1. Reach Into The Radio - Have you ever wanted to be a part of the Speed 51 Radio show? Well, now you can. Starting this week, we have set up a Trackside Now-like page where fans can go online in real time and interact. You can ask the guests questions, ask us questions, tell us we're donkeys, whatever floats your boat. The number of fans who asked questions even surprised us. So we'll do it again next Tuesday when Speed 51 Radio airs on RaceTalkRadio.com.
2. Trophy Queens - We're old school and appreciate the novelty of trophy girls, but maybe it is time to rethink the idea of having them around these days. Several young females, including Johanna Long, Erica Santos and Meghan Dillner, are all starting to win races on short tracks across the country and the idea of a trophy queen might now be a bit dated. Case in point - when Long won this past weekend's Miller Lite Super Late Model race at Mobile, she was surrounded by three scantily clad women in the victory lane photos. Everyone had awkward looks on their faces so maybe that wasn't such a great idea.
3. Young Master - One driver finished an amazing 10 out of 13 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races in the top five this season. You would expect a driver that consistent would be someone like the legendary Mike Stefanik or the smooth and calculating Todd Szegedy or even the Tour champion Donny Lia. But instead, it was an unlikely candidate - Ryan Preece. The 19-year-old did this in only his third season on the Tour - which bodes very well for his future.
4. NASCAR Names End Up in UARA - Grissom, Pressley, McReynolds, LaJoie…No, those aren't just the names that you might see around a NASCAR Cup Series or Busch Series garage back in the early 1990's, those are all next-generation drivers who have raced in the UARA-Stars this year. It's been said that the NASCAR Truck Series is where NASCAR drivers end up before retirement, but the UARA-Stars Series is where their children all go to race.
5. Spinning a Story - The role of public relations is to make a driver sound good. We get that. Sometimes though you can go too far with your job of PR. For example, a press release came across our desk bragging about a driver finishing his first NASCAR race with a podium finish. “NASCAR” though wasn't one of the big three series or even the NASCAR Camping World East or West Series. It meant a Late Model feature at a NASCAR Weekly Track. .. and he did it in an ASA Late Model that normally goes out on tour… but the kicker was after a full page of telling us how great this kid is, there was the fine print of: “a late discovery disqualified the car for an illegal spacer that is being reviewed and is pending.” Oops. Maybe sometimes it might be better to say nothing at all.
6. Rowe Rout - If you wanted to win a PASS National Super Late Model race this year, you'd better be a Rowe from Turner, Maine. Ben Rowe won three of the four scheduled races and his father Mike won the other event. They finished one-two with Ben showing the way and clinching the championship in the recent Mason-Dixon Meltdown. We're thinking if a PASS car owner wants to get an early jump on next year, they might want to give Tommy Rowe - Ben's brother and a pretty good racer himself back in the day - a call.
7. Dirty Tricks - When it comes to battling for hits and advertisers in the world of Florida dirt track racing website, the gloves are off. Last week, we got a press release titled, “Florida's Newest Dirt Track Website Has a Deal For You.” A little bit later, we got a different one from another website, using what seemed to be the same distribution list, titled “Florida's Oldest Dirt Track Racing Website Has a Cheaper Deal For You,” prompting claims of plagiarism to the same distribution lists that the releases went to. Talk about talkin' dirty!
8. Sportman Chicken or Sportsman Egg? - Earlier this week, a well-known Late Model tour announced the formation of a Sportsman tour, claiming that they were the first to form a Sportsman tour. Then, another well-known Late Model tour complained and said they might have been one of the first to have a Sportsman tour with the series that they had been promoting for several years already. We can also think of a third big-time sanctioning body that has been running a regional Sportsman tour for a few years as well. No discredit to Sportsman teams or fans, but c'mon guys. We're talking Sportsman tours. Who cares who was first. Just go out and race and worry about yourselves, like we've said time and time again.
9. New York Islanders - Both NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champions this year have something in common. The “Northern” Tour titltist, Donny Lia hails from Jericho, New York. George Brunnhoelzl, III, who won the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour crown, is from West Babylon, New York. Both places are on Long Island. Both drivers got their first taste of Modified racing at Riverhead Speedway. Mods are big on the Island and this just goes to further prove that fact.
10. Thank You, Mr. Nobody! - Before the Lowe's Motor Speedway NASCAR Cup Series race earlier this month, one of our 51 staffers overheard a NASCAR public relations rep complaining about one of our recent Big 10 items, concluding his rant by saying, “It's okay, nobody reads the Big 10 on Speed51.com anyway.” Well, obviously you read it pal, so thanks for the attention, Mr. Nobody!