This blog is gonna be all about the different kinds of fans you will encounter at a race track on any given night. I list them in no particular order & you should ask yourself:which one(s) am I the most like? I like to observe people at the races & mentally calculate in my head what categories they would go in. Here are the categories; 1.the “relation” fan, 2. the “my boy/girl” fan, 3. the “here for the party ” fan, 4. the “hardcore” fan, 5. the “clueless” fan, 6. the “wish I wasn’t here” fan.
Fan #1 the “relation” fan: this is the fan who is related to a racer/crew member/track official. They are there because someone else is there. They are usually found in the pits more than the stands. They probably don’t attend any races their relation isn’t at. They can be very “passionate”. They do not take other people “opinions” of their relation well usually. They are the “relation” fan.
Fan #2 the “my boy/girl” fan:this is a term my dad came up with for the fan who is there for one driver usually. That driver is “my boy” or”my girl”. If that driver does well then they the fan had a good night. If that driver does poorly then they the fan had a bad night. They usually are incapable of being objective about anything that happens to their driver. They are likely to leave or mentally check out after their drivers race ends. They are the type to accuse others of favortism at the drop of a hat. They are the “my boy/girl” fan.
Fan #3 the “here for the party” fan: this is the fan who is just there to enjoy the atmosphere & have a good time. They might or might not have a basic understanding of auto racing. They just wanna have a “good time” whatever that means. They are usually pretty hip cool kats. They usually like to be the center of attention. They dont listen much to others but you better listen to them. They could just as easily be at another type of event & be just as content. They are the “here for the party” fan.
Fan #4 the “hardcore fan”: they are die hard,dyed in the wool & probably are the most likely to get annoyed by any of the other types of fans fan. They are the keepers of the “secret knowledge” & if you ask them a question you will get an answer & a lengthy one at that most likely. They show up early & stay late to increase their appetite for information. They exhibit the traits of a obsessive person usually. They are the “hardcore” fan.
Fan #5 the “clueless fan”: they are at the races but thats it. They don’t have a clue & don’t want to get one either. Don’t ask them any questions about racing because they don’t have a clue. They might not even know it’s a circle track race they are at. They are just there. The are the “clueless” fan.
Fan #6 the “wish I wasn’t here fan”: They are at the races, they are miserable,they are bored. They might say how “stupid” auto racing is.They might say “whats the point of going in circles endlessly?” They don’t want to be told,taught,informed of something,or even talked too most likely. They just want it to be over! They are there under protest. They probably got dragged their by their significant other. They ain’t happy! They are the “wish I wasn’t here” fan.
Well that’s my take on the types of fans at the races near you! I hope you gotta a few laughs out of it.
The season is now 4 months in for myself as I started the dirt track viewing in March at Springfield Raceway in Missouri & just last night attended the Ron Little\Richard “Bones” Welch Memorial at the Stuart Int’l Speedway(S.I.S.). I think 2015 is shaping up to be a year of transition in dirt track racing with many drivers changing classes,chassis,& other various components of their operations. We have seen the sale of Harris Auto Racing, plus many other local Iowa businesses either start up,change hands, or start new ventures. Over at Karl Performance Billy Moyer is developing a late model chassis that they will sell soon, & BHE has started selling & servicing a couple of non local chassis makes as well. Certain operations have split into separate companies like SIC & Eliminator Chassis. There are other examples too numerous to mention. To those in the industry this is old news i’m sure but for some of us its not. Well known names in the mod ranks like Hunter Marriott,Jon Snyder,Jake Durbin,Brandon Banks,Carter Vandenberg plus many others are all in different chassis from 2014. This kind of change extends to other classes as well with again numerous names too many to mention. One trend i have noticed in 2015 is that many tracks sport mods car counts are down considerably from 2014. Another trend is that some tracks are really struggling like never before with overall car counts,& this is of course a reason to give pause. On another note I am seeing a considerable increase in the number of folks in the pits/stands filming races in 2015 & doing it more professionally as well. When I started filming races a few years back in central Iowa I was really the only one doing it. Now there are lots of videos to watch each week from all over our state. I don’t think their is any relation to another observation I make now but maybe i’m wrong:there is little to no buzz around live ppv events in my opinion in 2015 once the season got underway. I myself have little interest in live ppv events but maybe i just don’t talk to enough people to gauge the overall buzz. In my circle of racing friends there is just no buzz at all.
The UMP Hell Tour has started, the HDT tour is in full swing as is the Deery Brothers tour as well as the USMTS. The WoO sprints just made a swing thru Iowa as did the MLRA. I have hit three tracks to my east for my first ever visits to each(East Moline IL., Davenport,Maquoketa) & am going to try for a few other new tracks later on in the season. Some new names are atop the IMCA points for the north central region & some familiar names are making their mark in different sanctions in 2015. Both Jesse Sobbing & Ben Kates have left the IMCA ranks for USMTS land. Kelly Shryock is back with IMCA mostly in 2015 so far. Other drivers from out of state like Mark Dobmeier have not made near as many visits to Hawkeyeland in 2015. For myself I have been to Knoxville twice,Osky three times,Marshalltown twice,Boone twice, Vinton twice, Des Moines & Stuart every night they have run. I have also been to I35 Winston Missouri once & Webster City once. I film the races at each track as well as take photos unless not allowed by the track to do so. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel “The Fasttrack Fan”. I am on Twitter @thefasttrackfan, on Facebook at “The Fasttrack Fan”, & on Instagram at “fasttrackfan”. I am thinking of using Periscope in the future but being a T-Mobile customer is putting a cramp in those plans. I will not be joining Snapchat as some have wondered as it is not a group based social media platform in my opinion. For those who have not yet joined Twitter I strongly urge you to do so. It is the easiest platform to use to get race info,results,etc. Facebook is not near as user friendly for auto racing. You never have to tweet one single word to use Twitter effectively. I get all my results & info off of Twitter and follow less than 50 racing oriented Twitter accounts. You can also adjust your settings if you dont want to get things such as retweets & blocking another account is easy to do. I tweet results from every race if possible or let my followers know who to follow to get results if im not tweeting. Twitter is a must in my opinion for quick info on race nights. If for some reason you think you can’t get Twitter set up to your liking I will help you to do so. Email me at the firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
And now for the good ,the bad,& the ugly for this blog:
The good is the number of people who free of charge are trying to help out auto racing thru social media. Whether it be retweeting a driver or tracks tweet or maybe just sharing a something on Facebook in order to share the info for all I say thank you! The bad is the tracks that run a race program like every fan lives next door to the track & has no life outside the track so why not take all night! The ugly is the accidents that took place this last week due to all the rain Iowa received. I know some drivers were hurt & lots more equipment was hurt. Its time for the rain to subside for a while on race nights so that we all can enjoy more racing!
Coming in my next blog I give my take on the different kinds of fans that you will encounter at a track near you!
Before we get to the positive aspects of racing I must first mention the not so positive. Already this season we have lost a racer, a track worker, & a fan. Each one was a longtime lover of auto racing and will be missed by all. I was not at the Iowa State Fairgrounds the night of the incident and i’m glad I wasn’t. I have seen many lives lost at the track but that would have been a first to see a track worker lose his life. It’s a sad sad deal but life has gone on & we all must be appreciative of every day spent at the track that those 3 folks will not get to experience. I know for myself personally as I get older I realize how many of my great moments of joy have come at a track watching racers race. I hope you too can do this for yourself as it really keeps things in perspective in my opinion.
Now on to the positive events of the season so far & I think it’s been a great year of racing in Iowa so far. In the IMCA modified ranks three drivers have been hot in 2014: 1x Chris Abelson, 99 Jesse Sobbing, & the 5 Todd Shute. All 3 are close to the 10 win mark already & each driver seems to really be on their game. I don’t get to watch the 1x or the 99 much in central iowa where I live but watching the 5 car win this year has been a great amount of fun for myself. I encourage all fans to stop down & get to know the drivers after the races whenever you can as you never know what you’ll see, hear, & learn. The 23jr of Nick Roberts has already picked up 4 wins in his rookie season in the modified as well. Its been great to see a return of sprint cars to the Iowa State Fair Speedway in 2014 & with Denison dropping the class we are now seeing drivers from out west running ISFS as well which makes for good racing. Please try to get to ISFS at least once this year as this is the last year for the old 1/2 mile before it’s shortened for 2015. There is a Sprint Invader race July 3rd on a Thursday as well as 2 fair races on a Sunday & Monday in August. The weekly racing has really picked up as well & i count myself lucky to see so many different classes all in 1 night: hobbys,stocks,sport mods,mods,trucks,late models,& sprints and all for $10! We have been covering ISFS & S.I.S. for LuvRacin.com this year as Boone decided to not renew our press credentials. That’s why you haven’t seen any videos from Boone lately in case you were wondering. It was not our decision to stop going to Boone but we respect their decision to have us not do what we do for LuvRacin.com & with our videos on Youtube at Freedomleft. We probably wont be back at Boone until Supernats & even then there will be no videos as XSAN has all rights to the week. If any other track would like us to visit them on a Saturday we are available so just contact us at our email email@example.com . We plan to head down to Osky tomorrow night for the MLRA/CBC show which is also the weekly show as well & we hope to see you all there!
Our racing season kicked off in January at the Battle at the Barn in Des Moines on the Iowa State Fairgrounds and that was as always an interesting night of go cart,3 & 4 wheeler,lawn mower, & motorcycle racing. The place was absolutely packed and the races were entertaining as usual. My friend Justin did not race his 4 wheeler this year so he helped out another friend by wrenching on some go carts. We had a good time and saw a lot of old friends & made some new ones. We really look forward to this race every year as it fills our “need for speed”. If you have never been to this race please come in 2015 as Toby Kruse & his crew put on a great 2 days of racing that fills a need in winter for us race fans.
The next stop for us came at the end of March when we traveled down to LCS in Donnellson for their Spring Extravaganza 2 day show. The track was great thanks to Mike Van Genderen’s hard work tho he did manage to blow up the water truck once which was very funny to watch! We got some pictures of it which you should be able to view on LuvRacin.com any day now. It had been 4 or 5 years since my last visit to LCS and the racing was good. Bret Lowry dominated in the sport mods. Richie & Jimmy Gustin won each once in the mods. I noticed that a few drivers down that way had changed classes for 2014 and that made it a little more difficult to tweet results on our tablet than usual. We are using a tablet this year instead of a cell phone so hopefully the results will be more accurate,quicker, & with pictures to boot. Please follow me on Twitter @thefasttrackfan for race results as i will retweet others race results tweets as well as my own. We are also filming again this year most races and those will be on Youtube @ “freedomleft”. The photos we take will be on LuvRacin.com in 2014 again as well. Thanks to Mike & his crew for the hospitality and hard work they do. Most track preppers could learn a thing or 6 from Mike as he does a great job in Osky, Memphis Mo., Eldon & at LCS.
The next races we saw were the annual Frostbusters in Osky, Marshalltown, & Boone. Most everybody knows who finished where at these races as they are in the words of Ron Burgundy “kinda of a big deal” so i wont say much more other than that I thought each nights races was unique from the others & that the clout these races carries continues to grow. The last 3 A’s at Boone were run this past weekend before the weekly races started and they were all good races. The A main for the mods at Marshalltown was a real see-saw kinda of race with Troy Cordes leading most of the way until the last 5 laps or so when others finally passed him. The 5 of Todd Shute & the 20 of Luke Wanninger are both on their games this year so watch out. I think the crates are doing just fine with the reduction in spoiler from 3 inches to 2 inches. On a personal note it is really exciting for us that some of our personal favorites like the 19g,10c,19,5, & others are off to such good starts in 2014 as they are so keep it up guys. On a side note poor Jenae Gustin has had a very fast sport mod but engine gremlins and suspension gremlins continue to thwart her progress but we know the tide will soon turn so keep at it Jenae! Its also worth mentioning that the 23k of Ben Kates is off to a good start in his Harris sport mod in 2014 with 2 wins at Boone that were dominant in my opinion. Weekly races will now be getting underway all over Iowa if they haven’t already so please support your track wherever you reside in our great Hawkeye state!
The Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines is under new leadership in 2014 after the end of the JJAM promotions era that previously ran the track. Tony Moro, John Pat Dorrian, & Eric Lundstrom along with the help of Karl Moyer, Bob Nading, Don Lamberti & others have really done a nice facelift of the whole area at the track. The pits have been moved to the infield except for Racesaver sprints which are outside of turn 2. The outer wall has been fixed and a new fresh coat of paint applied. Guardrail has been added to the top the fence in turns 3-4. Over 150 loads of new dirt was added to the turns & the frontstretch by Larry & Jerod Fleck Trucking & the surface last week was perfect! It was smooth & fast. The ruts are gone & so are the spongy spots. The have added a Kids Zone at the east end of the grandstands where kids can shoot hoops, drive pedal cars, & slide down a giant inflatable slide. They also have printed up a free program for fans with the drivers names & numbers so you know who your watching. I really have to say they have done a wonderful job so far. I know their are those who don’t like the concrete barriers on the inside of the track this year but I hope they will still give it a shot at some point. There is also a victory lane & a work area in the pits now. The white building in the pits on the frontstretch has been turned into a party patio where if you pay $3 more dollars than a normal pit pass you can bring your own food & beverages & watch the races from there all night. This is the last year for the track as a 1/2mile as after the state fair the track will be shortened to a high banked 3/8ths mile for 2015. Please try to get to the track as much as you can & enjoy 1 last year on the old 1/2 mile. The website is http://www.iowastatefairspeedway.com. The Twitter account is @MRPISFSpeedway which they will use on race nights to tweet results weekly as well as general info throughout the week. I hope all of you feel as we do & don’t want to lose racing at the state fair. This happened in Sedalia Mo. a few years back & now its probably gone for good. Please support ISFS in 2014 whenever you can as they are having 3 specials that are not on Fridays & an real honest attempt is being made to return the track to its glory days.
Thanks to the bloggers at PositivelyRacing.com and to Jeremy Fox at foxman1987.blogpost.com for the stories, stats, & info they put out every week for free to all race fans. See you at the races!
Well the last weeks of summer are upon us as we wind down the regular season of racing in central Iowa. Des Moines ended their season with races held during the Iowa State Fair. Jeff Aikey scored win #59 in his IMCA Deery Bros. career in decisive fashion and all the races were good on Monday. Nick Roberts won the sport mods, Kenny Champ the hobbys, Bill Osbahr the stocks, and Tony Moro won the truck race. This was also the last race at ISFS promoted by JJAM Promotions as Mick Trier and crew called it a career that night. The latest rumor I have heard concerning Des Moines is that it will be cut down to a 3/8ths, run on Saturdays, and that 305 sprints and late models will headline on alternate weeks. There is supposedly 3 good friends who will take on promoting in 2014 at ISFS. Again this is the rumor mill as I heard it and nothing more. The source for this info is good in my opinion but things can change as we all know.
Stuart(S.I.S) is having season championship races tonite and next week will run a modified and stock car special both paying $1k to win with a couple of support classes with races at 8pm on the 1st day of September. The races have been good at Stuart when we have been able to make it and as an added bonus tonite in Stuart they are having powder puff races after the last A main.
The Boone Speedway is kicking into high gear as they approach Supernats week and many drivers are ending their seasons at Boone a little early in preparation for the 31st annual event. The weekly racing has been entertaining as always with some new victors and plenty of controversy as well. Last nights modified feature was a barnburner battle behind winner Cayden Carter who won easily. Kyle Krampe, Mike Van Genderen, Randy Havlik, Tyler Prochaska, Russ Dickerson, Todd Shute, and Jammin’ Jimmy Gustin in his 2014 Harris all battled for the position with Dickerson getting 2nd as the race ended. 185 cars were in the pits as many are doing their shakedown of their programs in preparation for Supernats while others have or will take weeks off beforehand. “Different strokes for different folks” as they say i guess eh? Well tonite will find us at S.I.S. and then Boone next Saturday, S.I.S. next Sunday, and then Monday the IMCA Hell Week starts at Boone on Labor Day. Were still not sure how many days we will attempt in Boone but if you want to get results as they happen check in with @TeamRazorCZ on Twitter as well as the IMCA website. Good luck to all drivers this week and next and hopefully it will cool off for Supernats!
Well its been a few weeks since my last blog but in that time we traveled thru Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee & back thru Iowa. The Nascar Truck race at Eldora was fun to watch and the track sure has grown under Tony Stewart and his team. Kyle Larson drove a heckuva race and finished 2nd. We really enjoyed driving thru Louisville and Nashville and parts in between. The WoO LM Prarie Dirt Track Classic race was an instant classic and I was very happy to see Shannon Babb pull out the victory. The drive from Fairbury back to West Des Moines was a long one but we made it finally around 5am.
Oskaloosa has been our only weekly race since then but it was a good night as always at Southern Iowa Speedway. The 40 Scott Dickey won easily in the mods but most of the other features were closely contested. Poor Brayton Carter tried to jump a tractor tire with his sport mod but wasn’t injured thankfully. We got some more bios from drivers that will be on LuvRacin.com soon hopefully. There are not too many weeks left at Osky so head there still while you can. The Knoxviile Nationals first two nights have been won by David Gravel and Brian Brown but the polesitter for Saturday is Joey Saldana. Congrats to Kyle Strickler on winning The Night of a 1000 Stars HDT race at Britt Thursday. We may make the trip north for the Night of 10,000 Stars, and plan on going to Boone Saturday, Stuart Sunday, Des Moines Monday, and Marshalltown Tuesday. Here’s hoping your summer of racing is going well and wont ever end!
As I sit here writing this blog the details are too many, my memory is too poor, & the nights have started to run together in my mind. We’ve hit Des Moines twice, Boone twice, Lakeside in Kansas City once, Webster City once, Stuart once, & Knoxville once also. I’m so far behind uploading photos & videos that it is just pathetic really. I guess the highlight of the whole thing was getting to spend time with friends in the stands & pits as the racing has been subpar overall due to the heat mostly in my opinion. Billy Moyer & Jeremy Payne winning at Lakeside was a treat & I recommend visiting that track if you’ve never been. Webster city was a one laner deal & a let down after Lakeside but we still got to catch up with friends & take some great photos for LuvRacin.com which I hope you’ll check out as they are getting much better at getting our photos & bios up on the website.
Happy Gilman winning the $1000 mod special at des moines made us very happy as Josh has really got his car figured out along with the crate motor he put in it. We wished we could’ve seen the Toddzilla HDT win at Osky but we were in Kansas that night watching great races ourselves. If you havent picked up a #5 shirt yet you might wanna stop by the trailer and grab one as they are on sale until they are gone & are really sharp shirts. The Harris Clash at Knoxville was a fun night overall as was Boone this past Saturday. We spent the night in the #77c stock car pits visiting & it was neat to have a night off from tweeting results. With the late rain on Sunday plus threat of further rain & the fact that our car is not “off road ready” we skipped Stuart on the 21st but will be back hopefully on the 28th.
Wednesday morning we leave for Eldora Ohio & the Nascar Camping World Truck race on my birthday & then its on to Nashville Thursday thru Saturday morning. We hope to leave & make it to Fairbury Illinois for the 2nd night of the WoO LM’s & the Prarie Dirt Track Classic Saturday night. However it looks like no video from either Eldora or Fairbury according to the track websites. We plan to drive back to West Des Moines after that race, get some sleep, & head to Stuart this Sunday if things go well. Wish us luck please!