature will be somewhere below 100 for the SDN, but will be there no matter how hot it is. I do hope Thursday night’s show will be run quickly. I have to work on Friday and would like to get some sleep before going in.

Thanks for stopping by and see you at I-80 Speedway this weekend.

 

The 5 W’s, Plus Speed Shift TV, KTJ, Sunshine, And Berck. I-80 Dirt Classic

June 9, 2018 Leave a comment

Who? What? Where? When? Why? The 5 W’s of news reporting. Of course my blog is more opinion than news, but today I am going to work with the 5 W’s anyway.

What? The I-80 Dirt Classic featuring Modifieds, USAC Non-Wing Sprint Cars, and SLMR Late Models. That also answers where-I-80 Speedway, Greenwood, Nebraska-though I-80 Speedway is closer to Ashland than to Greenwood. Obviously when was Friday night.

Who? Matt, me, Race Guru Steve Basch, Scott McBride and Jameson, Randy Palmer and late arriving, very late arriving Tony Anville.

Who? Celebrity variety. I met Speed Shift Callie last night. If you ever purchase one of the Speed Shift PPV’s, Callie is their fixer. You have a problem receiving a race, she fixes your problem. She fixed a problem for me during Indiana Midget Week, though the problem had nothing to do with Speed Shift and everything to do with me being a duh. Anyway, a nice and lovely young lady.

Where? Again. Fortunately it was I-80 Speedway. It took me all of my debating skills to convince a certain family member that going to Jackson, Minnesota for the Jackson Nationals was a bad idea. I was proven right when the Thursday program at the Minnesota track was rained out, and it rained yesterday too. Jackson is a little over 200 miles from Fremont. I-80 Speedway is about 50 miles straight south of Fremont, although to get there from my house we have to go west-south-west-south-east-south-east-south-east-south-west-south.

Why? That is the real question. This race was the first Matt and I went to this season. Mainly we went for the USAC Non-Wing Sprint Cars, with the SLMR Late Models a bonus, and Modifieds something to endure. I very much enjoy Non-Wing Sprint Cars. You could not pay me to go to the Knoxville Nationals-Winged Sprint Cars, but if I could, I would certainly go to the USAC Indiana Midget Week or USAC Indiana Sprint Week. I probably can’t go, but I watched the Midget Week on Speed Shift TV and will watch the Sprint Week on Speed Shift TV in July. More about that later.

The car count for the I-80 Dirt Classic was my kind of number-77. 15 Modifieds, 25 Sprint Cars, and 37 Late Models filled the pits. The 37 Late Models ended up being a little problematic though. As if happened, I did not understand why there were 7, yup 7, Late Model hot lap sessions. Unfortunately the 7 hot lap sessions were followed by 7 time trial sessions, something the SLMR shows I had attended in the past did not have.

If you have more than a few of my blog posts, you know I hate time trials. Time trials try my patience. Time trials are minutes of my life wasted, minutes I will never get back. On a dirt track, when you time trial can be even more important than how good your car is. And time trials go a long way to influencing the kind of night a driver is going to have. Sorry, two laps should not be that important.

OK, that is time trials period. I was told the SLMR time trials had something to do with slower cars drawing spots close to the front of the starting grid of a heat. I am not sure who complained, the faster cars or the slower cars. If it was the faster cars, tough, pass them. If it was a driver of a slower car, admit you are slower and tag on the back of the grid while you gain experience. I do not think this was a good reason for having time trials. The SLMR Late Models simply should not have time trials.

Kevin Thomas Jr. was quite impressive last night. He set fast time, finished 3rd in his heat, and dominated the feature after taking the point on lap 6. The 69 car worked everywhere on the track-high, low, middle, wherever it needed to go to pass. Thomas leads the Amsoil USAC National point battle, and it would not surprise me to see him crowned champion at the end of the season.

A driver who could challenge Thomas is Tyler Courtney. Courtney did not have a good qualifying run and ended up starting the feature 12th on the grid. Getting to the front in a 30 lap feature running against quality drivers is no easy task. Courtney managed to move from 12th to 2nd in the race, despite no caution flags-surprise, the USAC sprinters had to cautions the entire evening. Maybe it has to do with NO wings.

Despite a plethora of cautions in the SLMR feature, Kyle Berck led all 25 laps, picking up his second series feature win of the season. Tad Pospisil finished 2nd, but the only way the Norfolk driver was going to win was for Berck to make a mistake, and that seldom happens. Andrew Kosiski finished a surprising 3rd, and looked good doing so.

The SLMR rules package is one all regional Late Model tours should follow-I am actually talking MLRA here. MLRA car counts are not that good at most races, and the SLMR car counts are good every race. If MLRA has the same rules as the SLMR, I believe their car count would jump from the low 20’s to 40 or more per race. The SLMR is going to be part of the Knoxville Late Model Nationals in September, so obviously promoter Joe Kosiski is doing something right.

Back to Speed Shift TV. There are some who claim sites like Speed Shift TV are detrimental to the sport. I think that is bunk. Speed Shift will show 16 races the remainder of June, 18 in July, 14 in August, 16 in September, 9 in October, 8 in November, and 1 in December. That is 82 shows I can watch, and I will watch many of them. The only track I have visited in those 82 shows is Park Jefferson. The only others I might actually visit are Marshalltown Speedway and Beatrice Speedway. Speed Shift TV allows me to “visit” dozens of tracks I would not otherwise visit. I am not watching Speed Shift TV in lieu of going to a local track, because I am doing very few weekly shows anymore (sorry, 6 classes of racing just chaps my you know what). AND, I can watch racing from warm weather states before and after the Nebraska racing season. Nothing wrong with any of that.

Over all I would give the evening a solid B. I enjoyed the company of my friends, got to meet a celebrity, very pleased with the USAC Non-Wing Sprints, but a little disappointed in the SLMR Late Model feature.

Matt may have other plans, but for now, my plans for this season are lots of races on Speed Shift TV and Lucas Oil Racing TV, and going to the Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway and the Prairie Dirt Classic at FALS in July and the Knoxville Late Model Nationals in September.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

Speed Shift TV Has All 6 Nights Of USAC Indiana Midget Week Covered

May 30, 2018 Leave a comment

Thanks to Speed Shift TV, I watched the USAC Indiana Midget Week show from Montpelier Motor Speedway-a track that was built in 1903 as a ½ mile horse track, but is now configured as a ¼ mile clay for vehicles with more than one horsepower. The first auto race at the track was held in 1915.

USAC midgets had four heats, non-wing sprint cars had three heats, and UMP modifieds also had three heats. This translated into 37 midgets, 20 sprints, and 20 modifieds. I do not mind three divisions, even for a special, especially when none of the three are junk classes. And I am now appreciative of car counts of 100 or less. Plus, I have to admit I do enjoy the midgets and non-wing sprints.

There are five more Midget Week shows scheduled-Gas City, Lincoln Park, Bloomington, Lawrenceburg, and Kokomo. You can get a Speed Shift TV package for the rest of the week, or for individual shows as well-and for open wheel fans, sprints will be running each night with the midgets.

Between the midget and sprint heats, Speed Shift TV showed a DVR of an in camera shot of a driver running a midget heat. The mud flying was insane, especially when this car was behind others, or if he jumped the cushion. The driver was ripping away one or more tear-offs every lap and above and below his visor his helmet was covered in mud, while his head was rocking like a bobble head doll. Ha, I used to complain about getting hit with a mud clod occasionally at Sunset Speedway and spinning my head to watch all the action.

In the sprint first heat, Parker Frederickson decided to go for a flight, despite no wings. If you saw the video of a sprinter climbing over the turn one wall at Knoxville last year, this was height Frederickson matched. He walked away from the crash though.

Several things I liked-only when a car didn’t fire did push trucks end up on the track wasting time. I do not like push truck starts. There was just one B feature-the midgets with 18 cars running just 12 laps. Also, the midget feature was run first, followed by the sprint feature and modified feature. To me this should ALWAYS be the case at specials-the top class feature goes first.

23 cars started the 30 lap midget feature-16 qualified in the 4 heats, 6 in the B-feature, and there was one provisional starter.  Drivers came from 13 states and 3 countries. NASCAR star Kyle Larsen took the lead a few laps before the halfway and was never headed. Larsen also set fast time-a new track record, and won his heat. On Sunday Larsen ran his Cup car at Charlotte for 600 miles, Monday night he ran a sprint car, and Tuesday it was a midget. Yes, he is a very talented racer. Unfortunately Larsen has NASCAR commitments the rest of the week so Montpelier was his only Indiana Midget Week stop.

Tyler Courtney finished second, and USAC National Points Leader Logan Seavey came home third. Despite many cautions it was a very good race. Hopefully, rainy weather will stay away and the midgets will put on another good show tonight at Gas City.

One very good thing about watching the races online is that if the support class features run last I don’t have to watch them. So, I had an enjoyable night without watching the sprint and modified feature and shut down the computer at 9:40 p.m. And Speed Shift TV does an excellent job. I know some of you are against PPV’s, but Montpelier Motor Speedway is not a track I will ever get to-thanks to Speed Shift TV and others I get to at least “visit” such places.

I know, this wasn’t my best blog effort, but it has been awhile. I’ll get back in the groove. Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PPV’s Plus Some Silver Dollar Nationals Thoughts

April 27, 2018 1 comment

There are two Lucas Oil Dirt Late Models shows on PPV this weekend. The Busch 50 from Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Illinois is on Lucas Oil Racing TV tonight at 6:30 p.m. Central Time and is available to yearly subscribers only. Tomorrow night, www.DirtonDirt.com will be showing the St. Louis U-Pick A Part 100 from Macon Speedway in Macon, Illinois. Modified action on the 1/5th mile track will also be shown. Check out the DOD website for details.

I-80 Speedway promoter Joe Kosiski might think I will be knocking the $90 3 day Silver Dollar National reserved ticket package, apparently the only way to guarantee getting the same reserved seats each night. I am not going to. It is a steep price, but it is the price we have to pay to see one of dirt late model racing’s crown jewel events. So, Matt and I will pay-and hope admission prices won’t go up in the future as $90 is plenty for this retiree.

I would ask several things of Joe, though. First, when Lucas Oil announcer James Essex interviews you on the Saturday night of the Silver Dollar Nationals, DON’T announce an increase in the winner’s share of the purse. 53 is a number long associated with the Kosiski family, so $53,000 for a winner’s share of the purse seems appropriate. Plus, unless the winner’s share is increased to $100,000, I doubt any addition would draw a single car more.

$53,000 should remain the winner’s share every year the track hosts the Silver Dollar Nationals. I would like to see the lower half of the purse beefed up, BUT only if a major sponsor could be found to allow the increase-not coming out of the wallets of fans.

The other thing I would ask is to make sure everyone in the grandstand area has a reserved seat. It angers me a lot when people without reserved seats sit in the grandstand. Last year I watched a redneck foursome move three times when people who had the seats arrived. A sign in front of the grandstands saying “Reserved seats only,” is not going to keep anyone without reserved seats from walking up the grandstand steps. I am not sure how many people actually notice the sign, and those who do tend to ignore it.

What is needed? When we go to the Prairie Dirt Classic at Fairbury American Legion Speedway in Illinois, I get a pit pass-the pits are near our back stretch parking spot and I don’t have to walk across the track to get to them. Like every other track, those in the pits at FALS wear a wristband. In this case, it is a plastic wristband and I do not take it off for two days. How about doing the same at the SDN and having people at the bottom of the stairs checking for the wristbands? Perhaps this sounds petty, but someone who paid for reserved seats should NOT have to ask someone who didn’t to move. Yeah, this does irritate the hell out of me.

I am not sure if egos involved would ever allow this, but it would be great if somehow the Silver Dollar Nationals could be co-sanctioned. No, I don’t mean my MLRA and the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series, I mean with Lucas Oil and the World of Outlaws. The WoO Wild West Tour finishes up about the same time as the SDN. Seldom do WoO drivers venture outside their series, but a co-sanctioned event would certainly bring them to Nebraska. I realize I am being greedy wanting all of the best drivers racing in the Cornhusker State, but it would turn a top ten event into a top five show.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

I Still Know How To Write

April 14, 2018 Leave a comment

I haven’t posted a blog in forever. Well, it seems that way. I haven’t been to a race since the Knoxville Nationals-Late Model variety-last September. For years I never missed a race at Sunset Speedway, or at I-80 Speedway when it was known as Nebraska Raceway Park. I doubt I will attend any race until the Go 50 Lucas Oil show at I-80 Speedway in late May. That, the Silver Dollar Nationals, the Prairie Dirt Classic, and Knoxville in September are the only races I have on my calendar in 2018.

To me, most other specials simply aren’t special at all. Yes, Late Models are featured at many “specials,” but to me there is nothing special about a race when 3-4-5 support classes are included. And always, every damn time, one of the support classes is the dreaded B-mods, or whatever it is they are calling this class nowadays.

I used to watch NASCAR every Sunday, but haven’t watched at all this year. Cookie cutter tracks, lack of real racing, and bland drivers make for a product I don’t find entertaining anymore. Couple that with mostly knuckle-head announcers and TV production that is beyond annoying, and I just don’t bother. I remember a few years back going to Kansas Speedway on a Friday to watch Cup practice and qualifying. It was cheap, it was fun, and for a while I wanted to repeat that visit. Now the only way I would consider that is having my grandson along.

And yes, my grandson is another reason why races are less interesting to me. That young man is way beyond important to Jane and me, and his interests are mine. He loves basketball, he really loves baseball, and he likes track and soccer, so guess what I like? Check out my Facebook page for photos of him and me at games (I know-you might not agree with my politics, but that is not all who I am).

There is a photo of Henry and me at last night’s Nebraska vs. Iowa baseball game at Haymarket Park in Lincoln. Matt and I did not go to the “special” at I-80 Speedway, but opted instead for the NU double-header. We arrived at the park at 1:00 p.m. and didn’t leave until 9:00 p.m. And yes Joe Kosiski, I would have been screaming bloody murder if I ever attended an eight hour long race show. Instead I loved every minute of our day at the ball park. Strike outs, double plays, home runs, Henry with fist bumps to his favorite players, and Herbie Husker sharing his cowboy hat with my grandson. It was great fun.

Part of my problem is I was witness to the golden days of Nebraska racing with the Late Models at Sunset Speedway. Sorry, but today’s Late Model drivers are not as good as drivers in the finals years of the legendary Omaha track. The SLMR is a good series, I won’t deny that, but no, it does not compare to the NASCAR Busch All-Star Tour. And there is certainly no weekly rivalry to compare with that of Joe Kosiski and Kyle Berck in the late 90’s.

When Matt wants to go to Park Jefferson or Corning or even I-80 Speedway for an SLMR show I go, but reluctantly. Sunset Speedway once ran three classes, now every weekly show runs five or six classes. Sunset would have 100 cars in those three classes and competition to make a feature race was stiff. Now most tracks have less than 100 cars on hand, even with multiple classes, and except for the B-mods I hate, every car is going to make the feature race. It is just not the same.

I would like to think I am still a race fan. Just last weekend I watched two nights of Sprint Car racing from Texas on Lucas Oil Racing TV. There are at least 27 more nights of racing on LORTV that I will watch this year. I intend on buying a month of DirtVision to watch World of Outlaws Sprint Cars race at places like Fairbury, Jackson, Grand Forks, and Knoxville-11 nights of racing. And I suspect I will watch more on Speed Shift TV and DirtonDirt. That will take care of any need for speed I have, and if I get bored I can turn off the PPV at any time.

I would like things to be different, but I am doubtful they will be. One kudo to I-80 Speedway though. I like their concessions far better than the concessions at Haymarket Park. The service at the ball park is atrocious. The ball park serves Pepsi products, not Coke products. The Haymarket popcorn is pre-popped Colby Ridge popcorn. I hate pre-popped popcorn and I really dislike Colby Ridge popcorn. And Haymarket concessions have NOTHING to compare with I-80’s pork tenderloin sandwich.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

February 12, 2018 Leave a comment

The nine Lucas Oil late model races in ten days served as a reminder to me that I still love dirt track racing. Every race was exciting, every race was fun to watch, and I am ready for more. I guess I will get in on the Michael Rigsby retirement fund and subscribe to the www.dirtondirt.com six night WoO/UMP racing package from Volusia Speedway Park starting tonight.

In the last few years I have become a BIG Jonathan Davenport fan. With three wins in the Georgia-Florida Speedweeks session, Superman takes a 50 point lead over Josh Richards into the month long hiatus for series. Rookie Kyle Bronson stands third in the LOLMDS standings.

Another driver I am impressed with is 17 year old Hudson O’Neal. His driving talent is obvious, but the Indiana teenager is well spoken and a good role model for young fans. He struggled at East Bay, but a second place finish at Brunswick, and a podium finish last night at Bubba Raceway Park has him in 7th place in series standings.

Watching the races at East Bay triggered some bucket list thoughts for me. I have visited the Clay By The Bay near Tampa-about 10 years ago, but if anything the racing seems better now, and I would love to spend a week where February temperatures are in the 80’s, not 20 or below.

What other bucket list items did I think of? I would love to take my son and grandson to a Golden State Warriors game-anywhere. Steph Curry is Henry’s favorite basketball player. I would also like to spend a weekend in Arizona in January watching the late models run. A few nights at Eldora Speedway in June for The Dream would be nice too. And then, the bucket list is a little whacky.

I would love to travel with Jane across Canada by rail. OK, that is not too crazy. Then, I would like to travel to Australia (Quantas Business Class) for a few weeks to watch late models and sprints there race. That one falls in the category of “win the lottery,” though.

Notice I didn’t say anything about NASCAR races. I watched hours and hours of dirt track racing on Lucas Oil Racing TV, but I have not watched a minute of NASCAR racing from Daytona. I may watch some this week as the Daytona 500 looms, but then again I may not. Not many years ago I wouldn’t miss a NASCAR TV race. In the Brian France leadership era, it has become a chore to watch these races. I would rather read a book. And now, I would rather write a book too.

My knee continues to heal. That is not to say it still doesn’t hurt, because it most definitely does. But I am winning little battles every day, and my goal remains going to the state basketball tournament in March with Matt-even if I have to use a cane.

Funny. A little racing excitement sure makes it easier to blog. Thanks for stopping by.