Speed51.com's "The Big 10"
Our Take on the Week That Was in Short Track Racing
by Speed51.com Staff
Who's the Knucklehead?

When Eddie Hoffman complained about a “knucklehead driver” putting him into the wall in the Short Track Nationals at Rockford Speedway (IL), he wasn't talking about one of his competitors.  Hoffman was referring to himself and owning up to a mistake that he felt that he made out there.  It's refreshing to see someone take responsibility for their own actions on the racetrack, but we also know that Hoffman doesn't get much experience being a kuncklhead either.  It's pretty rare for him to make any kind of a mistake.

Racing Overdose

Oktoberfest shouldn't really be called a weekend of racing at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway (WI).  The word “week” would fit better as RVs start to file into the track by the hundreds on Monday.  Racing takes place from Thursday through Sunday and there are hundreds of cars assembled for various feature events.  Some drivers enter as many as three or four races during the weekend…uh…week…as well.  If there is such a thing as overdosing on short track racing, this or Thompson's World Series (coming up later this month) is where you will do it - and that's not a bad thing at all.

Like Father, Like Son

Ryan Daniel did not repeat in the role of Late Model champion at Orange Show Speedway (CA) this year, but he won't have to go far to view the 2010 championship trophy.  That's because Daniel's 53-year-old Dad, Ron was the title.  The younger Daniel placed 12th in the standings despite missing five races during the season.

Cup's Loss in Short Trackin's Gain

It's too bad that the sport of big-time NASCAR racing has seemed to forget its roots and has outgrown some pretty good racetracks.  That's a gain for short track racing though as we saw some pretty fine racing at NASCAR “throwaway” tracks like Nashville's Fairgrounds Speedway (TN) and North Wilkesboro Speedway (NC) last weekend as the Cup teams were at another cookie-cutter 1.5-mile track.  We think it could have been Kansas Speedway, but without any personality at modern day facilities, we can't be sure.  Next weekend, expect to see some great Pro Cup and UARA-Stars racing at Rockingham Speedway (NC) as well while the stars of NASCAR are putting fans to sleep at California Speedway.

It's Not Just Kyle's Show Anymore

Kyle Busch Motorsports has seen plenty of Super Late Model success in recent history, but it's been a few years since any of that came with a driver other than Kyle himself behind the wheel.    Well, that was true until last weekend at least.  TJ Reaid drove a KBM entry to victory in the All-American 400 at Nashville's Fairgrounds Speedway.  That was one of the few big SLM events that Busch himself had not won already.  Now the team has trophies in their shop from the AA 400, the Winchester 400, the Snowball Derby, Speedfest and the Redbud 300 among other events.

Not Sunked and Not Flunked

Jeff Agnew had to come back from being a lap down to win this past weekend's USARacing Pro Cup race at North Wilkesboro Speedway (NC).  When he was asked about going down a lap after the race, you didn't get some kind of standard response about “biding his time” though.  His reply was definitely a unique one in fact - “I thought we were sunked and flunked and everything else,” said Agnew.  “I thought it was over.”

Short Trackin' on the Small Screen

Even though the BET Reality show “Changing Lanes” takes place using NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and Late Model Stock Car machinery, it has more of a “Who Wants to Be a NASCAR Star?” feel to it than a short track one.  Still, it's pretty neat to catch some of the short track references in the show - like Sergio Pena wearing a North-South Shootout shirt throughout one episode (showing that he must be a Modified or CRA Super Series fan) or PASS South standout Corey Williams making a cameo appearance as “Driver X” during a Legends Car test session.   We especially liked it when Darrell Wallace, Jr. showed off one of his old 51 Sports hero cards.

Top 10 Resident

It's been a competitive season on the ACT Late Model Tour in 2010.  Heading into the season finale this weekend at Waterford Speedbowl (CT), only four drivers have even qualified for each of the races on the schedule.  That is what makes the fact that Brian Hoar has finished in the top ten for each of those races even more incredible.  Those top tens add up too.  Hoar has already clinched the title and will be the 2010 ACT Late Model champion even if he decides to go to Bora Bora this weekend instead of Waterford.

Showing Support

When Phil Bozell won this past weekend's Super Shoe Nationals at Kalamazoo Speedway (MI), he pulled into victory lane, opened his firesuit and revealed an Eric Saunders T-Shirt with the words “I can, I will” on it.  Saunders is a motorcycle racer and the son of Hoosier Race Tires' Irish Saunders.  He was badly injured in a motorcycle wreck earlier this season and currently has no feeling from the belly button down due to a spine injury.  Saunders is determined to recover from his injuries though and not let them change him in any way.  It's nice to see a fellow racer showing support for him like Bozell did at Kalamazoo.

From the Big Screen to the Dirt Tracks

As a former child actor, Michael Storms appeared in movies and commercials along with people like Ben Stiller, Scarlett Johansson, Sarah Jessica Parker and Steve Buscemi.   As a race car driver, he now runs a big-block DIRT Modified against guys like Brett Hearn, Danny Johnson, Jimmy Horton Billy Decker, Pat Ward and Matt Sheppard.  We think that “Kid Lightning” has seen quite a bit in his two high profile careers to date.