Big Block Modifieds

Big Block Modifieds

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Countdown to the 7 Wonders of the (DIRT) World: 16-20

Here we begin the first of 3 separate posts that will ultimately lead up to the "7 Wonders of the (DIRT) World". Before we begin, I'd like all readers to feel free to comment at the bottom of the article on any thoughts, comments, or disagreements you might have.

Our goal is to rank the top 20 events of the dirt racing world and give them some sort of a ranking. It's almost wrong to say that one is any better than the other, because they are all such great events.

Determinants in our countdown range from historical significance, number of years ran, winner's purse, strength of field, fan atmosphere, and everything in between. So without further adieu, here are our no. 16-20 in our unique TDN countdown.

16. Show-Me 100 - Lucas Oil Speedway
     Finding itself at 16th on the grid is the first “crown-jewel” race of the season, which will again occur in late May as drivers shoot for the $30,000 payday. This year’s edition of the Show-Me will be the 23rd running and take place at Lucas Oil Speedway, a facility that is renowned for being state-of-the-art. The track has historically put on phenomenal racing from top to bottom as the surface slicks off and widens out, so don’t look for this year to be any different.

17. Short Track Nationals - I-30 Speedway
     The 17th position gets filled by the Short Track Nationals, which have been a staple in 360 sprint car racing for what will be 28 years this coming season. The event pays an impressive $15,000 to win and largely highlights the popular ASCS 360 sprint car schedule. In a day and age where drivers only race at tracks that are financially feasible, this field of 360’s will go largely unmatched aside of the Knoxville 360 Nationals and the rising Fall Brawl at I-80.

18. Knoxville Late Model Nationals - Knoxville Raceway
     Coming in at 18th on our countdown is the 12th Annual Knoxville Late Model Nationals which will be taking place this coming fall, and it has worked its way up to being a “can’t miss” event. The inauguration of this event was met with some scrutiny as Knoxville is associated with only two words: sprint cars. How would the Knoxville faithful feel about this event? Well 12 years later, I’d say it’s been a huge success. Top-notch fields of drivers pile in for a weekend of competition leading up to the $40,000 finale and it has produced some awesome racing and heart-wrenching moments (Birky’s last-lap rally in 2014).

19. Fall Brawl - I-80 Speedway
     Falling in line 19th on the grid may be disappointing for some, but there is no shame when the event has only ran for 2 years. The Fall Brawl at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, NE has provided the 360 sprint car of the country an opportunity of a lifetime. The $50,000 payday for the winner is more than a motive for giving it everything you’ve got…it is also a chance to beat the toughest competition you’ll ever find and notch up one of those “Career Achievements” that we love to talk about so often.

20. Mudsummer Classic - Eldora Speedway
     Coming in at 20th on our Dirt Track countdown is the recently formed Mudsummer Classic for the NASCAR trucks at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH. It is currently the only dirt track race for any of the top 3 NASCAR series (what a shame, isn’t it?). This year will be the 3rd edition of the innovative race and we’ve put it on the list for a number of reasons. First and foremost, getting NASCAR back to their grassroots for a couple hot summer nights just feels right – and way overdue. On top of that, the dirt world has received an incredible gift by having the cameras of National TV grace one of our premier dirt tracks in the country, undoubtedly driving up curiosity and interest from those less fortunate asphalt fans.

Monday, January 19, 2015

This Week In DIRT: Abreu Rises To The Occasion; Sandman Returns Home Happy; Eckert Announces Plans; ASCoC Not Dead Yet

Ah the preseason! It's the first glimpse of the new cars, new chassis, and a little preview of what may be to come in the new year. And you missed it! Actually, if you missed the Chili Bowl or Wild West Shootout, (you're in our hall of fame if you ordered at least one pay per view of each), shame on you.. 

But things come up. And they may have kept you from paying full attention. Whether it was a wedding, bah mitzvah, christening, old friend from out of town, old girlfriend from out of town that you don't want your wife to know about, or a night in the drunk tank, you needn't worry, we'll help you catch up on the week that was with This Week In DIRT...

Abreu Rises To The Occasion: 

We knew this day would come. The day Rico Abreu etched his name on the Golden Driller winners list, to be remembered forever as champion. But before the week started, many had Kyle Larson slotted to pick up his first trophy.  It looked primed to happen coming in to Saturday night's final feature too. 

Except Abreu had other plans, like making a bold pass of last year's champion, Bryan Clauson, and never looking back, dodging cautions and lapped traffic en route to the victory. Meanwhile, Larson spun twice and managed to stir drama post-race with elder statesman Sammy Swindell. Abreu earned $10,000 for the win, and so much more from the great pool of the "things that come with" such a prestigious title. 

But more than his driving ability, and behind what makes it such a popular win, is that he's revered by many as a driver's driver. He's pulled other drivers from burning cars, taken time to talk to school children about bullying and overcoming obstacles, and displayed a ton of heart and maturity.  Enjoy him while you can DIRT Nation, it's probably only a matter of time before he's etching his name on a Nascar win list. From us at TDN, Congrats Rico!! Well Deserved! 

To read all about the final night at the Chili Bowl, click here


Sandman Wins Wild West Shootout; Owens Shoots at Aliens from Roof of Car

Happy,Texas returned one of its happiest citizens today in the form of the sandman, Rodney Sanders. And with good reason, he took home two modified wins, a Super Late Model win and the overall late model championship during the annual Wild West Shootout in Tucson, AZ.

Aaron Clay Photo

The week also saw Jimmy Owens take home two late model wins, and over $15,000 in winnings. Following his $10,000 win on Saturday night, Owens inexplicably stood on the roof of his car and fired two six shooters into the air while shouting "Goddamned aliens, I know they're out there somewhere"  Owens and fellow Club 29 driver Darrell Lanigan each claimed two victories for the week. In fact, if you were driving anything but a Club 29 car, you had absolutely not chance of winning whatsoever as every late model feature was won in a Club 29 car.  Not winning anything this week were Billy Moyer, Billy Moyer Jr, Jimmy Mars, Terry Phillips, and Chris Simpson.

Lanigan had the quote of the week when following a heat race earlier in the week, he gave the inference that Billy Moyer Jr would pretty much be a nobody without his legendary father Billy Moyer Sr.  Karma then swooped down on Lanigan causing him to break a thumb on Friday night during the main event during a tangle with cars on the backstretch.

To check out the week that was in Tucson, click here

Berry Lenhart Photo-Late Model

Eckert Announces Plans

Rick Eckert has now formally announced that he'll be teamed with Paul Crowl once again in 2015, driving a MBH (Masters Built by Huey) car powered by Cornett engines.  He'll take part on the World of Outlaw Late Model Tour once again in 2015, and will also travel to a good many crown jewels too. 

The announcement puts to end weeks of anticipation from a good many late model experts who seemed to know what Eckert's plans were before he did. 

To read the announcement, click here 

ASCoC Not Dead Yet

Despite the best efforts of Guy Webb to put the final nail in the coffin of the oldest sprint racing sanction in the eastern US, the All Star Circuit of Champions may have actually been sold, traded, or even transferred in some back alley in Akron, OH to a wino for an undisclosed amount of drinking money.

 Or maybe somebody with good intentions bought it! Either way, it looks like there'll be some kind of announcement this week, so stay tuned to see how the story ends....or begins!

That's it for this episode of TWID, have a great week everyone and Stay DIRTY!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Winter Heat Showdown - By The Numbers (Final)

By Tyler Beichner:

The inaugural five-race Winter Heat Showdown at Cocopah Speedway in Yuma, Ariz. has commenced. The experimental mini-series had its pros and cons, but I think across the board we can all agree that it was a success. So much so Greg Burgess, Director of Operations at Cocopah Speedway, announced the dates for next year's Showdown, with the opening night being held on New Year's Day.

Here's a little breakdown of the quirky stats that you don't always get to see. Here at TDN, we like to go beyond the wins, losses, points and so on.

1 trophy for inaugural Winter Heat Showdown champion Danny Lasoski, who won the tiebreaker over fellow veteran Stevie Smith.

2.2 average starting position of the five feature winners. Three winners came from the pole. Lasoski won from his 5th starting spot, the furthest back of the week-long miniseries.

2.5 average feature starting position for Texas native Aaron Reutzel, the best of the mini-series. Paul McMahan was the next closest with an average starting spot of 5.5

3 top 5's for Danny Lasoski, Joey Saldana and Paul McMahan

3.8 average finishing position for Paul McMahan, who led the points up until the final night when he failed to make the feature

5. The number of winners in as many races out in Arizona. The victory circle was compromised of the greatest of all time, a soon-to-be NASCAR star, a newcomer to the 410 ranks, a former World of Outlaws champion, and another competitor that has 23 career WoO series wins.

5 times that Canadian racer Skylar Gee failed to transfer into the A-Main

6.8 average finishing position for Stevie Smith, the best among drivers that raced their way into every feature. Behind him was point champion Danny Lasoski and Joey Saldana (both with 7.4)

12 drivers that qualified for all 5 feature events. The list is comprised of Stevie Smith, Lasoski, Saldana, Crockett, Christopher Bell, Kraig Kinser, Kahne, Gravel, Steve Kinser, Dollansky, Schuchart and Willie Croft

20 total cars passed by Brian Brown during feature action, the best +/- among the field of drivers. Following closely behind was Dusty Zomer (+18)

22.5 average starting spot for the youngster D.J. Netto, who was able to race his way into two main events

-49 the +/- ratio for Aaron Reutzel, who experienced hard luck very often. Craig Dollansky wound up with a -39 plus/minus, finishing 2nd in that category. Strangely enough, both Reutzel and Dollansky had an average feature finish of 14.8

880 total points for Danny Lasoski and Stevie Smith, tied for 1st place in Showdown points. Lasoski was awarded the championship as his feature victory won the tiebreaker.

Whitwell Claims NDRL Opener

Exactly one year ago on January 11th, 2014, R.C. Whitwell etched his name into the history books by winning the now-defunct National Dirt Racing League (NDRL) season opener at USA Raceway (formerly known as Tucson International Raceway).

R.C. Whitwell (no. 5) went on to claim the 2014 NDRL season opener in Tucson
Although the NDRL, after experiencing their demise last summer, is no longer with us, R.C. Whitwell has not gone anywhere as he's returned to Tucson again to compete in the Wild West Shootout. After failing to qualify for the main last evening, Whitwell will give it another go tonight as the 50+ car field will put on a show for $5,000.

For all the in depth coverage or to order live video of every Wild West Shootout event, visit

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wild West Shootout Central

Can you smell that? The luxurious scent of racing fuel charging through 800+ horsepower late models? We can, and we're two time zones away! It will be thick in the air starting Saturday night in the annual Wild West Shootout, as Tucson, Arizona's USA Raceway plays host to a week's worth of Super Late Model Action.

It's a time for some drivers to get used to a new chassis program, or to shake down what they've built for the 2015 season, or to take a great racing vacation and visit with old acquaintances while taking in adult beverages and other assorted shenanigans.

Ron Mitchell Photo

Most of us would be thrilled to spend a week in the sun, taking it all in. But, for 99.9% of us, it's just not realistic.

So we made a central page here at TDN to give you a preview, and also to post results and offer some stats for the week.

Who To Expect:
This week generally sees about 60 or so late models take to the clay on the weekend nights, with a few no shows for the Wednesday event. It's a good mix of true outlaws, a few Lucas and WoO regulars, and some regional southwestern guys, some of which are very competitive here and pull double duty in the modified action during the week as well. Here's a small sampling

Team Lucas/WoO:
Jimmy Owens
Darrell Lanigan
Chase Junghans
Billy Moyer Jr

High Profile True Outlaws:
Billy Moyer Sr
Jimmy Mars
Terry Phillips
Chris Simpson
Ryan Gustin
Chris Wall
AJ Diemel
Donny Schatz (Will be there for 2nd part of week)

Double Duty: (Super Late Models and EModifieds)
Rodney Sanders
Stormy Scott
Ryan Gustin

Regional Local All Stars:

RC Whitwell
Tony Toste
Jason Papich
Garrett Alberson
Joey Moriarty

Pay Per View: DirtonDIRT has complete Wild West Shootout Packages for $79, or  for $21.00 night. If you've never seen their pay per view broadcasts, they are EXCELLENT and well worth the money. You'll see not only the action on the track, but driver interviews and much more. The production value is fantastic, and if you watch through a laptop and connect it to a television, there is not a closer experience to physically being at the track!  Do yourself a favor and subscribe first as a monthly member (you'll thank us) first!

For more information, click here


Saturday Jan 10, 5 PM Mountain- 7 PM Eastern- $3,000 to win
Sunday Jan 11, 5 PM Mountain- 7 PM Eastern- $5,000 to win
Wednesday Jan 14, 7 PM Mountain- 9 PM Eastern- $3,000 to win
Friday Jan 16, 5 PM Mountain- 7 PM Eastern- 3,000 to win
Saturday Jan 17, 5 PM Mountain-  7 PM Eastern $3,000 to win
Sunday Jan 18, 5 PM Mountain- 7 PM Eastern $10,000 to win

What to Expect:
A chance to test new equipment, some hard racing, an chance for the regional/locals to take home some nice money, and Donny Schatz driving a late model, and everything else in between.   Some drivers are here just to shake down, some here just to get warm and have a little party, some are here to win.  The smart money says that the big names will be really trying to win most of them, but it's not always the case. Either way, the results can be interesting.

Check out Rodney Sanders, the two time USMTS champion, running in his own super late model, and for that matter Stormy Scott would be one to keep an eye on too! Expect RC Whitwell to challenge at least one of the nights and to be competitive the whole week.  Expect Billy Moyer Sr to look lost one night, and be right in the mix when the big $10K to win Sunday night finale finishes up. And expect Jimmy Mars to be in the mix for the mini series point fund.

We'll keep the results all week, right here and a few stats too, so check back often!

Night 6- Sunday January 18

Owens Collects $10,000, 2-six Shooters, and a nice hat!

AMain: (50 laps) $10,000 to win

Jimmy Owens, Jimmy Mars, Chris Simpson, Jason Papich, Tony Jackson Jr, Rodney Sanders, Billy Moyer, AJ Diemel, Stormy Scott, Adam Hensel, Terry Phillips, RC Whitwell, Kyle Beard, Ricky Weiss, Tony Toste, Billy Moyer Jr, Tony Toste, Bumper Jones, Jason Krohn, Pat Doar, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Chase Junghans, Ryan Gustin, Tyler Erb, Garrett Alberson


Heat 1: Jimmy Mars takes the first heat of the night from the 4th starting spot as Jason Papich worked from the 8th spot to 2nd. Chase Junghans and AJ Diemel rounded out the top 4.

Heat 2: Rodney Sanders slips by Ryan Gustin on the last lap to take the win. Terry Phillips winds up 3rd and Adam Hensel comes from the back to finish 4th.

Heat 3: Bumper Jones and Kyle Beard start on the front row and end up 1/2 as Jimmy Owens comes from way back to capture 3rd and Anthony Burroughs comes home 4th.

Heat 4: Jason Krohn wins from the pole while Garrett Alberson comes from 4th to 2nd. Ronny Lee Hollinsgworth and Tony Toste finished 3 and 4th respectively.

Heat 5: Tyler Erb wins from the pole, RC Whitwell comes home 2nd from 4th. Chris Simpson takes third from 9th, and Tony Jackson Jr comes home 4th from 7th.

BMains: (Transfers Only)

BMain 1: Billy Moyer Jr, Pat Doar, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Tony Toste
BMain 2: Chase Junghans, Billy Moyer, Stormy Scott, Ricky Weiss

And it all comes down to the final night! $10,000 on the line and the news of the day surrounds one Darrell Lanigan who may or may not be able to participate due to a thumb injury sustained Saturday night.  If he can't go, Rodney Sanders is your point leader headed into the final night of action.  DoD Pay Per View should start up around 5:45 Eastern Time with pre race festivities.

Tonight's weather calls for clear skies and warm temps, should be a beautiful night for racing.

Points to Ponder:
  • Can Rodney Sanders be a surprise mini series champion after tonight
  • With the big money on the line, will Moyer Sr and Mars come with their best efforts?
  • Is tonight the night RC Whitwell or another local takes home the cash?
  • Can Club 29 complete the clean sweep of the week?


Night 5- Saturday January 17

Aaron Clay Photo

Owens Takes His Turn Atop Field

Most fans in attendance had been waiting to see Newport, Tennessee's Jimmy Owens battling for the lead for a few features during the week, and their patience was rewarded Saturday night. Owens led the 30 lap feature from green to checkered to collect $3,000 and a nice hat on night 5 of the Wild West Shootout.

But it wasn't without a stiff challenge from modified star Stormy Scott who went forward from his 8th starting spot in a hurry and found himself breathing down Owens' neck in the closing laps, at times pulling neck and neck with the eventual winner. Jimmy Mars, Jason Papich and AJ Diemel rounded out the top five. Point leader Darrell Lanigan was the first retiree of the night after having been sandwiched between Terry Phillips and Anthony Burroughs on lap 2.

AMain (30 Laps) $3,000 to win- 52 Cars on hand

Jimmy Owens, Stormy Scott, Jimmy Mars, Jason Papich, AJ Diemel, Billy Moyer, Chris Simpson, Rodney Sanders, Jason Krohn, Ricky Weiss, Billy Moyer Jr, Tony Jackson Jr
Jake O'Neil, Tyler Erb, Garrett Alberson, Clay Daly, Pat Doar, Hunter Rasdon, Kyle Beard, Donny Schatz, Anthony Burroughs, Jeremy Keller, Terry Phillips, Darrell Lanigan

Hard Charger: Chris Simpson (+10)


 Heat 1: Anthony Burroughs wins it from the pole. Pat Doar comes home 2nd while Clay Daly and Tony Jackson Jr come from the back of the field to finish 3rd and 4th respectively.

Heat 2: Owens takes the heat win from the outside pole as Garrett Alberson moves up to 2nd and Moyer jr comes from 10th starting spot to finish 3rd. Tony Toste rounds out the top 4.

Heat 3: Canadian Ricky Weiss takes the win from the front row as Jason Krohn comes from 7th to 2nd, Jimmy Mars moves up from 9th to take 3rd and pole sitter Bumper Jones slides back to 4th.

Heat 4:   Jason Papich earns the win coming from 4th. Pole sitter Brian Dively winds up 2nd, Jake O'Neil comes home 3rd from 6th and Jeremy Keller rounds out the top 4.

Heat 5: Stormy Scott takes heat 5 from the outside pole while Billy Moyer Sr makes a pass for 2nd. AJ Diemel finishes 3rd from 10th and Tyler Erb slides from the pole to 4th.

BMains (Transfers Only)

BMain 1: Chris Simpson, Darrell Lanigan, Kyle Beard, Tyler Beard
BMain 2: Terry Phillips, Hunter Rasdon, Jeremy Keller, Donny Schatz


Night 4- Friday January 16

Aaron Clay Photo
Lanigan Strikes Back

Garrett Alberson and Jason Krohn started on the front row for Friday's 30 lap feature, but lurking behind them as the green flag dropped was one Darrell Lanigan who came from his 8th starting spot to take the lead on lap 11. He was followed by Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Billy Moyer Sr and Rodney Sanders, but maintained a comfortable lead in the caution less amain, until he was reeled in with five laps to go.  To catch is one thing, to pass is another, and as the battle for 2nd and 3rd started to get tighter, Lanigan eventually drove away to a decisive victory.

AMain Finish (30 Laps) $3,000 to win

Darrell Lanigan, Billy Moyer, Rodney Sanders, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Ryan Gustin, Garrett Alberson, Stormy Scott, Clay Daly, AJ Diemel, Jason Krohn, Tony Jackson Jr, Chris Simpson, Ricky Weiss, Jake O'Neil, Hunter Rasdon, Jimmy Mars, Billy Moyer Jr, Jason Papich, Don Shaw, Jeremy Keller, Jake Redetkze, Terry Phillips, Jimmy Owens, RC Whitwell.

Hard Charger: Ryan Gustin (+13)


Heat 1: Donny Schatz started on the pole and went backwards as Jason Krohn took the win (from the outside pole). Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Jimmy Owens, and RC Whitwell round out the top 4. Owens went backwards as well in this heat.

Heat 2: Darrell Lanigan wins this one, by passing Billy Moyer Jr on the last lap which sent Moyer Jr over the cushion. After the race, Lanigan was quoted as saying "If it weren't for his daddy, he'd be a nobody." Which seemed completely over the top for a pre-season, unsanctioned speedweek heat race.  At any rate, Moyer Jr still took 2nd, followed by Ryan Gustin and Hunter Rasdon.

Heat 3: Rodney Sanders wins from the 3rd starting spot while Clay Daly, AJ Diemel and Jimmy Mars take positions 2-4.

Heat 4: Stormy Scott, Don Shaw and Terry Phillips finish 1-2-3 all starting in the first two rows while Garrett Alberson finishes 4th after starting in the back.

Heat 5: Billy Moyer Sr and Jason Papich started on the front row, and finished 1-2 in this one. Behind them, Tony Jackson Jr and Jason Keller came from the back to take positions 3 and 4 respectively.

BMain Transfers:

Bmain #1: Jimmy Owens, Ricky Weiss, Billy Moyer Jr, Terry Phillips
Bmain #2: Ryan Gustin, Chris Simpson, Jason Papich, Jake Redetzke

Night 3- Wednesday January 14

Tucson, AZ, an invader approaches. It's Donny Schatz. He chews gum and kicks ass and he just returned from Australia fresh out of gum!  True, it's a late model, and though he's a legend in fender less cars, he's not so bad in the full bodied variety. It's hard to say how well he'll do here, especially with no time trials. But with some good luck, he could just win one of the remaining shows. To do it, he'll have to stay ahead of the likes of Lanigan, Moyer, Moyer Jr, Tuesday's winner Tony Jacson Jr, and a host of other drivers.

Wednesday brings us to night 3 and it'll be a cool one with temps falling through the 50's and virtually no chance for precipitation. $3,000 on the line tonight, and the action kicks off at 9 PM Eastern, 7 PM Mountain time.

Enter Sandman:

Aaron Clay Photo

2 time defending USMTS Modified tour champion, Rodney Sanders, scored his first ever super late model win in Tucson on Wednesday night. Sanders rocketed forward in his Club 29 car, from fifth to first and held off Darrell Lanigan to take the win in the 30 lap feature. 

Amain Finish (30 Laps) $3,000 to win

Rodney Sanders, Darrell Lanigan, Jason Papich, Don Shaw, Tony Toste, Jimmy Mars, Jimmy Owens, RC Whitewell, Adam Hensel, Stormy Scott, Billy Moyer Jr, Chase Junghans, Donny Schatz, Joey Moriarty, Pat Doar, Ricky Weiss, Tyler Erb, Jake O'Neil, Trevor Glaser, Rob Sanders, Tyson Turnbull, Kyle Beard, Ryan Gustin, Ryan Gustin, AJ Diemel

Hard Charger: Jimmy Owens (+11)


Heat 1: Darrell Lanigan wins the first heat from the outside pole, Adam Hensel, Chase Junghans and Jimmy Mars round out the top 4

Heat 2: Local favorite, RC Whitwell wins in convincing fashion while Rodney Sanders comes from 6th to 2nd. Kyle Beard and Jimmy Owens finished 3rd and 4th respectively.

Heat 3: Don Shaw, Joey Moriarty,  Rob Sanders, and AJ Diemel start towards the front and stay there in this one.

Heat 4: Billy Moyer was scheduled to start on the outside pole in this one (yes, we know that's where these heats have been won in Tucson so far) but failed to take the green with an earlier engine issue. Jason Papich won this one from the 6th spot, Tyson Turnbull, Jake O'Neil and Sunday night's winner, Tony Jackson Jr finished 2-4.

Heat 5: Tony Toste scores a heat win for the regional competitors as Trevor Glaser, Pat Doar and Billy Moyer Jr round out the top 4.

BMain Transfers:

BMain #1: Jake O'Neil, Ricky Weiss, Tyler Erb, Kyle Beard

BMain #2: Jimmy Owens, Rob Sanders, Donny Schatz, Ryan Gustin


Night 2- Sunday January 11

Tonight's action should start at 7 PM Eastern. Those of you who plan on watching via DoD pay per view should look for the pre-race show at 5:45-6:00 or thereabouts. $5,0000 is up for grabs tonight.

Aaron Clay Photo

We need to talk about the weather for a moment. There's a slight chance of showers today, which will increase in percentage as the night goes on. Right now, it looks as if it's only a 5-25% chance during the scheduled race time.

Temps will still be seasonal in the low 60's high 50's for the event. There'll be some clouds too, less direct sunlight, more tack in the track sometimes as most of us know, so it'll be interesting to see who makes the right changes.

What to watch for?
  • RC Whitwell- last year's opening night winner failed to make the show on Night 1
  • Jimmy Owens- Was he testing, playing possum last night possibly?
  • Ryan Gustin- Incredibly fast in heat and feature until misfortune struck.
Tony Jackson Takes Night 2: (49 Cars on Hand)

Aaron Clay Photo

AMain Finish (30 Laps) $5,000 to Win

Tony Jackson Jr, Adam Hensel, Darrell Lanigan, Jimmy Owens, Terry Phillips, Chris Simpson, Ricky Weiss, Jason Papich, Don Shaw, Chase Junghans, Stormy Scott, Billy Moyer, AJ Diemel, Jon Mitchell, Tyler Erb, RC Whitwell, Ronnie Lee Hollingsworth, Pat Doar, Anthony Burroughs, Jake O'Neil, Jake Redetzke, Matt Furman, Rodney Sanders, Billy Moyer Jr


Heat 1: Canadian Ricky Weiss takes the first heat of the night, from the outside pole! (popular place- see last night's entry), Adam Hensel comes home 2nd from 5th, Jason Papich takes third from the 9th starting spot and Ronnie Lee Hollingsworth rounds out the top 4.

Heat 2: Darrell Lanigan, last night's feature winner, won this one from the pole, the inside one actually. Tyler Erb, RC Whitwell and Jon Mitchell rounded out the top 4.

Heat 3: Jimmy Owens started on the pole for this one and went backwards one spot as Tony Jackson Jr came from 6th starting spot and took the heat win from him. Billy Moyer Jr and Stormy Scott came from the back to snag the 3rd and 4th spots respectively.

Heat 4:.Chris Simpson collected the win while AJ Diemel and Terry Phillips came home 2nd and 3rd and Rodney Sanders takes 4th

Heat 5: Don Shaw wins from the outside pole as Chase Junghans comes from 7th to claim 2nd place. Terry Carter came home third and Anthony Burroughs came from the back of the field to take 4th.

BMains: (Transfers Only)

Bmain 1: Jimmy Owens, Matt Furman, Pat Doar, Jake O'Neil
Bmain 2: Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Rodney Sanders, Billy Moyer Jr, Jake Redetzke


Night 1- Saturday January 10

50 entrants tonight at Tuscon. Fair skies and temps in the mid to low 60's for this evening's event. For the winner, a $3,000 check awaits. No time trials were used as is the normal procedure for this event. Drivers drew pills to line up heats, and passing points were used to determine transfer positions.

Lanigan Lasso's Opening Night Victory
Aaron Clay Photo

AMain  Finish (30 Laps): $3,000 to win

Darrell Lanigan, Billy Moyer, Chase Junghans, Billy Moyer Jr, Rodney Sanders, Stormy Scott, Tony Jackson Jr, Chris Simpson, Jason Papich, Tyler Erb, Jimmy Mars, Clay Daly, Don Shaw, Anthony Burroughs, Garrett Alberson, Ryan Gustin, Ricky Weiss, Terry Phillips, Jimmy Owens, Pat Doar, Adam Hensel, AJ Diemel, Dave Smith, Kyle Beard.

Hard Charger: Tyler Erb (+11)


Heat 1: Rodney Sanders won from outside pole. Jimmy Owens winds up 2nd. Don Shaw and Billy Moyer Sr round out the top four. Moyer came from the 9th starting spot

Heat 2: Anthony Burroughs takes heat two from the outside pole. Ryan Gustin comes from 8th starting spot to finish second, followed by Adam Hensel, and Dave Smith.

Heat 3: Tony Jackson Jr wins this one from the outside pole. (What a great place to start!) , Garrett Alberson, Chase Junghans and Lonnie Parker Jr finish 2-4. Junghans came from 9th starting spot to third. AJ Diemel started 5th and wound up 7th.

Heat 4: Stormy Scott takes heat 4, and yep, you guessed it, he started from the outside pole. Darrell Lanigan, Jimmy Mars and Ricky Weiss round out the top four. Lanigan and Mars came from 5th and 6th starting spots. Local favorite RC Whitwell comes home in 7th.

Heat 5: Jason Papich wins from the 4th starting spot. Billy Moyer Jr, Pat Doar, and Terry Phillips finish 2-4


Finish- Transfers Only

#1: Don Shaw, Terry Phillips, Tyler Erb, AJ Diemel,
#2: Pat Doar, Clay Daly, Ricky Weiss, Dave Smith

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Winter Heat Showdown @ Cocopah Speedway - By the Numbers

By Tyler Beichner:

Three of the five nights of early-January sprint car racing have let's take a look at the numbers.

34. The number of drivers that have competed during the Winter Heat thus far.

560 points is the most by any competitor right now, currently held by Paul McMahan. Rounding out the top 5 in points are Joey Saldana (-16), Stevie Smith (-19), Kyle Larson (-37) and Danny Lasoski (-53).

4.0 is the average finishing position for mini-series point leader Paul McMahan. Saldana is holding on to an average finishing spot of 5.0, followed closely by Stevie Smith's 5.7 average finish.

Also getting into the mix are Brian Brown and Henry Van Dam. Brown currently holds an average finish of 4.5, but has only qualified for 2 of the 3 features thus pushing him down the points (currently 12th) The same goes for Van Dam, who at the moment has an average finishing spot of 7.5. Despite only making 2 of the A-Mains, Van Dam finds himself sitting 15th in points.

16 drivers have qualified for all three features (McMahan, Saldana, S. Smith, Larson, Lasoski, Crockett, Bell, Schuchart, Kahne, K. Kinser, S. Kinser, Dollansky, Gravel, Croft, Goetz, Ruetzel)

16 cars passed by Brian Brown during feature racing action, the most by any driver. Next highest is Logan Schuchart, who has managed to pass 14 cars. Also moving up 10+ spots are Ryan Smith (13), Mason Moore (12) and Joey Saldana (10).

3.0 average feature starting position for Aaron Ruetzel, the best among the 34 car field. However, Ruetzel has experienced some awful luck and holds an average finish of 19th. Following Ruetzel with the best average starting spots are Stevie Smith (5.0), Craig Dollansky (5.7), Paul McMahan (7.0) and Kyle Larson (7.3).

-49. The number of positions moved for one Aaron Ruetzel, worst among the 34 car field. Other drivers with notable negative numbers are Craig Dollansky (-30) and David Gravel (-13).

$29,000. The monetary value doled out to the three winners alone (two $12,000 to win shows, one $5,000 to win show)

Racing in Yuma, AZ picks back up this Friday and Saturday with back-to-back shows paying $12,000 to win. This is the last chance for the 410 Sprint drivers to get their machines dialed in before the take to the track during Florida Speedweeks in a little over a month's time.