I had planned on traveling southwest to McCool Junction for night two of the Junction Motor Speedway King of the Hill Late Model Shootout last night. It was rained out. Matt and I talked of going to Shelby County Speedway in Harlan, Iowa or Off Road Raceway in Norfolk, but decided not to because of possible weather problems at each track. Instead I watched the start of the final “Star” race at Hancock County Speedway, visited my grandson, and then saw the last of the action from HCS.
The Britt, Iowa facility and one of the nights of “Star” action was already on my racing bucket list, but after watching how organized officials were in running the programs on Thursday and last night, HCS jumped to near the top of the list of tracks I want to visit.
I don’t know why I bothered checking www.DirtonDirt.com this morning to see who took the $50,000 first place prize in the North-South 100 at Florence Speedway in Kentucky. Of course it was Jonathan Davenport. Scott Bloomquist was second, with Mike Marlar, Dale McDowell, and Jared Landers rounding out the top five.
Since June Davenport won two Dream preliminary features worth a total of $7,500 and of course after Bloomquist’s DQ, won the Dream at Eldora Speedway, worth $100,000. He won the Clash at the Mag at Magnolia Speedway in Columbus, Mississippi-adding another $20,000 to his bank account. He won Lucas Oil shows at Fayetteville Motor Speedway in North Carolina, and Cherokee Speedway in South Carolina. They were worth “just” $10,000 each. He won the Diamond Classic at Lucas Oil Speedway in Missouri and followed the next night with a win in the Show-Me 100. His trip to Wheatland, Missouri proved to be a $40,000 weekend for the Georgia driver. Davenport visited Fairbury American Legion Speedway in Illinois, and left with the $26,000 winner’s share of the Prairie Dirt Classic. He had not planned on racing in the WoO sanctioned USA Nationals at Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin until his win at FALS. He won the $6,000 preliminary to that event, and of course he also took first in the finale, worth $50,000. If I do the math correctly and add his North-South 100 check, that is $309,500 in first place money since June. Superman? Someone better find some Krytonite soon.
Billy Moyer decided to race with the Corn Belt Clash series this weekend instead of visiting Kentucky. He finished second to Chad Simpson at Fayette County Speedway in West Union, Iowa and then took first in the Ralph Fryer Memorial at Lafayette County Speedway in Darlington, Wisconsin. Depending on the source it was either Moyer’s 796th, 800th, or 803rd feature win. I think I am on safe ground to say there will never be another driver quite like the Batesville, Arkansas Hall of Famer.
This may go to Ripley’s Believe It or Not, but in the three USMTS races run this weekend, Rodney Sanders has not visited Victory Lane once. Jeremy Payne won in Wichita, Jason Hughes won at Humboldt, and last night Johnny Scott won at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri. The hot mods of the USMTS finish their long weekend with a show at Monett Speedway in Missouri tonight.
It is 5:30 a.m. on a Sunday. I am debating whether to go back to bed or work on a resume cover letter. The bed is calling, but so is getting on with my life. I can always take a nap during the NASCAR race this afternoon.
Thanks for stopping by.
“Moyer captures pole at Cedar Lake’s USA Nationals.” Isn’t that a great headline? How can race fans not be thrilled to see the Batesville, Arkansas legend add yet another line to his Hall of Fame resume? Every time Moyer has success, baby boomers feel another year younger. 60 is the new 40. His smile is worth the price of admission, and then you get to watch him display a talent that who have or ever will possess.
Moyer goes after his 6th USA Nationals championship tonight. It won’t be easy. Jimmy Owens starts outside of Moyer in the front row, and the Newport Nightmare seems poised to fashion another of his summer win streaks. Starting on the outside of the third row in tonight’s 100 lap feature is none other than Jonathan Davenport who has won so many big races this season he has to be thinking a post-race visit to Victory Lane is now his right.
17 drivers have already qualified, but the list of those who have not garnered a spot in the $50,000 to win show reads like a Who’s Who of dirt late model racing. Notice I didn’t mention Scott Bloomquist in the last paragraph. Bloomquist is one of the driver’s who will be vying for one of nine consolation and last chance race transfers spots. Add to that list Jimmy Mars, Josh Richards, Bobby Pierce, Brian Shirley, Brandon Sheppard, Earl Pearson Jr., Shane Clanton, Kent Robinson, Rick Eckert, Darrell Lanigan, Rodney Sanders, Chub Frank, Gregg Satterlee, Jesse Stovall, Mason Zeigler, Eric Wells, Morgan Bagley, and Tim McCreadie. That is a feature race any promoter in the country would love, and at least seven of these drivers are going to load up before the always exciting USA Nationals driver introductions.
Yeah, I know there are 18 drivers listed above and I said only nine transfer spots were available. I was right-the other two spots are WoO provisionals. No matter how they finish in the consolation races, Shane Clanton and Josh Richards are guaranteed a feature spot as they are currently first and second in WoO points. Others with a possible provisional are Frank, McCreadie, Bagley, Eckert, Wells, Lanigan, Zeigler, and Satterlee.
If you check out the WoO point standings, eight of the series top ten drivers have not qualified for what is the biggest payday of the WoO season. I have said it before, but to me the Lucas Oil series is the better of the two national series, and this is just more proof. The racing tonight should be phenomenal. With that many top drivers seeking a spot in the race it will be balls to the wall from the drop of the green in the first consy. Wow, I am pretty sure I am setting the bar high in use of racing clichés, and setting the bar high is another one.
You can still purchase the www.DirtonDirt.com PPV and see all of tonight’s racing action. Cost is $27.99, but well worth it.
Two thumbs up for R.C. Whitwell, driving Al Humphrey’s #6 late model. Last Saturday he was racing for $2,000 in an SLMR race at Off The Road Speedway in Norfolk, Nebraska. Last night he finished second in his heat race, and later finished second to Moyer in the 12 lap FANSFund dash. Whitwell will start 7th in tonight’s feature.
For all of you Clint Bowyer fans, the driver who has not won a NASCAR point race in 1,024 days issued a statement yesterday on the future of Michael Waltrip Racing:
DBF pointed out that the only way Bowyer will get into the NASCAR Hall of Fame is to buy a ticket. Ouch. Funny, and I wish I was that clever.
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If you think that Jeff Gordon’s retiring from full time racing is no big deal, Indianapolis Motor Speedway estimated it received an addition $1,500,000 in ticket and merchandise sales because this may be his last race at the track. I say “may” because he has left open the possibility of racing at a few tracks in the future, with IMS one of them.
Yesterday was Jeff Gordon Day in his former hometown of Pittsboro, Indiana. There was a parade and Thursday was proclaimed Jeff Gordon Day in Indiana. Mike Pence, the Governor of Indiana presented Gordon with a Sagamore of the Wabash award. Apparently that is similar to being named an Admiral in the Nebraska Navy.
I watched hot laps, time trials, and heat races of the NSL show from Jackson Speedway last night-they all seemed like hot laps to me. The Minnesota track reminds me of Adams County Speedway-it is a black dirt track with long straightaways. The corners seem to be a little longer than those at ACS though. Anyway, the PPV on Speed Shift TV seemed a little like what fans at I-80 Speedway need to be prepared for next Thursday and Friday. The support class for the NSL sprints was the track’s 360 sprints. I will say that the quality of the competition in the ASCS National Series will be better and they will have more than 16 cars on hand.
I do not understand the time trial obsession of sprint car series. OK, it is not just sprint car series, the two national late model tours and every track in the southeast U.S. time trial as well. To me time trials are a waste of time and what is on trial is my patience. Draw for heat position and give passing points.
I admit that sprint cars go fast and turn left, but I have a difficult time calling it racing when 5-10 car lengths separate each of 8 cars in a heat race. At least they didn’t have B-mods on the program at Jackson.
The NSL series visited the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines two nights ago. According to the Speed Shift announcer, track officials stated attendance at the race was 7,100. That is huge considering there were only 18 NSL cars on hand. Still, the series has seen six different winners in the past six races, so NSL racing is competitive.
Terry Phillips won the feature at the opening night of the World Modified Dirt Track Championship at Deer Creek Speedway in Minnesota. Phillips also claimed the point lead-after tonight’s preliminary, the top 12 in accumulated points will be locked into Saturday’s feature that could pay the winner $20,000. Joey Jensen and Rodney Sanders round out the top three in points. 63 USMTS modifieds were on hand. Again, the WMDTC is on a RacinDirt PPV if you can’t make it to the track.
Just when you start thinking Billy Moyer no longer plays a leading role in big time dirt late model racing, he does something like win an UMP Summernationals race or better yet, a WoO race. Last night Moyer passed Shane Clanton on lap 38 of the 40 lap WoO event at Quincy Raceway in Illinois and held on for WoO career victory number 42. Clanton finished second, followed by Josh Richards, Brandon Sheppard, and Tim McCreadie.
It is off to Fairbury, Illinois for Moyer and day one of the two day WoO sanctioned Prairie Dirt Classic. The Batesville, Arkansas driver tops the list of PDC winners with five. Other past winners of the event likely to be on hand this week include Tim McCreadie, Shannon Babb, Jason Feger, Dennis Erb Jr., and Kevin Weaver. The PDC was named Dirt on Dirt Race of the Year in 2011, 2013, and 2014.
Oh, I made an error in a post from several days ago. I said Casey’s sponsored the Friday night SDN feature and was Cubby’s. You say tomato, I say only in chili and barbecue sauce.
Thanks for stopping by.
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.