Quick Time: Dream XIX by the numbers
By Todd TurnerDirtonDirt.com managing editor
Take a quick lap around the proverbial dirt track with managing editor Todd Turner for a roundup of Dirt Late Model racing through the latest weekend of action along with some other quirks of racing (and the occasional ax-grinding). Quick Time, presented by PFC Brakes, appears throughout the regular season every Wednesday at DirtonDirt.com:
Frontstretch: Drivers of the Week
National: Winless since February, Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., backed up a confident prediction by earning his sixth $100,000 victory at Dream XIX presented by Ferris Commercial Mowers at Eldora Speedway.
Regional: Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Mo., swept the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series Rockabilly weekend at Northeast Arkansas Speedway for a $4,500 weekend.
Weekly: Zack Olger of St. Johns, Mich., stretched his personal winning streak to three races with June 7-8 victories at Tri-City Motor Speedway in Auburn, Mich., and Crystal (Mich.) Motor Speedway.
Crate: Damian Bidwell of Eldred, Pa., swept June 8-9 action on the Stateline-Eriez circuit with Fastrak-sanctioned victories in Busti, N.Y., and Hammett, Pa.
Turn 1: Dream XIX by the numbers
200: Feature laps turned during the three-day event, including two 25-lappers apiece on Thursday and Friday.
304,000: Event-record dollars in total purses distributed.
Turn 2: Five quirky items
• Best observation by Dream XIX announcers Dustin Jarrett and James Essex at Eldora Speedway: The six-car field for the C-main scramble was made up of drivers from three countries. There's no better duo to report on such an international incident.
• There are few Dirt Late Model drivers with the initials “K.K.,” but two of them finished third and fourth Saturday at North Georgia Speedway: Kenny Kizzar and Kolby Kilgore. That’s krazy!
• Also on the initial front, two drivers with “Q” initials won weekly races last weekend: Quentin Myers at Wagner (S.D.) Speedway and Wayne Quisenberry at Friendship Motor Speedway in Elkin, N.C.
• At age 84, California veteran Larry Damitz was back in action over the weekend, scoring a third-place finish in Limited Late Model action at Placerville Speedway. His age likely far exceeded the combined ages of the drivers finishing ahead of him.
• Shorthand (and nearly indecipherable) results from a weekend track report: Fwd w4,92,unknown.
Backstretch: In memoriam
Short-track racing suffered losses in recent days with the deaths of an inspirational Illinois modified racer and a photographer who frequently contributed to DirtonDirt.com and other outlets.
Gary Cook Jr. of Deer Creek, Ill., a former UMP DIRTcar modified champion, died Sunday in Peoria, Ill. He was 37. The successful driver of the No. 64 touched nearly everyone in the Illinois racing community with his courage and determination during his lengthy battle with cancer. “Today the racing world has lost a true champion,” Peoria Speedway tweeted among hundreds of supportive social media messages about Cook’s death.
Jeff Eissing of West Harrison, Ind. — known in the photographer community as Photojeff — died last week, also of cancer. He was 49. Eissing was a longtime photographer at Florence Speedway in Union, Ky., among other photo gigs, including shooting for the legends racing sanctioning body, FAST Midwest. “His view from behind the camera lens will be missed by all of us,” the series wrote on its website.
Turn 3: Tweet of the Week
Austin Hubbard (@hubbard11) after his less than satisfying Dream XIX weekend at Eldora Speedway: "Maybe at the world 100 I wont hit the wall in both rounds of qualifying and in the b main ...”
Turn 4: Turn back the clock
Five items from this week in Dirt Late Model history:
June 14, 1991: Mike Head of Ellenwood, Ga., won the first of three season events on the Hav-A-Tampa Dirt Racing Series at Crossville (Tenn.) Speedway.
June 15, 1996: Dale Harris of Decatur, Ark., earned his first career MLRA victory, going flag-to-flag to win $2,750 at Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, Okla. Ken Essary put heavy pressure on Harris early in the 40-lap event but couldn't get past and settled for second spot, his best series finish since returning to full-time racing after a two-year hiatus.
June 14, 2003: Richard Underwood of Columbus, Miss., one of Mississippi's biggest supporters of Dirt Late Model racing, died. His Rick's Furniture has sponsored many racers and events for years, and gave its name to the Rick's Furniture Series, which ran six seasons through 2001. Johnny Stokes, John L. Cliett, Robbie Starnes and Steve Russell were among Rick’s Furniture-sponsored drivers.
June 14, 2008: Ninth-starting Casey Noonan of Sylvania, Ohio, captured the 19th annual Barney Oldfield Memorial at Oakshade Raceway to earn a career-high $4,400.
June 16, 2011: Mike Spatola, 20, of Manhattan, Ill., captures the season’s UMP DIRTcar Summernationals opener at Kankakee County Speedway to become the tour’s youngest winner.
Checkered flag: Five fearless Hell Tour predictions
• A previous UMP DIRTcar Summernationals champ will take the title.
• The tour will have a record 17 different winners.
• There will be five first-time series winners.
• At least two teenagers will score victories.
• Only one driver will manage back-to-back victories.
(Last week: One out of five Dream XIX predictions correct)