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How Many Sprint Car Races Can Hold My Attention, Plus NASCAR Ratings Tank

September 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Though I didn’t leave home, I watched plenty of races this weekend. I watched sprint cars from Wheatland, Missouri and two Pennsylvania tracks, and five different IMCA divisions from Beatrice, Nebraska. Yes, I did do a lot of switching around-whenever there was a break in the action at one track I clicked on another. And yes, I got enough sprint car viewing to last me for the rest of 2017.

I have watched very little NASCAR this season. I simply have not been interested. Apparently I am not the only one. The Chicagoland race-first in the NASCAR play-offs-was down 14% in viewership from 2016, and 28% from 2015. It was the lowest rated Cup race at Chicagoland since the race was first televised in 2001.

Of the 26 Cup races through Chicago, 22 have posted declines in ratings and viewership. 21 of those races were at either an all-time or decades long low.  I am not enthused about Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., or Joey Logano winning races. I once thought Kyle Busch might be someone I could cheer for, especially after his terrible Daytona wreck. He seemed a changed man, more mature being married and having a son. Now it appears the old Kyle has regained control, and that is not someone I like. I am OK with Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, Jimmy Johnson, and Kevin Harvick, but not so big a fan as to bother watching. In the end, like millions of others I tune out.

Not that long ago I never missed a NASCAR race, went every Sunday night to races at Sunset Speedway and then Nebraska Raceway Park, and when the NASCAR Busch All-Star Tour or the WDRL was not too far away, I went to specials too. Now, as I said, I don’t watch NASCAR. I try to avoid weekly shows as much as possible. I still enjoy going to specials, but I admit that it is the crown jewel events like the Silver Dollar Nationals, the Prairie Dirt Classic, and the Knoxville Late Model Nationals that really capture my attention.

I am sure this trend will continue in years to come as more and more of family free time will be taken up attending activities of my grandson Henry. We haven’t taken him to any races yet, and we really haven’t even considered it much. Baseball, basketball, swim lessons, running club all are time consumers. Would I rather watch a B-Mod B-Feature or watch Henry play ball? Yeah, that is a no-brainer for sure.

I suppose NASCAR can change and once again pique my interest. Of course it seems like they try a dozen new things every year and none of them work. Dirt track promoters could actually start on time, run fewer classes, get done at a reasonable hour, but I don’t see that happening either. So big time features it will be, along with remembering what once was. Sometimes change isn’t for the better.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

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Iowa-No, Sprint Cars-I Guess, Sprint Cup-Not Really

September 28, 2016 1 comment

received the following link from my friend TMC:

 
While it is a disappointment for Iowa drivers and fans, I suppose it is a sign of the times. No explanation was given, but the track occupies a lot of ground and perhaps the board saw that land as more valuable used for something else, like more butter sculptures.
 
I suppose country and western bands bring more rednecks to the fair than races do. And, there is not exactly a shortage of tracks for Iowa racers to race at. Still a shame though.
 
I don’t normally promote watching sprint car races on the computer, but this week is the National Open at Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Posse battling the World of Outlaw regulars is worth taking a look. Go to www.dirtvision.com for more details. Races are tomorrow-Saturday.
 
The National Sprint League is also in action this weekend, with the 410 sprints running in the 21st Annual Queen’s Royale at St. Francois County Raceway on Friday and Saturday. You can order a PPV for this event at www.speedshifttv.com.  Or if you stay up a little later than me, you can watch the Pat Pettitt Shootout from Ocean Speedway in California, also on Speed Shift TV and also on Friday and Saturday.
 
Yes, there are live sprint car races this weekend at I-80 Speedway. The ASCS 360 sprints will be racing against the Nebraska 360 sprints. I can’t believe I have mentioned three different sprint car shows in one blog. I will probably be a stay at home this weekend though.
 
I know I mutter every time the NASCAR Sprint Car Series races in New Hampshire. I just cannot get into watching the races at that track. To show you how not into it I was, I watched the first 30 laps, and then paid bills and read a book. I watched the last 20 laps and was happy to see Kevin Harvick take the checkered flags, but I would have been happy just for the race to end.
 
300 miles at New Hampshire is too many miles. Try 300K instead. Yeah, I know that will never happen. Just like Dover will never shorten their races to 400K (or better yet, 300K). Like New Hampshire, Dover is not on my bucket list.
 
Racing at New Hampshire is a lot like Dodge Street weekday mornings. “Rush hour” is an oxymoron, especially on my commute. From Elkhorn on there is too much traffic, and by Village Pointe Shopping Center I can see three lanes of bumper to bumper traffic for several miles in front of me and several miles behind me. When the sun is blinding-and it seems to be rising right over Dodge Street these days-the traffic slows to something less than a crawl. It took me 20 minutes to go from 180th Street to 144th Street this morning. Yeah, that is three miles of more stop than go. And the tangle stretches all the way to I-680 and past, another three miles. Amazing.
 
Anyway, my definition of “oxy” is all the morons speeding down on ramps at 168th Street and 156th Street only to have to slam on their breaks because Dodge Street is full of cars. BUT, I have a soft spot in my heart for these oxy-morons, just like I do sprint car fans. I always let 3-4 of them cut in front of me at each on ramp. Just the kind of guy I am.
 
Thanks for stopping by.

This Dog Ain’t So Hot

March 20, 2015 2 comments

After 67 years of serving Jesse Jones hot dogs as the “Famous Martinsville Speedway Hot Dog,” the track is switching to a product made by Valleydale Hot Dogs.  According to Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell, the color, taste, and texture of the hot dogs will remain the same.  Now why would the track switch from a hot dog that everyone loved?  The only logical reason is that it is cheaper-the other reason being management is stupid, and that could be so too. Now we are to believe that a hot dog that is cheaper is going to have the same taste as the old one?  Right.

I don’t have a dog in this race, but it irritates me anyway.  Most race track concession stand food isn’t exactly gourmet, so when a track has something good and it decides to switch to something cheaper, yeah, it is irksome.  A number of years ago, a local track decided to switch from Godfather’s Pizza to some other brand, maybe Tony’s Frozen Pizza, I don’t know.  Anyway, I have been to that track many times since, I have no clue what brand of pizza they are now offering, but I have not bought a single slice of pizza at that track since they changed.  Race fans aren’t real big on such changes.

I am thinking of adding a new income stream to TROTD.  Actually any income stream I added would up my profits 100%.  Anyway, I am going to hire out to schools participating in the NCAA basketball tournament, and pick them to lose in my bracket.  Of the four play-in games on Tuesday and Wednesday, I was 1-4 in my picks.  I also had Iowa State to play Duke in the South Region finals and they lost to UAB in the opening round on Thursday. And then Baylor loses to Georgia State.  I had Baylor playing in the West Region finals against Wisconsin.  Other than Georgia, I have no idea where Georgia State is from. I think my daughter Amanda could do a better job picking winners and she knows less about basketball than my 3 ½ year old grandson.  If I pick a team to lose, it is odds on to win.

I certainly had a bad day with my NCAA picks, but the state of Texas had a far worse day.  Texas had five different schools in the tournament and all five lost.  No, I did not shed a tear when I read this.

Here in Nebraska we are worried about dry, windy conditions sparking grass fires.  Around Mesquite, Texas-home of Devils Bowl Speedway, they have just the opposite problem.  In the past week over 8” of rain has fallen in the area, causing postponement of the ASCS Spring Nationals and probably lots of other headaches too.  That means Ivan Tracy will have to find something else to do this weekend.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knoxville-Just A Week Away, Plus The Midwest Fall Brawl

September 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Google “Knoxville Late Model Nationals 2014.”  This will get you the website for Knoxville Raceway. Click on “drivers,” and then click on “late model nationals.”  You will find a list of pre-entered drivers along with a wealth-that means a lot-of information on this year’s biggest Iowa late model race.

 

Drivers from 19 states are already entered, including 17 of the www.DirtonDirt.com Top 25.  Neither Tim McCreadie nor Jonathan Davenport are among those 17.  McCreadie has raced at Knoxville in the past, and Davenport has it on his schedule, so I am thinking at least 19 of the top late model drivers in the nation will be on hand. Even the top sprint car driver will be on hand for the Thursday race.  WoO sprint car series point leader Donny Schatz has pre-registered for the event, though he will be off with the other winged prima donnas on Friday and Saturday.  Even Darrell Lanigan will leave the cushy confines of the WoO late model series to race at Knoxville.

 

If McCreadie does in fact race, all 9 previous Knoxville National winners will be on hand-Lanigan, Steve Francis, Don O’Neal, Billy Moyer, Scott Bloomquist (2), McCreadie, Brady Smith, Brian Shirley, and Brian Birkhofer are either already registered or have the race on their schedule. What I have been trying to say, is this event will the best field of late models west of Eldora, south of Cedar Lake, east of I-80 Speedway, and north of Wheatland.

 

If you can’t be there, www.DirtonDirt.com will have PPV’s of the Thursday and Friday 9/25 and 9/26 preliminary races.  There is a two night subscribers’ only package for $44.99, or if you are a non-subscriber of only want to watch one night, each night cost $24.99.  Since Matt and I are going to Knoxville on the 26th, I intend to get the 9/25 PPV.  It is very definitely worth the price if you are a late model fan.

 

Closer to home-Randy Palmer is hyping this week’s I-80 Speedway event in a comment he made to yesterday’s blog. Since I am the only one who reads all the comments-I get them emailed to me so I can easily delete comments that irritate me-I am showing it below.

 

Palmer: “I’m just delighted TROTD is back up so I can read your opinions and insights. Not having a day with TROTD is like a day without sunshine.

I know as someone who is part of running a series, there is no better resource than Joe. He was the first guy we contacted once we decided to create a series. He not only gave us excellent advice, he was the first one to step up and schedule our races. I can see how some people may perceive the guy that owns the track and runs the series may have preferential treatment toward a family member, but knowing Joe I can only think he’d be more than fair to everyone and would be more apt to kick a family member in the butt if necessary more so than giving them preferential treatment. The Kosiski family is a bright spot in the Nebraska racing community. In addition, don’t forget the Fall Brawl this weekend at I-80 to watch the best of the best 360 sprint cars in the good ol’ USA. Will a local driver win it again this year or will it be a driver from the ASCS national tour? Potentially Nebraska’s largest paying race is at stake for the fastest race cars that run in Nebraska, don’t miss it!!”

Yes, the Midwest Foul Ball, ‘er Foul Bawl, OK-Fall Brawl is this weekend. I though this was a non-race event, just sprint car fans fighting to get to the beer stand, but apparently I was wrong.

It is racing, and it starts tonight with a program that includes 305 sprint cars, A-mods, and B-mods, and practice sessions for the 360 sprint cars. Tomorrow night will feature a complete program for the ASCS National Series sprint cars, A-mods, Grand Nationals, and the MCSA stock cars from the 50’s-70’s. Saturday will again feature the ASCS National Series sprint cars, with SLMR late models and the coupes and sedans of GOTRA as support classes.

If one driver can win both 360 features, and if he is at least 6’ tall, weighs a minimum of 250 pounds, has all his teeth, and thinks late model racing is the greatest thing going, he will win a bonus of $50,000. OK, all the driver has to do is win the Friday and the Saturday night feature.  That will be no easy task.  Only 4 drivers have won back to back races in the ASCS National Series this year, and the only driver to do it on the same track was Rico Abreu in the season opening races at Cocopah Speedway last winter.

I really wanted to go to tonight’s show-I mean both 305 sprint cars and B-mods are on the bill, but I am finally starting to get over this rotten cold, and going somewhere that would make me sick all over again. I won’t argue with sprint car fans about this, so if you disagree with me don’t bother to write, I’ll just delete it, but if you are a sprint car fan, this is the biggest show in Nebraska this year and you won’t want to miss it.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing But Wind-em Up Winged Wonder, Push To Start Vehicles

January 14, 2014 3 comments

When I wrote of 305 Sprint Cars racing in El Paso, Texas, the whine from a Lincoln, Nebraska residence was loud and clear. “Why don’t I give any publicity to Nebraska 360 Sprint Cars?” Well, like B-Mods are the future of stock car racing, 305 Sprint Cars are the future of the winged wonder world-of course I am going to write about the future of racing, no matter how dim it may seem at this moment.

Actually, I care not a wit about 305 Sprint Cars, and only mentioned them yesterday because of outrageous comments made by the Tucson International Raceway announcer. Since my friend Randy Palmer likes winged wind-up cars of the 360 engine variety, I suppose I must pay a little attention to them.

Below is the current Nebraska 360 Sprints schedule. I assume “tent” is tentative abbreviated, not that they are racing in a tent, but who knows? Included in the schedule are some ASCS dates.

2014 Nebraska 360 Sprints Schedule (with ASCS Mixed)
April 4th (Friday) I-80 Speedway Greenwood, Ne. (ASCS)
April 5th (Saturday) I-80 Speedway Greenwood, Ne. (ASCS)
April 11th (Friday) Interstate Raceway Park Jefferson, SD. (NE. 360)
May 10th (Saturday) Butler County Speedway Rising City, NE. (NE 360)
May 23rd (Friday) Junction Motor Speedway McCool Junction, Ne (ASCS)Tent
May 24th (Saturday) Butler County Speedway Rising City, Ne (NE 360)
May 25th (Sunday) I-80 Speedway Greenwood, Ne. (Ne 360)
May 31st (Saturday) Eagle Raceway Eagle Ne. (ASCS National Race)
June 14th (Saturday) Junction Motor Speedway McCool Junction Ne. (NE 360)? Tent
June 27th (Friday) I-80 Speedway Alphabet Soup Race (NE360)
June 28th (Saturday) Butler County Speedway Rising City, Ne. (NE 360)
July 12th Saturday Butler County Speedway Rising City, NE (NE 360)
July 13th (Sunday) Boone County Fair Albion, Ne. (Ne. 360)
July 17th (Thursday) I-80 Speedway Greenwood, Ne. Silver Dollar Nationals
(NE 360)
July 24th (Thursday) Crawford County Speedway Dennison, IA (Ne 360)
July 26th (Saturday) Butler County Speedway Rising City, Ne. (NE 360)
August 31st (Sunday) I-80 Speedway Greenwood, Ne. support for SLMR late model show
(NE360)
Sept 5th (Friday) Adams County Speedway Corning, IA (ASCS)?unknown
Sept 6th (Saturday) Junction Motor Speedway McCool, NE. (ASCS)
Sept 7th (Sunday) Eagle Raceway Eagle, Ne (ASCS)
Sept19 (Friday) I-80 Speedway Greenwood, Ne. (ASCSNational)
Sept 20 (Saturday) I-80 Speedway Greenwood, NE. (ASCSNational)
Oct 11th (Saturday) I-80 Speedway Greenwood, Ne (NE 360)

If I used my fingers correctly, that is 23 nights of racing at 8 different tracks in 3 states. Apparently I-80 Speedway is now becoming the home of Sprint Car Racing in the Cornhusker State, with 9-360 shows and a World of Outlaws show as well. Butler County Speedway, south of Columbus, will host 5-360 events, while Junction Motor Speedway near York is tentatively down for 3 races. JMS will also host a USAC wingless sprint car show on May 3rd, and a WoO 410 race on August 12th.

With all that Sprint Car action in the area, even I will get my fill of open wheel racing. I suppose I will take in a race or two at I-80 Speedway. We haven’t made the drive to Albion in a few years and Matt says that will change in 2014. The USAC show at JMS is another possibility. That seems a god awful plenty of me watching the have to push to start type vehicles.

That whiney Lincoln resident also provided me with the Nebraska 360 Sprints pay-out. Wait, is it the Nebraska 360 Sprints Presented by Carpetland, or the Carpetland Nebraska 360 Sprints? Either way, Carpetland is the primary sponsor of the series, which certainly helps with this nice purse structure.

1st $1000
2nd $700
3rd $600
4th $500
5th $450
6th $350
7th $310
8th $295
9th $285
10th $275
11th $275
12th $275
13th $250
14th $250
15th $250
16th $250
17th $250
18th $250
19th $250
20th $250
Tow $100

In 2013 the series paid out $7,000 in point-fund money and an additional $5,000 in contingency awards.

Among the drivers expected to race with the Nebraska 360 Sprints in 2014 are Billy Alley, Tyler Drueke, Ryan Roberts, John Klabunde, Cody Ledger, Jason Danley, Trevor Grossenbacher, Jack Dover, and Jason Martin. Last season 60 cars from 3 states raced in at least one Nebraska 360 Sprints race, and the series averaged 24.7 cars per event. I am pretty sure that .7 car did not do very well, but I may be wrong.

Wow, that is 700 words on nothing but Sprint Cars. I hope that Lincolnite won’t complain again about no publicity coming from Fremont for the series. Yes, I will mention it again as the start of the season nears.

Here is one final Sprint Car mention-WoO champion Donnie Schatz flew back from Australia to race his Late Model in the Winter Extreme in Tucson on Sunday. He will be racing in Arizona this week, but then is heading back to the Land Down Under to compete in the Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic at Premier Speedway on January 24th-26th. Schatz already has 5 Australian wins this winter, including the Australian Open which paid him $20,000.

Thanks for stopping by.

Torture-No I Am Not Talking About B Mods This Time

October 25, 2013 2 comments

I have had a song stuck in my mind the past few days.  It happens on occasion, but it is never one like ‘Free Bird,’ a song I wouldn’t mind having in mind for several days.  No, in this case it is ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ by The Foundations, recorded in the late ‘60’s.  It has been torture.  “Why do you build me up buttercup baby,’ just to drive me insane? Tiny Tim’s greatest hit couldn’t be much worse.

 

In 2014 NASCAR will require baseline concussion testing in 2014.  The baseline test will be made prior to the start of the season and used to compare when a driver receives a head injury.  I know some of you see this as intruding-“Goddamn Obamacare wrecking NASCAR,” and yes, I do know the government has nothing to do with this, I was being ironic.  Anyway, it provides doctors with more information in determining whether or not a driver should be allowed to race and given the nature of the sport, if a driver is a danger to himself he is also a danger to other drivers and should not be on the track.  So, in a lot of words I am saying that I see this as a good thing.

 

Of course doing brain scans on Brad Keselowski, Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse and others might produce some interesting results.  Maybe NASCAR should do brain scans of someone normal-like me-and compare them to the “normal” of drivers.

 

It is Martinsville weekend for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and that should mean it is payback time.  “Should” is the key word.  After last week in Talladega I wouldn’t be surprised at all if any spin-outs are not retribution, but mistakes.  I realize the phrase is now “Drivers start your engine,” but even Danica is being a gentleman.

 

Here is a link to subscribing to National Speed Sport News.  You get 12 issues of the magazine for $29.95 plus you also get a free t-shirt.  The magazine is a good one for all race fans and $2.50 per issue makes it an even better value:

http://www.nationalspeedsportnews.com/nssn-store/subscriptions/speed-sport-magazine/?utm_source=T-Shirt+Subscription+Offer&utm_campaign=forums+invite+tee+shirt&utm_medium=email

 

 

Here is another National Speed Sport News link.  This one is to the magazine’s new forums.   No, I am not a shill.  If I think something is good I’ll say it.  If I don’t think it is any good, I won’t mention it.

 

http://forums.nationalspeedsportnews.com! 

 

Almost heaven, Little Rock, Arkansas? Not according to John Denver, but I suspect Ivan Tracy thinks so with nearly 100 ASCS Sprint Cars on hand for the Short Track Nationals.  Danny Lasoski won the night one A feature, while Sammy Swindell captured the night two checkered flags. Maybe I didn’t look close enough, but I did not see any Cornhusker state names among the competitors. Interesting.

 

I won’t be watching the sprints tonight, but I do plan to log on XSANTV and watch some racing from North Carolina and California. You could do a lot worse than spending some time with XSANTV on a cool fall night.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links-Not Sausage, Safety, And Trips To ????

August 26, 2013 1 comment

According to Sports Business Journal, ESPN and TNT may be trying to get out of their contracts to televise NASCAR races early. See the link below for more information:

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nascar-from-the-marbles/report-espn-turner-talking-nascar-ending-tv-contracts-141103784.html

ESPN and TNT see falling ratings while FOX and NBC see new cable subscriptions. A switch in 2014 instead of 2015 seems to benefit the networks. I don’t know if FOX and NBC would simply pay the same as the ESPN/TNT contracts call for, or if they would pay the new contract rate.

A blog like The Rest of the Dirt can promote racing safety, can rant and rave about improving driver safety, and nothing will happen. Death or injury to a driver that dirt track fans may be familiar with will not speed up the process either. It takes the death or injury of a famous driver to lead to safety improvements with cars and at tracks.

I don’t want to see any driver injured, but if there is a silver lining in the Tony Stewart Oskaloosa incident, it is that he will be vocal on improving racing safety and because of his reputation people will listen.

http://www.sportingnews.com/nascar/story/2013-08-23/tony-stewart-injury-update-sprint-car-safety-mark-martin

I know so little about sprint cars, and I admit I don’t want to know much more, that I am not sure how to go about making them safer. They are light weight with extreme horsepower and will get airborne easily. Unlike with fendered race cars that are not many soft rolls with a sprint car.

With college football kicking off and a birthday party for a VIT-Very Important Toddler-it looks like any racing action this weekend will be on TV watching NASCAR from Atlanta. Nebraska plays a night home game on Saturday, meaning a no go for the SLMR race at Shelby County Speedway in Harlan, Iowa. On Sunday, Henry’s second birthday celebration-a Mickey Mouse event (and Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck and Daisy Duck and Goofy and Pluto)-will be over too late to head to I-80 Speedway. I don’t foresee a trip to Boone for the Deery Brothers late model race on Monday.

I am thinking of a trip to US 30 on Thursday night or maybe to the Columbus track for Friday night of the Abe Lincoln Memorial on September 13th. If I don’t go there, it might be the end of September in Knoxville before I get to another race. Matt is talking of going to a race on Sunday, September 8th, but I have no interest at all in going to a race at that track. I suppose Friday September 20th of the Foul Ball or Fall Brawl or whatever it is called is a possibility since I really love sprint car racing.

Although I was not enthused about doing so, I did add Chris Madden to my Top 25 late model drivers ballot this week. I looked to for others who might have stepped this past weekend, and simply couldn’t find someone I thought was more deserving than Madden. I’ll publish my entire ballot tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by.