Speed51.com's "The Big 10"
Our Take on the Week(s) That Was in Short Track Racing
by Speed51.com Staff
It’s sad how little that writers who focus on the big three divisions of NASCAR racing know or care about short track racing.  A recent story about Kyle Busch Motorsports moving up to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series portrayed the current state of KBM as being some kind of small Late Model team based in Las Vegas.  That ought to come as a shock to KBM team members in Mooresville, North Carolina who fielded winning entries for SpeedFest, the Winchester 400, the RedBud 300 and the Snowball Derby in 2009.

A lot of waves have been made by the female influence in the upcoming ARCA test this weekend and the opening race in February at Daytona.  Somewhere around 10 female drivers are expected to at least test there.  Media and PR people love to focus on that, but let’s be reasonable…how many of them have a chance to run even in the top-10?  It’s not because they’re female, it’s because with all the Cup influence and pay-to-play big-buck teams at the front of ARCA these days, there’s a big disparity between the haves and have-nots and most of these ladies are in the “have-not” category.  Save for Danica in a JR Motorsports effort where if she just holds the wheel straight, turns left, and goes straight again, she’ll be fast, none of the others stand a chance.  But, girl power anyway! 

It’s taken a few years, but it appears that teams have finally gotten the memo about Snowball Derby tech being a tough place.  There were no major stories coming out of the tech shed in the Super Late Model or Pro Late Model classes during Snowball Derby week.  For an event that has seen two of its past three winners disqualified, that is very welcome news.  We still think that Ricky Brooks and his staff are just as tough, but this time it appears that teams aren’t trying to push the envelope of the rulebook quite as far as in the past.

PASS recently put out a press release saying that they were cancelling their two 2010 dates at the new Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, GA, complete with a quote from series owner Tom Mayberry saying that the series prides itself on visiting “top-notch venues.”  Well, anyone that went to GMP for the World Crown knows that the facility is about as nice and high-class as you can get.  Turns out there never really was a contract for their races in the first place on either end. 

5)  AND YOU ARE...
Sorry, but we just can't get enough of the ARCA test driver roster.  If you haven't seen it yet, go ahead and look, we'll wait.  Dum dee dum dum.  Okay, welcome back.  Not to take anything away from the proven ARCA regulars (Gerhart, Baird, Sheltra, etc.) and the young kids like Brandon McReynolds, Dakoda Armstrong and James Buescher who have at least won on the short track level to deserve a shot like this, but doggone are there a lot of "who the heck is that?" kinds of drivers on that list.  Apparently all you need these days is a heartbeat and a helmet and you too can go ARCA racing!  Oh yeah, a fat checkbook sure does help too.

Don’t look now, but it appears that there might be another tour that wants to be “The Tour” when it comes to Tour-type Asphalt Modifieds.  The Modified Racing Series is entering its sixth season and already visited tracks like Thompson, Seekonk, Monadnock, Lee and Beech Ridge (all of which host or have hosted NASCAR Modified Tour races).  Now they’ve added long-time NASCAR loyalist Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) to their 2010 slate.  Do we sense a major Tour gang war coming on soon?  How the Daytona brass must've flipped in their golf carts when they heard Stafford was having a non-NASCAR Modified race!

Is it just us or does the new ASA Late Model body style look more like a Pro Stock Dragster than a Late Model?  Time will only tell if the changes for the series’ Challenge Division in 2010 will work, but asking teams to cough up the money for a new body that will only be legal in that one division, not even in the ASALM’s other two regional divisions or any other Late Model tour in the country is pretty out there.  Best of luck with that one.

Clay Rogers’ lost ride as a result of his championship-winning Pro Cup team shutting down this week is a bummer of a story all the way around.  Clay is a good racer who deserves a chance to win and his team just couldn’t afford to do it anymore, meaning just about everything about the story stinks.  Pro Cup purses are down, so teams can’t pay their bills.  To even come close to paying the bills, they have to win races or championships.  To do that, you have to hire a full-time driver and an expensive crew chief.  To hire top-level talent takes money, raising the season’s bills.  It’s a no-win situation.  Call it the economy, the current state of big-time short track racing or what you will, it sucks to hear about money running, and in this case ruining, the sport.

As the Holiday season approaches, Speed51.com wants to wish everyone out there a Happy Holiday season with family, friends, pets, children, crew members and fans.  We’ll be right back at this again in 2010 and look forward to another great year of short track racing.

The USARacing Pro Cup Series, Crane Cams and S&S Cycle are teaming up to award the 2010 Pro Cup champion a custom motorcycle. They’re also offering a fan prize to go along with that giveaway. Now, we’re not saying that isn’t appreciated, but the “prize” is a new “X-Wedge” motorcycle engine. Just what you always wanted!  A motorcycle engine, with no motorcycle!  Oh, but if you win, you get a trip to the banquet to pick up your prize!  Hope the winner’s local, because we don’t think a motorcycle engine is considered a carry-on.