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

Like steroids in baseball, traction control is perceived as a big black eye to short track racing.  We've all heard rumors of many different drivers using illegal TC, but few have gotten caught and even fewer have been publicly outed as cheaters.  Last year's track champion at Berlin Raceway (MI) is now in that infamous group .  Tim Devos was caught using a traction control device prior to Saturday night's races at Berlin and he was immediately suspended and escorted out of the track.  We're impressed with the track's transparency in the decision.

Hip Hop Stops The Show

Racing at Orange Show Speedway (CA) was called off last Saturday night - but not due to rain, snow or even wildfires.  A concert at the nearby Orange Show facility featuring Snoop Doggy Dog and the Wu Tang Clan among other acts caused enough chaos that race promoters needs to cancel their show.  A track press release cited the lack of apparent traffic control or security as the reason.  Traffic back-ups that made it nearly impossible to reach the track and concert fans taking over the speedway parking lot were a few of the reported issues.

I'm Your Pusher

Now here's an argument for starters on open wheeled cars.  Mike Ordway, Jr. saw his small-block Supermodified nearly get destroyed by a push truck last Friday night at Lee USA Speedway.  The truck driver misjudged his approach and launched over the back of Ordway's car - narrowly missing the driver.  The damage to the car were broken rear shocks, a wing strut, an axle, bodywork and more.  Even the cage was bent.  The truck was also badly damaged and now needs a new nose on it.  Ouch.

Land of Lincoln, Land of ARCA

The ARCA racing series competes on tracks throughout the Eastern half of the United States, but their teams are getting used to the confines of Illinois.  The series is in the middle of a three-event stretch of racing in the Land of Lincoln with two dirt track events and this week's race at Chicagoland Speedway.

Madhouse Madman

After the Madhouse series of television shows, it would appear that Bowman-Gray Modified driver Tim Brown has gotten used to video cameras being around him.  What he might not be as comfortable with are tape recorders and microphones.  After getting wrecked out of last week's season finale at the Madhouse, Brown told Speed51.com to basically get lost (and not in a polite way), calling our man on the scene a "MF'er" in the process.  MF doesn't stand for “Mighty Fellow” either - but since this is a family website, we won't reprint what exactly was said.  Apparently, Brown holds a grudge because he felt that any questions regarding an incident at Bowman-Gray with James Civali should have been off-limits during a recent Speed 51 Radio interview.  We say if it happens on the track, to ask about it is fair game.  So if you don't read much directly from Tim Brown on 51 in the near future, now you know why.

One Big Scramble

A record 800 plus children took part in the Candy Scramble during DQ Kid's Night at Speedway 660 last Saturday night.  The emphasis on entertaining the young ones was no doubt a factor in filling the stands with over 3,500 fans that evening.  We've been noticing that tracks who have facilities like playgrounds, entertainment like clowns, free admission to children and any other family activities have been doing a lot better at the front gate lately.  We don't think that it is a coincidence.

Land of Confusion

Riverhead Raceway held their “I Love America” night this past weekend and it was sponsored by a local Subaru/Volkswagen dealership.  Now we know that some Subarus are built in Indiana and that VW just opened up a new factory in Tennessee, but neither the Japanese or German company seem to come immediately to mind when you think of the Stars and Stripes, Apple Pie or “The Land of the Whopper”.

Busch-Less

As discussed on the Speed 51 Radio show this week, the fact that Kyle Busch is apparently going to make it into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series “Chase For The Championship” is a good thing for some Super Late Model teams.  It is said that Busch's contract with Joe Gibbs Racing does not allow him to run any SLM races during the Chase, so he can focus his energy on his “day job”.  That will keep him out of the Winchester 400.  The fact that Busch will likely be at the Cup banquet in Las Vegas on the weekend of the Snowball Derby will probably keep him from defending his victory in that event as well.

Rocketman Raider

Meanwhile, another NASCAR Sprint Cup driver might have taken over as the most successful short track “raider” of the moment.  Ryan Newman won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Bristol last week - his second victory of the season on that tour in a very limited schedule.  Newman beat a few of the most accomplished drivers in the business to score those victories too - Mike Stefanik at Bristol and Ted Christopher at New Hampshire earlier this summer.

The Death of a Great One

Howie Lettow passed away at the age of 62 this week.  He will be known as the master wrench who guided drivers like Jimmie Johnson, Ted Musgrave, David Stremme, Stephen Leicht, Tony Raines and Travis Dassow to victories and championships.  We knew Howie though and more importantly; he was just one hell of a man.  He'll be missed greatly.  Godspeed.