Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday Notebook: July 24, 2014

There are a bunch of special events and Fair races going on tonight and while I cannot make it to any of them due to other commitments, I hope that you can and that Mother Nature treats each of them well.

Another week and another blogger trying to find one general reason for "what is wrong with racing". I admit it, I am just as guilty as I have done my fair share of the same thing as you will see if you work your way back through the Back Stretch archives. This particular missive goes for something that is plainly obvious, racing is expensive, using the old argument that the races of today pay essentially the same as they did decades ago. The difference with this one is that the writer is specifically talking about "big time" Late Model specials and so he does have some valid points. Those who want to use the "it pays the same now as it did in 1974 argument" for weekly racing are only looking at what the winner's share of the purse was. Due to better paybacks, including tow money, plus the proliferation of classes from one or two, to five, six or seven, today's "total" weekly purses are likely five times higher than they were in the "good old days" and I have written about that in more detail somewhere along the line. If I find it, I will link you back to it again.

Two things stuck out to me though as I read this article. One is that I feel that he is being a bit hard on promoters acting as though they are stuck in the past and not looking to bring new sponsors into the sport. "Sponsors are leaving NASCAR because it has become too expensive for them. Why isn’t someone from our sport going after them?" A couple of specific examples would have been nice, but my first thought was that if a sponsor that had been spending money in NASCAR and getting that type of exposure including live television and a nationwide audience would likely be a tough sell even for a national dirt late model series that draws what, four or five thousand people a race and really doesn't travel across the entire country. I think that dirt racing almost needs to look in the opposite direction taking that little business that is on the rise and showing them how our sport can help facilitate the process. Who will be the next Casey's General Stores? A sponsor that has continued to increase its support of our sport and one that we race fans in return, can also support their growth.

Call me repetitive, but the one line that I enjoyed the most though was this one. "I didn’t include heats because I can count on one hand the number of passes I’ve seen in heats in the last 4 years". I wonder why?

The author, member ShawnStreet, concludes with "Creativity, or lack thereof, is killing our sport." Personally, I am waiting for a Dirt Late Model series to spring up that qualifies and then handicaps the starts to PROMOTE racing and even tie in the purse structure to how many cars a driver passed during the night. For example, win from the front row and you get $5,000, but win from the fifth row on back and you get $10,000. Perhaps I need to go find one of those sponsors leaving NASCAR and see how creative I can be?

The final stats on the 2014 UMP Summer Nationals. Of the twenty-eight races completed, twenty were won from the front row, seven from the second row and one from the third row. The 2014 Hell Tour champion Shannon Babb was the driver who made that stellar fifth to front run at the Farley Speedway after race-long leader, and front row starter, Billy Moyer blew a tire with nine laps remaining. I was there in person at three of the events and I watched the rest of them on video and I will say that some of those races where the winner started on the front row were still pretty darn good, especially the one at 34 Raceway where eventual winner Billy Moyer started on the pole, but slipped back to fourth on the opening lap. You do have to admit though that it is an interesting stat that 27 of 28 of the events were won by a driver who also won a heat race and, keep in mind, that the heat races were lined straight up by qualifying times. How do these stats compare to the other touring Late Model series? I don't know, but perhaps this Fall and Winter I will take the time to research as it will be need for my sponsorship proposal.

The argument from a week or two ago stating that negativity on the internet will eventually kill our sport at first got a lot of support on forums and through "shares" on Facebook before the tide slowly turned and several people started to say that it was essentially a bunch of bull****. If you clicked on the link that I just provided you will see that I too was a bit skeptical of how committed to this attitude the anonymous writer was going to be after revealing the attitude that he or she had toward promoters, race officials and the other drivers. I'll say it again, the internet is not the problem, it is only the facilitator for people who cannot take the time to consider the entire situation.

I have been amused though to watch just who is striking back at the theory that negativity on the internet is damaging the sport. You guessed it, the same people who have consistently used forums and Facebook to piss, moan and generally complain about some injustice that they feel had been done to them. Surprise, surprise.....

In my story from Knoxville on Saturday night I closed it out with something that one of the track's two new announcers said that was completely opposite of what has been done in the past. What I failed to do was to also provide some support to the two young men who are now handling the announcing duties at the famed Sprint Car facility, Kris Krug and Kyle Luetters. Being a new announcer at Knoxville is no easy task no matter how much experience you bring to the table and, when your partner is also "new" to the speedway, that just puts the spotlight on you even brighter. The last time this scenario played out at Knoxville was in 1998 when this ol' "taxi cab" announcer was paired up with Tony Bokhoven who had moved from pitside to the booth that year. We were no Jack Herwehe and Tim Trier, nor did we ever feel that we could be, and thank goodness there was no social media in those days where people could openly complain about our learning process. Kris and Kyle, keep up the good work and develop your own style, you are doing just fine! Just please don't ask people to stand up at the start of a race again. :)

How about that Truck Race at Eldora last night? Three and four-wide action, slidejobs, wall banging, on the track lead changes, what more could you want? As I was watching this though I had to wonder, how do the people who normally watch the trucks race feel about this? Are we just dirt track fans that are taking pride in the action that the surface can provide, or did the folks who like the standard pavement racing enjoy it as well? The drivers sure seem to love it which makes you wonder if NASCAR will next look into a similar event with perhaps the Nationwide Series?

And did you notice that it was Iowa's own Toby Kruse who handled the pre-race introductions trackside at Eldora? One of the best announcers you will find anywhere Toby does not take to the mic as often as he used to now that he is also a track owner and promoter.

Christopher Bell topped an impressive field of MOWA 410 Winged Sprint Cars as Illinois Sprint Speedweek kicked off in Highland last night. Bell is quickly becoming "the next Kyle Larson" and he just recently filed an entry to run for Rookie-of-the-Year honors at the 2014 FVP Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey's General Stores. A short track phenom who won the World of Outlaws show at the quarter-mile Jacksonville Speedway a month ago, it will be interesting to see how Bell adapts to the big half-mile at Knoxville.

Enjoy your racing weekend and hopefully it starts early tonight! Nothing for me this weekend, but I do believe that a Casey's pizza sounds good right now.....

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Knoxville Returns To Action; Henderson, Zomer and Kline In Victory Lane

Having been rained out five of the last seven weeks, drivers and fans alike were excited to return to the Knoxville Raceway Saturday night. And, with perfect weather forecast, and delivered, the pits were full with ninety-seven Sprint Cars across three divisions and a large crowd filed in on 3M night at the speedway. With the two weeks of Nationals quickly approaching several drivers were doing double duty and two of them would find victory lane on the evening while the third winner was hoisting a trophy at Knoxville for the very first time.

Wayne Johnson and Ian Madsen brought the field down for the green in the twenty-lap feature for the 410 division with Johnson racing to the lead. As one of the six drivers who raced in both the 410's and the 360's on the night, Johnson was hoping to improve on his DNF in the 360 main, but his lead was short-lived as Madsen drove by him on lap three. The caution waved on lap seven when Brad Loyet slowed at the top of turn two and on the restart it was Justin Henderson who would now race to second and try to keep pace with the Aussie Madsen. The interval between the top two remained between five to ten car lengths until lap fifteen when lapped traffic became a consideration. Madsen handled it well but when he would have to change from his preferred line it gave Henderson the opening that he was looking for and when the white flag waved you had a new leader. Madsen tried to find his way back to the front on the final lap, but it was not to be as Justin Henderson recorded his sixth career feature win at the Knoxville Raceway. Madsen was second, Johnson took third, Dusty Zomer wrapped up a solid night for him in fourth, more on that in a moment, and Brian Brown made a bold move in turn three on the final lap to steal away the fifth spot from Sammy Swindell. Clint Garner, Terry McCarl, Davey Heskin and Craig Dollansky completed the top ten.

Calvin Landis would set the pace for the opening laps of the 18-lap main event for the 360's before yielding to Dusty Zomer on lap three. Zomer then quickly opened up a full straightaway lead before the race was slowed on lap six for debris off of Sawyer Phillips' car in turn one. Once back to green Zomer again put some good distance on the field and he would have no problem cruising to the feature win. The battle for second was a good one though that saw Justin Henderson nip Landis at the finish line by a fraction of a second. Jamie Ball posted a solid fourth-place showing ahead of the veteran Jeff Swindell, Joe Beaver was sixth followed by Lee Grosz, Russ Hall. Jarrod Schneiderman and Jason Johnson.

Devin Kline is in his first season of wheeling a 305 cubic inch winged sprint car as part of the Larry Ball Jr. led team and he looked nothing at all like a rookie when he pulled away from the field at the drop of the green for the fifteen-lap main event. With a full field on hand for the division the traffic was thick and while Kline handled it nicely, it still allowed for veteran driver J Kinder to quickly close the gap and with just five laps remaining Kinder went storming past for the lead. Most drivers, let alone a rookie, would have been done at that point, but Kline used the traffic to his advantage to regain the lead on the following lap and he then held on over the final four circuits around the legendary half-mile to score his first career feature win. Veterans Kinder and Steve Breazeale would settle for second and third on this night while the native Hawaiian Keoni Texeira was fourth. Kevin Hetrick picked up fifth-place money ahead of Stacey Alexander and Jeff Wilke while Mitchell Alexander, Kade Higday and Mike Philbin completed the top ten.

Knoxville Knotes......35 410's, 34 360's and 28 305's made up the 97-car field and, at least as far as my memory serves, that is as many as has been seen here since the track went to three divisions for the weekly program......It was also the first time that I could remember that a B-Main was needed for the 305 division. There have been nights where the class has drawn more than 24 cars, but attrition during prelims would trim the field to the point where the last chance qualifier would not be needed...... Besides Henderson, Zomer and Wayne Johnson, the other double-duty drivers were Jamie Ball, Bronson Maeschen and Jason Johnson...... Sammy Swindell has stepped away from the World of Outlaws schedule to focus on Knoxville and after setting quick time he dropped to seventh on the first lap of his heat race, then came back to take the fifth and final transfer spot. Sammy then started eighth in the feature and he was running fifth until the final set of turns when Brian Brown slipped under him on the bottom of turn three.....Rico Abreu was also looking to get some more Knoxville experience tonight and after failing to transfer from his heat, Abreu was the final transfer out of the B-Main putting him at the back of the 24-car feature field. Rico made some big progress early but then settled into a 14th-place finish......Young Harli White of Lindsay, Oklahoma, made her first-ever appearance at the Knoxville Raceway in the 360 division and if you are not familiar with her story, or if you just want to hear it again, check out this ESPN feature. Harli timed in 25th out of 34 cars and then  failed to transfer from her heat race. In the B-Main though she started fifth, moved to fourth and then held on to the checkers to earn the final transfer to the main event where she then got several laps of experience finishing 21st. I wouldn't be surprised to see her back in two weeks for the Arnold Motor Supply Knoxville 360 Nationals.....California driver Chase Johnson was impressive in his first Knoxville appearance finishing twelfth in the 360 main event......Odessa, Texas, driver Josh Baughman won the third 360 heat in fine fashion and then ran 20th in the feature......305 fast qualifier Matthew Stelzer had motor issues in his heat race that then scratched him for the rest of the night.....Nobody was more frustrated than infield announcer extraordinaire Mike Roberts when the PA system went down just before Devin Kline pulled into victory lane. It would have been great to hear Kline's immediate reaction to scoring his first win so early in his rookie season, but his joy could still be heard twenty minutes later when Roberts interviewed him while Dusty Zomer scrambled to strap into his 410 car after celebrating his win in the 360 division.....I was dumbfounded when just as the 410 feature field entered turn three looking for the green, one of the new Knoxville announcers encouraged the fans to get up onto their feet for the start of the main event. I hope that it was just because they had missed the parade lap while completing the feature lineup, but if not somebody needs to let them in on a tradition at the Knoxville Raceway that goes back to at least as far as legendary announcer Jack Miller. Miller could generate excitement from the crowd better than anyone else, but he always took a moment just before the feature would start to remind everybody that "when everybody sits, everybody sees" and when I first heard those words at age thirteen I really appreciated it because I was well short of the six foot three inches that I finally grew to. All of the announcers who have followed him, Tim Trier, Jack Herwehe, myself, Tony Bokhoven, Justin Zoch, Blake Anderson and others, have kept that tradition alive here because it is absolutely true. When everybody sits, everybody sees, including the kids who are so vital to the future of this sport. This is not NASCAR, this is Knoxville, where you do not have to create the illusion of excitement by having the fans stand up. The excitement starts with the drop of Doug Clark's green flag and everybody should have the opportunity to be able to see it!

Get out to the track of your choice soon and we will see you on the Back Stretch.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ableson and Lowry Top Large Fields At The Harris Clash

The 23rd edition of the annual Harris Clash at the Knoxville Raceway proved once again that it is the premier one-night show for Modified drivers and fans. Eighty IMCA Modifieds and sixty IMCA Northern Sport Mods somehow crammed into the infield and a solid crowd gathered on a near perfect Thursday evening in July for central Iowa and what followed was over four hours of non-stop racing action, well.....outside of a few on-track incidents.

A field of twenty-seven Modifieds lined up for the twenty-five lap finale of the evening and 2011 Harris Clash winner Eric Dailey was a part of much of the early story lines. Dailey drew the pole position and as the green flag waved his fellow front row starter Aaron Turnbull and he quickly separated themselves from the rest of the field. Turnbull and Dailey already had a half straightaway advantage on the pack as they raced into turn three on lap two, but that was when the first caution waved as Cory Wray nosed hard into the turn two guardrail.

Withe the Delaware-style double file restarts being used, Dailey chose the inside position of the first row behind the leader and when the green flag waved his #7 was slow to come up to speed and he dropped back to fifth before getting to turn one. Now back up to speed Dailey pedaled hard down the back stretch trying to make up the ground that he had just lost, but when Ryan Ruter had to check up for just a second in turn three, Dailey drove into the back of him and flattened a tire causing Ruter to stop and pull the caution.

As Ruter's crew scrambled to change the tire and repair the body damage before rejoining the back of the field, Dailey again lined up on the low side of the first double row and once again his car faltered briefly as the green flag waved. This time Richie Gustin made contact with Dailey as he tried to dodge him on the front stretch. Despite the damage Gustin was now up to second and chased the leader Turnbull down the back stretch only to have a tire go down just as he entered turn three. With Gustin slowing on the high side the green light stayed on and as Dailey raced off of turn four, again his car lost speed for moment and that sent the rest of the pack scrambling to get around him. Mayhem ensued as two-time defending champion Kyle Strickler and early hard chargers Colt Mather, Todd Shute and Jesse Sobbing collided with Strickler nearly going upside down. Strickler's car ended up near the guardrail at the entrance to turn one while Mather and Sobbing had their cars locked together up against the railing midway down the front stretch. Sobbing who had already advanced six spots from his ninth row starting position gingerly climbed from his car and limped back to the pits as the Hewitt's wrecker crew went to work on trying to figure out how to separate the two tangled Modifieds.

During the lengthy red Dailey went to the pits with obvious mechanical issues and Strickler, with the assistance of crew members of several other drivers, somehow made enough repairs on his damaged car to allow him to again join the field as they thundered back to green. The caution immediately waved again though when Kevin Stoa spun in turn two and both Strickler and Ruter returned to the work area for one last chance at repairs. Once back to green the Canadian Turnbull had a new set of challengers headed up by Kurt Kile who is no stranger to fast half-miles as he races every Saturday night at the West Liberty Raceway. Kile would keep Turnbull honest, but could never mount a full challenge while some of the fastest laps during this green flag segment were being posted by the crippled cars of Strickler and Ruter.

The caution waved again with nine laps remaining when Jacob Murray stopped in turn three and as the field lined up for the restart there was a new contender to be considered. Chris Ableson had started next to Jesse Sobbing in row nine and the Sioux City driver who last year saw his Harris Clash bid come to an early ending when he flipped in hot laps was now sitting in the fifth position. Ableson quickly moved to third on the restart and then two laps later he powered past Kile for the second spot. "Sioux City Excitement" was not done yet though as he drove past Turnbull on lap twenty and then pulled away over the final five laps to score his first Harris Clash title in impressive fashion.

Turnbull crossed the line in second, but then came up too light at the scales so he was disqualified giving the official runner-up honors to current Hawkeye Dirt Tour point leader Mike Van Genderen. Kile would collect third-place money, Luke Wanninger was fourth after starting sixteenth and somehow Strickler brought his #8 home in fifth. Making up the rest of the top ten were Jeff Stephens, Andrew Schroeder, Levi Nielsen, Jeff Joldersma and Ryan Ruter. Provisional starter Jay Noteboom came from 27th to finish eleventh.

Twenty-four of the best Sport Mod drivers anywhere took the green for twenty-laps and $1,000-to-win with Dustin Crist of St. Joseph, Missouri, pulling out to the early advantage. Things got wild just after the first lap was scored though when Dylan Book turned hard to the right and made contact with the front stretch railing just before the flagstand. Book's car ended up sideways just entering turn one and when some of the drivers atthe back were still racing hard toward the cushion Mike Stark made heavy contact with Book and then collected Matt Lettow.

Accident cleanup took several minutes and during that time something must have happened with the leader's car as Crist could not re-fire and had to be pushed back into the infield. This would now put Brett Lowry on the point for the restart and he took full advantage of the opportunity. While the field shuffled for position behind him, Lowry eased away from them lap by lap and when the checkered flag waved he enjoyed a full straightaway advantage. Cody Olsen methodically worked his way from fifth to second over the final six laps with Ty Luellen finishing in third. Matthew Looft would finish in the fourth spot, Minnesota driver Jerry Boumeester was fifth, Bob Sutherland finished where he started in sixth and seventh went to Taylor Musselman. Jim Gillenwater drew the very back of his heat and raced his way forward all night to take eighth in the feature, Clint Luellen was ninth and Ryan Fullenkamp completed the top ten.

You can click here for a full run down of results on the Knoxville Raceway website that was being manned last night by our Positively Racing colleague Eric Arnold.

With the huge car count, the two red-flag incidents, the extra division with the Dirt Trucks and surprisingly not using the "one-spin and you're in" rule during qualifying races, the show ran late with the final checkers waving around 11:40. But as usual the quality of racing made up for the extra time that needed to be invested to see it and we will once again look forward to the 2015 Harris Clash!

With forty-two nights of racing already in the book for 2014 and having been at the track on six of the past seven nights I am now going to take a break with my next "scheduled" event being the opening night of the Arnold Motor Supply 360 Knoxville Nationals on Thursday July 31st. That is unless Morgan is successful in convincing his mother that the three of us should return to Knoxville again this Saturday night. :)

Keep checking in on the Back Stretch though for news and notes on what is going on in racing around the area and I do hope that you will be at the track enjoying the races again soon!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

One Night Off and Dirt Late Model Rankings

After five straight nights of racing and nearly 1,200 miles of windshield time I made a late decision on Wednesday to take a night off before heading up to the Harris Clash tonight at the Knoxville Raceway.

I understand that I missed a great night of racing that included the induction of the first five members of the Southern Iowa Speedway Hall of Fame. All are very well-deserved of the honor and I do regret that I was not there to see it, especially for two of those drivers, Denny Banks and Bobby Greiner Jr., that I have enjoyed being around for many years not only at Osky but at the other area tracks where I worked and they raced.

One of this year's nominees was my old favorite Mel Morris and on Facebook this morning Sue McDaniel shared a picture of somebody wearing an old racing jacket of his. My Mel Morris jacket doesn't fit me anymore.....

For a full report on Wednesday's show at Osky take a look at the 4dFan Report.

Hope to see you tonight at the Harris Clash. Here are the current "Back Stretch" National Dirt Late Model Standings.

The "Back Stretch"
Dirt Late Model Points Through 7/16
Pos. Driver Hometown Points
1 . Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg TN 162
2 . Jimmy Owens Newport TN 122
3 . Darrell Lanigan Union KY 116
4 . Don O'Neal Martinsville IN 115
5 . Billy Moyer Batesville AR 104
6 . Bobby Pierce Oakwood IL 90
7 . Jonathan Davenport Blairsville GA 79
8 . Brandon Sheppard New Berlin IL 76
9 . Rick Eckert York PA 66
10 . John Blankenship Williamson WV 61
11 . Steve Francis Ashland KY 60
12 . Shannon Babb Mowequa IL 56
13 . Brian Birkhofer Muscatine IA 53
14 . Billy Moyer Jr. Batesville AR 52
15 . Dale McDowell Chickamauga GA 52
16 . Tim McCreadie Watertown NY 50
17 . Brian Shirley Chatham IL 49
18 . Chris Madden Gray Court SC 49
19 . Gregg Satterlee Rochester Mills PA 49
20 . Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville FL 46
21 . Mike Marlar Winfield TN 45
22 . Terry Phillips Springfield MO 45
23 . Ryan Unzicker El Paso IL 44
24 . Jason Feger Bloomington IL 42
25 . Eddie Carrier Jr. Salt Rock WV 40
26 . Ryan Gustin Marshalltown IA 38
27 . Brady Smith Solon Springs WI 33
28 . Casey Roberts Toccoa GA 32
29 . Kent Robinson Bloomington IN 30
30 . Billy Ogle Jr. Knoxville TN 29
31 . Morgan Bagley Longview TX 29
32 . Jason Hiett Lincoln AL 28
33 . Justin Kay Wheatland IA 28
34 . Riley Hickman Ooletwah TN 28
35 . Brandon Overton Appling GA 27
36 . Eric Wells Hazard KY 26
37 . Jason Covert York Haven PA 26
38 . Jimmy Mars Elk Mound WI 26
39 . Tim Fuller Watertown NY 26
40 . Devin Moran Dresden OH 25
41 . Chub Frank Sugar Grove PA 24
42 . Jackie Boggs Grayson KY 24
43 . Dennis Erb Jr. Carpentersville IL 23
44 . Duane Chamberlain Richmond IN 23
45 . Randy Korte Highland IL 22
46 . Shane Clanton Locust Grove GA 22
47 . Russell Erwin Beaverdam VA 21
48 . Jared Landers Batesville AR 19
49 . Jason Fitzgerald Jacksonville FL 19
50 . Jesse Stovall Galena MO 19


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Change Of Heart For Good? Or Just For The Moment?

(For those of you looking for Hawkeye Dirt Tour stories from Oskaloosa and Donnellson, scroll on down)

There was an interesting article from Dirt Racing Connection that was posted on the IowaStockCars forum this morning and I have seen it shared by a few people on Facebook as well today.

If you have not read it yet, take a moment to do so by clicking here and then come back to read my thoughts below.

When I first read through this my initial reaction was "nice to see that the idea is catching on.......too bad that it took years and a steady decline in attendance before it did." After all, the Positively Racing website was born five years ago when it became obvious that the negativity on the internet was having an effect on the sport that we love.

But when I read through the letter again there were three things that jumped out at me that make me wonder just how much of a terror this anonymous race fan was on the internet prior to this sudden, but perhaps not permanent change of heart....

1. "Some think greedy promoters, and overpowering series are a problem. They may be, they may not be".....In my book promoters are supposed to be greedy. Do you think that Humpy Wheeler, Hugh Deery, Al Freiden, Howard Tiedt, etc., etc. were not trying to make some money? To be "greedy" and to be successful at it you need to build your program and the best way to do that is to find that magical mix that makes both your drivers and your fans happy. Yet whenever somebody does go out and puts on a show that is a big success some fans act like it is a sin that the "greedy" promoter made so much money. We need "greedy" promoters, because their success depends on building up a program for the long term!

2. "Two weeks ago I was at a local track, not my home track, and not a track I frequent very often. They did the most bizarre, and disrespectful thing to the driver I was there supporting. It was awful, and extremely un-professional. I would have loved nothing more than to come home, get on Facebook and tell everybody that could see just how terrible it was. What would it have done for me? I wasn’t going back, I knew the driver probably wasn’t going back. What would I have to gain by trying to make them suffer?"......okay does anybody else find this a bit creepy? Obviously this fan has used the internet in the past to punish those who made a call that went against his/her driver. I cannot tell you how often I have been at a race where I have watched the officials make a difficult call and do it exactly by the letter of the rules only to see someone on the internet the next day lambasting them for cheating their favorite driver. As in any sport, whenever an official has to make a call somebody is going to like it and somebody is not. If you don't like it, perhaps you should get the opinion of someone who is not biased before you set out to "make them suffer" on Facebook.

3.  "We take a rainout policy that we didn’t like and we act like a driver just got flipped over on purpose, and the promoter just looked on and started laughing at the guy as he was crawling from his destroyed car." ......Holy cow, where in the world does this analogy even exist??? The standard rainout policy has been in effect for as long as I can remember. If you don't like it, go to the Weather Channel's forum and complain there.

The premise of the article is good no doubt, but given the way that it was presented I am skeptical that the author will stick by it as it does not show that he or she has resolved the root issues of how they think about promoters and race officials in the first place.

The internet isn't the problem folks, it is just the facilitator of information that is being spread by people who think that promoters are greedy, that officials deliberately make calls that go against you or your favorite driver for no good reason and that one of those greedy promoters would actually stand by and laugh at a driver who is crawling out of his destroyed race car. Those are the "fans" that I wish would just stay home because after all, that smartphone is just sitting right there, ready and waiting to make someone suffer once again.