Bristol is a Hit
Nobody knew what to expect when the NASCAR Modifieds visited Bristol Motor Speedway (TN) for the first time, but it ended up being a success for the most part. No wheels were snapping off cars and there wasn't a “Big One” type wreck. The weather could have been better, but nobody can control that. The crowd could have been better, but that might have been the fault of the weather. All in all though, most everyone left happy and the experiment seemed to work. Does this pave the way for a return appearance next season? We'll see.
In this economy, it is even getting tougher to race. But teams shouldn't really look to race purses to pay their bills - unless they are very good or very lucky. For all of its hype, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Bristol Motor Speedway paid less than $10,000 to its race winner. That is about two-thirds of what Donny Lia earned for winning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway earlier this year. Over at Concord Speedway (NC), there was a big $5,000 to win Pro Late Model show on Saturday night - but second place on back paid the regular weekly PLM purse. That was great for winner Colt James, but not so good for many others.
Little Guys Win Big
PASS North has always caught a little bit of heat for being the playground of the Rowes and the Clarks, but that is becoming a thing of the past. Sure, Johnny Clark and Ben Rowe are battling for the championship, but the last two tour races were won by Saturday night racers. That hadn't happened even once since 2003, but now it has happened in back to back events - with Randy Turner winning at Unity and Tom Scully, Jr. winning at Seekonk.
Back to Dirt Roots
We salute the ARCA RE/MAX Series for not just catering to the driver development crowd. ARCA still runs a pair of races every year on dirt and this Sunday's show at the Illinois State Fairgrounds is the first one of this season. We love it. Full bodied stock cars running bias-ply tires on a dirt track is something that used to make up most of the schedule in what is now the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Thankfully, ARCA hasn't gotten past its roots on that surface yet and gives fans something really cool to watch.
Howard Stern had nothing on the Speed 51 Radio post-race show airing on RaceTalkRadio.com after the Bristol Modified Tour race. Ted Christopher referred to archrival Donny Lia as “Donny Diaherria” at the beginning of the show, but Lia took the cake later on when he referred to Christopher as “the dumbest f--k in the world” and then called him a fossil. “We don't like each other very much,” Donny later said. No kidding!
Stock Cars Go Clunk?
We've all heard a lot about the Cash for Clunkers program that is letting Americans turn in their old cars for taxpayer-funded rebates towards new ones. One sad thing about this is that it will send even more potential stock cars to the crusher. Supplies of donor cars for Street Stock, Strictly Stock and Blunderbust-type classes are already dwindling, so is this just another step in making “stock” stock cars a thing of the past?
At the Wrong Track?
You know that Michael Waltrip commercial where he's at the wrong track? That could be real life for Max Gresham this weekend. Three days after the ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour announced that they were cancelling the upcoming race at Orange County Speedway (NC), Gresham's team put out a press release previewing their race there. Let's hope that they've checked out Speed51.com's Quick News since then or else Max might have a “Michael Moment” this weekend.
Part Time Schedule, Full Results
Donny Ruevers has been taking time away from his driving career to focus on running Raceway Park (MN) this season, but last weekend he showed that he can still wheel a racecar. Ruevers entered the ASA Midwest Tour race at Raceway Park and then outdueled none other than Steve Carlson to win the race.
Mike Rowe is taking some time away from touring racing to chase after the track championship at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) this year. He's already won five races in the Pro Series (Super Late Model) class there, but as far as hardware goes, he's got nothing to show for it. Rowe has been donating each of his winning trophies to children in the stands this season, which has made the veteran a very popular racer among the younger crowd. We'd say that it probably has earned him some respect among the older crowd too, but after his decades in the sport we doubt there are many fans who didn't already respect him.
The Terrorizing Trio
So far this year, there have been eight Super Late Model races that have been a part of either the Blizzard Series at Five Flags Speedway (FL) or the Miller Lite Series at nearby Mobile International Speedway (AL). Only three drivers have won a race in either series this year. Johanna Long has won at Five Flags twice, while Augie Grill and Bubba Pollard have each won two each at Mobile and once at Five Flags. Hey guys, and girl, when are you going to let the rest of the field win one?