Speed51.com's "The Big 10"
Our Take on the Week That Was in Short Track Racing
by Speed51.com Staff
There was more red being displayed at Gresham Motorsports Park (GA) on Saturday night than you might see at a meeting of a Ferrari owner’s club.  Four red flags and a total of 12 caution periods marred the event.  The majority of the field were rookies and it showed in the amount of carnage that was leftover after the race.  It seems like some of these newbie drivers need to learn a very simple rule – to finish first in a race, you must first finish!

We’ll go on record as saying having the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours on television is a great thing.  But, we, and many other Modified folks that we’ve canvassed, will not put up with the announcing crews, particularly the color commentators, butchering drivers’ names much longer.   We’re sure that the Ryan “Pierce” and James “Shivelli” guys that commentator Jimmy Spencer refers to are good dudes, but we’re not sure they’re as talented as Ryan Preece and James Civali. 

While Jacques Villeneuve might have come up just a little bit short of winning the big NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Montreal on Sunday, Quebec race fans still had plenty of be happy about thanks to the efforts of a few of their home province heroes in the short track world.  Patrick Laperle dominated the ACT Showdown at Autodrome Chaudière while Andrew Ranger won, again, on a road course in NASCAR.  This time, Ranger’s victory came in the Canadian Tire Series race at Montreal.

The top five drivers in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour point standings are separated by 70 points with three races to go.  We’re pretty sure that either L.W. Miller, Andy Seuss, James Civali, John Smith and Burt Myers will take the title, but we wouldn’t want to put down any money and which one is the “favorite” at this point.

Remember the good old days when drivers would badmouth one another on the PA system on the track, then tussle in the pits to dispute on-track incidents?  Now, drivers take to their websites, Facebook or Twitter to get back at their competition.  Just in recent weeks, we saw one quote on a UARA driver’s website say that he spun a guy out just so he could give the “falling out of the seat” driver “a breather,” and a K&N East guy called a driver that wrecked him a sarcastic “classy” on Twitter.

Averitt Lucas has won the last seven Late Model races at Florence Motor Speedway (SC).  The track even placed a bounty on him to try and encourage competitors just a  little bit more to try and beat him.  Still, we hear that Lucas led every lap in this past weekend’s race.  That shouldn’t be possible.  In our opinion, Florence ought to take a page from the books up short tracks up North and handicap the field a bit.  Watching Lucas try to win seven…eight….or more races in a row after starting near the back?  That would be entertainment!

You have to feel for a guy like Trevor Farbo.  In a day where mommies and daddies give kids his age just about anything they want in order to go fast on the track, the 19-year-old Farbo sold his personal vehicle just to afford a lease of an engine for Saturday’s USARacing Pro Cup Series race.  He had tried to make three previous debuts in Pro Cup, but blew engines either in practice or qualifying in each of those attempts.  Guess what happened Saturday?  Yup, that leased engine blew in practice, leaving Farbo out of his first Pro Cup race once again…and without a vehicle to drive home, too.

The rule in the Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) entry-level DARE Stock division had always that a driver could only win two races a season.  After that, they could still race, but wouldn’t be allowed to win.  Mid-season, the rule was changed and a driver could win more than two, but would have to add weight for every win after two.  Two brothers, Kyle and Cory Casagrande, are the only ones to have surpassed that two-win mark since the rule change.  They both have three each and don’t appear to be slowing down despite the added weight.

We’ve got to wonder just what is going on these days up at Speedway 95 near Bangor, Maine.  First, we heard this week that Super Stock standout Steve Moulton has been banned for life from the track for getting out of his car under caution last week to show his displeasure at a racing call.  On Wednesday night, someone showed their displeasure in an even worse way by reportedly throwing a punch at the flagman – who is still just a teenager!  It sounds like the “Boys Have At It” philosophy is being taken to the extreme up North.

A green flag will wave at North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Carolina this Saturday for the first time in 14 years.  The PASS South event will be the first official stock car race at the historic facility since Jeff Gordon won the track’s last Cup race there in ’96.  Guys that have tested or visited the track since it was re-opened say it looks just like it did back in ’96.  That’s cool, if you’re a history buff.  But, if the place hasn’t really been cleaned up a bunch in 14 years, we’re a little scared to see what condition we’ll find the track when we get there for Trackside Now coverage on Saturday.  It’ll be a fun event and great to be back at Wilkesboro, but hopefully the time and money is spent on that place to return it to the glory it deserves.