Where are the Cars?
It is surprising, and a little bit sad, given the state of the economy that only 30 cars showed up for a $20,000-to-win, 100-lap Outlaw Super Late Model show in Indiana last week. That's exactly what happened at New Paris Speedway's Summer Sizzler however. Teams all across the land claim that they want big money races, but to keep those events alive they need to be supported.
An Army of One in the Pits
It takes big resources to compete in any form of touring short track racing these days….or does it? Glen Reen didn't bring an army of crew members to last Friday's NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Stafford Springs Speedway (CT). He brought one person other than himself and estimates the race cost him $800 to run. Reen didn't do half bad either - running as high as eighth before some mechanical issues dropped him to a 15th place finish. Still, it is a victory of sorts because we think that the majority of the 20 or so teams finishing behind him spent far more money and brought many more crew members to the track.
Racing and Politics
We've heard of the “Soccer Mom” demographic in the political world, but how about Short Track Dads? Two New England political races are actually using short track racing as part of their campaigns to help promote their candidates. We expected it from Phil Scott, the former Thunder Road track champion and current ACT Late Model driver, who is running for Lieutenant Governor of Vermont, but we were a bit surprised to see Shawn Moody, a candidate for Governor in Maine whose day job is owning and operating a chain of auto body shops, using short track racing as a big part of his campaign. Moody started up a photo gallery on his Facebook page showing various racecars at the state's several oval tracks that have his decals on them. We hear that his campaign has been handing out those decals at places like Unity Raceway, Speedway 95 and Wiscasset Speedway.
You've got to love this Facebook Status update of a weekly racer, who shall remain nameless for obvious reasons: “Got my speeding ticket dropped to five over! Racing tonight!”
Where The Rubber Doesn't Meet The Road
Saturday night's UARA-Stars event at Concord Speedway saw five cars finish on the lead lap. Lots of flat right-front tires and a couple flat right-rears were the biggest culprits of the calamity. People asked left and right after the race, "Why?" Some have blamed a bad batch of Goodyear tires. Others blame over-aggressive coil-binding setups. Either way, no tour can afford to lose cars by having issues like those while racing at a bad-fast place like Concord. Not sure what the best fix is, but seeing more than half of a field get wrecked because of flat tires does not help the growth of any series.
What Do I Watch?
On Wednesday, August 18th, Modifieds fans will be torn up on what to watch on their tube. Speed TV has live coverage of the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 at Bristol Motor Speedway (TN). That program starts at 6pm ET while just one hour later (before that telecast is even off the air), Versus will run a taped delay coverage of the Strutmasters.com 199 from Bowman Gray Stadium (NC). Someone got their wires crossed and both races will be on the tube at the same time. NASCAR is used to beating other sports out for ratings, but now they are racing against themselves.
Facing the Truth
Korey Ruble came clean earlier this week about his tech infraction and resulting disqualification in the Viper Series race at the South Alabama Speedway (AL). Not often does a driver say flat out that his team knew they were cheating and just plain got got caught. The whole situation got extra attention when a rumors and reports of traction control hit the streets accusing Ruble of the ultimate form of cheating. I guess we kind of forgot that no driver would dare try to sneak traction control by Ricky Brooks….or we hope not at least.
This is My First Win…
The ARCA Racing Series has had 12 races so far in 2010 and 10 new faces have gone to victory lane already this season. Joey Coulter's win this past weekend made it eight straight races where a driver scored his first win. In fact, there has only been one repeat winner this season when Steve Arpin scored back-to-back wins. Those were the first two of his career as a matter of fact. This is the complete opposite of 2009, when Parker Kligerman and Justin Lofton won 15 of the 21 races.
Hometrack Boy Does Well
Occasionally, even in today's big-money and well-planned world of short track racing, something old fashioned happens that brings a smile to your face. Brian Campbell earned an ARCA ride, his first ever in the series, at his hometrack of Berlin Raceway this past weekend. Campbell is a short track terror at Berlin and transferred that skill right to an ARCA car - winning the pole and leading many laps. He ended up finishing deep in the field, but to see him get a chance and then make the most of that was a feel-good story.
USA Invades Canada, Again
The Atlantic CAT 250 has become one of the premier Super Late Model events east of the United States. It started off as a PASS North race and since became a Carquest Maritimes Pro Stock event. Once again, the invaders from the USA came in and took the trophy when Cassius Clark won the race after leading 227 laps on Saturday. This marks the ninth time in 11 events that the USA has beaten the Canadians on their home track. Ok so it doesn't make up for the Olympic hockey team, but it's a start.