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

Clay Rogers has won the last five USARacing Pro Cup features.  He probably isn't done either.  Rogers told Speed51.com that he considered the site of his latest victory, Iowa Speedway, to be one of his weak tracks.  He also has tested much in scoring those five victories - stockpiling available test dates for his upcoming races.  We sure wouldn't want to be on a rival team to Rogers right about now.

Further A-Long Than Danica

We've heard volumes about Danica Patrick's entry into NASCAR racing this year, but her results have been…well…ho hum at best.  That's not to say that girls can't drive, but maybe the mainstream media has focused on the wrong woman to follow.  Johanna Long qualified and finished in the top 20 of her first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race recently and now she's back gaining more experience in Super Late Models and the USARacing Pro Cup Series.    We don't think anyone held a press conference at ORP to present Long with a $1,000 pair of shoes, like what was done with Danica at New Hampshire, either. 

The Hound Dog is Hunting

Jeff Taylor is one of the most accomplished drivers in Maine - having won nine track championships at Oxford Plains Speedway.  He's also one of the most successful chassis builders in the Northeast - having numerous PASS, ACT and weekly track victories to the credit of his Distance Racing Products shop.  After a few years out of the seat, Taylor is now getting back to driving his Hound Dog Racing #88 again.  He described himself as rusty, but we aren't sure we agree.  He qualified for the Oxford 250, led laps in the ACT race at Beech Ridge and could have won if not for a flat tire  and then he won last Saturday's Late Model feature at Oxford.

Finally!

Trevor Sanborn has finished second or has bad luck while leading a PASS North more times than we could count.  Despite being one of the most powerful drivers on the tour, we wondered if he could ever actually win a PASS North feature or if he was under some kind of jinx.  The answer came Saturday night as Sanborn finally took a long overdue victory at Riverside Speedway (NH).  We're guessing victory number two won't be far along.

Finally!  Modified Style

Rowan Pennink finished in the top five of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standings last season, but still hadn't won a race.  While he hadn't come as close as Sanborn had in PASS North, it was still overdue.  Pennink changed that though on Saturday night by winning the WMT show at Riverhead Raceway (NY).

Can't Get No Respect

“I didn't mean to wreck/spin/turn him,” was the most commonly used phrase after the recent NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Lee USA Speedway (NH).  That's where we saw some big wrecks, the second place runner get spun out of his position, drivers running other drivers up the track, restart high jinks and even one driver spinning another on the cool-down lap.  It might have been entertaining, but one thing is for sure - the tour that once boasted of having classy drivers like Dave Dion, Andy Santerre and the late Stub Fadden in its ranks sure doesn't see a similar level of respect being shown these days by the pack of youngsters who largely make up the starting grids.

The PR Machine

There is one new thing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East ranks though and that is a Cup attitude among certain teams.  When we wanted to inquire about having Ryan Truex on this week's Speed 51 Radio show, it wasn't as simple as just calling him and asking him.  Instead, we had to go through a Cup-style Michael Waltrip Racing PR gauntlet, agree to certain conditions and then wait to see if he could do it.  In the end, there was no Truex on the show.  We would expect that kind of work to line up Martin Truex, Jr., but we sure weren't thinking the same rules would apply to Ryan Truex yet.

Stopping By the Madhouse

Coming up this weekend will be one of the most interesting short track shows of the season - the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race at Bowman Gray Stadium.  Some drivers love it and other on the tour openly admit that they hate going to the place.  All that we know is that the 200-lap race on Saturday night probably won't be a quiet and calm one.  If you can't make it out there, Speed51.com will have Trackside Now coverage of the event this weekend, so stay tuned.

You Can Go Home Again

Johnny Sauter got started in a big-time NASCAR career by winning often on the short tracks in his homestate of Wisconsin.  Sauter might be a regular in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series ranks these days, but he hasn't forgotten where he came from.  Tuesday night, he returned to Wisconsin International Raceway for the Dixieland 150 ASA Midwest Tour race.  To nobody's surprise - he won.

One Heck of a Deal

Earlier this season, PASS South held a race at Concord Speedway (NC) that features free grandstand admission and a $10 parking fee.  It didn't matter how many people you stuffed into your Geo Metro or 15-passenger Van, the cost was still a ten dollar bill.  A healthy crowd resulted from this promotion.  Now, the August 28th USARacing Pro Cup Series event at Concord is taking the same approach.  If you want to see Clay Rogers try to win again, and a hungry field try to keep that from happening, it won't cost you much at all.