Speed51.com's "The Big 10"
Our Take on the Week That Was in Short Track Racing
by Speed51.com Staff
We’ve got to give props to ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Parker Kligerman – who started out the year planning to only run a partial schedule.  Instead, the Connecticut teen won the most races of anyone all season (nine) and came within a whisker of the series championship.  Nine wins aren’t bad considering he was only supposed to run eight races at the start of the year.

No Sauter had ever won Oktoberfest at Lacrosse Speedway.  Not Jim, Johnny, Tim or Jay.  But Travis Sauter scored one for Generation Next this past weekend when he came through and won the ASA Midwest Tour race that helps make up Oktoberfest weekend.  Uncle Johnny was in the field, but will have to settle with just winning the recent NASCAR Truck Series event at Las Vegas instead.

A lot of people, including the broadcast team of the ARCA finale at Rockingham, gave Clay Rogers a hard time for not pressing the issue to pass Justin Lofton towards the end of the race.  If Rogers passed Lofton, Lofton would lose the championship.  Instead, Rogers rode and tried not to affect the title fight…and caught flack.  Why?  Think Lofton would’ve made Rogers’ pass easy?  Heck no!  Easier to finish behind Lofton with a car in one piece than wadded up over one position in a one-race deal.  Clay didn’t do anything wrong there and had a nice sixth-place finish to show for it.

Ross Kenseth had a pretty good weekend.  Not only did he run strong in the ASA Late Model race at Oktoberfest, but he also won the race and clinched the championship of the Big 8 Series over the weekend.  Now, he capped it off as having the most votes as of Wednesday, October 15th, in the ARPBodies.com Late Model Most Popular Driver voting.  Kenseth had a bunch of votes disqualified by anxious fans voting more than once for their man per ballot, but his corrected total was still the highest.  But, will all those DQ’ed votes hurt him come voting’s end?  Time will tell…

In its first year of existence, the PASS South Mason-Dixon Meltdown at South Boston Speedway paid $12,500 to its Super Late Model winner.  It attracted every major PASS North team and even a few weekly track teams to tow down south.  This year, the race pays $7,500 to its winner, but there's still a good number of cars heading to SoBo.  Whether it's six, 14 or somewhere in between, it's far more North guys coming south than South guys that have ever gone up for one race. 

Eddie Sharp racing just won their first ever ARAC RE/MAX Series championship with driver Justin Lofton.  But don’t expect a dynasty to be born here. After all, it’s a driver development team and Eddie Sharp doesn’t expect any long-term commitments, as shown by his comment of, "My job is not to marry him it's to date him” about Lofton after the championship was won.

We’ve heard plenty of jokes about the crashing ways of the SK Modifieds for years.  We’ve even told a few ourselves.  But the epidemic of drivers tearing up expensive racecars is getting worse it seems – and now people are getting hurt.  The crash-filled SK Modified feature at Stafford Motor Speedway’s Fall Final resulted in two people leaving the track in ambulances after separate incidents.  One was a driver and the other a fan who got hit with crash debris.  What is it going to take to turn this into a civilized division?

Racecars has gotten a heck of a lot safer through the years – just ask James Hylton.  In 1967, Hylton wrecked hard at Rockingham Speedway (NC) and spent eight days in the hospital.  On Sunday, he wrecked nearly as hard in nearly the same spot at the same racetrack.  A few days after the wreck, he was home and nursing an ankle injury.  Of course, being that he’s 75 and lost a lap just about every three laps at Rockingham, hopefully those are the last injuries Hylton receives in a racecar.

On October 31st, most teenagers will be up to have fun… maybe even too much fun… on the streets of America for Halloween.  But a select few will be at Concord Speedway instead turning some scary quick laps hoping to avoid tricks so they can end up with a basket full of treats in victory lane for the Pro Challenge National Championship finale.  OK, that might have just been as corny as candy corn – but once in awhile, you need to get in the spirit of the season.

Recently, Steve Moore appeared to win his first Street Stock feature at Volusia Speedway Park (FL), but got the win taken away in tech.  He didn’t exactly take the news in stride according to a track press release which said, “Moore proceeded to tear the top off the trophy he had to return and mess up his first feature winner hat.  The win was given to Wally Schneider after tech.”  We’re not quite sure what Moore did to mess up that hat.  We’re not really sure we want to know either.