Quick Time: World 100 edition of racing's recap
By Todd TurnerDirtonDirt.com managing editor
Take a quick lap around the proverbial dirt track with managing editor Todd Turner for roundup of Dirt Late Model racing through the latest weekend of action. Quick Time, one of the newest features of our website, will appear every Wednesday at DirtonDirt.com:
Frontstretch: World 100 streaks
Top five streaks that could be extended at this weekend's World 100:
• Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, will go for his 10th straight start in Dirt Late Model racing's most prestigious event. The longest all-time streak is 17 in a row by winless Freddy Smith from 1981-'97.
• Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., is going for his fifth straight top-five finish, a feat only accomplished by two other drivers (Jeff Purvis from '82-86 and Scott Bloomquist from '93-97).
• The race will go for its eighth straight year without a flag-to-flag winner. Dan Schlieper of Pewaukee, Wis., last led all 100 laps in 2003.
• If Brad Neat of Dunnville, Ky., makes the feature for the seventh consecutive year — and doesn't finish in the top 10 — he'll extend the longest streak of features without a top-10 finish and the most races any driver has made without a top 10.
• It's been 13 years since a car numbered higher than 75 has won, going back to Donnie Moran (No. 99) in '97. Bart Hartman's 2009 victory in his No. 75 marks the only driver to win with a car number higher than No. 25 (Shane Clanton) since Moran's victory.
Turn 1: Drivers of the Week
National: Up-and-coming star Jared Hawkins of Fairmont, W.Va., turned back invaders on the UFO and World of Outlaws circuits with a pair of victories at Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, W.Va., in earning more than $30,000 on the Black Diamond 125 weekend.
Regional: Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., returned to his WISSOTA roots with a pair of Minnesota victories in traditional Labor Day weekend events. He earned $2,500 at Proctor Speedway's Silver 1000 and another $3,500 in the second half of Hibbing Raceway's Labor Day Shootout doubleheader. Honorable mention: Dillan White of Crofton, Ky., picked up a pair of Indiana victories, first at Lawrenceburg Speedway and then with a $2,500 Ted Collins Memorial triumph at Twin Cities Raceway Park in North Vernon, Ind.
Weekly: Bill Leighton Jr. of Omaha, Neb., swept Sunday's action at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb., winning the NASCAR weekly division feature as well as topping 44 entrants in the night's Super Late Model Racing Series tour event.
Crate: Jason Wines of Lebanon, Ore., swept the DAA Extreme Crate Late Model Series weekend at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wash., and Willamette Speedway in his hometown. Honorable mention: Andrew Satterlee of Rochester, Mills., Pa., notched his fourth straight Fastrak Crate feature at Dog Hollow Speedway in Strongstown, Pa.
Turn 2: Weekly racing tidbits
• In winning Saturday at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, Rocket Chassis co-founder Steve Baker of Morgantown, W.Va., notched his 100th career victory at the track.
• There were two drivers in victory lane briefly at East Bay Raceway Park on Saturday when David Schmauss questioned a late-race penalty for jumping the start. Bryan Bernhardt of Clearwater, Fla., turned out to be the winner.
• In capturing the 26th annual McBee/Hays Championship at Hagerstown Speedway, Rusty Sites of St. Thomas, Pa., earned his first Super Late Model victory.
• Piloting John Lacki's car, Dick Barton of Ashville, N.Y., outdueled Russ King on Sunday at Little Valley (N.Y.) Speedway for a $3,000 victory.
• Andy Boozel of Clymer, N.Y., and David Scott of Garland,Pa., earned $3,000 apiece for Friday and Saturday victories at Stateline Speedway in Busti, N.Y.
• Making a last-minute trip after a rainout at Oakshade, Dona Marcoullier of Houghton Lake, Mich., earned his first career victory at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park on Saturday.
Backstretch: Top five Eldora improvements
Eldora Speedway has seen plenty of upgrades since Tony Stewart's six-year ownership of the track. Here's our top five improvements:
• The combination of the scoreboard and massive video screen.
• The massive luxury suites overlooking turns three and four.
• New catch-fencing and overall safety around the racetrack.
• Improved bathroom facilities.
• Turn-four and frontstretch breezeways that help alleviate foot traffic amid the throngs.
Turn 3: Five things I was wrong about
Obviously I'm wrong every week with some fearless predictions, but here are some big-picture things I've been wrong about — and now I'll set the record straight:
The three-night format at the Lucas Oil Late Model Nationals at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway. I first thought it confusing, but now see it as a great way to encourage racing without having drivers complain about inverts and redraws.
That Late Models looked cool in the '80s. Actually, they're cool in a retro kind of way, but anytime I dig back through pictures even 10 years ago, I'm startled at how much more sleek-looking and graphically-pleasing the cars appear today.
That a track with outside walls isn't acceptable. This is what happens when the first two tracks you visit extensively are Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway and the now-closed Barren County Speedway in Glasgow, Ky.
That daytime racing is impossible. The '07 World 100, '09 Dirt Track World Championship and all the racing at USA Raceway's Wild West Shootout in Tucson, Ariz., has proven that daytime racing can not only be entertaining, but leaving the track at a decent hour inspires you to come back happier the next day.
That mud in the floorboards of your car is the sign of a successful weekend. This still might be true in some instances, but not when I take my wife's car to the track.
Turn 4: Turning back the clock
Five items from this week in Dirt Late Model history:
Sept. 10, 1978: Ken Walton overtakes Jerry Inmon on the 95th lap en route to a World 100 victory at Eldora.
Sept. 12, 1982: Mike Duvall grabs the lead from Charlie Swartz on the 95th lap for his only World 100 victory.
Sept. 6, 1986: Jeff Purvis leads the final 82 laps at Eldora to capture his third World 100 in four years.
Sept. 9, 1995: The late Jack Boggs leads all but the first six laps for his only World 100 victory.
Sept. 7, 2002: Brian Birkhofer's last-lap pass of Scott Bloomquist gives him his first globed trophy.
Checkered flag: Five fearless World 100 predictions
• Scott Bloomquist will set fast time for the first time since 2004.
• The entry list will increase for the first time since 2006.
• Two pairs of teammates will make the feature lineup.
• At least one teenager will make the starting field.
• Kentucky will have the most starters in the 30-car field.