Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Bronson Continues Success In A Modified; 360 Sprint Schedules Taking Shape

After winning twice and finishing second the other two times over a four race weekend in his Crate Late Model, Tampa area driver Kyle Bronson continued his hot streak with a win in his Modified during the final night of action for the Sunshine State Modified Tour at East Bay Raceway Monday night. It sounds like some tempers flared along the way as Bronson was the trigger of a multi-car pileup early in the race and I found it interesting that the race story had the headline Bronson Bullies His Way To East Bay Win.

Kewanee's Ray Bollinger had his best showing of the weekend running second with locals Steve Miller and Devin Dixon next in line while Iowa's own Mike Van Genderen completed the top five. Despite leading the points after the first four races, Van Genderen will stick with his plans to head back home and miss the final five events that are to be run at Bubba Raceway in Ocala and the North Florida Speedway near Lake City. Mike definitely left his mark competing in Florida for the first time and I wonder if series officials are hearing it from the other drivers in regard to the allowances that were given for his IMCA crate engine.

No Speed Weeks action tonight, but that will be the last break barring any weather issues until the Daytona 500 on February 21st.

It was pretty obvious way back around Thanksgiving when the Air Capital Shootout at 81 Speedway was announced that it would be an NCRA and NSL 360 event when it is run on March 25th and 26th that the NCRA was going to pair up with the National Sprint League. Today it became official when the two announced their partnership in an 18-race schedule that starts and ends at the historic oval in suburban Wichita. As I entered the dates for the next update to our master schedule though I came across a couple of interesting items that may yet to be resolved. First off there are a few dates at Junction Motor Speedway and at I-80 Speedway where the Carpetland Nebraska 360 Sprints were already on the schedule. My guess would be that these will be run as co-sanctioned events, but the same cannot be said for the July 22nd date at the Outlaw Motor Speedway in Wainwright, Oklahoma. Both the track's website and the ASCS site, as of this morning, shows this as an ASCS Red River Region event and given the relationship between the ASCS and the NSL I would think that it will have to be one or the other. Guess we will have to see how it shakes out.

As one of the co-announcers for the Shottenkirk Sprint Invaders the past three seasons I have a vested interest in their schedule and other than what I have seen on some individual tracks' websites, a full schedule of events has not yet been released. This might suggest that a similar partnership with the NSL may be in the works although the April 2nd NSL 360 date at the Randolph County Speedway in Moberly, Missouri, would go straight up against the Invaders traditional opener at 34 Raceway near Burlington. Oh well, that will be one date that I will have to miss anyway as we are traveling to a wedding that weekend.

I have also noticed that the Upper Midwest Sprint Car Series (UMSS) is also a bit later than normal in regard to releasing a schedule so perhaps they too are working on a partnership with the NSL.

I will say this, as a Sprint Car fan you will have many more races to choose from in the region this year, but I have to wonder if there will be enough cars to go around. Hope so!

For those of you who either enjoy or despise the weekly Dirt On Dirt Top 25 poll you no longer have myself, Barry Johnson or Ron Meyer to thank, or to make fun of any more depending upon how you look at it. The three of us were among the other twenty media members who are no longer being asked to participate in the weekly ballot as they have brought it all "in house" now with a team of ten. I enjoyed participating in the poll and I really appreciated the opportunity that was given to me by Todd Turner, Andy Savery, Alli Collis and the rest of the DoD staff. The poll is obviously just a collection, or "average" of opinions and even though it really doesn't mean anything it definitely creates conversation. Mostly by forum board posters who will first question the knowledge of the voters and will then illustrate just how much opinions can vary as they themselves argue it out over four or five pages of discussion.

Finally for today, I am so excited that my house phone will go back to being dormant as the political circus has now moved to New Hampshire, South Carolina and beyond. I was surprised that not one person stood up to advocate for Donald Trump in our precinct and I told my wife on the way home that this told me that he would not be the winner. Iowans can now go back to living life outside of the spotlight!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Floridians Protect Their Home Turf; Bubba Wins Speed Fest

Home state drivers were victorious in the two events held in Florida on Sunday while Bubba Pollard was the Super Late Model winner on the pavement in south Georgia.

After running three events in two days in Ocala, the Crate Late Model contingent went north to the All Tech Raceway in Lake City where Kyle Bronson wrapped up a solid weekend with a $5,000 win over a field of 22. Bronson started on the front row and led the entire distance lapping all the way up to sixth in the 50 lap main event. Max Blair was the runner-up, Joseph Joiner came from tenth to third while Walker Arthur and Rambo Franklin completed the top five. The Crates now have a choice for next weekend as they can run three nights, Thursday Friday and Saturday unsanctioned at East Bay or race the Nesmith Winter series at Golden Isles Friday and Saturday as the undercard to the Lucas Oil Late Model Series.

Roger Crouse has been a fixture at East Bay Raceway now for more than 31 years and, with his flag-to-flag win in the Sunshine State Modified Tour event there on Sunday night the Plant City resident has now won at least one feature at the track in 30 of those seasons! Young Mavrick Varnadore, another local, chased Crouse in for second with Kentucky's Trent Young in third and North Carolina traveler Nick Hoffman fourth. Kewanee's Ray Bollinger finished one spot behind NASCAR celebrity Kenny Wallace in eighth while Saturday night's winner Mike Van Genderen was tenth. After three rounds it is now Varnadore on top of the points with Van Genderen holding strong in second as the tour closes out its East Bay run with a show on Monday night. The take Tuesday off before running three events at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala and two at North Florida Speedway.

"It's been a long time coming" was Bubba Pollard's quote after winning the annual Speed Fest at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Georgia, Sunday evening. Last year at this event contact from John Hunter Nemechek late in the race sent Pollard for a spin allowing Nemecek to take the win. On Sunday the roles were reversed, and it was actually the third-place car of William Byron who was assigned the blame as a review of video determined it was Byron who made contact with Pollard who in turn spun Nemechek. The decision allowed Pollard to take the win with another young son of a former NASCAR driver, Harrison Burton in second. Minnesota's Cole Anderson had another impressive run in fifth while ARCA Midwest Tour Champion Ty Majeski was 11th.

Nemechek fared better in the Pro Late Model portion of the event as he prevailed in a three-wide battle with Chris Dilbeck and Zane Smith to win the undercard.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Florida Georgia Speed Weeks Officially Underway

Short track racing has taken the green down in Florida and Georgia and it will continue daily now through the Daytona 500 on February 21st. It has been more than 15 years since I was last able to make an extended trip south so summarizing the events here on the Back Stretch is therapeutic. I hope that you will indulge me....

There were 55 cars in the pits for the opener of the Sunshine State Modified Tour at East Bay Raceway Friday where Wisconsin's Kevin Adams held off a couple of locals Mavrick Varnadore and David Reutimann to take the win. Kewanee's Ray Bollinger finished 11th while former Hawkeye Dirt Tour champion Mike Van Genderen was 14th just behind NASCAR's Kenny Wallace.

Van Genderen would be the big story on Saturday night, not only because he would take the $5,000 top prize over a stellar field of 58, but in the manner in which he did it. Racing one spot out of a qualifying spot late in a B-Main, MVG elbowed up and scored the win to place him in the tenth row for the 75-lap main event. With the majority of the field running the middle or the cushion Van Genderen used a rough but fast bottom groove to quickly move into the top four and then it was just a matter of getting to the front and hanging on. In victory lane Mike said that his sanity had been questioned for bringing his IMCA crate engine to race against the UMP field, but on this night it was the perfect combination of power, setup of his Harris chassis and of course the talent in the driver's seat that would secure the win.

Van Genderen is now the promoter or race director at more events that he competes in and it was interesting that another track promoter and part-time racer Rodney Wing finished in the second spot. LaSalle Speedway regular Mike McKinney finished in sixth while other Illinois drivers Ray Bollinger, Allen Weisser and Jeff Leka also made the feature field. Van Genderen now has a ten point lead over Kevin Adams and Steve Miller heading into Sunday night's action at East Bay.

Fifty-three Nesmith Crate Late Models signed in for the Friday night show at Bubba Raceway Park and the podium was filled with three drivers who have had plenty of success in the Super Late Models. Three-time World of Outlaws champion Josh Richards took the lead from Kyle Bronson on lap five and then cruised to the $2,500 victory. Bronson who was one of the hottest drivers in Late Model racing at the end of 2015 held on to finish second while Dennis "Rambo" Franklin took third. Tyler Bare was the top finishing non-interloper in fourth and Don O'Neal's son Hudson was the eleventh and final car still running at the finish.

Two big features were on tap at Bubba's on Saturday as the full $3,000-to-win program would precede the makeup of the $10,000-to-win event from last Fall. In the regular program it was again Josh Richards and Kyle Bronson running up front with Richards taking the lead from the rising Florida star early and then starting to pull away. Bronson faded to fourth behind Max Blair and David Whitener mid-race but a couple of late restarts put him back in the mix and when Richards bobbled in turn two on the second one Bronson split the middle between Blair and "Kid Rocket" to take the lead. Richards came storming back though and was putting heavy pressure on Bronson only to go too low in turn three clipping the inside berm and spinning with seven laps remaining. Bronson would then pull away on the restart to take the win ahead of Blair and Whitener while the track owner's young son Tyler Clem finished fourth. Richards clawed his way back up to eighth at the checkers.

Rambo Franklin chose to sit out the regular program on Saturday and concentrate on the big money makeup race and the decision paid off with a victory. Taking the lead away from Bronson early, Franklin set a torrid pace and had lapped all but Bronson and Cale Conley before a caution waved with 11 laps remaining in the 100-lap affair. Knowing that he would not give up any tack position Bronson pitted for fresh rubber and he would make a run at Franklin over the closing laps only to come up a few car lengths short at the checkers.

Donald McIntosh is staking claim to being the King of Winter racing in the southeast as he muscled by Dale McDowell early and then ran off with the Cabin Fever 40 at Boyd's Raceway in Georgia for a $3,500 payday. The track's co-owner, McDowell finished in second ahead of Ray Cook while Jason Manley brought his steel head engine in for fourth.

Meanwhile out in the desert southwest Josh Hodges held off Friday's winner Bryan Clauson to win the USAC Sprint Car feature at Canyon Speedway on Saturday while Missouri's Hunter Marriott was the IMCA Modified feature winner.

More racing from Florida plus Speedfest in southern Georgia in Monday's Back Stretch.




Friday, January 29, 2016

My Favorites? The Last Five and The Next Five

Earlier this week when Craig Allender, aka fasttrackfan, started a poll asking for people to list their top five favorite race tracks it reminded me that I needed to update my list of tracks that I first posted on the Back Stretch back in April of 2010. My guess is that at that time there must have been a similar poll being taken since the title was Hard To Pick A Favorite Out Of This Many and what a great trip down memory lane it was for me to list a thought or two about the many tracks that I have been so fortunate to attend over the years.

In the nearly six years that have passed since then, I can now add another thirteen tracks to that list, plus one more that I later realized that I failed to mention on that first run down.

Left Off The Original List (perhaps I was trying to suppress it from memory?)

Mansfield Motorsports Park, Mansfield OH - I took a client who had always wanted to see a dirt track race to a mid-week show at this track on a hot and sunny July evening and from the first set of hot laps I knew that it was not going to be a good experience. The dust was flying from the initial green flag and with a great field of both Late Models and Sprint Cars on hand it just got worse from there. My client was a trooper though and stuck it out through the first feature race of the night was completed before she agreed with me that we needed to leave. Just like any track that I have a bad initial experience at though, I would love to go back again and see if I just caught them on a bad night.

Now on to the new ones by year.....

2010

Clarke County Speedway, Osceola IA - My friend Scott Watson asked me if I would fill in for him at this new track in south central Iowa so I can say that I was the announcer at the first ever race at this facility. The track was small with tight turns and there were no lights when it first opened, but since it was in an area that didn't have any other tracks within a fifty mile radius and knowing that the Nelson family would do a great job of promoting it I thought that it stood a pretty good chance for success. By 2014 the track had lights and the car counts had become impressive, but for some reason this past year the counts tailed off and the Nelson's announced that the track would close for good.

Mineral City Speedway, Fort Dodge IA - Now known as the Frontier Sports Park my only trip to this facility so far was for a USMTS show that was decided on the final lap when Ryan Gustin swept around Jason Krohn to take the win. Then we all scrambled to get the heck out of there before the severe weather moved in. Click this link for the story and action shots by our own Barry Johnson.

Valley Speedway, Grain Valley MO - This is one of those tracks that I love since they usually try to race until the snow flies, so when I had to catch a flight out of Kansas City early on a Sunday morning in mid-October I stopped in for a show at Valley that featured non-wing Sprint Cars. The racing was good, but a couple of caution-filled features made me hit a self-imposed curfew and I left early. Definitely a track that I want to go to again, not only for the racing action, but to thumb my nose at those in the community who tried to shut it down in 2014 due to noise complaints.

Butler Speedway, Butler MO - Made the trip down to this track for a late October day race and even though you can see it when you drive by on I-49, it would be nearly impossible to get to without detailed directions from the Speedway Directory. The racing was decent until the track locked down and I was struck by the lack of available seating at the place as the bleachers could have maybe held 400 people. It has sat idle now for at least the last two seasons.

2011

Saint Francios County Raceway, Farmington MO - Similar to my visit to Valley Speedway, I had an early Sunday morning flight out of St. Louis so after checking into my hotel near the airport I hustled down south of the city to catch the annual Queen's Royale event at this track that is one the final few that runs 410 Winged Sprint Cars on a weekly basis here in the Midwest. I saw some great racing in the heats and B-Mains, but a caution plagued Pure Stock feature that lasted over 45 minutes and even caused the starter to slam his radio headset to the floor of the flagstand caused me to enforce that self-imposed curfew again and I had to miss the grand finale. This is definitely a track that I want to get back to though as it is obvious that the promoters love racing. So much so in fact that in 2016 they are going to give the drivers of the nearby Doe Run Raceway the opportunity to race on Friday nights at SFCR until there is a decision by Doe Run as to how they will proceed after the track owner passed away unexpectedly last Fall. A very classy move on the part of the Saint Francois County Raceway.

2012

Salina Speedway, Salina KS - Morgan and I stopped at this central Kansas facility on the first night of our trip to California. The ASCS National Tour was in town and despite a smaller than expected field of Sprint Cars the show was a good one with Kevin Swindell taking the win.

Perris Auto Speedway, Perris CA - This track added the state of California to my list and I was impressed with how the track had been built so that the back stretch was actually higher than the infield. Despite the fact that there were some big haulers in the pits, you could still see all the way around the fast half-mile and the non-wing Sprint Cars put on quite a show. It was a bit of a shock though to have to pay to park on the grounds!

2013

USA Raceway, Tucson AZ - A strategically planned business trip allowed me to catch two nights of action during the Wild West Shootout and this facility shot down every preconception that I had about a dirt track in Arizona. It wasn't dry, it wasn't sandy and it wasn't one grooved around the bottom. In fact, on the first night it was almost too tacky, the perfect conditions for our friend the fasttrackfan, and Will Vaught made a nifty move on Jimmy Mars late in the race to win the main event. My first visit to Tucson was so good that I returned in 2014 for three shows and I have to say that I am a bit disappointed that this annual January event is now being moved to another track. Oh well, maybe the Arizona Speedway will be a new one for me in 2017.

Port City Raceway, Tulsa OK - On a night when I thought I would be visiting the highly touted Salina Highbanks Speedway near Pryor, scattered thunderstorms instead found Morgan and I searching for some place that was dry enough to race and we ended up at this facility that is built for the Micro Sprint crowd. I will admit that up until this night I would have never searched out a track that runs Micros, but that was because I had only ever seen them on full sized tracks before. With some rain early in the evening here as well, the track was fast, tacky and I was amazed at how great the racing was even on a smaller scale. I still need to get to the Salina Highbanks, but it will be hard to pass up a night at Port City to do so!

2014

Gas City Speedway, Gas City IN - Morgan and I had heard nothing but great things about this place so when we arrived a bit later than planned due to traffic for the Indiana Sprint Speedweek event it was no surprise to see the place packed with fans. The qualifying races were very good, but a caution-filled Modified feature then lead into a Sprint Car main event where the drivers pretty much hugged the bottom line and we left feeling that it just didn't live up to expectations. A visit with one of the drivers later at the hotel though told us that this was not a typical Gas City show so we definitely look forward to giving it another try. And next time, we will definitely get there early!

2015

Beatrice Speedway, Beatrice NE - If you clicked the link in the first paragraph you will see that it is getting kind of hard for me to add a new track within a six hour radius, but for some reason a trip to Beatrice had always eluded me. That is why I targeted the IMCA Spring Nationals as my first race for 2015 and then to have temperatures in the low 70's just made it that much better! A full field of 234 cars in four classes provided a great night of racing that necessitated not just one, but two Back Stretch entries to get it all covered. Another trip to Beatrice is definitely on my "to do" list and you never know, it might just be in another six weeks!

Dells Raceway Park, Wisconsin Dells WI - The pavement racing bug bit me hard last Fall as I followed up a long overdue trip to Oktoberfest in La Crosse with a late October one day round trip adventure to this sharp facility in a beautiful setting. It was a fun trip and if the track has this late season show on the schedule again in 2016, I will make sure that we get off to an earlier start so that my wife can spend some time at The House on The Rock along the way.

Five Flags Speedway, Pensacola FL - I have heard about the Snowball Derby for many, many years and I knew that it was a big event. But I had no idea that it was this BIG until I closed out my 2015 travels with two days of action at pavement racing's version of the Super Nationals......or The World 100. The track is lightning fast and they can definitely race two and even three wide, but unless everybody in your party is 5'8" and 150 pounds I would suggest that you purchase one "extra" reserved seat ticket so that you will have room to sit.......and breathe! I want to go again, but when I do I will be requesting a ticket at the end of a row.

So with those added I am now at 206 tracks in 26 states and I will continue to try to add to that total whenever possible. Some of the more "close by" facilities that I need to finally get to include:

In Iowa....

The Clay County Speedway in Spencer and the Sioux Speedway in Sioux Center

In Illinois......

The Charleston Speedway, the Route 45 Speedway in Flora which has just switched their sanctioning from UMP to USRA, and the Fayette County Speedway in Brownstown a track that I actually drove to one day a few years back to find that they had been rained out an hour earlier.

In Missouri.....

Central Missouri Speedway in Warrensburg and the Dallas County Speedway in Urbana are the only two still in action that I have yet to visit.

In Wisconsin there are several.....

141 Speedway, Angell Park, Columbus 151, Lafayette County, Slinger, Oshkosh Speedzone, Wilmot and Plymouth to name a few.

Chateau and Jackson would be just within that magic six hour drive in Minnesota and even though it would be a little farther drive I do need to visit the newly named Badlands Speedway in South Dakota sometime. I am surprised that I have never attended a Thursday night weekly show at US 30 Speedway in Columbus, Nebraska, and now that the dirt track at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kansas, is getting back in action that track returns to my list. The Atchison County Raceway recently announced that they will be IMCA sanctioned and this "newer" track joins the historic Belleville High Banks as couple of more facilities from the Sunflower state that are on my wish list.

With my son Morgan currently residing in Oklahoma City I am envisioning some road trips that might take us to 81 Speedway in Wichita, the Longdale Speedway, Brill's Motor Speedway, Lawton Speedway, Outlaw Speedway in Muskogee and of course the Salina Highbanks.

So as you can see, after adding only 13 new tracks over the past six years, I am going to have to live well into my 80's in order to complete this list!!

Looking back at that original list from 2010 it saddens me just how many of those tracks that were still in operation at that time have either disappeared or now sit completely idle.
The former Hawkeye Raceway near Blue Grass , Iowa

Before catching my flight to Pensacola in December I drove up into the housing addition that once was Hawkeye Raceway near Blue Grass and the old track is now an oval shaped pond for the residents to enjoy. Nobody has even mentioned the track in Aledo the past several years, Freeport is history and I have no idea whether or not the track near Macomb exists any longer. Missouri has been hard hit with Butler and Lake Ozark joining the old I-70 Speedway sitting there like ghosts next to major highways. The Benton Racepark, Poplar Buff Speedway and LA Raceway have all closed in the last two years and after making a brief come back recently the Montgomery County Speedway is growing weeds once again. One bright sign for the Show Me state though is that the Missouri State Fair Speedway in Sedalia that sat idle for two full seasons returned to action with one event in 2015 and for 2016 they have one race per month scheduled from April though October.

With some of my favorites close to home now scaled back to special events only it just goes to show that you should appreciate each visit you make to any given race track because you never know, it might just be your last. So with that in mind Craig, my answer to your poll question would be the last five tracks that I attended......and they will be replaced by the next five that I am going to!

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You Sprint Car fans will probably tell me that I am late to the game, but I stumbled upon this great website Sprintdudes.com this week, and I hate to say it but I cringed when Richard Allen posted a link to his own blog from Inside Dirt Racing today on the 4m message board. Despite the fact that he specifically states that poorly run tracks should get some criticism it is obvious from the follow up responses that his true message isn't getting through. No Richard, no matter how well thought out your effort is, you will never convince an AWP that constantly bitching about a track or promoter on the internet will not help the situation.

The rain that has delayed the start of Speed Weeks in Florida appears to be over for now so the Nesmith Crate Late Models will kick off a big weekend in Ocala tonight while the Sunshine State Modified Tour will take the green at East Bay Raceway with Iowa's own Mike Van Genderen as one of the entries. The pavement short track crowd will be in Cordele, Georgia, for SpeedFest this weekend with big events for both the Super Late Models and the Pro Late Models.

All of this will start revving me up me up for the start of the 2016 season in our neck of the woods, but just the fact that I can still see the sun when I leave work at five o'clock has already started that process!

Enjoy your weekend!







Saturday, January 23, 2016

Saturday Notebook: January 23, 2016

Happy Birthday Mom!

In addition to my normal Saturday morning routine of listening to the Racin' Boys online I also have the Weather Channel on just to see how crazy things are out east with winter storm Jonas. Hard to believe that here in southeast Iowa we have had less than 10 inches of snow overall for the entire winter so far while these major population centers are getting two or three times that in just one shot. What a mess!

The storm wiped out the one scheduled racing event east of the Rockies this weekend as the Cabin Fever event for Super Late Models at Boyd's Raceway in north Georgia has been pushed back to next weekend where temperatures are expected to rebound back into the 60's. Road trip?

The most recent update of the Midwest special events schedule that you can find on the Calendar page at Positively Racing has more than 900 shows on it now and when Webmistress Sue has time to upload it you will now find the Deery Brothers Summer Series and Hawkeye Dirt Tour dates for 2016.

It is good to see Davenport back on the Deery schedule and they will open the series in grand fashion on Friday April 8th with the Rebel 5K paying $5,000 to the winner. The abnormal calendar in 2015 when Labor Day was as late as it could be piled up the Fall Specials and caused some frustration for promoter Bob Wagener with IMCA and the Rebel debuted as a non-sanctioned event last year. It is good to now see that everybody is back on the same page and that the long running series is back at one of the sanctioning body's most successful weekly tracks.

It is also good to see the Iowa State Fair Speedway back on the schedule after a on year absence. No, the July 29th date is not during the Iowa State Fair, but this will be an opportunity for drivers and fans to show the Fair just how much they would support a show in Des Moines. Another subtle change is the annual stop at the IMCA Super Nationals in Boone as instead of the traditional Labor Day Monday date, the Late Models will now run a full show on Thursday September 8th. Taking the place of the Late Models will be the Southern Sport Mods as they will now get their one night to shine at the Super Nationals on Monday.

Sandwiched around the Boone stop the Deery series will conclude in fine fashion with a pair of two-day shows during the Yankee Dirt Classic at Farley and the Liberty 100 in West Liberty. With a restructured purse and a points payout mid-season it is obvious that IMCA is listening to those who have said that the series has been "stale" the last couple of years, a claim that frankly I don't understand. The IMCA Late Model rules are such that "outsiders" cannot just pull in for an event and it makes no sense to try to make the series drivers travel outside of their general area. The Deery series is made to give weekly racers an opportunity to race for some bigger purses and do some minimal traveling and they have been doing it right for nearly thirty years now. Given the goals of the series, perhaps "stale" is a compliment.

There are nine dates on the 2016 Hawkeye Dirt Tour for IMCA Modifieds with a few interesting items to note. The Benton County Speedway in Vinton has traditionally hosted the opener and that will happen once again, but instead of a Tuesday night in mid-May it will now be on Memorial Day Monday May 30th. The West Liberty Raceway has one of the strongest weekly roster of IMCA Modifieds in the Midwest right now and they will be a tough bunch to beat when the HDT makes its first ever visit to the historic half-mile oval on Tuesday June 14th making for one heck of a doubleheader with the Deery Brothers Summer Series. The Iowa State Fair Speedway in Des Moines is another new venue for the Tour with a Tuesday July 19th showing and on the following night it moves to the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa. Then, to make it a mid-week tripleheader, the Tour returns to the Knoxville Raceway on Thursday June 21st and while in the past this has been during the Harris Clash, in 2016 this date will be on its own merit as the Clash has been scheduled for Tuesday August 9th at the Hamilton County Speedway in Webster City. The Clash is not on the HDT schedule.

The Hawkeye Dirt Tour will join the Deery Series for another big doubleheader at the Cedar County Raceway in Tipton on Tuesday August 2nd before heading west eight days later to close out the schedule at the Buena Vista Raceway in Alta.

It is interesting though that as of right now the USMTS is showing a Southern Iowa Speedway date on Tuesday July 19th, the same night as the HDT stop in Des Moines and just one night before the HDT event at the same track in Oskaloosa.

One of the things that I love about Scott and Kirk (Racin' Boys) is that they enthusiastically support the dirt track drivers who move on to the NASCAR ranks and they have been predicting Kyle Larson's first Cup win almost weekly for two years now. With Rico Abreu stepping into a full-time Truck series ride for 2016 maybe that will take some of their focus off of Larson as today they were already asking NASCAR journalist supreme Lee Spencer whether or not Rico will get his first win in 2016.

Well, with not much else going on this weekend, maybe I will get more of Gary Lee's Pit Pictures uploaded to the Positively Racing Facebook page. Take a look if you get a chance, after all you don't have any shoveling to do!