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Silver Dollar Nationals

July 15, 2018 Leave a comment

Is it the prodigal son coming home, or me returning to the scene of the crime? Likely both. After not posting a blog for some length of time, here I am Maybe it is just spending $200 for the right to keep this site another two years-and NO, it has not been making money since the early years, or maybe it is the time of year I truly am excited about racing.

I openly admit that I have been less excited about racing in 2018, than I have in any year. I have watched only a few laps of NASCAR this season, and that was at best inadvertent. I have attended one race live, though I was at Junction Motor Speedway a few weeks ago when the rain poured down before the start of hot laps. Due to another commitment I missed Matt’s trek to Adams County Speedway in Corning, and Park Jefferson was rained out on the night we planned to head to greater Sioux City. I’ll explain more of my no tears later.

Thanks to Speed Shift TV and Lucas Oil Racing TV I still have watched plenty of racing this season. I have visited tracks in Washington, Oregon, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. I have watched late models, modifieds, midgets, winged sprint cars, and non-wing sprint cars in action. And have tried my very best to miss support class racing.

This coming week I will be watching Lucas Oil late models race in South Dakota and Minnesota prior to heading to I-80 Speedway for three super nights of the SDN. Thank you to www.DirtonDirt.com for the coverage. The site will also be covering the SDN if you can’t make it to the track, and next week will be showing both nights of the Prairie Dirt Classic from Fairbury, Illinois. Like the SDN, the PDC is simply a race dirt late model fans need to see. Because of my new job, Matt and I won’t make it to Friday’s PDC prelims, but we are flying into Chicago on Saturday and will be there for the main event. It is that good of a show.

As I mentioned, I have held little enthusiasm for racing in 2018-at least until this week. I have enjoy the computer races because I visit tracks I know I will never go to otherwise-I won’t be going to Washington or Oregon or Ohio or Pennsylvania, even though the tracks do put on great shows. But more important is the convenience these races provide. It is a constant 72 degrees where I sit, and there is no threat of getting wet if an unexpected shower takes place. In all honesty, I have watched very few features this season. I watch hot laps, time trials, and heats of the feature class, and usually turn off my computer and go on to something else.

It is after the feature class heats when tracks start to irritate me. Support class races that go on and on and on bore me. Intermissions that last forever infuriate me. But at The Rest of the Dirt Speedway, I control all of that. A couple clicks on the computer mouse and I can be on to something else, instead of sitting in the stands fuming over shows I feel are not professionally run. With my feelings running like they are, I suppose it is for the best I do not attend more shows. Right now the three nights of the Silver Dollar Nationals, the final night of the Prairie Dirt Classic, and the three nights of the Knoxville Late Model Nationals are all I have scheduled to physically attend the rest of the season, though I suspect Matt will somehow finagle me into going to Park Jefferson or Junction Motor Speedway sometime.

And I am looking forward to the next few weeks. I was hoping that Scott Bloomquist would not win his 600th feature before the Lucas Oil late models pulled into the I-80 pits, but he took care of that last night at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri. That doesn’t mean there is a shortage of stories for the Nebraska event. Tim McCreadie has not won a Lucas Oil feature this year, and a repeat of his 2017 SDN win would be very popular.  Last year’s point champion Josh Richards has not won a Lucas Oil feature since the Georgia-Florida Speedweeks in February. Youngsters Hudson O’Neal and Bobby Pierce will put on a great show. Don O’Neal, known now as much as Hudson’s dad as being a former Lucas Oil champion has won at I-80 Speedway, and put together back to back wins in Ohio a few weeks ago. Superman, Jonathan Davenport leads Lucas Oil points, but of late has been racing more like Clark Kent. Will any regional driver other than the Simpson brothers (boo) actually compete with the national drivers? There are 14 Lucas Oil regulars and they will all be on hand, but what other well know drivers will journey to Nebraska?

I am hoping the temperature will be somewhere below 100 for the SDN, but will be there no matter how hot it is. I do hope Thursday night’s show will be run quickly. I have to work on Friday and would like to get some sleep before going in.

Thanks for stopping by and see you at I-80 Speedway this weekend.

 

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PPV’s Plus Some Silver Dollar Nationals Thoughts

April 27, 2018 1 comment

There are two Lucas Oil Dirt Late Models shows on PPV this weekend. The Busch 50 from Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Illinois is on Lucas Oil Racing TV tonight at 6:30 p.m. Central Time and is available to yearly subscribers only. Tomorrow night, www.DirtonDirt.com will be showing the St. Louis U-Pick A Part 100 from Macon Speedway in Macon, Illinois. Modified action on the 1/5th mile track will also be shown. Check out the DOD website for details.

I-80 Speedway promoter Joe Kosiski might think I will be knocking the $90 3 day Silver Dollar National reserved ticket package, apparently the only way to guarantee getting the same reserved seats each night. I am not going to. It is a steep price, but it is the price we have to pay to see one of dirt late model racing’s crown jewel events. So, Matt and I will pay-and hope admission prices won’t go up in the future as $90 is plenty for this retiree.

I would ask several things of Joe, though. First, when Lucas Oil announcer James Essex interviews you on the Saturday night of the Silver Dollar Nationals, DON’T announce an increase in the winner’s share of the purse. 53 is a number long associated with the Kosiski family, so $53,000 for a winner’s share of the purse seems appropriate. Plus, unless the winner’s share is increased to $100,000, I doubt any addition would draw a single car more.

$53,000 should remain the winner’s share every year the track hosts the Silver Dollar Nationals. I would like to see the lower half of the purse beefed up, BUT only if a major sponsor could be found to allow the increase-not coming out of the wallets of fans.

The other thing I would ask is to make sure everyone in the grandstand area has a reserved seat. It angers me a lot when people without reserved seats sit in the grandstand. Last year I watched a redneck foursome move three times when people who had the seats arrived. A sign in front of the grandstands saying “Reserved seats only,” is not going to keep anyone without reserved seats from walking up the grandstand steps. I am not sure how many people actually notice the sign, and those who do tend to ignore it.

What is needed? When we go to the Prairie Dirt Classic at Fairbury American Legion Speedway in Illinois, I get a pit pass-the pits are near our back stretch parking spot and I don’t have to walk across the track to get to them. Like every other track, those in the pits at FALS wear a wristband. In this case, it is a plastic wristband and I do not take it off for two days. How about doing the same at the SDN and having people at the bottom of the stairs checking for the wristbands? Perhaps this sounds petty, but someone who paid for reserved seats should NOT have to ask someone who didn’t to move. Yeah, this does irritate the hell out of me.

I am not sure if egos involved would ever allow this, but it would be great if somehow the Silver Dollar Nationals could be co-sanctioned. No, I don’t mean my MLRA and the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series, I mean with Lucas Oil and the World of Outlaws. The WoO Wild West Tour finishes up about the same time as the SDN. Seldom do WoO drivers venture outside their series, but a co-sanctioned event would certainly bring them to Nebraska. I realize I am being greedy wanting all of the best drivers racing in the Cornhusker State, but it would turn a top ten event into a top five show.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Hello, It’s Me-No, Not Todd Rungren, Ron Meyer AKA Bruton

December 23, 2017 1 comment

Wow, I am doing a blog post. That hasn’t happened in quite some time. I have reasons, but if I am honest, they are just excuses. I can say I will try to do better, but being honest again, I know that isn’t so. Anyway, quality is better than quantity, right?

It is still not too late to get someone special a Christmas present, and you don’t even have to fight all the nut cases at the mall. I have three suggestions that any race fan would appreciate.

First, is a subscription to www.DirtonDirt.com. First because I just happened to do what I am saying you should, give a subscription. If you love late models, and most of you reading this blog do, this site is a must. Day after day all the information you could possibly want about the sport is on display. The articles are great, even though they don’t think I am good enough to write for them, and the videos are top quality. DOD also does PPV’s, and does them professionally-to me they do live late model races better than the networks cover NASCAR races. And often subscribers get a package deal that is better than what non-subscribers get. For example, DOD is covering all six days of the Wild West Shoot-out from Phoenix in January. Non-subscribers have to purchase the races each day, but subscribers get a package deal that saves them more than $50 off the non-subscriber package. Check out the site for more information. And yes, I am a subscriber. Actually I am to all three of these sites.

The next subscription you could give that race fan of yours is to Lucas Oil Racing TV. LORTV is going to provide live coverage of 17 nights of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, including 8 nights of racing in late January and early February from Georgia and Florida. That alone makes a subscription a great deal, but as the commercials say, “wait-there is more.” For open wheel fans-and there are a few reading this, LORTV will air one night of the Chili Bowl, and 8 nights of the Lucas Oil ASCS 360 sprint car series. 10 ARCA races will be shown live, including races from Nashville, Toledo, Elko, Madison, and Berlin-that is in Michigan, not Germany. There are 16 other live events scheduled, meaning 53 live events will be aired. AND, there are over 80 different shows covering any division of racing you can imagine. This is a great value-like DOD and Speed Shift TV.

Yes, Speed Shift TV is the other site you can subscribe to. Thanks to Speed Shift TV I watched more sprint car racing in 2017 than I ever have. And yes Speed Shift does late models, modifieds, and midgets too. The site has 23 events scheduled for January and February-starting with the Ice Bowl from Talladega, and every month has 10 or more live events.

I know some reasonably intelligent people who do not like the onset of racing coverage on the internet. I like it. I never stay home and watch an event on the computer that I would otherwise go to-OK, the Beatrice spring and fall races are ones I might attend-rather, I get to see races at tracks around the US that I would never visit otherwise. Sprint cars in Washington, modifieds in California and New Mexico, USAC sprint cars in Indiana and Pennsylvania, late models in Arizona and Mississippi, and midgets indoors in Oklahoma. I watched them all in 2017 and will again in 2018. Do these races keep me from going to weekly shows at a local track? NO. With the advent of 6 (or more) weekly classes at most tracks, I have no desire to go to weekly shows.

As far as specials Matt and I will attend in 2018, there are only three for sure-the Silver Dollar Nationals in Nebraska, the Prairie Dirt Classic in Illinois, and the Knoxville Late Model Nationals from Iowa. A USAC sprint car race-if there is one-in Nebraska is a possibility, as is a USAC midget race from Fairbury-in Nebraska, not Illinois. Matt seems to think a show from Park Jefferson and one from Junction Motor Speedway are musts for us, and I go, reluctantly. Matt also has been talking up a WoO Sprint Car race at River Cities Speedway in North Dakota. That is a far away track, but no further than FALS in Fairbury, Illinois and like the journey to FALS, all but about 75 miles are on Interstate highways. Who knows?

2018 is going to be an important year in my life. Yes, the Sunset Speedway book. Yes, my grandson’s activities-personally I which he had games every night as I would rather watch him play than watch any pro event. I don’t know if I will still be working full-time as I am now in Omaha or if I will be working part-time, temporary, or not at all. I do know that January 25th is a big day, and one I am concerned about. My left knee will be replaced that day, and I am more than a little worried. But I survived prostate cancer in 2016 and I know I will get through the knee surgery too-but keep me in your thoughts in late January.

I am not real hung up on making sure I say Merry Christmas. If someone says Merry Christmas to me I say the same to them. If they tell me Happy Holiday, that is what I say to them. No one has ever said Happy Hanukkah to me, but I am saying that now to several of my readers. Mainly just enjoy the season is what I have to offer. That, and a big thanks for stopping by.

 

Silver Dollar Nationals vs. Prairie Dirt Classic-And The Winner Is: Race Fans

August 6, 2017 Leave a comment

I watched some of both nights of the Belleville Nationals. I was disappointed that a legendary event had only 24 cars in the pits. I am not into open wheel racing enough to comment on the obvious difference of opinion between USAC and POWRi, but there were 35 cars at the POWRi show in Peveley, Missouri.

One of last night’s heat races was supposed to start eight cars, started only six, and one car was black flagged for not maintaining a competitive speed. Five cars on the track at Belleville is simply ridiculous.

The grandstands at Belleville seemed full, but the pits certainly weren’t. For shame.

Earlier this week I mentioned I would do a blog on comparing fields at Late Model crown jewel events. I would rank the events as follows:

#1-The World 100 at Eldora.

#2-The Dream at Eldora

#3-The Knoxville Nationals

#4-Prairie Dirt Classic at Fairbury American Legion Speedway

#5-Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway

#6-USA Nationals at Cedar Lake Speedway

#7-Show Me 100 at Lucas Oil Speedway

#8-North/South 100 at Florence Speedway

Some might argue about #4-#8, and I admit there is room for argument. I am just going to compare the PDC and the SDN though.

Josh Richards was at the SDN, but not at the PDC. Bobby Pierce was at the PDC but not the SDN. Both have won major events. Richards is a multiple time WoO champion, while Pierce is a multiple time Hell Tour champion. Both are capable of winning any event they enter. I would give a slight nod to Richards and the SDN though as Richards does not make the too aggressive mistakes Pierce does.

Steve Francis was at the SDN, but not at the PDC. Rick Eckert was at the PDC, but not at the SDN. Francis is on the Lucas Oil tour, Eckert races with the World of Outlaws. Eckert has several wins this season, so a slight edge to the Eckert and the PDC.

Hudson O’Neal was at the SDN, Devin Moran was not. Moran was at the PDC, young O’Neal was at home. Both have plenty of potential. Moran does have a national tour win on his resume, so slight edge to Moran and the PDC.

Jimmy Mars was at the SDN, Shane Clanton was not. Shane Clanton was at the PDC, Mars stayed closer to home to race with WISSOTA. Both have big wins and Clanton is a former WoO champion. Mars is on the downhill slope of his career, Clanton is in his prime. Big edge to Clanton and the PDC.

Nebraska locals were at the SDN, Illinois locals were at the PDC. If 12 local Nebraska Late Model drivers were in a feature race with 12 local Illinois Late Model drivers, I believe the top half of the finishers would show far more Illinois drivers than those from the Cornhusker state. So talent wise the PDC comes out ahead of the SDN on local drivers involved, but also on numbers. There were 65 Late Models entered in the PDC, just over 50 in the SDN. To me, the big difference is the number of local drivers entered in each event.

That is just about the quality of the Late Model field. The USMTS Modifieds at the SDN are more talented as a group than the UMP Modifieds at the PDC. The USMTS does not time trial at the SDN and for some unknown to God or man reason, the UMP Modifieds do time trial at the PDC-a big waste of time in which a lot of the grandstands at FALS empty out.

There are multiple racing grooves during the feature races at both the SDN and PDC. Three wide racing is common. Both features are always exciting, and the reason I would give the nod to the PDC is that it is a smaller track and there is absolutely no let up to the action. It is simply insane for 100 laps. Perhaps some of that comes from being so close to the action-at the PDC we are close enough to be pelted with mud flying off cars entering turn three. At the SDN my left knees complains about the 47 steps I climb to my seat.

Anyway, while the PDC gets the nod over the SDN-just my opinion-BOTH are great races and the best back to back racing Late Model Specials period. Now if I could figure out how to post photos on Word Press I would show you a few Matt great overhead photos Matt sent me.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

A Final 1300 Words On The Silver Dollar Nationals

August 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Here are some thoughts from several others regarding the Silver Dollar Nationals a few weeks ago.

 

From Jim Hitzemann:

 

My take is always a little different as I am busy working with explosives and don’t get to watch a whole lot but the 80 lap feature which I did with Jimmy and Glenda Wyman and Jack McKee from the infield grandstand by the scale… I thought that O’Neal was going to pedal it to a victory but Shirley had a different plan and that damage to his car was enough to take the possibility away.  He must have gotten something else fixed when he went in the second time because he was coming late in the race…

 

McCreadie was the class of the field however and I don’t think that Bloomquist would have been able to catch him as it sounded as though he was lifting awful early and just kind of coasting around there after he would his get his half straightaway lead time and again.  Brandon Shepperd’s run from the butt was amazing, he just kept picking them off one by one…He and Richards were coming for a bit but Richards leveled off. Hudson O’Neal is going to be a heck of a shoe once he settles down a little, I’m sure there were several drivers that weren’t thrilled with some of the moves he made and he is lucky that Pearson Jr didn’t put him in the wall harder coming off of 4 when the race was getting to “go time”.   Overall a hell of a race with multiple grooves on the track very race able!!!!  The view from the backstretch amazes me as you see them come off of 2 and it is as when they really start biting they were wanting to head to the outside wall more than normal, which is something that I’m sure was a handful for some of them out there… Not sure but, I would guess that is from the track not slicking off as much as it usually does.

 

Fireworks central is located in the Steve McKee (Imperial Tile) and Al Belt campground on the backstretch.  Always have a fantastic time with them all and they treat me and my guys very well. Tons of people stop by so I get to see a lot of people that I don’t get to see with not going to I-80 much anymore.  I spent Friday night back there after my little bit of explosives that I had to do and agree wholeheartedly with you that it was a my kind of night.  Some of the heats were pretty good but I think not having any features for the USMTS kind of hurt the evening…. I think that if they are going to keep it that way they need to have another class there to run a full show.  Question is, what class would be best for that?   

 

Thursday was a pretty darn good night from what I got to watch but being so hot made it miserable… Don’t know that I have ever sweat that much while doing pyro.  Even standing in lot D at the phone booth setting up CWS or Home Run Derby…brutal

 

I know that I am going to take some crap for my premature explosion during the caution of the USMTS Feature and some things not going off after the Lucas race but, I know what happened now and trust me, that mistake won’t happen again if I can help it…. really embarrassing… almost as bad as causing a red flag for a corner on fire…. “Measure twice and cut once” falls right in line with what I do.  Hopefully everyone liked them and I hope that they have me back to redeem myself.

 

Got to meet Ryan Gustin after the dust all settled early Sunday morning… Very nice and respectful young man there!  He was ecstatic with the win and loves I-80.  He has a driving shoe for the money on that tour. Still don’t understand why no one has put him in a good Late Model to give him another shot.  Didn’t get to really follow him after the show he put on at the SDN a few years back so, I don’t know what the problem is there…but it seems to be a waste of some really smooth talent.

 

Don’t know if any of this will add to what you are doing for a follow up but, that is what I got.  Have a Great weekend!!! Hope all is well with your health wise as well!!!!!

 

 

 

From T-Mac, no, not the racer winner, another T-Mac:

Glad they got the show going on time Saturday.  Thursday and Friday dragged out entirely too long, especially for those of us who had to work Friday morning at 6:30.  An 8:00 start should mean cars are lined up and ready to roll out on the track at 7:59, not 20 minutes later.  I know they make money selling beer and tenderloins but don’t force me stay home and watch it on pay-per-viewer in the recliner where the weather is always perfect, the concessions are cheap and the bathroom is 10 feet away…

 

I really, really wish LOLMS would do away or at least minimize all the courtesy cautions for tires, helmet changes, etc.  It’s an 80-lap race, plan accordingly and run what you bolted on.  Having a great race stopped so some mid-packer or bad decision maker (see Don O’Neal) can change a tire or have a LOLMS official pull out bodywork is very frustrating to say the least.  We discussed this at length and if I ruled the world there would be no courtesy cautions for anyone after the race hits the midway point, no courtesy cautions at all for lapped cars (or about-to-be-lapped cars) and lone ranger rule in the feature for lapped cars.  At this level of the sport I expect to see a great, continuously flowing race, not a series of trophy dashes.  It was also very nice to see some of the more talented (and patient) local drivers rewarded with some respectable showings this weekend.

 

Having said all of that, the SDN is far and away the best weekend of the year for any late model fan.  If you didn’t like it, you need to turn in your fan card.  I don’t think anyone was unhappy to see Tim McCreadie win this race – he’s a very popular working-man kind of guy and he definitely had his car dialed in.  And Sheppard coming from 32nd to a close 2nd – that alone is the best advertisement for coming to the SDN.  Everyone at I-80 really does a great job with this show and it’s surprising how many fans come from a long way away just to see a star-studded show that’s not weighed down with b-mods, hornets and other assorted slow-moving, crash-happy weekly classes.  It does not need any changes, it does not need any extra classes, filler races or other stupid gimmicks.  It does not need any extra field-fillers that just become start-and-parkers or caution magnets and add nothing to the show besides a number.  This show is the cream of the crop on the perfect race track, no other track in the state could even come close to pulling this off.  Give us 3 hours of great racing with the best drivers in the country, awesome fireworks and a fully-stocked concession stand every night and we’ll be very happy to support it for years to come. 

From Anonymous:

Great A-Feature racing Saturday.  Kudos to whoever directed the show Saturday and made the early decision on order of events and on how things were going to be different on this aspect than years before.

I was also going to blog about the quality of fields at major Late Model events, but this post is long enough as is. I will save the quality of fields for another post.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

Gustin, McCreadie Take Home The BIG $$

July 23, 2017 Leave a comment

Mother Nature cut race fans at the Silver Dollar Nationals a break on Saturday. No, I am not talking about rain. I am talking about the heat index. On Friday this weather indicator stood at 113 degrees. Not just hot, but damn lucky there were no heat strokes hot. But Saturday was a different story. The temperature was in the low 90’s, the sky was partly to mostly cloudy, and there was a nice breeze as well. All in all it was not uncomfortable.

There were few empty grandstand seats and the bleachers appeared full as well on the final night of Silver Dollar Nationals VII. There were 43 USMTS Modifieds and 51 Lucas Oil Dirt Late Models filling the pits. As I mentioned yesterday, drivers from 23 states were on hand, including Hall of Famers, past national tour champions, and if wins shown on resumes were added up it would number many thousands. The best dirt drivers in the nation were on hand to entertain the crowd.

Random thoughts:

-I was not overwhelmed by any of the B-feature races. By biggest take from these races was who had not qualified for the A-feature. Lucas Oil regulars Gregg Satterlee and Jimmy Owens (a past champion) had to take provisional starting spots. Brandon Sheppard (current World of Outlaws Late Model point leader) and Jimmy Mars (a former Dream winner) were forced to run in the Belt Dash non-qualifiers race.

-The first three finishers in the Belt Dash are offered the opportunity to take their winnings and be done for the night, or forfeit the winnings and garner a spot in the 80 lap A-feature. Brandon Sheppard won the Belt Dash and gave up a $3,000 payday to race again-a wise decision. Jimmy Mars finished second with an engine that was overheating and decided to keep his winnings and not risk blowing an engine in the main event. Kyle Berck ended up third and decided to race.

-My predictions as always sucked. I said Steve Francis would not lead a lap in the feature. He led the first 10. I thought the big money would go to either Don O’Neal or Scott Bloomquist. Neither was much of a factor in the race. O’Neal led for about 10 laps but tangled with Brian Shirley and the back stretch wall and dropped back, finally finishing 10th. A Bloomquist pit stop sent him to the back of the field, and for much of the race he was running mid-pack. A late charge took him to a 4th place finish.

-O’Neal’s 16 year old son Hudson energized the crowd with a run to third. Kyle Bronson managed to get around the “New Deal” and on the last lap the 71 car climbed the turn one wall and looked like it was going to roll over. Somehow the youngster was able to save the car but dropped to 9th place.

-Brandon Sheppard showed why driving the Rocket house car is not a bad gig. He started 32nd and roared past 30 other cars to come home second. He gave up $3,000 in Belt Dash earnings, but second place in the 80 lap A-feature paid $20,000, a pretty good trade.

-Tim McCreadie started 15th and moved to the front of the pack early in the race. When Shirley and Don O’Neal bumped, McCreadie passed both drivers and led the rest of the race. Several cautions and one red flag bunched the field, but McCreadie pulled away each time. This was McCreadie’s biggest win and was very popular with fans.

-Rodney Sanders in not invincible in a USMTS Modified at I-80 Speedway. The Happy, Texas driver was going after his 8th straight feature win at the Greenwood, Nebraska track, but it was Ryan Gustin who took the checkered flags for another 2017 big money win. Sanders finished second. Sanders also finished 20th in the Late Model feature.

-No one went crazy on lap one of the three wide start of the USMTS feature. It was lap two when the first caution flew.

-Like Sanders, Terry Phillips did double duty, finishing 8th in the USMTS feature and 32nd in the Lucas Oil Late Model feature. So did Chase Junghans who finished 13th in the Modified feature and 23rd in his Late Model.

-Ben Schaller was the highest finishing Nebraska driver, coming home 14th. Tad Pospisil was 18th, Corey Zeitner was 22nd, and Kyle Berck finished 26th.

-The Late Model A feature was completed before 11:00 p.m. Last year it did not even begin until 11:50 p.m. A finish before 11:00 p.m. should be the goal every year, not just on Saturday night, but on Thursday and Friday as well.

-Was this Billy Moyer’s last SDN? The “retired” Batesville, Arkansas Hall of Famer spun on lap 13 and backed into the turn two pit fence. Moyer finished a disappointing 30th.

-There will be no increase in the first place prize money for the Late Models at SDN VIII. Good. I would like to see more money put in positions from mid-pack to the back of the field. 53 is a number long associated with the Kosiski family and $53,000 is a great first place prize.

-Lucas Oil announcer said “I-80 Speedway never disappoints.” That is not quite true, but there was more than enough excitement on Saturday night to keep people coming back for more and to enhance the Silver Dollar Nationals crown jewel status.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

Silver Dollar Nationals-Thursday and Friday

July 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty.
Been down, isn’t it a pity,
Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city.

All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head.

Thank you Lovin’ Spoonful for a great description of the heat this week at the small city of I-80 Speedway during the Silver Dollar Nationals. Thursday was damn hot. Friday was sickening hot, hotter than a match head. I guess I didn’t feel half dead, but I did feel half sick. And 100% crazy for being there instead of sitting in my air conditioned home.

Day One of the SDN

-Sport Mods, how I loathe thee. Even less than a full field is too many of this creature. I do have to admit there was some artistry to the B-Mod feature presentation. Call it ‘synchronized spinning.’ Turn three seemed to be difficult for cars near the back to journey through. Several times the yellow flag flew as multiple cars spun, including one amazing effort in which four cars spun. Blows my mind.

-41 Malvern Banks SLMR late models and 19 Carpetland Nebraska 360 Sprint Cars were on hand.

-Danny Lasoski could not get his car fired until the Sprint Car feature. He moved from the back of the starting grid to third place before an ill-timed caution set him back to fifth. He ended up finishing fourth. Without this caution I think he might have won the race.

-Hall of Famer Terry McCarl won the Sprint Car A-feature, but if the race had been 26 laps instead of 25 laps, he might not have. With two laps remaining in the race, Cody Ledger took the lead from McCarl, but McCarl took it back on the last lap and won by about a half car length.

-I thought the $5300 winner’s share of the SLMR purse might entice a few MLRA drivers to race instead of just practice. It didn’t. I also thought that with that much money on the line, no one but Kyle Berck would come home first. I was right. Well, sort of right. Berck had won the last SLMR feature and claimed the Home Pride $777 bonus for winning two features in a row.

-Some people might not enjoy watching race cars practice. When drivers are of national caliber like the Lucas Oil series drives, it is a pleasure to watch them test. Certainly a heckuva lot more fun than watching Sports Mods.

-Just my opinion, well probably the opinion of a lot of fans, Sports Mods have not business racing at the SDN.

I would call Day One of the SDN “OK.” Not great, not bad, just OK. I give it a B-. Without the Sports Mods, it would have been a solid B. And as hot as it was I wish I had stayed home at paid $11.99 to watch the races on the www.DirtonDirt.com PPV.

 

Day Two of the SDN

I call the SDN “Christmas In July.” Santa must have me on his naughty list this year, because unlike previous SDN’s, Friday’s show was simply NOT exciting to me. Yes, there was “some” passing, but the qualifying races simply lacked drama. That is my opinion and I am sticking to it. A B-, maybe.

-If I counted right, drivers from 22 states were on hand. California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Florida were represented.

-With 8 cars less than the Lucas Oil Late Models, the USMTS Modifieds got the same number of heats. I don’t quite understand that. I also do not quite follow Late Models qualifying 18 cars for their Saturday feature, but the USMTS Modifieds qualifying only 12 cars for tonight’s A-main.

-It was great to see veteran Steve Francis finishing 1st and 2nd in his two qualifiers. His point total for the two races should garner a front row starting spot for the $53,000 to win main event.

-Don O’Neal was 1st and 2nd in his qualifiers and should start Saturday’s feature on the front row as well.

-In addition to Francis and O’Neal, other qualifier winners were Chad Simpson, Darrell Lanigan, Dennis Erb Jr., Brian Shirley, Tim McCreadie, Rodney Sanders, and Brandon Sheppard. Unlike most events, SDN qualifiers actually have a pay-out, $250 to the winner, $150 to the runner-up, and $100 to the 3rd place finisher-all paid in Silver Dollars.

-Scott Bloomquist did not bother to hot lap, but not warming up had no effect on his qualifying efforts. Bloomquist finished 3rd in his first heat and won his second qualifier. He will start on the outside of row 2 in tonight’s feature. Oh-oh.

-Drivers who will have to race in last chance qualifiers tonight include Josh Richards, Terry Phillips, Mike Marlar, Gregg Satterlee, Chris Simpson, Jimmy Mars, Jimmy Owens, Brandon Sheppard, Jesse Stovall, and Kyle Berck. Tell me one promoter who would not love having these drivers in a feature.

-Nebraska drivers did not fare well on Friday night. Corey Zeitner grabbed the most qualifying points, and he was 25th in the overall standings. Tad Pospisil was 27th, Ben Schaller was 31st, Berck was 34th, Al Humphrey was 38th, Matt Buller was 47th, Brian Kosiski was 49th, and Bill Leighton Jr. was 51st, suffering a fiery blown engine in his second heat.

-For me the most memorable moment of the evening was heat 3 of the second round of qualifiers. FIVE past national tour champions were entered. Perhaps this happened somewhere in the past, but I don’t think so. Until a late lap caution the five champs were running 1-2-3-4-5 as you would expect. Bloomquist won this race, followed by Earl Pearson Jr., Billy Moyer, and Darrell Lanigan. Jimmy Owens dropped out at the caution.

-I wonder how many feature races those five past champs have won. Bloomquist and Moyer have won close to 1400 features, so it would be no surprise to me if the total W’s was close to 2000.

-“Retired” Hall of Famer Billy Moyer will start next to Hudson O’Neal in tonight’s feature. Moyer is 59, and the New Deal is 16.

-My friend “Big Show” was on hand for the big show, but I did not see him during the second round of heats. Interesting.

-Johnny Scott, Cade Dillard, and Ryan Gustin finished 1-2-3 in the USMTS pole dash and will make up the front row of tonight’s $10,000 to win Modified feature. No, I did not lose count, the USMTS A-main will feature a 3-wide starting grid.

-The non-qualifier race tonight pays $3,000 to win. The first place finisher has the option to take the cash or tag on to the back of the Late Model feature. If Kyle Berck should win, I think he ought to take the money and run. That would bring his winnings for the weekend to $9,077 and only the first three Late Model A-main finishers and the winner of the USMTS feature will take home more money.

-Bloomquist won The Dream at Eldora in June. That race paid $100,000 to win. A win tonight by the 0 car would give the Tennessee driver victories in at least two of the season’s three top paying events. The Dirt Track World Championship at Portsmouth Raceway Park in October pays $100,000 like The Dream.

-My predictions for winners tonight. NO question that Ryan Gustin will add another big USMTS win to his resume. Dr. Evil has reared his long-haired head in the 0 Late Model. Scott Bloomquist is the only driver with two SDN wins, and I fear a third is on the horizon. Don O’Neal may disagree-perhaps he will be Austin Powers to Bloomquist’s Dr. Evil and he has an SDN win. Brian Shirley has won a crown jewel event in the past. Earl Pearson Jr. looked stout in his qualifiers. My sentimental favorite would be Francis, but I don’t really see him leading a lap. All I am hoping for is a racy track.

Matt and I always enjoy seeing our friends at the races-Tom, Scott, Tony, Steve, Tom (another one), Don, and Charley the first two nights.

Thanks for stopping by.