I-80 Speedway is the center of the dirt universe this weekend. Cars and drivers from Florida to Oregon, Pennsylvania to California, Texas to North Dakota and many states in between filled the track pits. An event record 60 super late models signed in, along with 29 USMTS modifieds.
The word to best describe the opening night of Silver Dollar Nationals V is “inevitable.” Billy Moyer making perhaps his last run in Nebraska won his first heat. Sentimentally inevitable. Hall of Famer Scott Bloomquist winning a heat? An ego driven inevitability. Lucas Oil series stars Earl Pearson Jr., Jimmy Owens, and Dennis Erb Jr. finishing first in a heat? Logical and inevitable. And if I-80 Speedway is the center of the dirt universe, well, it was inevitable that 2015’s brightest late model star would win both of his qualifying heats.
Jonathan Davenport alone was worth the price of admission last night. He was simply SUPER, and MAN was he fast. Starting third in his first heat, the driver from Georgia moved to the outside of front row drivers Jordan Grabouski and Austin Siebert as the green flag flew, and had the race lead before exiting turn two on the first lap. In his second qualifier, Davenport started eighth, moved past California driver Jason Papich on lap six, and drove away from the field. Davenport’s two wins place him on the pole position for tonight’s 80 lap feature.
What was not inevitable was Nebraskan Tad Pospisil starting tenth in his first heat and driving to the front in a convincing win. In his second heat, Pospisil finished a close second to Erb, and will start tonight’s $32,000 to win A feature alongside of Davenport. No, that is not a typo. A Nebraskan is actually starting on the front row of the Silver Dollar Nationals finale.
Matt told me earlier that he thought Pospisil was a dark horse for a top ten finish, and obviously has his Black Diamond chassis working like he wants. Row 2 of tonight’s feature will have Owens and Jared Landers, while row three will be Iowans Chad Simpson (boo-hiss) and Jason Utter. Three of the first six starters are MLRA drivers, not Lucas Oil regulars, which does surprise me.
Pennsylvanian Gregg Saterlee will start on the inside of row four and Billy Moyer will begin the race on his outside. Bloomquist starts ninth and Clay Daly from Salinas, California will be on the outside of row five. Daly had solid finishes of second and third in his qualifiers. Illinois and Missouri are represented in row six, with Rookie of the Year contender Brandon Sheppard starting behind Bloomquist, and veteran Terry Phillips starting 12th on the grid.
Other first night qualifiers were Chris Brown, Eddie Carrier Jr., Rodney Sanders, Don O’Neal, Jason Feger, and R.C. Whitwell-representing Texas, West Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Illinois, and Arizona. Drivers who will have to run a consolation tonight include Ryan Gustin, Jason Papich, Garrett Albertson, Jeremy Payne, Chris Simpson, Kyle Berck, and Hall of Famer Steve Francis.
Berck’s situation reminds me of golfer Tiger Woods. Woods strived to be perfect, not just settling to be among the best ever. In doing so he changed coaches often and really messed up his game to the point of being an afterthought in conversations of who might win the next PGA event. Berck has repeatedly changed the chassis he runs, and finished sixth in his opening heat, and fourth in his last heat. He finished behind locals Mike Collins and Brian Kosiski in heat one and I am sure that was hard for Berck fans to swallow. Berck does have a provisional starting spot, garnered with a win in the Alphabet Soup Race three weeks ago.
Back to inevitable. With a third place finish in his USMTS modified heat, Rodney Sanders qualified for the redraw that determines starting spots 1-8 in every USMTS feature. Sanders drew the #1 spot, and from that moment, the other 23 drivers in the feature were battling for second place. Sanders earned $3,000 for his 35 lap victory, which was his fifth victory in a row at I-80 Speedway. With the win Sanders clinched his third regional USMTS championship, and if he is able to win his third straight USMTS National Championship the Happy, Texas driver will be very happy, collecting $100,000 for his efforts.
If I could only go to a race one night a season, it would be the Friday night of the Silver Dollar Nationals. The qualifying format is one that fans have to love-NO time trials, meaning drivers have to battle from the drop of the green to the checkered flag. To me, the Lucas Oil drivers are the best in the business, so watching the best having to race their way into a big money feature makes this a crown jewel event.
A sour note-the P.A. system was not good last night, and that is putting it as mildly as I can. Actually, it sucked. A crown jewel race needs crown jewel equipment backing it up, and that sound system is far from rating crown jewel status. I would rather see the SDN feature start just 26 cars and use the money to invest in a P.A. system that works. The campgrounds and parking area were full of vehicles from many different states. Fans deserve better than booth announcers fading in and out and a pit reporter microphone that turned fans into cryptanalysts, trying to decipher what drivers were saying when only every third word was heard.
Still, fans are willing to forgive many ills as long as the racing is good, and the racing was good. Jonathan Davenport starting on the pole seems unfair. He has won 11 of the last 13 events he has raced, and it looks promising for the Lucas Oil point leader to add another big $$$ win to his resume. 100 degree temps or not, a working P.A. system or not, I will be back in my grandstand seat cheering on the #6 to do just that.
Thanks for stopping by.
The hopes and prayers of Junior Nation defeated Mother Nature’s effort to ruin the final day of the three day holiday weekend. Though rain threatened the running of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, officials were able to dry the track and begin the race over three hours late-around 11:30 p.m. EDT. Should NASCAR have run the race so late or postponed it until Monday? I think they made the right decision to run it:
- It was Daytona.
- It was the first night of NBC coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series.
- If the race was run on Monday during the day, it would have been on NBCSN, not the network, and most fans would have been at work.
- It would have been unfair to fans at the track who stuck around through the rain delays.
- Again, it was Daytona, not Dover, not New Hampshire, not Pocono.
Was NBC’s coverage perfect? Far from it. Will it get better? I believe so. Was it better than FOX coverage? That’s a silly question. FOX simply sucks, even after doing racing for years and years. I thought NBC prerace coverage was OK with Krista Voda, Kyle Petty, and Dale Jarrett. Kyle Petty was not as off the wall as I feared he would be. I thought in-booth commentators Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte did a capable job, better than their contemporaries Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds. I am still not a Rick Allen fan, but he did not irritate me as much as I thought he would. Overall I would give NBC a C+ for the night, and FOX rarely graded better than a D.
While race results rarely get more than a few paragraphs in a section grouped with other sports in the Omaha World-Herald, this morning’s OWH had a major above the fold second page story about the Austin Dillon crash. Granted, it was newsworthy and it was damn scary. After over 50 years of watching racing I sometimes think I have seen it all, but I never saw anything quite like that crash. The car was literally torn apart, with nothing left but the driver’s compartment. Thank goodness that area is built like a tank.
Still, the energy of the crash had to be horrific, with a 3,500 pound race car going from 190 miles per hour to zero in an instant. 10 or 15 years ago if Dillon had survived the crash he would have been terribly injured. He was able to walk away from the crash, though I bet he was more than a little sore yesterday. Going that fast, a car wants to get airborne, so I see how it could happen. I do not see how seconds after the crash was seemingly over Brad Keselowski smashed into what was left of the #3 car. I have watched cars on dirt tracks travel most of a straight away and smash into a stalled car, but Keselowski is a past champion and supposedly an elite driver, so no, I do not understand his part in the crash. Starting with the crash he caused in Friday practice, this was not Keselowski’s finest hour.
The car nearly going through the catch fence was beyond scary. Five people did suffer minor injuries from debris off the car, and the catch fence did the job it was supposed to, but the results could have been catastrophic. Yes, the track and NASCAR are already looking at what happened and will likely come up with some type of engineering solution to enhance the safety of the fence. I am sure that fans sitting in the lower grandstands at Daytona get quite a thrill as 43 cars powered by 34,400 total horsepower jet past at 190 miles per hour, but should they be sitting that close to the action?
Kyle Busch is now 129 points out of 30th place in the Sprint Cup point standings. In the final 9 races leading up to the Chase, Busch needs to average a finish 14.333 points ahead of current 30th place driver Cole Whitt in order to qualify for the season ending Chase. On Saturday Busch finished 17th, while Whitt ended up 25th.
The big news in dirt late model racing wasn’t the Lucas Oil series losing two out of three dates to Mother Nature over the weekend, nor was it that the UMP Hell Tour managed to do what it is famous for, run five days in a row. No, the big news was Billy Moyer suggesting to Dirt on Dirt’s Alli Collis that he was thinking of retiring at the end of the season. Of course a string of wins might change the mind of the 57 year old Hall of Famer, but the grind of competing at that level-concentrating on the car 24/7 because you know your competitors are, and the windshield time, the time spent going down the highway from race to race may finally be wearing down Moyer.
For many fans, Moyer has been around forever. Actually it has been “only” 33 years, but it has been an amazingly successful 33 years. Bloomquist fans might argue otherwise, but most would agree that Moyer is the greatest of dirt late model drivers. As NASCAR has to contemplate racing without Jeff Gordon, and in not too many years without Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart, dirt late model fans have to think about major events with Moyer or even Bloomquist, and before long Don O’Neal, Jimmy Owens, and Steve Francis. Like other sports, racing will survive stars retiring. It will not be the same, but there will still be racing.
It is big money month for late models. Through August 8th, drivers will be competing for $10,000 to win in 15 shows, and over $25,000 to win in six more shows. Of course I am thinking of the $32,000 to win Silver Dollar Nationals as being the most important of those shows, though drivers and others may not. There are so many great story lines leading into this almost crown jewel event:
-will this be the last time area fans get to watch Billy Moyer race?
-Jonathan Davenport will be bringing his “Superman” talent to Nebraska for the first time. Davenport and O’Neal waged a mini-war at Portsmouth Raceway Park last weekend. Will they skirmish again at I-80?
-Davenport is not the only driver heading into the SDN on a hot streak. While Jesse Stovall’s wins have come against regional competition, 2015 has to be his best season ever. Can an MLRA driver beat out the Lucas Oil drivers and take home the $32,000 first place check?
-Scott Bloomquist likes I-80 Speedway. Will the Zero car be back in victory lane on July 18th?
-Ryan Gustin’s late model career is one of great promise, unfulfilled to date. Will Gustin get his groove back at I-80 Speedway and enthrall the crowd like he did two years ago in a drive from a 34th starting spot to the race lead?
-Is Jimmy Owens about to go on one of his patented summer win streaks?
-Can a Nebraska driver garner a top ten finish in the 80 SDN A feature? Kyle Berck looking like the Berck of old in recent weeks has already qualified for the race and certainly has the talent and equipment to have a good run. Tad Pospisil in his Black Diamond chassis also has the potential to finish among the leaders.
All of that plus Rodney Sanders and the USMTS modifieds will be in the house. I am no shill, just an excited fan who is telling you to get your tickets if you haven’t already. I guarantee that the racing in Nebraska will be a lot better than any racing happening in New Hampshire that weekend.
Thanks for stopping by.
Mother Nature must be a patriot as she allowed the country to celebrate the 4th of July with plenty of fireworks on and off the track, including the MARS/MLRA Freedom Classic at the Salina Highbanks Speedway in Oklahoma. I was told yesterday that if Jesse Stovall won the race I could not continue to keep him off my www.DirtonDirt.com Top 25 ballot just because I don’t like him. He did win, and I suppose I will have to follow my son’s advice and add him to my ballot tomorrow. I am NOT going to add Chad Simpson to my ballot even though he finished second to Stovall.
Of course Matt actually suggested we go to the July 31st races at I-80 Speedway-with A mods as a support class and featuring the ASCS 360 National Sprint Car Series and the 410 National Sprint League Series. Perhaps he was suffering from fireworks fatigue. Actually, the racing wouldn’t be that bad, but suffering through a night with a throng of open wheeled fans (not including you Ivan, and maybe not Randy either) surrounding me would be as bad as listening to fireworks for hours on end.
Jason Feger gave the UMP Summernationals drivers a little “hell” last night, winning for a third time on the 2015 tour. Billy Moyer followed up a Friday tour victory with a second place finish at Highland Speedway in Illinois. In their series point battle, Billy Moyer Jr. finished ahead of Bobby Pierce, but for the third race in a row, he finished just one spot ahead of Pierce. Pierce entered the race with a 45 point lead over Moyer Jr., and didn’t lose more than five points to the young Moyer on Saturday.
Georgian Shane Clanton continued his winning ways, picking up $4,025 of Southern National Bonus Series money at Senoia Raceway in the Peach State. The race was a tribute to his father Billy Clanton.
Brandon Sheppard seems to like Portsmouth Raceway Park. Several years ago he won the Dirt Track World Championship there, and last night he captured the Lucas Oil Freedom 50 at the Ohio track. Jared Landers finished second, with Dennis Erb Jr., Jimmy Owens, and Earl Pearson Jr. following. Yes, I realize that I may also have to add Landers to my DOD Top 25 ballot. We’ll see how he does tonight at 201 Speedway in Sitka, Kentucky before I make that decision.
Jonathan Davenport finished 19th in Portsmouth and his LOLMDS series lead is down to just 20 points over Pearson. Don O’Neal is 90 points back, and Jimmy Owens is 95 points behind Davenport. And those four drivers along with Scott Bloomquist, Sheppard, Erb, Landers, Steve Francis, and Eddie Carrier Jr. will all be at the Silver Dollar Nationals starting July 16th.
With the SLMR Thursday night rainout and no race we particularly wanted to go to on Friday or Saturday, Matt and I went to Omaha again to watch some of the basketball tournament at Omaha Sports Academy. As we pulled up to my house coming home, I was left with an image that will stay with me forever as to what celebrating July 4th is all about. Obviously it was not a big fireworks display with scenic Mt. Rushmore as the background. And no, it was not fireworks in New York harbor with the Statue of Liberty shining brightly. No, it was a horde of my neighbor’s grandchildren setting off packs of firecrackers in the middle of the street. Truly amazing. What was even more amazing was the man must have turned his garage into an armory as they shot off fireworks for four straight hours. I would like to say thank goodness this holiday is over, but I know some idiot is going to shoot off fireworks tonight, if for no other reason than to show the law limiting burning up money just through July 4th does not apply to him.
Me, I’ll be watching the Coke Zero 400 from Daytona to see if any of the 10 drivers Brad Keselowski wrecked in practice will be seeking retribution. Drivers like Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Ryan Newman all had to go to back up cars after the wreck, meaning they will be starting at the tail of the field tonight. In Jimmie Johnson at Talladega fashion, Keselowski caused the wreck, but it did no damage to his race car.
An internet story has “NBC prepared to give NASCAR fans coverage they deserve.” Let it be so. I am thinking that Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton will do a good job as race analysts, but I am more than a little leery about announcer Rick Allen. I do know that Letarte and Burton cannot possibly be worse than Darrel Waltrip and Larry McReynolds of FOX. Anyway, here is a link to an interesting article about the second half of the season NASCAR coverage on NBC:
Thanks for stopping by.
P.S. Happy Birthday to my friend Rick Bradley.
With the USMTS off until Silver Dollar Nationals V, Mother Nature has decided to plague other series. Rainy weather forced the postponement of night number one of a three night Lucas Oil show at 201 Speedway in Sitka, Kentucky-it was rescheduled for tomorrow. Night number two at Muskingum County Speedway in Zanesville, Ohio was rained out as well. Tonight’s show at Portsmouth Raceway Park in Portsmouth, Ohio is still on, but it is misting and foggy there as I writing this post.
After finishing 14th in a MARS sanctioned event at Monett Speedway in Missouri, Jesse Stovall won the preliminary night of a MARS/MLRA show at Salina Highbanks Speedway in Oklahoma. Although I do not have him ranked on my www.DirtonDirt.com Top 25 ballot, it seems most other voters do as he is 13th overall. If he wins tonight will I put him on my ballot? Don’t count on it. Again, Stovall belongs to the 25 Club along with charter member Chad Simpson and they will be on my ballot when they win the World 100 and Knoxville Late Model Nationals, i.e. when hell freezes over.
Speaking of Hell, after four straight rain-outs, the UMP Summernationals has managed to get two straight shows in. Chad’s brother Chris Simpson won at LaSalle Speedway, while Billy Moyer-the one who finished 6th in the Liberty 50 at Adams County Speedway-finished first at Fayette County Speedway in Brownstown, Illinois. It was Moyer’s 90th win on the Hell Tour. Jason Feger finished second to Simpson, and Billy Moyer Jr. finished second to his dad.
Bobby Pierce seems to be doing what he needs to do to capture the Summernationals point championship. Moyer Jr. is in second place in the standings and has bettered Pierce the last two races, but by only one spot in each race. That will not move him up in the standings as Pierce has a lead of almost 50 points over the young Moyer. Moyer Jr. has to hope for a win and a bad night for Pierce to tighten up the race for the $25,000 going to the tour champion.
If you remember the first night of Gulf War I, the night of “shock and awe,” you have a good picture of the sights and sounds in my neighborhood last night. I was just reading a book on Sherman’s march through Georgia-and South Carolina and North Carolina, and it was during this time that the Union general coined the phrase “War is hell.” My neighborhood wasn’t hell; it was more like “heck.”
Unbeknownst to me, there is a 4th of July competition to determine “The Biggest Dumbass in Parkview,” the 12 square block area of Fremont I live in. Seven neighbors vied for the title last night-yes, I KNOW it was just July 3rd, apparently they did not. There was a clear cut winner, a neighbor a block south of my house who must have spent hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of dollars on fireworks as his “show” went on for almost two hours. I thought the runner up would be a neighbor a few houses to the east who like clockwork set off an illegal firework every five minutes for an hour. No, I could not say with 100% certainty his fireworks were illegal, but if it sounds like half a stick of dynamite blowing up, I am pretty sure it is illegal. Anyway he was runner-up Dumb Ass until another neighbor about a block southeast started shooting his fireworks off at 11:30 p.m. With no clear cut runner-up I am declaring the other six neighbors as 2nd Place Dumbasses.
That was just July 3rd. What is tonight going to be like? I would like to think everyone shot everything they had last night, but I know that isn’t so. Still, to show you how much I wish it was so, I will state now that if I do not hear a single firecracker go off today I will root for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to win the Coke Zero 400 from Daytona tomorrow night.
After Mother Nature wrecked out SLMR at US 30 Speedway plans on Thursday, Matt was itching to go to a race yet this weekend. So much so that he was talking of weekly shows at Albion or Denison last night, or Norfolk or Harlan tonight. Fortunately he decided we should take Henry to the AAU basketball tournament at the Omaha Sports Academy. It was fun, though unlike his dad who never moved an inch while watching basketball games, Henry gets restless. Grandpa tried to bribe him with Skittles and going for a walk, but we still left earlier than planned. Just as well, we had traveled just a few miles toward home and the youngster had already fallen asleep.
On the way back from Omaha we heard a commercial for John Deere lawn mowers. It started with “my pal Ron likes to give advice, most of it bad.” I swear the person saying that sounded exactly like Tony Anville, and I may have to do my Scott Bloomquist imitation and seek a legal remedy.
Just two weeks until the feature night of what is becoming a dirt late model crown jewel event, the Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway. You can purchase tickets online at the track website. Although it comes on late, I am going to watch some of the Irwindale Speedway Independence Day Celebration on RACEFEEDX.com tonight. Yes, it is an asphalt track, but the place has always intrigued me. Tomorrow it will be the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Daytona, and our first opportunity to see if NBC is better than or as bad as FOX in covering the sport.
Thanks for stopping by.
In 2016, a new ball park will open in Hartford, Connecticut. Naming rights were sold to Dunkin’ Donuts. Yup, Dunkin’ Donuts Park. The company will get signage at the front entrance to the park and atop the park’s video screen. The company logo will be mowed in the outfield grass and Dunkin’ Donuts will be the exclusive coffee provider at the park.
If Dunkin’ Donuts is a good match for the Hartford Yard Goats, there has to be any number of corporate match-ups for dirt race tracks. I realize a track in a tiny southwest Iowa town is not going to get a major sponsor, but what about tracks that host crown jewel events that aren’t owned by Forrest Lucas? Actually, I am trying to be funny, not serious, but probably am not being either.
Someone tried to hijack my blog yesterday, but I think he got his hijack training from Cubans during the 60’s. No need to hijack anything-all he needed to do was send me the information below and I would have included it in my blog. Actually, I would do this for most tours and all but a track or two. Oh, and no B-mods.
Up next for the Carpetland Nebraska 360 Sprints is Junction Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 13th which will be co-sanctioned with our NCRA friends from the South and at Dawson County Speedway in Lexington on Sunday June 14th.
We’re hoping for a good field of cars at JMS due to the co-sanctioning and larger purse of the event with NCRA, plus the addition of other traveling sprint teams from around the area. The race for the Speedway Motors Victory Lane should be fierce and intense as it always is whenever the NE 360 Sprints co-sanction races with the well-respected NCRA teams.
The Carpetland Nebraska 360 Sprints then ventures farther West than we ever have when we travel to Lexington in South Central Nebraska. Our goal is to provide some excellent racing for our racing friends in areas of the state that doesn’t get to see much 360 sprint racing. We’re excited to be seeing new tracks and the potential for new friends, we hope to see you all there, you won’t be disappointed.
Nebraska 360 Sprints
Michael Waltrip Racing has switched crew chiefs on the #15 and # 55 cars of Clint Bowyer and David Ragan. Ah, crew chief Brian Pattie has been the reason why Bowyer has not won a NASCAR point race in 971 days-that count per Twitter’s Drunken Brian France. If I might make a suggestion, perhaps Emma Slater, Waltrip’s partner on Dancing with the Stars might be a better choice than Brian Scott. I may be wrong, but I believe the last time the #55 visited Victory Lane in a point race was in July of 2013 in New Hampshire with Brian Vickers driving and that is nearly 700 days ago. Anyway, would you rather have Brian Scott or Emma Slater talking to you over the radio?
DBF also had a brilliant Tweet several days ago: “If Roush Fenway and Michael Waltrip Racing changed cars and/or drivers, would anyone even notice?”
Wow, this could be just like Major League Baseball. It would be hilarious to read “MWR just traded Clint Bowyer to RFR for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and a Camping World Truck Series driver to be named later.”
Without a win I don’t see Ragan making the Chase, no matter who his crew chief is. He would have to jump over 7 drivers, including Bowyer to do so. Bowyer is just 20 points behind 16th place Ryan Newman, meaning in the next 12 races he would need to finish on average 1.75 spots ahead of Newman-I said average. Given the hit Newman took at Pocono-just talking points, that is not out of the realm of possibility. That or get a win, which as I said above has not happened in 971 days.
USAC Indiana Midget Week started last night at Gas City I-69 Speedway in Gas City of all places. The “small” open wheelers will be back in action tonight at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnam and then head to Bloomington Speedway, Lawrenceburg Speedway, and Kokomo Speedway. Yup, this is an event I wouldn’t mind seeing. Same with the USAC Indiana Sprint Car Week, which features seven races in eight days in July.
I have no idea who Tanner Thorson of Minden, Nevada is, but he got his first USAC win last night at Gas City. I do know who Bryan Clauson is, and he finished 2nd to Thorson.
The USMTS mods were back in action last night at KRA Speedway in Willmar, Minnesota. Last night was the first of five straight nights of racing in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. I have no idea who Craig Thatcher is either, but Wisconsin driver led every lap of the race, collecting $3,000 for his effort.
Night one of the UMP Hell Tour saw Dennis Erb Jr. win at Brownstown Speedway in Indiana. Yes, I do know who Erb is, I wrote a DLM article on him. 29 cars were on hand. It was just the 4th start for Erb in his new Black Diamond chassis, and it obviously was a good switch for the Illinois driver as he has two third place finishes and two wins in the car. Billy Moyer finished 2nd, Bobby Pierce was 3rd, and Moyer Jr. finished 4th.
While I already mentioned following the entire Hell Tour was out of the question for this tired old body of mine, perhaps one week on the late model trails wouldn’t be so bad. The first week of action also includes races at Kankakee County Speedway in Illinois, two nights at Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin, and Sunday at Wilmot Raceway, also in Wisconsin. Or, the second week wouldn’t be that bad either-Jacksonville Speedway in Illinois, Farley Speedway in Iowa, and then back to Illinois for races at Spoon River Speedway in Canton, Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Fairbury American Legion Speedway, and finishing at Quincy Raceway.
The World of Outlaws late models are off until June 18th when they start their Great Northern Tour of 8 races in 10 days in New York, Ontario, and Pennsylvania, ending with the Firecracker 100 at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pennsylvania.
I would hate to be the tax accountant for a WoO late model driver. They will race in 20 different states plus Ontario. The WoO sprint car drivers are even worse-I meant for tax purposes, though the winged wonder pilots are without question prima donnas. Anyway, they will race in 23 different states and two Canadian provinces.
According to a representative of the Nebraska Dept. of Revenue, the driver would indeed need to pay taxes in each state he has income. What a mess. The Lucas Oil series drivers race in 20 states just like the WoO, but they do not venture to Canada. They do come to Nebraska though-in FIVE WEEKS for the Silver Dollar Nationals.
Thanks for stopping by.
Four NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will lose 15 minutes practice time tomorrow at Talladega Speedway. The #43 team of Aric Almirola was late for qualifying inspection, the #4 team of Kevin Harvick and the #83 team of Matt Benedetto were late for pre-race inspection, and the #7 team of Alex Bowman failed qualifying inspection more than three times. While the others may need every minute of practice time they can get, Harvick will not have much of a problem with 15 minutes less on the track.
Apparently Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is in no hurry to get married. While girlfriend Danica Patrick previously said she would answer ‘yes’ if he asked, in an interview with NASCAR Illustrated, Stenhouse said he is focused on his career, on getting faster in his Roush Fenway Racing Ford. If Danica has to wait for an RFR car to get fast before she can get married, she is going to have a long wait before walking down the aisle.
The famous announcer having a birthday this weekend-tomorrow to be exact-is none other than Joe Proctor, aka Stroker Ace. Happy Birthday Stroke!!
This is so my friend Tony Anville can make vacation plans-Austin Dillon will be driving his dirt late model at Merritt Speedway in Lake City, Michigan on June 10th.
Macon Speedway. Lucas Oil Late Models. Don O’Neal, Billy Moyer, Jimmy Owens, Scott Bloomquist, Steve Francis, Eddie Carrier Jr., Jonathan Davenport, Shannon Babb, Brandon Sheppard, Dennis Erb Jr., Earl Pearson, Jr., Devin Moran, and Bobby Pierce. A 1/5th mile oval. $12,000 to win. 100 laps. UMP Modifieds. A grandstand full of crazy fans. AND, B-Mods.
Gotta love promoters who can’t keep B-Mods off of special events. OK, so I used the B-Mod time on the track to visit TRODT’s concession stand and restroom. Wow-concession stand food is good and cheap and the restroom is the cleanest of any track I have visited.
But I am still irritated that B-Mods were on the program. A full grandstand at $30 adult admission and B-Mods on the program. In the name of all that is good about dirt track racing, why?
The Lucas Oil show? Excellent, top notch, borderline outstanding. 14 of the 30 drivers turned in sub-11.00 second laps, and Billy Moyer broke the seven year old track record, wending his way around the speedway in 10.228 seconds as the first driver who time-trialed.
Heats at special events are sometimes ho-hum, but not last night in Macon. There was plenty of racing in all four heats, with Moyer, Jimmy Owens, Bobby Pierce, and Brandon Sheppard coming home winners. Devin Moran and Jonathan Davenport won B-Features.
In the feature, Pierce led the first 20 laps, with Moyer taking the lead in lapped traffic on lap 21. Pierce regained the lead on lap 32 and held it until lap 52 when he went to the pits with a flat tire. Brandon Sheppard and Moyer went into the pits that same lap, also with a flat tire, and all three tires had holes in them, they were not worn out. I would say the odds of that happening are greater than the odds of me winning Powerball tomorrow, unless there was debris on the track that cut a tire. The B-Mod main event was held right before the Late Models raced, so there could have been junk on the track.
Jimmy Owens inherited the lead and kept in for the remaining 42 laps. Owens was followed by Jason Feger, Devin Moran, Shannon Babb, and Ryan Unzicker.
I have mentioned before that I am not a big fan of Bobby Pierce, but a young driver I really like is Moran. I interviewed him several years ago for a Dirt Late Model article and he was well-spoken and very polite. He showed that again last night in post-race comments to Lucas Oil announcer James Essex. Obviously he learned how to drive a race car from his Million Dollar dad Donnie, but both his mom and dad did a good job racing him. The Morans are not a high budget team and need a major sponsor to continue on the Lucas Oil circuit. Some company could do a lot worse than putting their money behind this team. I really hope they find some sponsorship-I would love to see the 99M at the Silver Dollar Nationals in July.
-Moran started 17th and finished 3rd. Without all the late cautions he might have got by Feger for 2nd.
-the track is 70 years old and is co-owned by Bob Sargent, Ken Schrader, Kenny Wallace, and Tony Stewart.
-Wallace raced his UMP modified to a second place finish in the A-feature of that division. He’ll go from racing on a 1/5th mile dirt track last night to racing in the NASCAR XFINITY event at the 2.66 mile long high-banked Talladega track this weekend.
-it appeared to be cool, lots of hooded sweatshirts in the stands. While TROTD Speedway is definitely smoke free, Macon Speedway certainly isn’t. I could almost breathe in the second hand smoke 400 miles away. There were times some areas of the stands reminded me of photos I have seen of World War II destroyers laying smoke screens for aircraft carriers under attack.
-I have never been one to call going fast and turning left as ‘racing.’ To me, racing is side by side action no matter how fast the cars go. Macon is so small that with 25 Late Models on the track there is side by side action, even packs of cars around the track. Lapped traffic comes into play almost immediately, and trying to move around lapped cars tends to bunch the leaders. It is fun watching racing there.
It looks like I will be going to the Iron Horse in Hooper to eat with my family tonight-heading north instead of south to I-80 Speedway. After last night’s action I intend to purchase the www.DirtonDirt.com PPV from Tri-State Speedway in Illinois. Sorry Randy, you will have to harass us another time.
Thanks for stopping by.
I have often stated that the SLMR series is Kyle Berck’s petty cash fund. It seems I should say the same about Billy Moyer and the late model races at the East Bay Raceway Winternationals. Moyer won three of the six races, with Dennis Erb Jr., Eddie Carrier Jr., and Josh Richards each winning one A feature at the Gibsonton, Florida track. Moyer has won more races in February at this track than most drivers have won at all the tracks they have raced at combined.
At Bubbaland, aka Bubba Raceway Park, Kerry Madsen won all three All-Star 410 sprint car races. The World of Outlaw late models followed the sprints to Bubbaville, and A features were won by Scott McBride favorite Frank Heckenast Jr., and Josh Richards.
Volusia had five nights in a row of 410 sprint car races. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment. Two of the nights were sanctioned by the All Star Circuit of Champions, while the final three were WoO sanctioned. Greg Hodnett and Daryn Pittman won All Star races, while Pittman, Donny Schatz, and Brad Sweet won WoO features.
Last night’s late model racing at Volusia was rained out. You can catch tonight’s races on a www.DirtonDirt.com PPV.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin had qualifying times from Sunday disallowed when both failed to pass a post-race inspection. Earnhardt will have to start 25th in one of Thursday’s Twin 150 qualifiers, and Hamlin will start 24th in the other.
I am not a big fan of Daytona scheduling the Twin 150’s at night. Yes, it will allow me to watch the races on TV, but racing at the big track at night would have to hurt dirt tracks racing in the area that night. Well, TV calls the shots when it is putting millions and millions into the pockets of NASCAR and track owners.
In just three weeks, Nebraska will play its first home baseball game of the season. A few days later Matt and I will be heading to Lincoln again for the NSAA Boy’s State Basketball Tournament for something like the 30th time. Going on the same time as the tournament is the Spring Nationals at Beatrice Speedway. So, does that mean winter will be over? I can remember waiting to enter the Devaney Center for late afternoon games when the temperature was in the 70’s. I can also remember beyond cold temperatures with the wind coming right out of Canada at a few state tournaments. Hopefully the weather will warm up so baseball and racing can start in the Cornhusker state.
Thanks for stopping by.
P.S. I just read about a Boeing 747-800 jet sold to a private buyer. The jet sold for $350,000,000 and the luxury interior added $250,000,000 to the cost. Maybe that is why Auburn International Airport is adding 7,000 feet of runway.