Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Davenport’


September 17, 2017 Leave a comment

After spending two nights at the track watching preliminary events and tuning into Lucas Oil Racing TV last night for the Knoxville Late Model Nationals finale, I have lots of thoughts, in no particular order.

Well, no particular order except the first thing I have to do is thank my son Matt for his thoughtfulness. My left knee is shot, getting worse every day, and I am having it replaced in early November. Our tickets for Thursday and Friday at Knoxville were in row 27-meaning a climb of 16 steps just to get to the grandstands, and then of 54 more steps without a rail to get to where our seats were. The thought of climbing all those steps, most without a rail was daunting, and the thought of coming back down to the ground was scary. However, Matt emailed the track and was able to get an elevator pass for us-meaning we were able to ride the track elevator to the top of the grandstands. We did have to climb down 13 rows, or 26 steps, but for some reason the track had aisle rails from row 40 down to row 26, so I had no fear of falling. This really gave me some peace of mind, and I greatly appreciated it.

-On Thursday we were sitting in our seats before the race, the sun was shining and it was about 90 out. And then it began to rain. It only rained for about 15 minutes, but that was enough to set back Thursday starting time by not quite an hour. Matt looked at a weather app on his phone and it appeared the only rain anywhere in Iowa was right over Knoxville.

-Jonathan Davenport had a near perfect point night on Thursday. He was second fast in time trials, won his heat, and finished 3rd in the feature, garnering 494 points. Mike Marlar did have a perfect point night on Friday, setting fast time, winning his heat, and finishing 1st in the feature, all in a back-up car. Davenport and Marlar made up the front row of Saturday’s feature.

-Brandon Sheppard started 22nd in Thursday’s feature and moved all the way to 4th at the finish.

-Jimmy Mars was the only driver to appear in all previous Knoxville Nationals 100 lap features, and he made it again this year, finishing 4th on Saturday night.

-Billy Moyer had nothing but woes this weekend, starting with scaling light after his Thursday night heat, and finishing 52nd out of 56 drivers in points that night. Friday was just as bad as a wreck on the last lap of the B feature kept him out of the second preliminary feature and ended up making the field for Saturday virtually impossible. Moyer did not race Saturday. I do hope he will be back next year, as this would be a said end to his racing in Iowa.

-This has nothing to do with Knoxville, but my 6 year old kindergarten grandson ran all 35 laps around a 1/16th mile track at his school’s PTA fundraiser. I had said on Facebook that I was sure he would go the distance, and he did not even stop for a water break, he wanted to finish before he drank any water. Yes, grandpa is very proud of Henry.

-Back to Knoxville. There were only 56 cars on hand for the Thursday program and it was down to 51 on Friday. I don’t mind that at all because all the drivers I wanted to watch were on hand. This car count was fairly typical of the count at other major races, except for Eldora.

-Even though I am not a great sprint car fan, I do enjoy visiting the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, which is just off turn two of Knoxville Raceway. The featured display at the museum was on Sammy Swindell and it was quite interesting-a number of cars, plus a touch screen that gave information on various aspects of Swindell’s career. Good stuff.

-I have enjoyed the Friday morning programs at NSCHoF in the past, and this year was no different. Commentator Dave Argabright interviewed drivers Don O’Neal and his 17 year old son Hudson. I have always enjoyed the elder O’Neal, and the youngster is not only a talented driver, but is well-spoken too.

-We have a Friday tradition in Knoxville. Matt and I have lunch at the Pizza Hut with Tony Anville and Lee Ackerman. When we got there O’Neal and his wife and Hudson had just arrived. Matt and I were able to talk with them for a moment, and I told the proud dad that with drivers like his son, the future of dirt late model racing was bright.

-Track prep at Knoxville is second to none. If only every track would put that much effort into preparing the racing surface for a program.

-With a grandstand that holds 20,000 people, even stands that are half full hide how many people are there. There must be enough in the stands so the track makes some money, because if it was a loser I am sure there would be no more Knoxville Late Model Nationals.

-Matt and I had talked of staying for all three nights of racing, going home after Saturday’s 100 lap feature. With the L-O-N-G rain delay, I am glad we decided to go home early on Saturday and watch on Lucas Oil Racing TV. If we had stayed, we would not have left Knoxville until 12:30 a.m. and arrived home around 3:30 a.m. Instead I was in bed shortly after midnight. Plus the TROTD Speedway concessions served birthday cake and ice cream, and I know Knoxville would not have served birthday cake, at least not my birthday cake.

-We already have our reservations at the Cobblestone Hotel for 2018. And they are for three days Tony. Of course that could change over the next year. Just like the Knoxville Sprint Nationals is for sprint car fans, the Knoxville Late Model Nationals should be on the bucket list of every late model fan.

I am sure I am missing something-oh yeah, Mike Marlar became the first back to back winner of the event-and if I did, I will write more tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by.



Superman Conquers The World, Is Knoxville Next?

September 10, 2017 Leave a comment

A little over a week ago, Clark Kent aka Jonathan Davenport found a phone booth and donned his Superman outfit for the first time in 2017. Davenport won the Hillbilly 100 at Tyler County Speedway in West Virginia, giving him a big boost in momentum entering World 100 prelims.

Davenport finished 2nd in a Thursday feature and 8th in his Friday feature, giving him enough points to start on the pole for his Saturday qualifying heat. He won his heat and started the World 100 on the inside of row 2, just behind pole sitter Hudson O’Neal.

The Blairsville, Georgia driver stormed past the young O’Neal and led lap1. And lap 2, and lap 3, and lap 4. And led every other lap too, becoming the first driver to lead all 100 laps of dirt late model racing’s most iconic event since Dan Schliepper did in 2003. It was Davenport’s second World 100 victory in three years.

Odds and ends:

-Pole sitter Hudson O’Neal is just 17. He did not qualify for the Saturday night main event last season, so this was his World 100 debut. I am certain there will be many more in his future. For those of you going to Knoxville this week-me too-Hudson and his dad Don will be mainstays of the Friday morning program at the Sprint Car Hall of Fame.

-Not having many World 100’s in his future is Hall of Famer Billy Moyer. The Batesville, Arkansas driver hinted this would be his last World 100, but he is supposed to be retired but he has run 56 nights already this year and will be at Knoxville starting Thursday, so maybe there is a glimmer of hope Mr. Smooth will be back at Eldora next season. Moyer has 8 wins this season, so he still can find the way to Victory Lane. Oh, Moyer finished 8th last night ahead of name drivers like Sheppard, McCreadie, Pearson, Owens, O’Neal-father and son, Pierce, Bloomquist, Clanton, and Richards.

-I am not a big fan, but have to admit that Darrell Lanigan had a great week at Eldora. Lanigan won both of his preliminary features and finished 5th in the World 100. Those finishes were worth $28,750 dollars.

-The 50/50 winner amounts at Eldora are staggering. Saturday night’s raffle drawing winner took home over $35,000. That is not a typo. Of the drivers, only Davenport left Ohio with a bigger check.

-If I heard correctly, Saturday’s attendance was the biggest ever for the World 100. I realize that many weekly dirt tracks struggle-I tend to blame promoter for that, but most of the crown jewel events see plenty of butts in the grandstands.

-Scott Bloomquist did not have a typical Bloomquist week at Eldora. Not being allowed to time trial on Thursday was just the start of a “not good” three days for the Zero car. While Bloomquist often has an off-night at the track, he normally bounces back. He did not in 2017. His feature finishes were 12th-8th-24th. Still, guess who will be among the favorites at Knoxville this week. Yeah, Bloomquist.

-There were 10 Rocket chassis in the feature, and Davenport, Gregg Satterlee, and Mike Marlar, the top three finishers, all drove Rockets. Other chassis makes in the feature: 5-Longhorn, 2- Sweet Bloomquist, 1-Pierce, 4-Club 29, 1-Swartz, 3-Moyer Victory, 2-Black Diamond, 1-MB Customs, and 1-Capital.

-17 states were represented in the feature, including 5 Illinois drivers.

-Among the drivers not making Saturday’s feature were Steve Francis, Steve Casebolt, Mason Ziegler, Eddie Carrier Jr., Billy Moyer Jr., Brian Shirley, and Shannon Babb.

This week is the Knoxville Late Model Nationals, one of the big three events Matt and I attend-the others are The Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway and The Prairie Dirt Classic at Fairbury American Legion Speedway in Illinois.

Knoxville means good conversation on the drive over and back, breakfasts at Hy-Vee, lunch at Pizza Hut with Tony and Lee, and visits to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and to Slideways Karting. It means sitting in row 20 (my left knee is already complaining) behind the flag stand. This year I’ll even be wearing a race t-shirt, one I bought at FALS in July, and that is definitely a first.

If you can’t make it to central Iowa this week, Thursday and Friday prelims will be shown on A 2-day subscriber package costs $42.99, while single nights run $24.99. Saturday’s feature race night will be shown on Lucas Oil Racing TV. It is available to yearly subscribers only. Yes, a year’s subscription costs $99.99 but the number of live late model and sprint car events makes it easily worthwhile.

Thanks for stopping by.






You’re Right Louis Armstrong-What A Wonderful World (100) It Is

September 7, 2016 1 comment

According to my friend Steve Basch, I am not up to World 100 social life. Too old, too boring, etc. OK. I won’t make the trip to Rossburg, Ohio then. I will stay home and watch all the activities on PPV’s. Thursday and Friday prelims are $23.95 each, while Saturday’s grand finale runs $39.95. Astute observers will note this is just one shiny nickel cheaper than general admission tickets at the track. Why? Well, because the track dictates the price and apparently Tony Stewart does not have enough money already.

Coverage begins each day at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, 4:30 p.m. in this part of the country. In addition to pre-race activities, coverage includes multiple cameras, instant replays, driver interviews, and live scoring. Reporters include James Essex, Ben Shelton, and Dustin Jarrett. I have purchased Eldora packages in the past, and yes, they are worth the price of admission.

With Scott Bloomquist suspended by the World 100 sanctioning body-and also suing the track for millions, who will be the favorite to capture the 46th running of dirt late model racing’s biggest event? My heart is saying Billy Moyer in what might be his final appearance at the Eldora high banks. That would be the story of the year, and I am sure that most of the 20,000 or so fans on hand would be agreeable to seeing the 21 car in victory lane on Saturday.

Hey, Moyer finished 2nd to Jonathan Davenport in this year’s Silver Dollar Nationals, so it isn’t like him winning his 7th globe trophy is that far-fetched. Still, there are other younger drivers with a better shot at claiming a win and the $49,000 check that goes with it. Top of that list would have to be Josh Richards. He has had a record breaking WoO season (yes, I agree the WoO is not as tough as the Lucas Oil series), and like every other driver would love to add World 100 winner to his resume.

Jonathan Davenport may be more Clark Kent than Superman this year, but no way could he repeat a season like he had in 2015. However, Davenport won two Lucas Oil races over the Labor Day weekend, and has won both the Dream and the World 100, so he knows his way around the track.

Dennis Erb Jr. won this year’s Dream and that car has been sitting in Erb’s shop waiting for the World 100. He has had a decent season, even without winning dirt late model’s richest race, actually he has always been a tough competitor, but since his 2015 switch to a Black Diamond chassis, he has been even tougher. And I am partial to drivers I have written articles about.

Young guns like Brandon Sheppard and Bobby Pierce would not be surprise winners. Veteran Dale McDowell does well at the southwest Ohio speedrome. Other long-time racers like Don O’Neal, Darrell Lanigan, and Earl Pearson Jr. could be factors.

So, who will be the best in the World? I so want it to be Moyer, and if not the Batesville, Arkansas Hall of Famer, then Davenport. That comes from my heart. My head says it will be Richards gaining his first Eldora win.

I will be watching starting tomorrow night, and as I said before, even though the PPV is a little pricey, it is money well spent.

Thanks for stopping by.

SDN VI Saturday-Good, Bad, And Ugly. See Below For My Definition Of Ugly

July 24, 2016 2 comments

Midway through the Saturday night portion of Silver Dollar Nationals VI I thought to myself “this is the last time I am hyping this damn event.” Most of you know I was not thinking “damn,” but the blog is PG rated. I turned to Matt and asked “why all the fiddle-farting around?” But then, oh my, then came the piece de resistance. For those of you who had a birthday yesterday and graduated from Peru State College, see below for my definition.

Piece de resistance is outstanding event. My definition of ugly-incredibly stupid, ridiculous, no redeeming value, and irritating to every part of me. The piece de resistance of Silver Dollar Nationals VI? The USMTS dash. To start with, why run a race in which all that is determined is the winner gets to pull a number from a bag to determine the invert? Run the race and the results determine the starting grid, or pull a number from a hat-DON’T do both. I would say the ultimate is that after running the race, which 2nd place starter Jason Krohn won, he drew the #2. Meaning the starting grid for the feature was the same as the starting grid for the dash. Why run the race? Oh yeah, $800 to win, $200 to start. Again, why run the race? Take the money from that race and spread it out among the bottom half of feature finishers.

Anyway, the ultimate was not how stupid running this race was. Nope, not even close. The ultimate was out of the car introductions and interviews of the drivers in the race. I turned to Matt and said “you got to be kidding me.” Yes, I did use an all-purpose adverb with “got,” but again this blog is rated PG. Out of the car introductions and interviews for drivers in a race that paid $800 to win. I went to my first race in 1955. In all the years I have been going to races, this race and these introductions and interviews was the dumbest thing I ever watched.

Bad number:

-25. As in minutes. The number of minutes this dog and pony show added to the length of an already long show.

No, I am not the only person who was complaining about the fiddle-farting around in general and the utterly ridiculous, stupid, pointless, inane, absurd USMTS dash. Next time I will try to be less subtle about how I feel about such things.

The races started late-I mean later than the rescheduled starting time. I absolutely do not blame Joe Kosiski for this. On Friday and Saturday both, I could hear him pleading with drivers to get lined up for hot laps. And then he got angry. I think from now on put it this way: “Your hot laps are at 7:45 p.m. If you are not in line waiting to go on track at 7:45 p.m. stay in your pits. You are not hot lapping.” That was crazy. And this was the USMTS drivers, not the late model drivers.

Good number:

10/14-10 of Dirt on Dirt’s Top 14 drivers were on hand for SDN VI. It would have been 11/14 if Steve Francis had not been hurt last week at Tri-City Speedway in Illinois.

Best line of the night: Not from me, when you hear it though you will be able to guess who said it:

“By the time this event finishes, Steve Francis is going to be cleared to race.” Given it was almost 1:00 a.m. when it ended, Mr. Anonymous was close to being right.

Bad numbers:

-Hundreds. As in hundreds of fans leaving before the end of the late model feature. If I was a promoter this would be second only to fans not showing up at all as far as problems I had to fix.

Here is an idea. I honestly thought MLRA officials were running the show with as many parade laps and caution flag laps run. Were all of these laps really necessary? Every slow lap adds one minute to the show. Yeah, I can hear some people saying, “big deal, one minute.” Well, my thinking is that there were probably 30-40 unnecessary laps like this. Add that time to the utterly ridiculous, stupid, pointless, inane, absurd time wasted with the USMTS dash and an hour was added to the length of the show for no good reason.  Instead of ending about 1:00 a.m. like it did, the show could have ended at midnight-still too late, but a lot better than 1:00 a.m. That is something that track officials and the Lucas Oil/MLRA officials need to talk about and do a lot better. I did not include the USMTS in this. Todd Staley gets those cars lined up and going with very few caution flag laps.

Good number:

-58. The age of runner-up Billy Moyer. The man is simply amazing. We were standing in front of the grandstand listening to post-race interviews and Matt said “Look at Moyer’s car.” What he meant was the other four cars of the top five looked like they had been in an 80 lap battle, while Moyer’s looked like it was just rolled out of the trailer.

Random thoughts:

-I like Brandon Sheppard about as much as I like push trucks. Actually, after he knocked Dennis Erb Jr.-who I very much like-from 2nd to 14th in the feature, I like him even less. I will say that 24th to 3rd is a very good run though.

-Clark Kent found a phone booth to change in at I-80 Speedway and Superman made in look relatively easy winning the Lucas Oil feature. Maybe Jonathan Davenport will get hot now.

-Scott Bloomquist was uncharacteristically out to lunch in the feature. He dropped back to 10th early, made a late pit stop and fell back to 17th, but did end up with a top ten finish.

-I do like that Jason Krohn and his daughter’s boyfriend Rodney Sanders bumped during the USMTS feature. I do think that we have heard for enough years “Rodney Sanders girlfriend.” Marry her Rodney.

Interesting numbers:

-SDN VII will pay a whopping $53,000 to the late model winner. $10,000 will be added to the back end of the purse. SDN will now be the 3rd best late model winner’s pay day. Given the Kosiski family’s close association with the #53, that is a good place to stop adding to the winner’s share. Now build up the purse from 6th place on back.

-SDN VII will pay a nice $10,000 to the Rodney Sanders time to get married fund. OK, the USMTS winner will receive $10,000 next year. Since Sanders has won 7 straight USMTS features at I-80 Speedway, why bother thinking the money will go to someone else? Again, I would like to see the purse built up behind the winner’s share.

Memo to Lee Ackerman: if you like me Lee, when ticket renewals come up, please do NOT put Captain Obvious behind Matt and me again. Yeah, my play by play announcer from Friday night was behind us again on Saturday. I wanted to turn around and say “I have $100 in my pocket. If I give it to you, will you please shut the hell up?” Unfortunately by then I had spent money on two sandwiches and two Diet Cokes so I had a LOT less than $100 in my pocket.

Memo to Joe Kosiski-You mentioned the importance of the #53 to your family and racing. How about creating a souvenir program worth buying using the #53 as centerpiece? You have the second best race historian in the area on your staff-sorry Lee, #1 has to be Glenn Robey-let him do an article on your dad. And you too for that matter since both of you drove the 53. And yes, on Andrew too. Throw in some photos from the Sunset days. Add pages for race results, and a page of coupons too (like pork tenderloin sandwich for $4.00 and a bag of popcorn for $1.00). Make it like the program for the Knoxville Late Model Nationals. Lee Ackerman knows what to do with this. I would buy such a program.

And maybe spend some money on your sewer too. I thought it might be the fellow behind us, but a number of people said something to me about the odor. Well, maybe it was the guy behind me with all his b.s. It was NOT me.

I hope the $10,000 to win USMTS purse will lure enough modifieds that some have to pit outside the infield. Replace the back stretch fireworks idiot-not you Jim, the one who thinks he is being super cool and had one explode on the ground last night-and do us all a favor.

And I forgot yesterday to wish my friend Tony a Happy Birthday. I know the mod charade wasn’t a great birthday present and then your favorite had troubles in the feature, but you got to see Matt and me and sit with my favorite retired auditor Bob Reist, so it was still a pretty good birthday.

No doubt I am forgetting something, but not getting home until 2:30 a.m. has my brain working even less than normal. That is too late.

Thanks for stopping by, and anyone who didn’t like this blog should call Matt.

P.S. I realized I was forgetting something. Despite the utterly ridiculous, stupid, pointless, inane, absurd USMTS dash and the fiddle-farting around, I will likely hype SDN VII thanks to two good features.





Lack Of?????

April 10, 2016 Leave a comment

I received an email from my friend Lee Ackerman, stating he was starting to worry about me. I assume that would be because I haven’t posted a blog for some time. It isn’t a lack of desire that has kept me from posting. Rather, it is simply a lack of material.

Both nights of the Spring Meltdown at I-80 Speedway were cancelled. I have watched races on the computer-thank you Speed Shift TV for showing a wide variety of racing so early in the season-but I have not watched more than a handful of heats and a few B features on any given night. Last week’s Sprint Cup race conflicted with an NU baseball game Matt and I attended, so I missed Martinsville. Last night’s Sprint Cup race started late, so I only watched about half of it-not a bad race at all thanks to the new rules package, but again, not a lot of material to write about.

Thanks to the internet I know that Kyle Busch won the Duck Commander 500-OK, I am not a big fan of Duck Dynasty or the Robertson family-and he has swept both the XFINITY and Sprint Cup races at Martinsville and Texas. A few years ago I would have complained loudly about such a happening, but I have to admit I am becoming a fan of the “new” Kyle. Marriage, a baby, his accident in 2015 at Daytona, and his championship have changed Busch. I like the change.

I have not been following the national late model scene as closely as I have in past years either. For several years I was one of the Top 25 voters for, but the site changed the procedure on voting to one that is pretty much in-house. Actually I have only visited the site a few times in the last month-work, a commute, Jane’s knee replacement, basketball, baseball, etc. were the priorities. Same with the Lucas Oil late model site, and in all honesty I haven’t visited the WoO site since February.

OK, I just checked the Lucas Oil site. Boy was I surprised-not. Jonathan Davenport leads Scott Bloomquist by 215 points. Apparently the 2016 rules changes didn’t slow him, rather fired up Davenport. Or as Jim Croce once sang, “you don’t tug on Superman’s cape.”

I don’t know. Maybe I have a lack of enthusiasm right now-different than a lack of desire. I simply have no idea when Matt and I will see our first race of 2016. It has been years since I cared much about weekly shows, and the next late model special in the area will be the Lucas Oil show at I-80 Speedway in May-weeks and weeks from now. Matt has talked of road trips to eastern Iowa and Illinois races, but those are summer races. I need something to fire me up now and if there is something out there to do that, I am not seeing it.

Oh well. I have NU baseball to watch. And for the next five Thursday nights, Mr. Henry Meyer is playing ball at Miller Park in Fremont.

Thanks for stopping by.



99 Miles From L.A.

March 20, 2016 1 comment

Yeah, I know. It is more like 1,500 miles from Fontana to Fremont. The song is a good one though.

Watching the last 120 laps of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Fontana, California-Matt and I went to the NU baseball game in Lincoln first-I would say that I was not bored. I wasn’t overwhelmed either. The speeds were scary fast, the track was incredibly bumpy, and there were lots of pit row penalties and a few scary wrecks. Nothing really unusual there. I don’t begrudge the time I spent watching, but I am not going to buy tickets to next year’s race either. I give it a B.

I don’t mind Jimmie Johnson winning, though I would rather have watched Kevin Harvick take the checkers first. I am glad that neither Penske Ford won. Yes, Tony, Roush Fenway Racing got a top five finish. As amazing as it may seem, Danica Patrick’s boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished fifth. Of course with Trevor Bayne finishing 20th and Greg Biffle finishing 37th, RFR’s average finish was about its norm-21st place. Enjoy the top five in Auburn, it may be a long time before RFR has another.

I have not been following racing as close as I should be. I admit this, regret it, but other priorities have had me off the internet more than on. There is one big one coming up this week, more on that later. Anyway, I was totally surprised when I checked the Lucas Oil Point Standings to see that Jonathan Davenport was leading after 11 events. OK, I wasn’t, I haven’t been away that long. Davenport is simply continuing what he did last year, and that is being the best of the best dirt late model drivers.

What I like most about Davenport though is that he will be in Nebraska racing at I-80 Speedway on Tuesday, May 24th with all the other Lucas Oil drivers. And of course he will be back in the Cornhusker State on July 22nd and 23rd for the Silver Dollar Nationals. And yes, tickets are available for both events.

It was chilly today at the NU baseball game. I figure it was good training for the Spring Meltdown at I-80 Speedway on April 1st-2nd. Hey, if it takes long johns, a sweater, a winter coat, gloves, a stocking cap, and a blanket so I can watch Nebraska 360 Sprints, I’m in. Oh yeah, MLRA/CBC Late Models and A-Mods will also be racing.

Now, that other priority I mentioned earlier. My wife Jane is having knee replacement surgery on Tuesday in Omaha at the Nebraska Orthopedic Hospital. Unlike our Governor, we were able to find a good orthopedist in Nebraska, Dr. Randall Neumann. We have heard from several people that he is the best, and after our preliminary visit with him, I am thinking those people are right.

Earlier in March we attended a class at the hospital to help prepare us for what was going to happen. The next few weeks won’t be easy, but the surgery should eliminate about 90% of the pain she is having in her left knee. I will be taking off all week to be there for her. I am not sure if she thinks I will be much help, but I will be there. I would like to thank the people I work with at FFBH for allowing me to take this week off, and to adjust my schedule to take Jane to physical therapy until she can start driving again. It is really nice working with people who understand how to treat other people. Actually I am having a good time working there-about the only thing I mind is the blinding sun heading to work on West Dodge Road during rush hour.

Anyway, I likely won’t be posting much this week, but please keep Jane in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days. Thanks for stopping by.



Yes, I’m Back

February 23, 2016 1 comment

Yeah, check out this link:


If you are reading this, you are certainly a loyal reader, more loyal than I deserve. I have an entire catalog of reasons why I have not been writing, some are pretty good excuses, but all are just that-excuses. I need to get my act together and get writing.

First, I am back to being semi-retired and looking for work again. What I thought was going to be a permanent position wasn’t exactly as described by the employment agency and was not the fit I thought it was going to be. Oh well, I keep applying and sooner or later someone is going to get a helluva bargain when they hire me.

Racing? NO, Sunday’s Daytona 500 was not the greatest Daytona 500 ever. How about Pearson vs Petty? Cale vs. the Allison brothers? Dale Earnhardt finally winning the 500? You could even include Darrell Waltrip’s visit to Victory Lane at Daytona. They are calling it the closest ever, but what about the first Daytona 500 when Lee Petty was declared the winner over Iowan Johnny Beauchamp?

It was a good race though. I am not a Denny Hamlin fan-I would much rather Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, or even Matt Kenseth would have won, but Hamlin’s race winning move was a good one. The Joe Gibb’s Racing Toyota’s were strong all day and it will be interesting to see how that plays out now that the “real” NASCAR season is about to start. The usual Hendrick suspects-Johnson and Earnhardt Jr.-weren’t bad, and Harvick came on strong at the end. It broke my heart that Brad Keselowski only finished 20th. No it didn’t actually. And, Roush Fenway Racing started off the 2016 season where it finished in 2015-middle of the pack and back. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., new leader of The Three Stooges finished 22nd, Trevor Bayne managed a 28th place finish, and Greg “Baffled” Biffle was 34th-my math says that was an average 28th place finish. Too bad.

Surprisingly, I did not watch any of the Georgia/Florida Speed Weeks late model shows. The two national tours ran 15 events, and the big winners were Josh Richards with six checkered flags, and Jonathan Davenport with four. Shane Clanton won two WoO features, Rick Eckert won a single WoO feature, while Scott Bloomquist and Mason Zeigler each won a Lucas Oil show.  No surprise, Richards leads the WoO points by 74 over Eckert, and Davenport is 90 points ahead of Brandon Sheppard in the Lucas Oil standings.

The WoO series is off until the Illini 100 in late March, while the Lucas Oil series gets back on track March 18th-19th at Atomic Speedway in Ohio and Brownstown Speedway in Indiana.

You won’t be seeing my Top 25 ballot this season because I no longer have a top 25 ballot. Apparently compiling the ballots of voters such as me was too much work because the DOD Top 25 will now just be a product of DOD regulars. If I did have a vote, my leaders would be:






Yeah, that was real tough.

I have had a fun last week. I have a cold that has lingered forever, and my lower back is so far out of whack I am walking like an old man. To save a few of you the effort, yes, I know I am an old man. I have been walking like a really, really old man, getting a nice shot with every step I take. And I get a jolt every time I cough, which has been often. The icing on the cake of this medical maelstrom was discovering I had a fractured wisdom tooth which had become infected and had to be extracted. And was yesterday.

Now getting a wisdom tooth pulled is no fun. But there are worse things:

-watching Fremont girls JV basketball. How can girls in 9th-10th-11th grade know so little about the game? Especially when the Fremont girls’ varsity team has a shot at winning the state tournament. Like watch them in practice?

-watching wrestling. Other than trying to hurt someone, I don’t get the sport. And, it is the only high school sport in Nebraska that gets two different championships.

-being poor like me and watching the Gem Shopping Network. Jane and Amanda love it though. I am trying to figure out where all the people with $20,000 for a ring are hiding out.

-listening to Marco Rubio.  Here is a link to his campaign video.

-trusting Ted Cruz, the Joe McCarthy of the 21st century. Donald Trump was right in calling him the biggest liar.

-shoveling snow.

-listening to a Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Interview.

-driving west on Dodge Street in Omaha at 5:30 p.m. any week day.

-having knee replacement surgery. Not me, Jane. Unlike the governor of Nebraska, we found a good orthopedist in the Cornhusker State, Dr. Randall Neumann of Orthowest in Omaha, and her surgery will be at Nebraska Orthopedic Hospital not in Chicago like Pistol Pete’s. And everyone we have talked with says Neumann is the best. Geez, maybe the bald-headed wunderkind of billionaire Joe Ricketts didn’t have the resources to find who we did.

One thing I will enjoy is lots of basketball this week. Tonight, the Fremont girls in district tournament action. Tomorrow the Midland University men in the GPAC conference tournament. Thursday, the Fremont girls again in the district tournament championship. And Saturday and Monday the Fremont boys in district tournament games. Then next week it is the girls’ state tournament with Fremont winning three games, and the following week the boys’ state tournament with Fremont making it to the semi-finals. Pinnacle Bank Arena, here we come.

No promises, but I will try to write again soon. And thank you for your loyalty in continuing to stop by.