Quick Time: Long stretches between series wins
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: Getting national touring drivers on his own turf, 18-year-old Devin Moran of Dresden, Ohio, topped Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series drivers on July 3 at his grandfather’s Muskingum County Speedway near Zanesville, Ohio.
Regional: Justin Kay of Wheatland, Iowa, scored a pair of Deery Brothers Summer Series victories — his first on the IMCA tour — along with a weekly victory at his home track, Jackson County Speedway in Maquoketa, Iowa,
Weekly: Russell Erwin of Beaverdam, Va., continued his solid season at North Carolina ovals by capturing the Monk Clary Memorial at Clary’s Speedway in Brinkleyville, N.C., for $5,000 in purse money and $3,000 in lap money.
Crate: Sixteen-year-old Gavin Landers of Batesville, Ark., swept July 5-6 NeSmith Chevrolet-sanctioned action at West Plains (Mo.) Motor Speedway.
Turn 1: It’s been a long time
Scott Bloomquist’s surprising return to the UMP DIRTcar Summernationals on Tuesday with a victory at Florence Speedway in Union, Ky. — 10 years after his previous series victory — sent us scrambling to the record books to find the longest stretches between series victories for any driver. And here’s what we found, unofficially, for stretches 12 seasons or longer:
8,374 days (23 years): Now that’s a drought. Actually, Hall of Famer Ken Essary of Cape Fair, Mo., competed with the National Championship Racing Association relatively rarely — and then there was that 1990-96 stretch when Kansas-based NCRA was on hiatus. But it’s a long time between his July 26, 1986 victory and his June 28, 2009, victory, both at Monett (Mo.) Speedway.
5,358 days (15 years): Bloomquist’s 10-year stretch between Summernationals victories isn’t even his longest personal gap between series victories. It's deserving of an asterisk because the World of Outlaws Late Model Series was dormant for 15 years, Bloomquist won a single race on the tour's original incarnation June 9, 1989 (Superior Speedway) and again Feb. 8, 2004 (Volusia Speedway Park) when the tour’s modern era launched.
5,294 days (15 years): Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., dominated Ted Johnson’s original WoO series, including capturing the final race before the tour folded Sept. 15, 1989 (Moberly Speedway). His next series victory came March 13, 2004 (Atomic Speedway) soon after the series was reborn.
5,268 days (14 years): Steve Kosiski of Papillon, Neb., had a stretch on the Midwest LateModel Racing Association between April 6, 1990 (Capitol Speedway) and Sept. 6, 2004 (Nebraska’s State Fair Park Raceway).
5,077 days (14 years): Brad Looney of Republic, Mo., broke through early with MLRA on May 9, 1997 (Oklahoma Sports Park), but didn’t win again on the circuit until April 2, 2011 (I-80 Speedway).
4,955 days (14 years): Ed Basey of Evans, Ga., won two career Southern All Star events, first on Oct. 14, 1990 (Rome Speedway) and then the season he ran the tour full time on May 7, 2004 (Swainsboro Raceway).
4,795 days (13 years): Moyer with NCRA. His drought from April 1, 1989 (Boothill Speedway) and May 17, 2002 (Eagle Raceway) was enhanced by not only his infrequency in competing in NCRA events, but by the seven-year dormant stretch.
4,482 (12 years): Moyer on the Southern All Star circuit, winning March 15, 1996 (Cleveland Speedway) and not again until June 21, 2008 (Lucas Oil Speedway) in a multi-sanctioned event.
4,305 days (12 years): Again on the NCRA circuit that didn’t compete for a seven-year stretch, Joe Kosiski of Omaha, Neb., won on July 27, 1985 (81 Speedway) then again on May 9, 1997 (Hutchinson Raceway Park).
Turn 2: It’s all in name
Dirt Late Model drivers with names that suggest occupations:
• Red Farmer, Alabama Gang member and long-time dirt racer
Backstretch: Father and sons
With his Muskingum County Speedway last week, Devin Moran joined his father as a winner on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. How many fathers and sons combined have national touring victories? Let’s take a look:
Freddy and Jeff Smith: Freddy Smith owns Hav-A-Tampa, Lucas Oil and NDRA victories while son Jeff has Lucas Oil and World of Outlaws victories to his credit.
Jack and Jackie Boggs: The late Jack had NDRA and Hav-A-Tampa victories while Jackie has taken checkered flags with WoO and Lucas Oil tours along with Hav-A-Tampa.
Wade and Jake Knowles: The Georgians make the list with father Wade’s Hav-A-Tampa victories and son Jake’s Lucas Oil Series triumph.
Donnie and Devin Moran: The younger Devin has his lone Lucas Oil Series victory while father Donnie owns national touring victories with all four national tours: Lucas Oil, NDRA, WoO and Hav-A-Tampa Dirt Racing Series.
Billy and Shane Clanton: The late Billy had an NDRA victory while Shane has WoO, Lucas Oil and Hav-A-Tampa (then the Xtreme Series) triumphs to his credit.
Larry and Terry Phillips: The late Larry had a WoO victory while Terry owns a Hav-A-Tampa triumph.
What drivers, with fathers who already have national touring victories, are the top candidates to join the list? Bobby Pierce (son of Hall of Famer Bob Pierce), Billy Moyer Jr. (son of Hall of Famer Billy Moyer), Tanner English (son of Terry), Zack Dohm (son of Tim) and Paul Parker (son of Pete).
Turn 3: Tweets of the Week
Compilation assistance by DirtonDirt.com staffer Andy Savary:
Eric Arnold @_EricArnold: CJ Speedway. We are being subjected to 1 car (truck) heat race. And it didn't finish. LOL.
Ray Beste @On_The_Cushion: “Zero @ a SummerNats event? Throw in Steve Russell, Johnny Virden, Bill Frye, Donnie Barnhardt & Rick Aukland and I'll feel like I'm 5 again!”
Steve Casebolt @caseboltc9: "All of this rain is making me wish I could swim without floaties.”
Turn 4: Turn back the clock
Five items from this week in Dirt Late Model history:
July 6, 1980: Gene McNeely of Charleston, W.Va., steered his No. 20 to victory lane at Pennsboro (W.Va.) Speedway for his first win on the All Star Circuit of Champions.
July 9, 1996: Taking advantage of polesitter Kevin Weaver's critical slip exiting turn two on the 32nd lap, Rick Aukland grabbed the lead for a 50-lap UMP Summernationals victory at Kankakee (Ill.) Speedway. Aukland won his fourth race in his last five starts over John Gill, Weaver, Steve Tyne and Bob Pierce.
July 10, 2001: Taking the lead with five laps remaining after Brad Osborn's car broke, NASCAR Winston Cup driver Ken Schrader won on the asphalt at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for his his first-ever Deery Brothers Summer Series victory. Schrader took the checkers ahead of Rob Toland, Jason Friesen, Todd Cooney and series points leader Mike Smith.
July 11, 2005: IMCA announced that Hoosier Racing Tire would begin supplying the official tire for six divisions, including Late Models, beginning in 2006.
July 6, 2011: John Lovas of Forest Hill, La., at one-time a popular dirt racer known as the Racing Schoolteacher, died at home. The winner of the 1995 SUPR Star Invitational at Lone Star Speedway was 74.
Checkered flag: Five fearless weekend predictions
• One of the four national tour (World of Outlaws or Lucas Oil) winners from July 11-13 will win his first series race of the season.
• Six or fewer cars will finish on the lead lap Thursday at Macon (Ill.) Speedway’s 33rd annual Herald & Review 100 on the UMP DIRTcar Summernationals circuit.
• Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Mo., will go winless for the first week since late May.
• At least three Arkansas-based drivers will win touring races listed on DirtonDirt.com’s special event schedule from July 12-14.
• The Michigan Dirt Cup will have two first-time winners on July 12-13 at Mount Pleasant Speedway and I-96 Speedway.
(Last week: One out of four predictions correct; one rained out)
Correction: Fixes Ed Basey's hometown.