1. Tired of worry after dominating the World 100?
Another crown jewel, another absolutely dominating performance from Jonathan Davenport, who took on Brandon Overton’s challenge to earn his fifth career Eldora World 100 victory and his second major victory on the track this season after won the Eldora Million in June.
🏁 SEPTEMBER MEANS THE WORLD
Jonathan Davenport wins another crown jewel race at Eldora, collecting his fifth #World100.
— Always Race Day (@AlwaysRaceDay) September 11, 2022
The brave people of DirtonDirt picked up on a thread that deserves more discussion in their Monday round tablesenior writer Kevin Kovac noting that he had heard many complaints from riders about the inability of the weekend tires to grip a smooth Eldora surface, which made it difficult to change racing lines on Saturday night ( September 10).
Statistically, overtaking wasn’t a problem at Eldora despite Davenport’s prowess up front (Dale McDowell scored a 17-point improvement in 100 laps). But this scenario is worth noting when following up on last week’s story that Hoosier Tire is reducing its compound offerings for the 2023 season, tying at least the top two late model series to a select compound. from next season.
As discussed last week, Hoosier’s tire planning has merit for next year. But if tires were really a concern at the first major late model race since the 2023 rule was announced, it highlights the major risk super late model races could face at Speedweeks in February: and What if the latest, greatest (and least) offerings aren’t up to snuff?
2. Ricky Weiss is out of the World 100 after Friday DQ
Remaining at Eldora, Ricky Weiss had a turbulent Friday night in preliminary action, earning an unlikely victory in preliminary action only minutes later, becoming the most publicized victim of late model racing’s “droop rule” in recent memory. Weiss was disqualified and his win vacated after track officials found his trunk lid to be an inch out of tolerance. DQ Weiss’ decision led to the Canadian rider and his freelance team skipping the B-main on Saturday and ending their World 100 weekend.
After last night’s disqualification, our team has decided by mutual agreement to park our Sniper chassis #7 for the rest of the weekend.
Thank you to all of our sponsors and fans. pic.twitter.com/n1VGqLGKkr
— Ricky Weiss Racing (@weissracing7) September 10, 2022
While it is frustrating to lose a win, let alone one at Eldora, to the droop rule, that rule has been the established law of late model racing throughout the year. Additionally, a number of race teams, including eventual World 100 winner Davenport, have actually made a point of driving their cars into the part of the infield where post-race tech happens to perform their own droop rule checks during hot rounds over the weekend.
Why am I talking about it? If I sponsor the #7 car and see my team pull up without trying to make their way into a crown jewel race, especially since the starting money for the World 100 feature was 5 $200, I would have a sour taste in my mouth. It’s not NASCAR, where throwing a time trial means putting it away unless you’re chartered.
Comes off a little pout.
3. The Gateway Dirt Nationals entry list is a story unto itself
The entry list for the annual indoor super late model race in St. Louis was released this week and it’s HUGE, with 144 riders entered.
A complete list of our RECORDING BREAKING 144 SLM registered pilots❗️
These contestants will compete for the 6th Annual Gateway Dirt Nationals Super Late Model Title 🏆🏁
—GatewayDirtNationals | #DirtInDecember (@GatewayDirt) September 11, 2022
This list has heavy hitters, including Brandon Sheppard, Tyler Erb and defending winner Tyler Carpenter. There’s no shortage of characters either, including reigning winner Tyler Carpenter.
But, and perhaps most notably, it lacks the top four late-model riders in the country. Davenport, Chris Madden, Mike Marlar and Brandon Overton are all nowhere to be found.
Now, there are reasons for that. For one, these four drivers will have won enough by this point in the 2022 season that there’s no reason to head to St. Louis soon after Thanksgiving to race on a mini-track that will put the cars in rooms. Additionally, these four riders showed their best on longer ovals, earning their living on the half-miles this year.
Which leads me to hope that these four Southern-based riders will show up for the XR Sunshine State 50 at All-Tech Raceway on the same weekend. I was a vocal critic of the Gateway Dirt Nationals a year ago, largely because building a temporary dirt oval in a dome is hardly a suitable venue for super late model racing.
This XR was brave enough to schedule a super late model run at an All-Tech venue with a proven track record of excellent late model runs is to be commended. Hopefully the big guns show up to arm them accordingly.
4. Cade Dillard’s New Welcome Vehicle
Since ditching the World of Outlaws Late Model Tour last summer, Cade Dillard has been living the dirt racing buffet life, driving (and winning) in just about every type of race car the world has ever seen. sport has to offer. That continued over the weekend, with Dillard picking up a win in the short-track Super Series Cajun Region driving a modified mid-drive, his last of a campaign that put him in the lead. the points of this tour.
I honestly didn’t know until I saw his victory lane picture this weekend that Dillard was running the Cajun Region circuit full time, but I for one am excited to see a driver of his class lead the circuit. Why?
Last fall’s Cajun Swing for the Short Track Super Series, which sees the big names in modified racing from the Northeast travel to Louisiana and Texas to host a joint mini-series with their Southern brethren, does wasn’t even a contest. The Northeast teams were in a league of their own, while the Cajun region teams had the chance to see their cars finish the specs, let alone compete with them.
It’s great to see mid-drive modifications expand out of the northeast, because as ugly as they are, they’re still the most racy class of off-road cars in the country. But if they want to succeed as a class elsewhere in the United States, they must be able to put on races of a higher caliber than a weekly bomber show.
Having a pilot of Dillard’s caliber is a step in the right direction.
5. Pot meets kettle in the west
The flood of dirt tracks joining the endangered species list has also continued out west, with California’s Perris Auto Speedway adopting a hashtag #saveperris as the surrounding community apparently considers other options for the future of the exhibition center currently housing the racecourse.
Anyone who has read this column over the past few weeks knows that I lament the potential closure of any dirt road, but I have to admit that the Perris defense that has been mounted so far is bordering on ridiculous.
Because a dirt road citing dust clouds and traffic jams as the reason for a construction project not proceeding is laughable.
6. The state of the open wheel may not be so surprising
It’s been a running joke for most of 2022 that midget racing, even at the National Tour Series level, has turned into automatic full-contact wrestling. After seeing this post from a weekend micro sprint race at I-44 Riverside Speedway (micro sprints are the main power series of midget races) it all starts to get more of meaning.
No, there is no contact in this incident. But for a driver to act in disbelief as to why he would be disqualified for literally cutting a race track in half and expecting to hold his position, that’s exactly the type of mindset that drives until midget racing becomes, well, automatic full-contact wrestling.
I-44 officials have 100% got this one.
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