Speed51.com's "The Big 10"
Our Take on the Week That Was in Short Track Racing
by Speed51.com Staff
Timing, and Location, is Everything

The Modified Racing Series made a bold move that really paid off when setting their schedule this season.  Instead of starting the year up in the boondocks with a season opener at Monadnock Speedway (NH) as in past seasons, the MRS folks kicked off their year right in the heart of Modified country at Connecticut's Waterford Speedbowl - and they did it a full two weeks before the NASCAR Modifieds started touring at nearby Thompson Speedway.  The result?  Names like Stefanik, Hirschman, Coby, Pennink and Seuss all went to the MRS opener and plenty of fans were buzzing before and after the race.

King of the Mountain

We already knew that Clint King was a winner.  We remember watching him destroy the competition in the Pro Challenge Series two seasons ago.  We also knew he could win in larger equipment thanks to his pair of PASS Late Model Truck victories last season.  But King's victory in the UARA-Stars show at Kingsport Speedway (TN) really showed what he was capable of.  With limited LMSC experience, King mastered a tricky track and a strong lineup of challengers to win the race and turn some heads.

One Talented Pit Area

If you got some of the people who are working on cars in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East together for a match race, you would have one heck of a show to put on.  1994 Series champion Dale Shaw works as the crew chief on his son's #60 entry.  Two-time series champion Jamie Aube is coaching Dustin Delaney.  Dale Quarterley is working as the crew chief for Jeff Anton, former Maine driver Dave Davis owns Kevin Swindell's car, former Busch Series driver Mike Laughlin, Jr. is helping out Ryan Duff and Lonnie Rush is lending a hand to Patrick Long.  Of course, the biggest winner in series history, four-time champion Andy Santerre, is the head honcho at Revolution Racing.

One Talented Shop

But Santerre isn't the only notable racer who can be found turning wrenches at the Revolution Racing shop.  Also on staff at the Drive for Diversity team is the man tied for having the most victories in PASS South history, Corey Williams, along with former NASCAR Weekly Racing Series national champion Mark McFarland and former Maine racing notable Jerry Babb.  No wonder these D4D drivers are so good - they have plenty of great drivers to ask advice from.

Southern Influence

We are used to seeing Northern teams head south to race, but we haven't seen much travel in the opposite direction of late.  However, the upcoming Icebreaker at Thompson International Speedway (CT) is an exception.  There should be a fair amount of influence from the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour on the Northern companion series with defending champion George Brunnhoelzl, III committing to the entire WMT schedule this year, last year's points runner-up Andy Seuss running the Icebreaker for car owner Kevin Stuart and Madhouse media darling Burt Myers filing an Icebreaker entry as well.

Not Making the Cut

There were 15 teams that headed home early from the Big-Block Super DIRTCar show at Hagerstown Speedway (MD) last weekend.  Among those were Billy Pauch, Sr.  We hate seeing anyone go home without getting to race, but to see over a dozen DNQs including such an accomplished dirt racer shows just how healthy big-block DIRT Modified racing really is right now.

Cool Cars!

Okay, we know there were only 13 cars there for the Sunoco National Tour season opener at New Smyrna Speedway (FL).  We also know that number was actually helped a little bit by allowing ABC-Bodied racecars to enter the event with a weight penalty.  But for right now, we don't care. We've seen the photos from the race and those Camaro and Mustang bodies just looked really cool - adding a little bit of zest to what has become a vanilla-flavored world of ABC-bodied Late Model racing.

Missing Mopar

One thing that might be missing with the new Sunoco National Tour bodies though is a Mopar.  A few fans of the Pentastar chimed in on Tuesday's Speed 51 Radio show this week that while there is a Chevrolet Camaro and a Ford Mustang available, there is no Dodge Challenger yet.  Maybe if AR Bodies does do a Challenger, they could make the bodies available in such throwback colors as Plum Crazy Purple, Hemi Orange or Go Mango Orange or Lemon Twist?

Runners-Up Report to the Dog House

Finishing in the second position at a NASCAR K&N Pro Series race was not a good thing this past weekend.  Both Andrew Smith, who crossed the line second in the East race at Greenville-Pickens and Jonathan Gomez, who did the same thing in the West race at All-American Speedway (CA) were disqualified from their finishing positions this week for various unapproved parts.  Oops.

A Sponsor From Start To Finish

You've got to love creative marketing.  AAA has been named as the sponsor of the start-finish line at Lucas Oil Speedway....yes, you read that correctly - they are the start-finish line sponsor  Between getting their track a title sponsor and getting that start-finish line a sponsor, you've got to think that the marketing folks at the Missouri track just might be geniuses.