Monday, January 23, 2012

Wild West Wraps Up; Knoxville's Friday Night Improves

It is not often that I will tell you to keep an eye out for a certain driver and then they actually go out and win, so I do have to applaud Morgan Bagley on his victory in the finale of the Wild West Shootout on Sunday. The Longview, Texas, driver inherited the lead when Billy Moyer broke a rear end and then outran Tim McCreadie and John Anderson to take the win, his first on a “big stage” and likely not his last.

After making the feature the first two nights, the rest of the week did not go well for Justin Kay although he did just come up one spot short of making Sunday’s main event out of the third B-Main. Iowan Chris Simpson won that race and advanced along with Will Vaught, Steve Isenberg and Terry Phillips while Kay was fifth ahead of Shannon Babb. Look for Justin to parlay this pre-season experience into some big things back home this season!

Simpson was solid in the A-Main on Sunday15th and advancing to seventh at the checkers.

Kudos to Modified driver Brad Dierks who snared a fourth-place finish in Wednesday night’s show racing against some of the top drivers in the country.

Action now shifts to the southeast part of the country with a pair of non-sanctioned Late Model events this coming Saturday at North Florida Speedway in Lake City and at Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, Georgia. Then “Speedweeks” kicks into high gear on February 10th with Late Model racing just about every night in Georgia and then Florida through the 25th.

No trip south for me again this year due to one last tuition payment, but hopefully a return to Florida in 2013 will fit into the budget. The Lee County Speedway will be as far south as I go for a race in February with their race on the 11th and then in March a trip down to Springfield, Missouri, for the rescheduled Turkey Classic on the 10th is on the table. However, a run to the state championship game by the Mount Pleasant Panthers would just have to take precedence over that one if it happens!

I love the changes that have been made to the Friday night program at the Knoxville Nationals. The revised format will make a night that has in the past seen the feature winner earning the 11th starting spot in Saturday’s C-Main so much more exciting as now the top four in the Friday feature will start 17th through 20th in the Championship A-Main on Saturday. I do however wonder how a night of adverse weather will be handled as, in the past, a rainout on Wednesday, Thursday or even Friday would result in the “Friday” program being run during the day on Saturday, or in at least one case being run on a Sunday night after the Championship night was completed on Saturday. I would guess that the day race on Saturday would still be an option, but it would carry so much more significance now than it has in the past. And, either way, that is a good thing!

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