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News
October 24, 2017  at 2:11:49
Submitted by David Smith Jr.
Tidbits Column for 10/24/17
My first column since 2013. Planning on making this more frequent. You can go back to reread this and all previous – even though it is old news, on my racing facebook page www.oklahomatidbits.com/news.cfm.  
 
This tidbits column is brought to you by Smiley’s Racing Products in Oklahoma City. They have been an advertiser on all pages of tidbits since I began selling advertising space (thank you Jeff Autry) and continued support from manager Cody Whitworth. Their support of tidbits is why I have them as sponsor for this first tidbits column in several years.
 
This weekend’s cancellation of the annual “Fall Fling” at Creek County Speedway featuring the Lucas Oil ASCS National tour leaves two big events in the state this weekend. The TOMS Invitational featuring modifieds and sport mods on Friday night’ TOMS Modifieds and sport mods along with factory stocks on Saturday night will be at Southern Oklahoma Speedway (Ardmore) with race time slated for a 7:30 PM start time. You must have competed in at least two TOMS events during the season to be eligible.
 
Also, late models will highlight the race action at the historic Thunderbird Speedway (Muskogee Fairgrounds) this Friday and Saturday night with the feature finale winner earning $10,000 and “Midwest Dirt Track Championship.” Also running will be the Amods ($1200 to win); Pure Stocks ($500 to win); $800 to win Bmods and $600 to win super stocks. There are several that will be inducted into the Thunderbird Speedway HoF. More information can be found on their official facebook page: Thunderbird Speedway.
 
If you are really determined to prove you can brave the cold weather, Dodge City Raceway Park will host the World of Outlaw sprint cars this Friday and Saturday night. I’ll watch that on dirtvision where it is comfortable.
 
Fourteen: That is the number of rainouts that 81 Speedway in Park City, Kansas had this 2017 race season. The track tried three times to get in the sixth annual “Air Capital Shootout” in late March/early April featuring the NCRA 360-ci sprint car series. This event was eventually cancelled. The rainouts continued during the season and even nixed the scheduled “NCRA Final Four,” final point races for all four divisions. All four drivers won their third championship: Jeremy Campbell (sprint), Dan Powers (modified), Chris Kratzer (crate late model) and Justin Kinderknecht (sport mod).
 
For 2018, the seventh annual “Air Capital Shootout” may go back to a $10,000 to win event (last weekend in March) while the second annual “Sprint Car Maynia” may go to Saturday night during the Memorial Day weekend instead of Sunday night. Final decisions on those dates/details will be made after next weekend’s second annual “Chisolm Trail Showdown” featuring the United States Modified Tour Series (November 3-4). Promoter C Ray Hall should know by then the status of the historic Hutchinson Grand Nationals as well.
 
Jon Freeman, a former 2007 Hutch Nationals champion, and a NCRA sprint car regular for years will cut back his racing for 2018. The Salina, Kansas driver will compete in selected NCRA sprint car events and will also take to the wheel of a mod-lite.
 
Racing action at one of the states newest race tracks, Longdale Speedway, seems to be in limbo. Promoter Greg Burgess has left for North Carolina and with not enough support from drivers and fans, track owner Jesse Hoskins is weighing his options. I hate it for Jesse as he spent a lot of money and time building a first-class facility four years ago to give people a place to race. What I don’t hate it for are those drivers (and families of) who continued to bitch, moan and complain over rules that didn’t go their way. There is a huge difference in bitching and complaining in the shop or even to the promoters over the phone than posting on social media ones biased opinion. There are situations at tracks and different race series I may not care but bitching on social media is not my option. I will either not attend the track or race series or wait a bit to go back and hope situations will be different. Bashing does nobody any good.
 
Speaking of new promoters, Elk City Speedway will be under new ownership in 2018 with former group who promoted it a couple years ago back at the helm. More on this as they are ready to make an announcement.
 
Cody Brewer, owner and promoter at Red Dirt Raceway in Meeker, is proud and happy with their growth from the beginning of the year to the end (car counts and quality of shows) and is already working on 2018 dates. He is working on more “wing” sprint shows and will be bringing back the sport mods and pure stocks. He is also introducing a hornet class as and entry level into racing. Non-wing sprints will still be seen at Red Dirt Raceway but mainly as special events. Look for more midget specials well. Track will continue to run on Friday nights until summer break and come back on Saturday evenings or Sunday afternoons during the fall.
 
Promoter and long-time tidbits supporter George Welch texts to say he isn’t done yet. Oklahoma Sports Park (Ada) will continue race action in 2018 with George at the helm and, at some point, may turn the reigns over to his daughter Keli. George has an agreement with a tv production company to be there, so he will see things through.
 
In case you missed it, Lawton Speedway has disbanded the champ sprint division on their weekly race program and will run the IMCA RaceSavor 305’s weekly beginning in 2018.
 
Speaking of 305’s, US Raceway in Missouri will run the IMCA RaceSaver 305’s weekly in 2018 with Lake Ozark Speedway running a 305-ci division but not sanctioned. Once the class builds look for them to make the switch to IMCA sanctioned and also look for a Missouri-based IMCA RaceSaver sprint class within the next couple of years.
 
In then out and then in again driver Shawn Jorski will be back inside the cockpit of a sport mod for 2018, utilizing a Western Flyer chassis. Shawn will run the Sooner Sport Mod division in 2018 as well as his 600cc mini-mod at I-44 Speedway and special events.
 
The Tulsa-based Ameri-Flex Hose and Accessories has committed their title-sponsor support to the OCRS for the next five-years and solidifies the fact the two-barrel sprint cars are just not dead yet. Creek County Speedway will also continue to run the champ sprints division on a weekly basis. You hear a “home divided” referring to households with OU and OSU fans. Well the same can be said in the sprint car ranks as it is a “state divided” as the west side of I-35 are all 305 supporters while the east side of I-35 continues to be champ sprint country.
 
Former ASCS National tour champion Zach Chappell has claimed the 2017 OCRS championship, his first with the series.
 
The Texas-based ELITE wingless race series has gone from 305s only to no motor rules for 2018. Also, the tire rule is 94 stamped left rear must durometer 35 and must weigh 1500 lbs minimum after the feature.
 
It is that time for Greg Deatherage and his 4-Speed Promotions off season Racers/High Performance Trade Shows, Auctions and Swap Meets. For a list of all dates and how to reserve your booth space and sell your race stuff at auction, go to raceshow.net or check out the banners on all pages of www.oklahomatidbits.com.   
 
Got your drivers plans for 2018 finalized or have some tidbits you want to get out? Email me [email protected]. If you are interested in placing an ad all on pages of the website, email me with details.
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