Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Davenport’

Superman Leaps Tall Buildings-And Passes Pierce Late

July 22, 2018 Leave a comment

A Silver Dollar Nationals recap:

If you have money-a lot of money-you can buy a dirt late model. That doesn’t mean you should, just that you could. And if you buy a dirt late model, you can race it anywhere it is legal to track or sanction rules. That doesn’t mean you should, just that you could.

I know all about racing being a hobby, and have heard the cliché “to get better you have to race against the best.” The Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series is the dirt track equivalent of NASCAR’s top divisions. For series regulars, racing is not a hobby it is how they make their living. AND, if a driver is getting lapped by lap 7 of a 15 lap race, he is not getting better racing against the best-he is a road block and a danger to other drivers on the track and to himself.

I don’t often agree with dirt track legend Scott Bloomquist, but in an interview with Dave Despain several years ago he talked about crown jewel events and how if a driver had not won at a certain level in racing he should not be participating in a crown jewel event. Last night at I-80 Speedway proved what Bloomquist said. A local racer who is not a winner at the local level was being lapped by four Lucas Oil drivers not quite midway through a qualifying race. Somehow he managed to put one driver into the infield wall and end his weekend, and put last year’s Lucas Oil champion Josh Richards into the outer wall, causing much damage to his car. Sorry, two thumbs down to the local.

Again, racing might be a hobby for the local driver, but it is not for Lucas Oil series drivers. They make their living racing. I am not saying there aren’t local drivers capable of running with the Lucas Oil series at an event like the Silver Dollar Nationals. There are, BUT they have been winners at the local level. They were ones who could say they were getting better racing the best, not acting as road blocks.

Random thoughts:

-If you know me, you know I don’t really wear racing t-shirts. I have purchased on shirt in the last 20 years, a Prairie Dirt Classic shirt simply because I love Fairbury American Legion Speedway. However, if I did wear racing t-shirts, Jonathan Davenport and Hudson O’Neal t-shirts are ones that I would wear.

-My grandson has never been to a race, but he has watched some of the computer offerings, and he does have a Jonathan Davenport Superman t-shirt that he wears. When Matt explained Thursday’s Lucas Oil feature to him, it was in terms Henry understands-it was not Davenport vs. Bloomquist, it was Superman vs. Darth Vader and Superman won.

-Glenn Robey was at I-80 Speedway this weekend taking in all the action. The octogenarian still looks like he could pilot a late model, though he said not. He did say he wouldn’t mind racing against Bob Kosiski again though. Here is a thought-find GOTRA cars similar to their old coupes and have Stan Cisar of Action Signs make up 53 and 8-Ball wraps for the cars and let Bob and Glenn do some parade laps at the 2019 Silver Dollar Nationals. Glenn won the first ever feature and Sunset Speedway and Bob won so many races at the famed Irvington, Nebraska track you would have thought he owned the place. Yeah, nostalgia, but both deserve such recognition.

-The weather was very unlike typical SDN weather. All three nights were comfortable, not the 110 in the shade SDN weather we are used to.

-The last 12 laps of the Go 50 with Bloomquist and Davenport racing side by side was about as good as racing gets. Superman high, Darth Vader low, almost like synchronized swimming go through turns 1 and 2. No room for mistakes, none made. And the good guy won.

-Every year I am amazed at the cars that come from the back of the starting grid and move to the front. Ryan Gustin several years ago, Brandon Sheppard last year, and this year is was Bobby Pierce from 28th to first, running away from the field before his car broke. Pierce had not had a great on-track performance until the feature. Actually he had not had a good on-track performance until the 80 lapper. His talent showed last night, thrilling the crowd with his high side charge to the front.

-Tim McCreadie was another far to the back starter who ended the weekend on a good note. T-Mac started 31st and moved all the way to 8th place when the checkered flags flew. Last year’s SDN winner has not had a great 2018, but maybe he is getting better as the dirt late model season moves into its big money month.

-Ricky Weiss was the surprise of the weekend. Ricky Who? It shouldn’t have been Ricky Who after his success at the Wild West Shootout in Arizona in January-2 wins, 1 second place finish and 1 third place finish in 6 nights of racing. After finishing 4th in a WoO late model race in Grand Forks, North Dakota last week, the driver from Manitoba, Canada raced with the Lucas Oil series all week, and finished 4th in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and 7th at Jackson Motorplex in Minnesota. Weiss made the Go 50 feature at I-80 Speedway on Thursday, but mechanical issues on lap 10 gave him a DNF. Weiss had a good Friday night qualifying and started Saturday’s feature on the inside of row 3. He challenged early leader Scott Bloomquist and actually passed him for several laps. Weiss remained in the top five the entire race, and his $20,000 pay-out for finishing 2nd to Davenport at the SDN had to be the biggest of his career.

-There is no doubt Jonathan Davenport earns his Superman nickname every time he takes to the track. It takes guts to run as high as he runs. He bounced off the outer wall several times in his charge to the front, but hung on to claim his second SDN victory. Obviously amazingly talented, Davenport is also well-spoken, nice appearing, and a really good super hero role model. I would be more than pleased to see him pick up a few big dollar wins in the coming weeks, and of course finish atop the Lucas Oil point standings at the end of the season.

-For a few laps Billy Moyer and Scott Bloomquist ran side by side around the I-80 oval. Bloomquist was lapping the 60 year old from Arkansas, but Moyer did not make it easy for the 54 year old from Tennessee. I hope others watched this skirmish too as there aren’t going to be that many more times these Hall of Famers do battle. Well, maybe there will be more times. Moyer supposedly retired after last season, but has raced 38 times this year and finished first 6 times, including his 100th UMP Hell Tour win. And much to my pleasure, Moyer will be racing in the Prairie Dirt Classic in Fairbury, Illinois next weekend.

-Like I said, random. In Friday’s 10 heat races, 9 winners came from the front row. There were 10 different winners, and only Scott Bloomquist came close to winning both of his heats, with a 1st and 2nd place finish.

-I like the fact that sponsors provide cash for the top three finishers in Friday night heats. With payouts of $300 for a win, $200 for a runner-up finish, and $100 to place 3rd, that meant $6,000 more to late model drivers. I wish a sponsor could be found to increase the purse for the bottom 2/3rds of the drivers racing in the 80 lap feature.

-My sandwich of choice this weekend was not the famed Pork Tenderloin, but the BBQ sandwich instead. And I do love the track’s popcorn.

-A Russian oligarch, Anatoly Hakobanbahr, was seen leaving I-80 Speedway before Friday’s USMTS modified feature races. According to Matt, Hakobanbahr has known ties to Vladimir Putin and Scott Bloomquist-he read that on the internet. Matt tried to take a photo, but only got the back of the Russian’s head as he quickly left the track. Still, there was something about the photo that seemed familiar. The Russians fixed our elections in 2016 and now they are trying to fix races to the benefit of the leader of dirt racing’s evil empire? We are watching you Anatoly and like Superman, aka Jonathan Davenport, seek nothing but truth, justice, and the American way-meaning the driver of the Zero car does not win the Lucas Oil point championship.

-I paid big bucks for a three day SDN ticket. I paid big bucks to see the Lucas Oil late models, NOT weekly modifieds. If I wanted to watch weekly modifieds, I could go to a weekly show much cheaper. Having the mods on Thursday’s bill added at least an hour and 15 minutes to the show. Perhaps a lot of people had Friday off, but a lot of people had to work, and would rather have had the show end shortly after 10:00 p.m. rather than 11:30 p.m. I was one of them. Getting home close to 1:00 a.m. and getting up at 5:15 a.m. to get ready for work was not a lot of fun. My thinking is that if 80 something USMTS modifieds and Lucas Oil late models are a good enough car count for Friday and Saturday shows, 80 something SLMR and Lucas Oil late models should be a good enough car count for the Thursday night program.

-I do like the idea of the Go 50 being a part of the SDN weekend rather than in May. The May date never has worked out well for the track, drivers, or fans. As I said above though, make Thursday a nothing but late model night. And I will take a vacation day on Friday.

-I rarely jump out of my seat at a race, but I admit I did when Davenport passed Pierce with just two laps to go in Saturday’s feature. Davenport is certainly my favorite late model driver now, with 17 year old Hudson O’Neal a close second.

I am probably forgetting a lot about the SDN, and not bitching about some things Matt had to listen to on the way home Thursday and Friday. Not the best of the 8 SDN’s, but it darn sure had some memorable moments and these days that is about all you can hope for.

This coming week is the Prairie Dirt Classic in Fairbury, Illinois. I love the track and enjoy the back stretch fans too. Matt and I are flying into Chicago on Saturday morning and driving the few hours south to Fairbury. It is a WoO sanctioned event, but I expect many of the Lucas Oil regulars to be on hand, along with national drivers like Moyer and Babb and a slew of tough Illinois locals as well. I love walking around the back stretch midway and through the pits. We sit so close to the action we are pelted with dirt clods, just like at Sunset Speedway years ago. FALS and the PDC are a good reminder to me why I have loved dirt tracks since 1955. I do not do weekly racing anymore, but I am afraid if I lived close to FALS that I would be


showing up at the track every Saturday night. If you have never been there, make the pilgrimage. You will not be disappointed. Check out the link about the PDC below. Love it.


Thanks for stopping by.







Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

February 12, 2018 Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Are You Kidding Me? Lucas Oil Series Knocks Socks Off

February 10, 2018 Leave a comment

A big thank you to Lucas Oil Racing TV for their coverage of Georgia-Florida Speedweeks. The Lucas Oil late models have raced 7 of the last 8 nights, and I have watched every night. The action has simply been unbelievable. There has not been a clunker of a race. It is the best of the best dirt racers and night after night they have shown why I have been a race fan for 60 years.

I am not a big fan of time trials. If you have read my blogs often enough, you know I hate them. Hate them, except for time trials at East Bay in Tampa. Over and over and over the announcers have shouted “new fast time.” This week a tenth or two tenths of a second has meant the difference between a great starting spot, and a so-so spot on the grid. Simply amazing.

Lucas Oil announcer James Essex is simply the best, and Chris Stephan has done a good job too. Dave Argabright’s pit interviews have been spot on and for the most part, the camera coverage has been good too-when Jonathan Davenport and Josh Richards are battling for the lead, I don’t really want to be watching a 5th-6th place duel though.

I have actually been to East Bay, and after this week I would love to go again. Of course I would also like to go to Volusia and Daytona too. I just need to hit Powerball one time and that will really help me to check off bucket list items.

Josh Richards, Don O’Neal, Jimmy Owens, Earl Pearson Jr., and Scott Bloomquist-all the Lucas Oil champions since 2005 are racing full-time with the series this year. Darrell Lanigan and Tim McCreadie are past WoO champions and they are also full-time Lucas Oil drivers. Young guns like Bobby Pierce and Hudson O’Neal add to the excitement, as does Florida driver Kyle Bronson who will be running for the series Rookie of the Year title this season. What I am saying is 2018 is shaping up to be an incredible season for the Lucas Oil series. I can’t wait until they visit Nebraska in May for the Go 50 race, and in July for the Silver Dollar Nationals. I am definitely going to look at the schedule again to see if there are other Midwest events Matt and I can road trip to.

If you have not subscribed to Lucas Oil Racing TV, check it out. The live events are worth the price paid, and there are several dozen regular programs that are fun to watch too. Tonight’s East Bay late model finale will go live at 5:00 p.m. Central Time, and the series heads to Ocala and Bubba Raceway Park tomorrow for another 5:00 p.m. start time. Do yourself a favor and be there.

Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. Yeah, the racing has knocked my socks off-even the compression stocking I am wearing after my knee replacement surgery.





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.