Monday, March 26, 2012

Trip to the races makes the winter blues go away

Tony Stewart was running the back at Knoxville, Iowa in August of last year. Ever since then he stepped up his program. He went to Ohsweken in Canada and won the World of Outlaws Sprint Car feature race and ever since then he’s been on fire. His win Sunday made it 7 out of the last 15 NASCAR races that he’s won. He was 5/10 in the Chase, and he is 2 out of 3 this year. His old Crew Chief, Darian Grubb, also has a win, so the people that are around him have 8/15 races they’ve won. Zipadelli is back with him now. Zippy was his original crew chief on the #20 car. And he’s now the director of competition at Stewart-Haas racing. I wonder if the reason that Tony wanted his own team is because he had ideas on how to go faster and how to win races that other people simply weren’t listening to. It’s been an amazing run. And I personally don’t think he’s done. He’s won in every type of race: 360 Sprints, 410 Sprints, and even Karts. I know I talk a lot about Tony in my column, but the reason is that there sure is a LOT to talk about!

J.C. Howell is on our front page this week! J.C. had 6 guys helping him get two cars ready to run Saturday night at Kennedale. I think if J.C. could get enough guys he’d run a car in every class. I spotted a sign on the back of his car; I thought it was the best tail sign that I’ve seen for a while. Thank you J.C. for putting a smile in my night.

California Raceway: I was happy to see that the stands looked full at California Raceway. I’ve been sick last week after I looked at Bristol. And I finally got to my first races this year! Absolute gorgeous night at Boyd Raceway West of Fort Worth with 120 + cars and ¾ full grand stand. It was a really great evening. Brad and Missy Shirley, of Extreme Graphics, sponsored the night, and they had all the Extreme Graphics cars come out at intermission parked on the main straightaway. They let all the kids down on the track to get autographs. It was a HUGE success! Check out the pictures. The Plato family always does a great job. I first met Davey 10 years ago at Boone, IA. Met him before we came to Texas…he was an inspector at the Super Nationals.

Saturday night we went to Kennedale Speedway Park. Another 100 + car night. Great grandstand turnout and the SST Sprint Cars. Another absolute gorgeous evening! A trip to the races makes the winter blues go away. Richard Snyder and his track crew did an almost impossible task of getting the pits dried out to where they could run after five inches of rain last week. Everybody gripes about promoters who don’t try to get the show in hard enough, but that’s certainly not Richard and his crew. Hats off to them for having the pits in such great shape.

Today, this week, Sharyl and I are on our way to Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO for a tour of the track and a meet-and-greet with Forrest Lucas and his wife, Charlotte. Forrest Lucas has done more to support local racing than any other person in this country. So many people choose NASCAR as their vehicle of choice and Lucas Oil has chosen local racing. They support off road racing, circle track racing, motorcycle racing…the Lucas Oil Late Model Series is the premier late model series in the United States today. But they don’t just put their money on the big guys. Their sponsorship of the MLRA is a 3-state regional series. So it’s going to be interesting to meet Forrest Lucas and get an interview with him. The Goose says Lucas Oil Speedway is the speedway of dirt track speedways. When he found out I was going up there he told me he was jealous. I would feel real bad for Jerry, but he gets a LOT of places I don’t!

Charity Price has come on board from Arkansas. Her page is called Arkansas Diamond. Her home track is Diamond Park Speedway where she’s the track photographer. Check her out on the writers and photographers page.

I spent all day Saturday and half the day Sunday packing for the move. I will get to see two springs this year. You need to take the kids to the races because they’re the future of racing. If you don’t think so check out the pictures of Boyd.


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