DirtRacing.US http://dirtracing.us Covering the greatest sport in the United States of America, Dirt Track Racing! Mon, 18 May 2015 14:12:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 Hutchinson Raceway Park Four Years After Closing http://dirtracing.us/2015/05/18/hutchinson-raceway-park-four-years-closing/ http://dirtracing.us/2015/05/18/hutchinson-raceway-park-four-years-closing/#respond Mon, 18 May 2015 14:10:26 +0000 http://dirtracing.us/?p=3458 If you need even more motivation to support your local dirt track look no further than this video. In the 2011 season Hutchinson Raceway Park in Hutchinson, Kansas announced they were closing the doors. Dwindling car counts and, more importantly, attendance caused this and inevitably the track went silent. There are plenty of rumors every year […]

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If you need even more motivation to support your local dirt track look no further than this video.

In the 2011 season Hutchinson Raceway Park in Hutchinson, Kansas announced they were closing the doors. Dwindling car counts and, more importantly, attendance caused this and inevitably the track went silent.

There are plenty of rumors every year of people opening the track back up but those are usually squashed fairly quickly. The truth is it would take someone with the means of a big investment to get it back to what it once was.

It’s a sad day when a dirt track closes. Get out there and support what you’ve got, you never know when it might be gone! And while you’re at it, take your family, friends, neighbors, postman, delivery driver, insurance agent, etc. etc. etc. Friendships and entertainment can be infectious and the after effects could spiral and really make the track turn into a center piece of your community!

-Wiggy

Video (Courtesy of Justin Watkins):

Hutchinson Raceway Park 2015

Posted by Justin Watkins on Sunday, May 17, 2015

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This is Why Securing the Lead in your Race Car is Important http://dirtracing.us/2015/05/16/this-is-why-securing-the-lead-in-your-race-car-is-important/ http://dirtracing.us/2015/05/16/this-is-why-securing-the-lead-in-your-race-car-is-important/#respond Sat, 16 May 2015 20:09:14 +0000 http://dirtracing.us/?p=3450 The next time you are mounting lead to your race car please make sure it is secured tight and can’t be easily knocked off. And for safety’s sake, even if your track or sanctioning body doesn’t specify it, please paint it white or a very bright color! On Saturday morning NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Jamie […]

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The next time you are mounting lead to your race car please make sure it is secured tight and can’t be easily knocked off. And for safety’s sake, even if your track or sanctioning body doesn’t specify it, please paint it white or a very bright color!

On Saturday morning NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Jamie Dick hit what he thought were brake ducts while practicing at Iowa Speedway. It turned out to be a chunk of lead off another car and could have seriously injured the driver had it not been for the windshield to take the force of the hit.

The lead bounced off the hood and into/through the windshield, striking his helmet. He was unhurt but obviously shaken as he drove the car back to the garage area.

I realize this is a NASCAR style car, different from what we see and drive on a weekly basis. BUT the danger is the same. Look at the photo! What would happen if you hit a chunk of lead? Is there enough protection in front of you to at least slow it down or deflect it? How would you feel if it was yours and injured one of your friends? This is an important piece of the safety puzzle that often times goes unnoticed.

So please remember to secure not only lead but anything that could become a projectile while on the track. The life you save could be your own!

-Wiggy

Photo courtesy of Viva Motorsports Facebook Page

To read more on the incident click here: Piece of Lead Destroys Jamie Dick’s Car, Hits His Helmet at Iowa Speedway

More photos:

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One Big Step in the Community for Dirt Track Racing http://dirtracing.us/2015/05/15/one-big-step-in-the-community-for-dirt-track-racing/ http://dirtracing.us/2015/05/15/one-big-step-in-the-community-for-dirt-track-racing/#respond Fri, 15 May 2015 15:53:33 +0000 http://dirtracing.us/?p=3444 Recently the Yuma, Arizona Chamber of Commerce did a study to determine just how much the local Cocopah Speedway pumps money into their economy. The results were shocking to the general public. The “little old dirt track” brings in over $10 million over the course of a year! This is vital for all tracks to […]

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Recently the Yuma, Arizona Chamber of Commerce did a study to determine just how much the local Cocopah Speedway pumps money into their economy.

The results were shocking to the general public. The “little old dirt track” brings in over $10 million over the course of a year!

This is vital for all tracks to harness and use to their benefit. This kind of information is what speedways need to get over the edge and show the community that it’s not just a bunch of rednecks with loud cars. Auto racing is a big business, and one that is here to stay.

It’s also important for communities who want to strike down local speedways to see this. I can personally think of at least a couple in the surrounding states that are fighting this issue, due to city expansion or noise ordinances. Show them the bottom dollar and ask them which they would rather have: a silent cricket filled night year round not making a dime or once a week hearing the roar of engines making the community millions?

The choice is simple.

To see the in-depth article and read more about this study visit the Yuma Sun’s link here: Chamber: Cocopah Speedway Pumps $10 Million into Local Economy

-Wiggy

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Annual Race Car Show at the Salina Central Mall This Weekend; T-shirt Purchases Benefit the Birdsong Family http://dirtracing.us/2015/03/20/annual-race-car-show-at-the-salina-central-mall-this-weekend-t-shirt-purchases-benefit-the-birdsong-family/ http://dirtracing.us/2015/03/20/annual-race-car-show-at-the-salina-central-mall-this-weekend-t-shirt-purchases-benefit-the-birdsong-family/#respond Fri, 20 Mar 2015 14:59:33 +0000 http://dirtracing.us/?p=3439 Every year around mid-March the Salina Central Mall roars to life with the annual www.DirtRacing.us Race Car Show. This year adds a little more flavor to the fun with a variety of new things to check out over the upcoming weekend. Not only will the race cars be on display both Saturday and Sunday as […]

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Every year around mid-March the Salina Central Mall roars to life with the annual www.DirtRacing.us Race Car Show.

This year adds a little more flavor to the fun with a variety of new things to check out over the upcoming weekend.

Not only will the race cars be on display both Saturday and Sunday as usual, there will be plenty of opportunities to help support a great cause. This year’s focus is on the Jaxson Fuller Youth Racing Fund, a charity setup in memory of Jaxson Fuller to provide young racers the opportunity to get on track with help in their fledgling racing careers. A raffle will be setup to help support the organization, and fans are encouraged to take part in other associated activities such as a bouncy house courtesy of Bounce-A-Roos from 10AM-2PM on Saturday, and face painting as well.

Everyone can also enjoy autographs from their favorite drivers from 10AM-12PM on Saturday and starting around 4PM on Sunday.

The event coincidentally matches up with the arrival of the Easter Bunny at 10AM on Saturday at the Central Mall, where there will also be free train rides until 12PM. The first 100 kids will also receive a free 4×6 photo and a goody bag.

Salina Speedway will also once again be a huge part of the event, where race teams and fans can find the latest information on the 2015 season. This year’s Speedway Swag official T-Shirts will be on sale as well, with $2.00 of every purchase being donated to Browynn Birdsong’s family, a toddler who passed away due to a rare cancer. The Birdsong family will be a big part of opening night on April 24th as well.

Bring your friends and family out to the Salina Central Mall this weekend and experience the THUNDER! The show will run along with mall hours, 10AM-9PM on Saturday, and 12PM-6PM on Sunday.

by Dusty Wiegert

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BLOG: Why the Hutchinson Nationals are THE Nationals http://dirtracing.us/2014/07/23/blog-hutchinson-nationals-nationals/ http://dirtracing.us/2014/07/23/blog-hutchinson-nationals-nationals/#respond Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:08:53 +0000 http://dirtracing.us/?p=3418 As the last weekend in July approaches, I can’t help but be nostalgic. Growing up around racing in Kansas in the 80’s and 90’s meant one HUGE race every year that everyone attended, the Hutchinson Nationals. The two day show in Hutchinson, Kansas at the big half mile has been a mainstay in the city’s […]

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As the last weekend in July approaches, I can’t help but be nostalgic.

Growing up around racing in Kansas in the 80’s and 90’s meant one HUGE race every year that everyone attended, the Hutchinson Nationals.

The two day show in Hutchinson, Kansas at the big half mile has been a mainstay in the city’s history and racing history of the USA.

But for the last ten years or so, many have discounted the Nationals as just another race.

In this race fan’s eyes, those thoughts have been dashed.

I vaguely remember attending my first nationals. In fact, I don’t really remember any of it, but mom and dad took me along anyways.

Though mom can’t remember the exact time I went to my first I believe it was somewhere in the mid-80s. Right about the time Lonnie and Delbert Smith, my local hero Alan Bullard, Buddy Mullens, Gary Nulf, and other locally high profile names had a stranglehold on the competition at the Nationals.

Albeit a bad experience, my first real memory of the Hutchinson Nationals was my mom screaming as Mike Conkwright flipped down the front stretch in a brutal crash. I remember seeing the newspaper, and that photo that has been burnt into my mind ever since, the next morning on the way to the track as well. Obviously Mike recovered from his injuries and promotes my “home away from home” Thunder Hill Speedway now, and didn’t turn out to be a bad driver either!

It was shortly after this that I began remembering details, storing away little snapshots of what the Nationals were in my head.

Especially in 1991.

At eight years old, I had become a HUGE race fan already. We had a local driver (Brian Knoell) start racing around this time. Brian was friends with our family’s friends, the Pihls, so naturally we became a big racing family. It was Brian’s rookie year in the Thumper division when we went south with the race car for his first try at the Nationals. I remember staying at the Comfort Inn out by the mall, and after that first day of racing the parking lot of the motel became the new pit area for the weekend. We grilled some food, the adults drank what I’m guessing was massive quantities of alcohol, and I got to meet some of the drivers that were working on their machines. It was at that moment that I learned chips make great spoons for baked beans, and license plates were excellent dinner plates!

There was one Outlaw Sprinter there, driven by Billy Turner. I went and checked it out and they offered me a chance to sit in the car. They gained an instant fan, and although I don’t know what happened to Billy, it will be forever one of my first huge memories of Nationals. Brian didn’t fare so well, even got into that ugly concrete wall encompassing the half mile before the end of the day, but it was a weekend to remember nonetheless.

I believe this was also the same year that Sammy Swindell made an appearance to sign autographs and race. Sammy wasn’t the most energetic guy that day, in fact my mom wasn’t too impressed at all after waiting in line forever in the heat, but it was still a cool moment to get a guy like that, a guy you’d see on TV, to sign your picture. He later absolutely dominated the race and took the win.

When the Nationals were still contested during the daytime hours we would do the two tracks in one day adventure quite often. Once the National prelims were done at the big track we’d all load up and head west to “little Hutch”, or Hutchinson Raceway Park as it was most recently known. Many guys would do the double that weekend, and how they and the cars survived all those laps in one hundred degree temperatures I’ll never know.

The 1998 Nationals also stand out to me personally. For so many years one of my favorite local drivers, Shelby Steenson, had tried to win the Nationals in the Sprint Car division. Fate always played a hand it seemed, and Shelby never could break into the winner’s circle at the event. This year was different. Shelby was a man on a mission and got by Jim Selenke, with a little contact, to win for the first time. It was awesome to see a legend breakthrough in the way he did, much like my hero Dale Earnhardt had done earlier that year in the Daytona 500.

At the turn of the century some started considering that Nationals were starting to lose its sparkle. Rule changes meant smaller car counts, and the racing on the half mile had become very single file, despite a re-shaping and widening attempt around 2000. Some think it was the night-time events, since lights were installed around the same time Shelby took the big win. Some thought it was just running its course and couldn’t muster up to the Super Nationals, Knoxville Nationals, The Dream, (Insert big race here), etc.

Making this thing come back to life seemed to be a daunting task. The 50th anniversary of the Grand Nationals was coming up in 2006, and C. Ray Hall and his Speedway, Inc. crew knew what had to be done. The magic needed to be recreated. There needing to be some awe inspiring events take place, and the nostalgia needed to be recaptured.

The weekend played out like most Nationals weekends. It was steaming hot but the crew had drummed up about two dozen new ideas and took them into play. For the first time IMCA was a part of the Nationals, running an afternoon show on Saturday along with qualifiers for the Mods and Sprints. A nostalgic race car show in the grandstand area brought in fans from all over early to the races. Opening ceremonies were obviously going to be a show no one wanted to miss, with it being the 50th Anniversary. A huge line of previous winners were on hand to be recognized to the fans, capped off with the flying of balloons and a great rendition of the National Anthem. The races that night were excellent as well, and I feel this is where the Nationals took a turn in the right direction again.

The Nationals also gained popularity after the final State Fair races were ran, now giving fans and racers only one (or maybe a few depending on other events) opportunity to race at the half mile.

Within the last five years track prep and new dirt have breathed even more life into the old girl off of Plum Street. In 2012 I witnessed what I believe is one of the best Sprint Car races I have ever seen, with Jeremy Campbell and Kevin Swindell throwing wild slide jobs on one another in a two-laned race for the ages. The fairgrounds track had finally developed that elusive second lane, and drivers have been quick to uncover it since.

Freight train race? Dirty piece of junk? Not anymore. The Nationals are back in full force, and if you consider yourself a race fan you know where to be this weekend, especially on Saturday night with all three NCRA divisions on tap with a HUGE purse for what is expected to be one of the can’t miss races of the year in our area.

And if you see some crazy guy in a bright neon shirt running from race cars you know I’m there as well.

Good luck to all at the 58th running of the Hutchinson Grand Nationals this weekend!

-Dusty Wiegert

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BLOG: For the Racers: Selfish Therapy http://dirtracing.us/2014/06/26/blog-racers-selfish-therapy/ http://dirtracing.us/2014/06/26/blog-racers-selfish-therapy/#respond Thu, 26 Jun 2014 19:55:14 +0000 http://dirtracing.us/?p=3286 “I recognize that I have the ability to be selfish, but I also recognize that you can’t be happy if you only care about yourself at the expense of other people.” – Russell Brand Think about your current racing operation. The people involved, the fans (or lack of), and the facilities you participate at. Does […]

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“I recognize that I have the ability to be selfish, but I also recognize that you can’t be happy if you only care about yourself at the expense of other people.” – Russell Brand

Think about your current racing operation. The people involved, the fans (or lack of), and the facilities you participate at.

Does this sound like you? Maybe your competitors? Odds are you already thought of someone. But take a look in the mirror. You are to blame just as much as anyone else.

Mr. Brand’s quote hits home for racers across the country. Sure the guy can be a little crazy but he’s got a damn good point.

The thing I’ve been trying to figure out for the past 5-10 years is this: At what point did things become selfish?

The answer most likely to thwart this question is money. The economy blows, has for awhile now. Gas prices are sky high. Racers are competing for just as much money now as they did 20 years ago. etc. etc. etc. Not one answer can be given as to why racers are more selfish now than they ever have been.

But let’s think about that answer. Money. Green backs. Dough. Whatever you call it, of course it’s a factor. But have you ever thought about how it affects not only you but the facilities that let you play on their time? How about the fans who spent that money to see you perform?

When was the last time you gave back to the fans, not including your performance on the track? Does your team have T-Shirts? Do you have items that you give away from time to time?

And if you don’t have what you would call “loyal” fans, why don’t you?

It’s easy. Interaction is the quickest way to networking and developing a fan base. It’s an ever changing web of contacts that has a domino effect on the sport. This works for the teams and the tracks the same way.

For example, suppose you are working on your car in your driveway one evening. A man and his wife on a walk say hello and ask you about the car. Do you A) blow them off with short answers or B) tell them exactly what you’re doing and bait them into asking more questions? Many race teams go the route of A when you should always be choosing B. Here’s why:

Suppose that man and his wife are wealthy. Maybe the man owns his own business and is interested in motorsports. Maybe he has wanted to get involved with something like that for a long time, just never really knew how. Here’s where the ripple effect comes into play. If you blow him off he may see the sport as a bunch of egotistical assholes and delete that interest from his mind. The potential for dollars to be brought into the sport has now dissipated. But if you choose the B route and start talking to them about it, who knows where that could end up.

You could be talking to potentially a huge supporter, or maybe just two new fans. Either way, it helps to interact with people. He could call you tomorrow and ask what it takes to get his business on your car. Or you could see them at the track the next week. It helps the sport survive and could directly affect your team positively.

The same goes for your neighbors, who should be #1 on the list of potential fans. How many times have you fired up the car in your garage or driveway? You ever think about their reaction to the noise? Throw some water on the fire before it spreads and talk to them about what you do. Offer them a ticket or two to come watch you that week for putting up with the noise. You could once again build a foundation for support, whether it be financial or in the pits. Either way works out, and you’ll have more understanding and less pissed off people on the block.

Here’s an idea: Buy a couple’s tickets to the races. Try it this week at your local track. Pick out a couple of people that may look a little out of sorts (no racing shirts, women in dresses, etc.) and buy their ticket into the races. Tell them what car you drive or are associated with and thank them for coming to the races. Your cost? Around $20 depending on tickets at your track. The opportunity cost? Exponentially greater! Like the scenario above, who knows what might be on their mind. But you likely just made a huge impression on them and gained two fans at the very least in the process who will come watch you race!

A lot of the thoughts above could work the same with your fellow racers. For example, maybe the guy you park by for the night is someone you’ve never met before. For all that matters maybe he doesn’t even drive the same division as you. But it doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly to them. You might break something in hot laps and they could have the part you need, but you were a dick when they pulled in so odds are they aren’t going to loan you that part. Kindness prevails! And further down the road your teams could become more involved, maybe to the point of sharing a tow vehicle or shop space, maybe even teammates. It’s cost saving, productive, and builds your team into something bigger. The opportunities are endless.10493002_10152287275843929_2647469921412667483_o

Do you see how being selfish affects everything around you? These thoughts can be applied personally as well.

The “all about me” mentality will slowly rot away the sport we love. To keep it going we’ve got to band together, and above all get people back to the racetrack. A full grandstand sure makes the night much more enjoyable for race teams and race promoters! Would you rather win a race in front of 500 people or 3,000?

We’ll continue the round of ideas with my next blog post. I hope everyone has a new outlook and can continue learning on the future of racing in the future!

-Dusty Wiegert (dusty@dirtracing.us)

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VIDEO: Justin Kinderknecht Mod Lite On-Board May 9, 2014 http://dirtracing.us/2014/05/19/video-justin-kinderknecht-mod-lite-board-may-9-2014/ http://dirtracing.us/2014/05/19/video-justin-kinderknecht-mod-lite-board-may-9-2014/#respond Mon, 19 May 2014 21:42:36 +0000 http://dirtracing.us/?p=3247 DirtRacing.us team member Justin Kinderknecht takes us on a ride in the Mod Lite feature event on May 9, 2014 at the Salina Speedway. Justin quickly works his way into the top 5 before getting stuck on the outside of a restart and began to fall back. An oops moment sets in at 4:10 as […]

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DirtRacing.us team member Justin Kinderknecht takes us on a ride in the Mod Lite feature event on May 9, 2014 at the Salina Speedway.

Justin quickly works his way into the top 5 before getting stuck on the outside of a restart and began to fall back. An oops moment sets in at 4:10 as he spins and has to rejoin the back of the pack.

On the restart he quickly begins trying to figure out a way through the slower cars at the back when Mike Zurbek gets a little crossed up entering turn 3 at speed. Justin some how misses him in a puckering moment and keeps the car going without a scratch!

Starting from the inside this time he wastes no time getting past a few cars. A few laps later Trace Ayers spins and once again makes a close call for the #28G.

Another restart puts him on the outside again. In turn 2 of the restart he just about spins again but keeps it going on a slick dusty surface. He finishes the race 4th after another caution flies.

This video was recorded using a Replay XD 1080p camera, available through DirtRacing.us. Send a text or give us a call at 785.342.2565 to order yours today!

Enjoy the ride!

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VIDEO: Cruiser Carnage at Dixie! http://dirtracing.us/2014/05/19/video-cruiser-carnage-dixie/ http://dirtracing.us/2014/05/19/video-cruiser-carnage-dixie/#respond Mon, 19 May 2014 19:58:10 +0000 http://dirtracing.us/?p=3241 This video takes us to the Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Georgia. The video starts off with a typical Saturday night stock car feature in the track’s “Cruiser” division. Not sure where they got the name because typically Cruisers are two people cars but from what we can tell there’s only one in each. It’s a […]

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This video takes us to the Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Georgia. The video starts off with a typical Saturday night stock car feature in the track’s “Cruiser” division. Not sure where they got the name because typically Cruisers are two people cars but from what we can tell there’s only one in each. It’s a good thing too!

At 3:50 we see a car get a little sideways and overcorrect, shooting him up the track into the wall. Unbeknownst to him is the guy behind him has little time to react and completely obliterates the spinee, sending him rolling and the t-bone inducing car completely over the top of the other car!

Just a great example of how a great night can turn bad in the blink of an eye.

Enjoy the video!

Props to Bobby Ray on the upload!

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