Posts Tagged ‘Sunset Speedway’

Sunset Legacy

November 13, 2017 2 comments

Yes it has been a long time-yet again-since I last posted on TROTD. I could say that yet again I am unretired, but that would just be a convenient excuse. “Unretiring” just means I have another temporary gig. This one I really like though. Anyway, I do not have writer’s block either. I just haven’t had much to say. The last race I attended in person was the Friday of the Knoxville Late Model Nationals. I have watched a number of races on the computer, but none that made me really want to write.

I was in Philadelphia the weekend of November 3rd-5th, attending Book Baby’s Independent Author Conference. There is a lot more to publishing a book than putting pen to paper, and I wanted to learn more of the various steps necessary to be successful in publishing a book. And I wanted to get fired up about the Sunset Speedway book. The conference was fantastic-I definitely reached my goals, and then some.

Many people at the conference were already authors, meaning they had already published one or more books. I am still just a writer, but that will change in 2018. I am looking forward to working with many people on the Sunset book-yes, it will be a history with plenty of photos, but much of it will be in the words of former owners, drivers, crew members, officials, and fans.

I want the book to be the best ever racing book, and will work hard to make it so. There will be a book website, fundraising, get-togethers, interviews, AND hopefully items other than the book for you to purchase. We are calling the project “Sunset Legacy,” and the person who came up with the name for the Alphabet Soup Race came up with Sunset Legacy to honor the place where many of us spend many enjoyable summer Sunday nights over the years.

If you would like to be part of the Sunset Legacy, contact me at:

I can’t guarantee that every story or photo given to me will be in the book, but those that aren’t will be on the website-OR, maybe there might even be a second book if the first one is a hit.

Thanks for stopping by.



Tired No, Retired Kind Of, NASCAR No, Dirt Yes, Sunset Speedway-What Do You Think?

May 8, 2017 3 comments

I am once again retired. Sort of. If anyone knows of any part-time or temporary full-time office jobs I would certainly be interested, just no permanent full-time positions.

Hopefully not having a 35 minute commute each way will allow me to do some things I have wanted to do for some time. One is getting back in shape-at least in shape enough so that I can have knee replacement surgery on my left knee. To say my knee is a mess is putting it mildly. Five years ago my orthopedist called it “that bad boy,” and it is five years worse now. Anyway, I went to the ‘Y’ today and worked out for 45 minutes, so that is a start.

My goal is to blog more, but that is iffy right now. I seem to have lost all interest in NASCAR-go figure, me and several million others. I can state with certainty that I have not watched 100 laps total of the Monster Energy Series this season, and most of those laps were in the Daytona 500.

Matt and I listened to maybe 40-50 laps on MRN on the way home from the NU baseball game in Lincoln yesterday, but there were still 70 laps to go when I got home, and I did not bother turning the race on. Not that many years ago I would not have missed a NASCAR race on TV.

One person who did not miss the Talladega race is my friend Tony. I have always claimed Tony is one in a million-take that good or bad, but after this weekend, there is no doubt he is 1 in 326,111,903. He has to be the only person in America who attended both the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting AND the NASCAR race at Talladega this weekend. No, he did not fly from Omaha to Alabama on a private jet. At least I don’t think so.

Anyway, Tony got to his financial hero and his racing hero do their thing this weekend. I can’t think of anyone else who would claim both Warren Buffett and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. as heroes, but Tony’s mind works in mysterious ways.

So, I don’t blog about NASCAR. And I have not been to a dirt track since the Knoxville Late Model Nationals last September. My first “live” show won’t be until May 23rd when the Lucas Oil late models visit I-80 Speedway before heading to Missouri for the Show-Me 100. I rarely missed a race at Sunset Speedway, and the same with the first few years of Nebraska Raceway Park, now I-80 Speedway. Now I don’t want to go to any weekly show. That is quite a turn around.

I have been watching races on the computer though. A week ago I watched All Star Circuit of Champions 410 sprint car races from two different tracks in Pennsylvania. I enjoy seeing tracks I know I will never visit in person, and Speed Shift TV allows that. Last night I watched WISSOTA action from Casino Speedway in South Dakota. Check out their schedule. Modifeds, USAC sprints and midgets, late model, 360 and 410 winged sprint cars, action from Pennsylvania to Washington and many states in between. I think the production quality of these PPV’s is good, and like I said, these are tracks I know I will never visit. Check out Speed Shift TV.

One thing I am contemplating doing at last is the Sunset Speedway book I have kicked around for years. Craig Kelley and I talked of this a number of years ago, but the timing was not right. Perhaps it is now. Before I put too much effort into it, I have several questions I hope my readers will answer:

-would you be willing to share your Sunset Speedway story with me?

-would you buy a book, maybe 300 pages, maybe more, with at least 1/3rd of the pages photos?

I am guessing such a book would be priced at $20-$25 dollars, with the hopes that it would pay for itself.

That is all for today. Thanks for stopping by.




Categories: May 2017 Tags:

Behind The 8-Ball

January 11, 2016 1 comment

Occasionally someone sends me an email that I would like to share with you. I received the following from my friend Tony Anville last week. Tony visited The Alpine Inn last Friday and had this to say:

“I enjoyed

spending the evening talking with Glenn Robey.  I still think he may be the only driver (or close to it) in American racing history to win a main event in each of 6 decades.  But if he started in 1949, then did he win in 7 decades?  Maybe he didn’t win that first year?  The only driver I think that could possibly claim this is Alabama’s Red Farmer.  But I’m not sure when Red started. 

 He gave me a detailed account of his huge win at Eagle in 2000.  He said this happened the night after he turned 70 years of age (he said many accounts are this was actually his 70th, but it was the night after).  He said he simply worked the high side and had one caution go his way.  The rest is Nebraska racing history.  My personal memory of the night was as he took his victory lap, the fans practically tore the grandstand down.  As he came by the front stretch, he was pumping his fist out the top of the cars roof hatch. 

He also gave a detailed story of how the number 8-Ball came to be.  I’ve always enjoyed stories why a particular number was chosen.  He said at one of this first few races, he needed a number that was easy to paint on the car.  They didn’t have time to paint one at the shop, so he had to do it at the track.  The number 8 was available that night and it was easy to paint on the car.  He motioned his hand in the shape of an 8.  He said when they arrived back home after the races, his sister in law thought they should “spice it up” and make the number 8 into an 8-Ball.  And that too became a piece of Nebraska racing history. 

My very first race ever, at age 5…was at Whitehead Speedway.  The only racing memory I have of that hot, miserable, dusty Sunday afternoon…was a guy driving a white Chevy, with an “8-Ball” painted on the side.  I remember this because I could see he was driving with one hand tied to the side of the seat.  Glenn went into the details of that afternoon by telling me he had broken his wrist the week before.  He’d seen a guy at Playland drive with one hand years prior…so he figured he could do it that weekend at Nebraska City and Sunset.  He said he didn’t fair too well and actually pulled off the track early because the fast high banked Nebraska City track was a bit much for one handed driving. 

I’m amazed at the detail in which he recalls such events.  He was very glad I stopped by and talked in detail of all the events I remembered him from.  There are two things I didn’t get around to…but would like to stop and chat again about.  That would be his July 4th win at a special at Harlan…and then racing at the old Topeka Fairgrounds track.”

Visiting with Glenn is like taking a history course on Midwest Dirt Track Racing. I wrote about him a number of years ago and also did the Alpine Inn visit. His scrapbooks are simply incredible-I suppose Lee Ackerman has already laid claim to them-and Glenn will talk for hours about old times. If you are lucky like Matt and me, you might even get a tour of the shop that produced the famous 8-Ball cars.

Thanks Tony, and thank you for stopping by.   


A Fine And Fancy Rambling-From The East Side Of Fremont

August 27, 2015 3 comments

With a job search taking time I have been giving some thought to what I could do besides some type of accounting position. I have come up with a fairly sizable list:

-sparring partner for Ronda Rousey.

-body double for Carl Edwards.

-roller coaster tester.

-mountain climbing guide.

-daycare provider.

-guitarist in a rock band.



-over the road truck driver.

-personal assistant to Bill Callahan.

-blackjack dealer in Las Vegas.

-governor of Nebraska (no experience, qualifications, or talent needed).

-hair dresser.

-financial advisor to Warren Buffett.

-resume writer (just had mine critiqued, which is why this is quite ironic).

-ball boy for the New England Patriots.

-a taxi driver in New York City.

-an airline pilot.

-CEO of a Fortune 500 company.


-dirt track promoter.



No, I don’t have any experience in any of those positions.  I can’t have any worse luck applying for them than I have for jobs I am qualified for-maybe too qualified for. Or too old for. Sorry, I am frustrated.  My family and friends are preaching patience and a positive attitude. I’ll try.

Tomorrow is my 45th wedding anniversary.  Yeah, you read that right.  Jane has had the good fortune to be married to me since 1970.  How are we going to celebrate?  Well, either a train trip across Canada, or going to Fat Brain in Village Pointe in Omaha to get Mr. Henry Meyer birthday presents for his upcoming 4th birthday, and then go to Farmer Brown’s in Waterloo.

45 years.  My grandma said years ago “Ronnie found him a good one.”  She knew what she was talking about.  I am sure being married to me is no bed of roses-hey, this is a sports blog even though I am not writing about sports, so there has to be clichés.

To paraphrase Led Zeppelin, “good times, bad times, you know we’ve had our share.” We were married on a Friday, and I started my junior year of college the next Monday. Not much of a honeymoon.  If we had a second honeymoon, it would be more like a first one.  We lived in a trailer-yeah, that is just one reason I can talk about rednecks-in a trailer park that is now part of Diers Ford in Fremont. One bedroom, a tiny bathroom.  A portable black and white TV. Working nights at Hormel.  Watching The Untouchables when I got home after midnight. Skipping classes. A record player-yeah, real records. Three Dog Night, Association, and Chicago concerts at the Civic Auditorium in Omaha-a building soon to be torn down, of no further use, I wonder if that is me.

I drove a ’67 Mustang then. Yeah, I do wish I still had that car.  And the ’64 Chevy 2-door burgundy Impala I had before it, and the ’71 Mustang I had after it. There was no McDonald’s in Fremont-there was a Gold Key Drive-In and an A & W.  We used to buy A & W pizza because we got a free jug of root beer with it. Midland was just a college then, not a university. I hated accounting-and look what I spent almost my entire adult life doing. I did like writing even then.

Do I wish I knew then what I know now?  Hell yes. If I did I would be the richest man in Nebraska. Do I wish I was young again? Not really.  There was no Matt then, no Amanda then, and obviously not the joy of one Henry Ross Meyer either.

Racing?  Yes, we did go to Sunset Speedway then.  Jane hated it, but figured she had to go-at least until she figured she didn’t have to go.  Late models really looked like something from a car dealer’s show room. Jim Wyman’s Mustangs were the best looking late models of all time.  The first 100 lap race in the area was called “The Big One.” Eastern Iowa drivers started racing at Sunset, and kicked butt, even beating Bob Kosiski.  The likes of Ed Sanger, Verlin Eaker, and Curt Hansen were way ahead of their Cornhusker counterparts.  I don’t want to be young again, but I sure do wish I could travel back in time just once to see those races-and to take my dad to them, take Matt too so he could see real racing, and take Henry so he could meet his great grandpa and see how much he is like his namesake-and see the tears in my dad’s eye for how Matt honored him.

Well, I am alone at home-just me and Sophie and she doesn’t care what I am doing, so I am playing music from 1970, thinking of my anniversary, thinking of my 65th birthday, sad, happy, wishing I was working somewhere my talents could be appreciated-hell, just working anywhere other than where I spent the last 29 years.

Anyway, there is no NASCAR Sprint Cup race to write about, not much happening on dirt, so this is what passes for a blog today.

BUT, thank you for stopping by, and a really big thank you for putting up with my ramblings.





Safety, Silver Dollar Nationals, Top 25, And Sunset Speedway

August 25, 2015 1 comment

Justin Wilson died of head injuries received during the IndyCar ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.  Wilson was hit by debris from the crash of another car. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, parents, and a brother, Stefan, who has competed in Indy Lights and the IndyCar Series.

At times like this I always wonder about what can be done to better insure the safety of drivers. This incident seems to be a matter of inches or split seconds, but that is the case with every racing accident. F1 is going to conduct a closed cockpit test next month:

Tragedy breeds innovation. Hopefully this tragedy will lead to something that will save some other driver’s life in the future.

The Pittsburgher is a Lucas Oil Series race, but apparently WoO driver Josh Richards is also entered, meaning the three hottest late model drivers will be on hand for the two day show that pays the winner $20,000. Wouldn’t it be nice to see those three in action at the Silver Dollar Nationals in July?

At some point in time the two late model national tours need to reach an agreement to actually co-operate so all the top drivers can enter all crown jewel events.  The SDN is sanctioned by the LOLMDS, but it also comes at the end of the WoO Wild West Tour. A $40,000 to win show deserves all the best drivers to be on hand, not just most of them. Richards-Clanton-Lanigan-Frank-Eckert racing with Davenport-Bloomquist-Owens-Pearson-Francis would be well worth whatever the front gate admission was.

No, I am not holding my breath on any co-operation happening. And yes, I do know I have mentioned this before. I am sure I will again.

Here is my Top 25 ballot for the week. Top 25 Voting Ballot
Name: Ron Meyer
Date: 8/24/2015
1 Jonathan Davenport
2 Scott Bloomquist
3 Shane Clanton
4 Jimmy Owens
5 Josh Richards
6 Billy Moyer
7 Earl Pearson Jr.
8 Shannon Babb
9 Brandon Sheppard
10 Dennis Erb Jr.
11 Mike Marlar
12 Dale McDowell
13 Randy Weaver
14 Chris Ferguson
15 Rick Eckert
16 Casey Roberts
17 Jason Feger
18 Jared Landers
19 Don O’Neal
20 Darrell Lanigan
21 Jesse Stovall
22 Billy Moyer Jr.
23 Chub Frank
24 Tim McCreadie
25 Devin Moran


The overall Top 25 had two drivers my ballot did not have. My other two drivers finished 26th and 28th-which if they were NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers would make them at home with Roush Fenway Racing. There were no green haired drivers on my ballot or the overall Top 25.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is off until Labor Day weekend at Darlington. Perhaps the crew of the #24 car can spend it making the car better and not sabotaging the driver-so sayeth my wife, and they should heed what she says.  Back in the good old days when she went to races with me at Sunset Speedway, running hot laps at intermission was almost unheard of.  Bud Burdick in a Chevelle convertible late model did that one time, greatly irritating Jane.  She said “I hope he flips,” and he did. Yes, I always listen and obey.

Thanks to Jim Hitzemann for helping me solve my Windows 10 attachment dilemma. I may have to stop kidding him about setting fire to I-80 Speedway a few years ago. Like me, Jim is a member of the Sunset Mafia, one who remembers what great local late model racing we once had-from the days of Burdick, Bob Kosiski, Jim Wyman, and Bill Wrich to the Final Sunset with Kyle Berck and Joe Kosiski. Darn I miss that place.

Anyway, thanks again Jim. And thank you for stopping by.







Sunset Speedway Chicken & Godfather’s Pizza, Plus NASCAR, Plus WoO, Plus Lucas Oil, Plus USMTS

August 20, 2015 Leave a comment


Michael Waltrip Racing is on life support.  MWR gave driver Clint Bowyer his release for the 2016 season and will not run any cars full-time next season.  Per Drunken Brian France on Twitter, Bowyer has not won a NASCAR Sprint Cup point race in 1,043 days.  Speculation is that Bowyer will seek a one year deal before trying to sign with one of the power teams in 2017.–spt.html

Well, Danica Patrick has a new sponsor and a multi-year contract with Stewart-Haas Racing, so I don’t see Bowyer moving in that direction. I can’t see him returning to RCR-Richard Childress has another grandson to get in a Sprint Cup car. Joe Gibbs Racing certainly does need someone who hasn’t won a race in forever. Chase Elliott is replacing Jeff Gordon at Hendrick Motorsports and I don’t think Jimmie Johnson or Dale Earnhardt Jr. are retiring anytime soon. Kasey Kahne is locked into HMS through 2018, and Bowyer replacing Kahne seems more like a lateral move, not improving the organization.

Perhaps Bowyer will replace Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at Roush Fenway Racing. That would not be a huge improvement for RFR, but it would still be an improvement. And I can’t believe I am still calling Roush Fenway a power team.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s #88 car failed race inspection three times at Michigan last weekend and will be docked 15 minutes practice time as a penalty. The way Hendrick drivers have been racing lately, this is a big penalty-they need all the practice time they can get. I wonder if they have been around Roush Fenway drivers too much and have caught some kind of virus.

I know not many people read the comments on my blog, but you should. There are some good points, even from Randy Palmer-well, sometimes from Randy. Anyway, below was a reply to Palmer from a certain “Slow Hand” scorer regarding food at Sunset Speedway:

“If only Sunset would have offered pork fritters….they would most like have rivaled I-80’s tenderloin. I believe that the meal of choice was Godfather’s Pizza at Sunset since they sat right above the old Blodgett Pizza Ovens (no chain driven speed ovens there)…don’t recall if the Sunset Inn’s famous broasted chicken or Hazel’s badass burgers ever made an appearance in their seats….oh the memories of the smells wafting down the concession midway at the old girl..mmmm.”

Jim-we sat in the section right above the Godfather’s Pizza oven, so yes, there were a few slices that we purchased back in the day. One of my favorite Sunset memories is the smell of the pizzas cooking on a cool spring or fall night. And yes, we ate a few pieces of the famous broasted chicken too. I can’t remember eating any burgers, but there was an occasional sloppy joe to go with the pizza and chicken.

Will Jonathan Davenport stop his lengthy non-win streak? It has now reached 4 days. Will Rick Eckert in a Longhorn Chassis start to dominate the WoO as Davenport in a Longhorn is doing in the Lucas Oil series? I think it more likely that Josh Richards is returning to his pre-health issue form and will close the 162 point gap that Shane Clanton now leads Richards by. There are 11 nights of racing remaining on the Outlaw schedule, but unless Clanton has a few nights of really bad finishes, even a dominant Richards will have a hard time catching him.

Congratulations to Jesse Sobbing. Even though there are eight races remaining on the USMTS schedule, Sobbing has clinched the series Rookie of the Year title. The Malvern, Iowa driver has 30 top ten finishes in 44 USMTS starts this season. Yes, I do like it when drivers I have written about in Dirt Late Model or Dirt Modified magazine do well.

Will the Meyer family be making another weekly racing show this season? Matt says we will, and it might be very soon. Our race going competition with Tony Anville is already over-as did Sobbing, Matt and I have eliminated all mathematical chance for Anville to be Super Fan 2014. Matt just wants to go racing. No, we will NOT be traveling to any track running on Saturday-I have had enough of ACS and JMS this year. So guess where we are going. Maybe I’ll have one last race track pork tenderloin sandwich this year.

Thanks for stopping by.








Theories, Memories, Trucks, Green Hair, AND Sunset Speedway Broasted Chicken

July 23, 2015 Leave a comment

I received the following in an email from a friend:


I just saw a quote online by an IBM executive speaking to event marketers which goes: “The best last experience you’ve (customer/fan) had becomes the minimum expectation going forward.”


Promoters and Track Operators would be smart to take that advice.


Unlike the never say anything bad about promoters, head in the sand (or elsewhere), apologists who willingly accept whatever passes as a night of entertainment at the track, I had M-A-N-Y best last experiences that make by expectations high. I used to go to Sunset Speedway every Sunday night.


I don’t expect any track to ever surpass the accomplishments of Sunset Speedway, but any track that even comes close to my memories of the legendary Irvington, Nebraska track is likely to be highly praised on this blog.


19 year old Tyler Droste won the IMCA Deery Brothers race at Quad City Speedway in East Moline, Illinois last night. Droste led all 50 laps in capturing his first ever Deery Series win. OK, I am impressed that a 19 year old driver bettered stout competition and that Droste became the youngest driver to win a race in the 28 year history of the tour. I was even more impressed though when I looked down the results list and saw Gary Webb finished 10th. Webb has to be in his 60’s-and yes, I do remember the good old days of the NASCAR Busch All-Star Tour with Webb competing against Joe and Steve Kosiski, Ray Guss, Steve Boley, the Eckrich brothers, and other top Midwest drivers.

Remember back in the late 90’s when the Busch Tour paid $5,000 to win. Now regional series pay $3,000 to win-not like expenses for drivers have gone up or anything. Those were the days I drove to the races, not Matt, and we went maybe 10 series races a year as well as going to Sunset every week. Darn, Stan Cisar and I weren’t on Medicare then.

Did anyone other than Matt and Tony Anville watch the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Eldora? I watched a few laps of several different heats and that was about it. I am not a big fan of the trucks, though they don’t have to be pushed to start. Three youngsters with dirt backgrounds took the top three spots in the Mudsummer Classic. Sprint car driver Christopher Bell won the race, followed by late model pilot Bobby Pierce. Former late model driver Tyler Reddick finished third.

Will we ever see a NASCAR Big Three Series race at another dirt venue-say Knoxville? Nope. Asphalt drivers racing on dirt would lose its novelty if there was more than one race. Plus, who other than Tony Stewart has clout with NASCAR to make such a race happen? Too bad, it would be cool to see Sprint Cup drivers back on dirt, like in the old Prelude to the Dream, though with Cup cars.

In looking over the results of the Eldora truck race, one thing that impressed me was that 21 of the 32 trucks finished on the lead lap. Perhaps it was in part due to the race broken into segments?

From fellow DirtonDirt voter Jeff Broeg:

“I’m just glad that I wasn’t the one guy who voted Bloomquist #1!

Bub McCool, really? Are you starting to warm up to the haircut?”

TROTD: Believe me, I am NOT warming up to the haircut. I had him as 25th-it was hard to ignore a $10,000 win that included beating the 6th ranked driver and he had six victories earlier in the season too. Anyway, he reminds me of a green-haired version of my friend Tony Anville, which influenced my ballot.

I have had a really lousy day today, very stressful. To show you just how bad my day has been, I would rather watch sprint cars for four hours straight than go through another day like this. NO, it was not so bad that I would rather watch B-mods for four hours-or even four minutes.

Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. And, if you remember and love Sunset Speedway broasted chicken-if you ever had it, you remember and love it, here is a place to get some. Thanks to Craig Kelley for telling about it.

Sunset Speedway’s Famous Broasted Chicken

Yes, it’s truly the same broaster and recipe for great broasted chicken.

Sunset Broasted Chicken Meal

3 pc Meal $ 9.50

Tomorrow night, Friday July 24th 5:30PM – 7:00PM

Millard American Legion Post # 374

13913 S Plz, Omaha, NE 68137


Stop by for a great meal and to see Momma Doreen!