1) ROCK’EM SOCK’EM STADIUM
Remember when you were a kid and there’d be some poor sucker stuck in the corner of the bumper car track at the fair? You’d purposely just drive into him, throw your car in reverse and plow the dude again and think you were a hero? That’s pretty much what Burt Myers did to Junior Miller at Bowman Gray Stadium (NC) Saturday night. The crowd went wild for the shenanigans, but both Myers and Miller got slapped hard with penalties by BGS – deservedly, might we add.
2) SCHEDULE SWITCH-A-ROO
Several prominent SLM tours in the Southeast are throwing their competitors curveballs this summer as dates and tracks are seemingly constantly swapping. ASA Southeast has flat-out cancelled two shows (Concord and Rockingham) and PASS South was to run at Lanier a few weeks back before switching it to Dillon. In the tours’ defense though, most issues arise from tracks not cooperating or just an overall sign of the economy not making it feasible to have a successful race some weekends.
3) HIRSCHY GETS A SHOT
Former Modified driver Ray Evernham has certainly done just fine for himself outside of the racecar over the last 15 years or so. Now that he’s in a position to do so, he’s not forgetting where he came from. The NASCAR team owner put young Mod racer Matt Hirschman in a car during a NASCAR Camping World East Series test. Evernham, who used to race along Matt’s dad Tony, didn’t take money, didn’t take sponsorship or anything. He saw talent in Matty and put the kid in a car. Let’s hope this turns into something big for Hirschman down the road because he’s doing it the old-fashioned way.
4) APPLES AND ORANGES
There were two big money 250-lap races in Maine this year. The Oxford 250 ran Late Models, the Wiscasset 250 ran Super Late Models. Apples and oranges. Enjoy the race you prefer or better yet enjoy them both – that’s what we did. But for everyone from the track owners on down to keep pointlessly comparing the two, boasting and bickering is getting pretty old.
5) SILLY SEASON
It’s only August, but the short-track version of Silly Season is already well upon us. Some good seats have recently opened up, such as Don King’s #28 Mod Tour ride, Pete Knight’s #81N Pro Cup effort and BDI Racing’s Super Late Model. Some have been filled, some haven’t, and who knows how many more seats may open up before the year’s out.
6) DO IT THE RIGHT WAY
A couple weeks ago, Modified point leader Billy Pauch, Jr. finished second at New Egypt Speedway (NJ). Pauch did not hear the call to go to tech post-race, so he went to this trailer and up on jackstands. Track Officials told him to go over scales immediately, and within a few minutes, Pauch was on the ground and through tech a-okay. Then he finds out on Monday he was DQ’ed by reading it on the track’s website. Let this be a lesson to tracks. If you’re going to throw someone out, either do it at the track or call the driver first before releasing it to the media.
7) HAVE YOU SEEN ME LATELY?
For awhile, the only place that we seemed to see Chuck Barnes was on the side of a milk carton. He went from being one of the fastest Super Late Model drivers around to not racing much anymore due to the need to make money and start a family. But this past weekend, he entered the CRA Super Series race and showed that not a step was lost. Barnes won – just like old times.
8) OVERNIGHT SENSATION
Before Wednesday night, Caleb Holman was an “also-ran” in a handful of Nationwide Series starts and a decent Pro Cup driver, but never a weekly threat for victory. Now, those opinions are sure to change with a Pro Cup win at Bristol.
9) KING KIMMEL IS BACK
Frank Kimmel has won a boatload of ARCA RE/MAX Series races and titles, but the appearance of big-money development teams has put him back in the pack lately. The solution to that? Just add some dirt on the track, like at the Springfield Mile this past weekend, and Kimmel can show that he’s still the King of ARCA by going to victory lane.
10) SPEEDFEST SILLYNESS
In years past, the popular SpeedFest event at USA International Speedway (FL) attracted scores of SLM teams from North and South. The event was co-promoted by CRA and FASCAR and was a premier early-season event. With the Lakeland track’s closing, CRA has re-booked its traditional SpeedFest weekend for January 23-25 at South Georgia Motorsports Park. Not a bad idea for those boys. Then FASCAR announces they’re going to put on their own version of SpeedFest at Columbia Motorsports Park – the same exact weekend. Kudos to CRA for scheduling the event first, but FASCAR’s decision to run the same cars the same weekend 75 miles away is sure to hurt one or the other.