Dirt Late Models 2022

LewTheShoe

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Two thought-provoking observations from @gnomesayin, but they are somewhat contradictory...
Some normally fast guys failing to transfer out of B-Mains and needing "emergency" provisionals as well.

I wish the late model series would tighten up the provisional rules, but oh well.
Both national series' big events now consist of a group of true outlaws that are unaffiliated racing for the win, while the full-timers have their own points battle going on behind them. It's a weird but very lucrative time in late model racing.

If a sanctioning body is running a touring series, like Lucas Oil or WOO, it inevitably relies upon it's series regulars to make the series viable. It needs both the big-money events *and* the regular, run-of-the-mill events to be successful. For the sanctioning body, walking the tightrope between (a) welcoming cherry pickers to the big-money shows, and (b) maintaining the viability of your weekly regulars... well, that's a treacherous balancing act.

In many ways, it is the same argument as charters in Nascar, or guaranteed Indy 500 slots for series regulars, or even the closed membership ranks for F1. And we internet commentators, always adept at risking OPM (other people's money), generally have different criteria from the actual industry insiders trying to put on a full slate of events from February through November.

Anyway, sorry to interrupt, and now back to your regularly scheduled mud-slinging, slide-jobbing programming. Hopefully it will be quite a while before the parallels between dirt late models and F1 get mentioned again.. :flushed:
 

Tim_Richmond_Fan

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HTF crew has their 604 Crate at Magnolia & Joseph driving the Henderson Motorsports Longhorn. Henderson guys apparently didn't check droop. Failed after 2nd in heat in a car that had been pushing like a dumptruck...which ironically Joseph used to drive. They must have gotten it to turn but...illegal. Tagged rear in B-Main but only made it to 4th. Needed 2nd to make feature. So they done in SLM.

Jesse in HTF #1 604 car had feature won last night but after a restart dropped to 2nd then spun by himself. Came from back to 12th passing everywhere but the stands. Starts outside pole tonight. They run about 15 classes of "street stocks" so probably be 3 AM before it's done. Actually not sure they running the street stock tonight? I hate to check their Twitter as it will have 30 tweets about starting positions, but no results.

Just amazing: https://twitter.com/TheMagSpeedway

I tried watching some races from the Mag last night while in between other races, and the track looked like a rubbered up one lane train track. I couldn't watch it.
 

KTMLew01

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It was like that all weekend. Pretty obvious. I guess no one checks deck heights any more except for XR at Bristol.
If you like discussion about late model technical stuff sign up @ 4M.net. The site has been having server issues. Just checked and she's dead right now.
 

gnomesayin

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Two thought-provoking observations from @gnomesayin, but they are somewhat contradictory...



If a sanctioning body is running a touring series, like Lucas Oil or WOO, it inevitably relies upon it's series regulars to make the series viable. It needs both the big-money events *and* the regular, run-of-the-mill events to be successful. For the sanctioning body, walking the tightrope between (a) welcoming cherry pickers to the big-money shows, and (b) maintaining the viability of your weekly regulars... well, that's a treacherous balancing act.

In many ways, it is the same argument as charters in Nascar, or guaranteed Indy 500 slots for series regulars, or even the closed membership ranks for F1. And we internet commentators, always adept at risking OPM (other people's money), generally have different criteria from the actual industry insiders trying to put on a full slate of events from February through November.

Anyway, sorry to interrupt, and now back to your regularly scheduled mud-slinging, slide-jobbing programming. Hopefully it will be quite a while before the parallels between dirt late models and F1 get mentioned again.. :flushed:

Good thoughts Lew, I appreciate the debate. My remarks there are more off the cuff reactions than prepared arguments. I'll throw out a couple more loose thoughts for context and clarity:

1. The recent developments with more elite late model drivers neglecting to follow a series in favor of picking and choosing big money events is unusual and a tad unprecedented. Brandon Overton's success with that approach in 2021 likely persuaded Jonathan Davenport, Chris Madden, Jimmy Owens and others to do the same. That and the addition of the big money XR races that conflict with several Lucas and WoOLMS events.

There are more high paying super late model events across the board than ever before. Some are Lucas and WoO points events, some are Eldora's crown jewels that technically run under DIRTcar sanctioning but are owned by the track, some are newer XR or FloRacing promotions, and some are unsanctioned. Many of the top drivers have reached the obvious conclusion that they stand to make more money by cherry picking.

There are too many dynamics at work to go into, but where these trends lead is anyone's guess. I do understand the need for a series to "take care of" its full time drivers that support it. I have no problem with financial incentives such as guaranteed tow money paid to series regulars for every event. I'd actually have no problem with a series going even further in that vein.

2. In terms of competition, the considerations are a little different. As in who is on the track for the main event at a race where there are 24 starting spots and 50+ entries.

I don't find comparisons to NASCAR, IndyCar, or F1 very apt here, as there are more structural differences than similarities to my eye. I'm going to stay a little closer to home and highlight differences between the national dirt late model and open wheel series. In the sprint car world, namely WoO, ASCoC, and USAC, provisionals exist but are more limited.

WoO allows full time drivers to use up to two provisionals before July 1, and two after July 1. That's it. I think it's a fairly good balance. Donny Schatz isn't going to miss a lone main event due to a freak wreck in a heat race and a flat tire in the B-Main. However, a full-time driver who is badly off the pace night after night is going to quickly start missing the big show. ASCoC and USAC rules are slightly different but similar in approach.

By contrast, there are virtually unlimited "emergency" provisionals on both the Lucas and WoO late model tours that essentially guarantee a full-time series driver to never miss a main event.

As an avid fan of both, I prefer the former and will advocate for more limited provisionals. I just think it bolsters the competitive integrity.

3. Finally, will just toss this out there on the larger debate. There are no provisionals at the Chili Bowl, Knoxville Nationals, Kings Royal, Dream, or World 100. There are likely other marquee dirt events I'm missing. All of them are better for it IMO, and would be worse if the top teams prevailed upon the organizers to guarantee them a spot. The heats and last chance races at these events are as intense as it gets, and the honor of just qualifying for the main event is greater, because there are no gimmes.

^ Please don't misunderstand that as an absolutist argument against provisionals everywhere. It's just a broader point to illustrate what interrest guaranteed spots do and don't serve.
 

Tim_Richmond_Fan

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Good thoughts Lew, I appreciate the debate. My remarks there are more off the cuff reactions than prepared arguments. I'll throw out a couple more loose thoughts for context and clarity:

1. The recent developments with more elite late model drivers neglecting to follow a series in favor of picking and choosing big money events is unusual and a tad unprecedented. Brandon Overton's success with that approach in 2021 likely persuaded Jonathan Davenport, Chris Madden, Jimmy Owens and others to do the same. That and the addition of the big money XR races that conflict with several Lucas and WoOLMS events.

There are more high paying super late model events across the board than ever before. Some are Lucas and WoO points events, some are Eldora's crown jewels that technically run under DIRTcar sanctioning but are owned by the track, some are newer XR or FloRacing promotions, and some are unsanctioned. Many of the top drivers have reached the obvious conclusion that they stand to make more money by cherry picking.

There are too many dynamics at work to go into, but where these trends lead is anyone's guess. I do understand the need for a series to "take care of" its full time drivers that support it. I have no problem with financial incentives such as guaranteed tow money paid to series regulars for every event. I'd actually have no problem with a series going even further in that vein.

2. In terms of competition, the considerations are a little different. As in who is on the track for the main event at a race where there are 24 starting spots and 50+ entries.

I don't find comparisons to NASCAR, IndyCar, or F1 very apt here, as there are more structural differences than similarities to my eye. I'm going to stay a little closer to home and highlight differences between the national dirt late model and open wheel series. In the sprint car world, namely WoO, ASCoC, and USAC, provisionals exist but are more limited.

WoO allows full time drivers to use up to two provisionals before July 1, and two after July 1. That's it. I think it's a fairly good balance. Donny Schatz isn't going to miss a lone main event due to a freak wreck in a heat race and a flat tire in the B-Main. However, a full-time driver who is badly off the pace night after night is going to quickly start missing the big show. ASCoC and USAC rules are slightly different but similar in approach.

By contrast, there are virtually unlimited "emergency" provisionals on both the Lucas and WoO late model tours that essentially guarantee a full-time series driver to never miss a main event.

As an avid fan of both, I prefer the former and will advocate for more limited provisionals. I just think it bolsters the competitive integrity.

3. Finally, will just toss this out there on the larger debate. There are no provisionals at the Chili Bowl, Knoxville Nationals, Kings Royal, Dream, or World 100. There are likely other marquee dirt events I'm missing. All of them are better for it IMO, and would be worse if the top teams prevailed upon the organizers to guarantee them a spot. The heats and last chance races at these events are as intense as it gets, and the honor of just qualifying for the main event is greater, because there are no gimmes.

^ Please don't misunderstand that as an absolutist argument against provisionals everywhere. It's just a broader point to illustrate what interrest guaranteed spots do and don't serve.


What a great post, and not just because I agree with you. There is always a special feeling when you know that one of the "big" teams need to race their way into a show.
 

KTMLew01

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Don't know if you guys follow this guy, but he keeps everyone informed:
 

kkfan91

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Yep daily listener, also a tire changer for Erik Jones
 

LewTheShoe

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Good thoughts Lew, I appreciate the debate. My remarks there are more off the cuff reactions than prepared arguments. I'll throw out a couple more loose thoughts for context and clarity:

1. The recent developments with more elite late model drivers neglecting to follow a series in favor of picking and choosing big money events is unusual and a tad unprecedented. Brandon Overton's success with that approach in 2021 likely persuaded Jonathan Davenport, Chris Madden, Jimmy Owens and others to do the same. That and the addition of the big money XR races that conflict with several Lucas and WoOLMS events.

There are more high paying super late model events across the board than ever before. Some are Lucas and WoO points events, some are Eldora's crown jewels that technically run under DIRTcar sanctioning but are owned by the track, some are newer XR or FloRacing promotions, and some are unsanctioned. Many of the top drivers have reached the obvious conclusion that they stand to make more money by cherry picking.

There are too many dynamics at work to go into, but where these trends lead is anyone's guess. I do understand the need for a series to "take care of" its full time drivers that support it. I have no problem with financial incentives such as guaranteed tow money paid to series regulars for every event. I'd actually have no problem with a series going even further in that vein.

2. In terms of competition, the considerations are a little different. As in who is on the track for the main event at a race where there are 24 starting spots and 50+ entries.

I don't find comparisons to NASCAR, IndyCar, or F1 very apt here, as there are more structural differences than similarities to my eye. I'm going to stay a little closer to home and highlight differences between the national dirt late model and open wheel series. In the sprint car world, namely WoO, ASCoC, and USAC, provisionals exist but are more limited.

WoO allows full time drivers to use up to two provisionals before July 1, and two after July 1. That's it. I think it's a fairly good balance. Donny Schatz isn't going to miss a lone main event due to a freak wreck in a heat race and a flat tire in the B-Main. However, a full-time driver who is badly off the pace night after night is going to quickly start missing the big show. ASCoC and USAC rules are slightly different but similar in approach.

By contrast, there are virtually unlimited "emergency" provisionals on both the Lucas and WoO late model tours that essentially guarantee a full-time series driver to never miss a main event.

As an avid fan of both, I prefer the former and will advocate for more limited provisionals. I just think it bolsters the competitive integrity.

3. Finally, will just toss this out there on the larger debate. There are no provisionals at the Chili Bowl, Knoxville Nationals, Kings Royal, Dream, or World 100. There are likely other marquee dirt events I'm missing. All of them are better for it IMO, and would be worse if the top teams prevailed upon the organizers to guarantee them a spot. The heats and last chance races at these events are as intense as it gets, and the honor of just qualifying for the main event is greater, because there are no gimmes.

^ Please don't misunderstand that as an absolutist argument against provisionals everywhere. It's just a broader point to illustrate what interrest guaranteed spots do and don't serve.
My point was, and is, that all sanctioning bodies running a season-long series have a vested interest in protecting the economic viability of their regular, weekly race teams because they have to race every week, including the 'big money shows' as well as the run-of-the-mill regular shows. As you point out, there are various ways of doing that, but starting slots are one reasonable tool in the economic toolbox, I believe.

I am fascinated by the parallels that exist between different forms of sports, and I feel there is much to be learned by studying them. That's why I mentioned the diverse list of racing series that have struggled with this issue recently in the news. I mentioned Nascar, IndyCar, and Formula 1, but I also could add LeMans and MotoGP to that list. Indeed, I could add golf as well. The PGA clearly perceives a cherry-picking threat to the viability of its weekly show and will combat that using various tools including starting slots.

From memory (always a risky thing with me), Lucas Oil touted just a few years ago that they had 17 weekly runners who were doing their entire late model dirt series. Now, from a glance at their 2022 points standings, it looks like there are just eight. Yikes. And about the same over at the WoO dirt late model series. Yikes again. This is the phenomenon you wrote about, and I hadn't realized how serious it has become. Probably life threatening to the Lucas and WoO late model series.

What a great post, and not just because I agree with you. There is always a special feeling when you know that one of the "big" teams need to race their way into a show.
Yep, I hear ya, man. Best example I can think of was Will Power at last year's Indy 500, which I wrote about... here.

But every such story has a flip side, and they often include dire consequences such as sponsorship departures or race teams becoming insolvent, etc. That's why I wrote in my previous post yesterday that race fans are very adept at risking OPM (other people's money). I'm not claiming to know the best answer all the time. I'm just saying *both sides* need to be considered by sanction decision makers weighing fan interest versus economic imperatives.
 

KTMLew01

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Werd is that HTF & Henderson Motorsports have divorced. Already. Will make it official tomorrow on their Patreon. Already changed their schedule. That particular Longhorn was a bucking bronco. When they seemed to have found something with a 2nd in a heat...failed droop rule.

Much like the dog romancing the skunk...enjoyed all that they could stand.
 

gnomesayin

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Marlar wins the Lucas race at Lernerville for the second straight night. McCreadie finishes second from ninth, and RTJ is third. Davenport surprisingly not running up front this weekend. This leads into the Firecracker 100 tomorrow night.

WoO / Summer Nationals are running together at I-55, feature still to come.
 

KTMLew01

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Mav says coverage of Firecracker 100 started at 6:pM. Nope. Just their stupid into screen and music playing for last hour.
 

gnomesayin

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I feel like I've been checking to see if this thing has started for hours now.

That said, the track looks extremely well manicured.
 

gnomesayin

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How the heck did it get that close at the very end? One more lap and it looked like Overton had him.
 

gnomesayin

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Following late model Twitter these past few months, I can't figure out why Bob Dilner is as hated as he is. I get why Essex is loved, that's fine. And I certainly hate me some bad accouncers. But Dilner is just kinda okay at the job. He isn't bad or clueless at all.
 

dirtfan

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Following late model Twitter these past few months, I can't figure out why Bob Dilner is as hated as he is. I get why Essex is loved, that's fine. And I certainly hate me some bad accouncers. But Dilner is just kinda okay at the job. He isn't bad or clueless at all.
Dillner is fine, but it wouldn't hurt my feelings if he dropped the "Dixie Chopper FEEL THE THUNDER!!!" scream he does at the drop of the green. Of course, I've always thought catchphrases were kinda corny anyway (looking at you, DW.... )
 

gnomesayin

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Dillner is fine, but it wouldn't hurt my feelings if he dropped the "Dixie Chopper FEEL THE THUNDER!!!" scream he does at the drop of the green. Of course, I've always thought catchphrases were kinda corny anyway (looking at you, DW.... )

Have see a lot of quips about how it needs to be "Flo the Thunder!" and such now.
 

KTMLew01

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It's insane how much dirt these cars move. Huge cloud of dirt behind every car early in the night. Actually last local race I went to WAS my last partly because of that. Plus the fact only one car passed another in 50 laps. Second rooted 1st out-of-the-way on last lap. Wasn't "dusty", dirt is good and was well prepared. They just are all so fast now. I didn't enjoy getting sandblasted 100 feet from track in stands, on the front straight.

I'm getting old.
 

gnomesayin

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Watching the Lucas races (and motocross) on Flo is a true relief in contrast to dealing with the constant login and tech problems of the MAVTV app.
 

KTMLew01

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Longhorn chassis are the twisted sister of DML's. Everything from driver back is pushed 10-12" toward the RR. I thought they created some body rules?
 

KTMLew01

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Not sure what Lucas is doing tonight. Been hour & half since late models been on track. Supposed to run three 20 lap features. Haven't run any heats yet. Gonna lose me. Won't be done before 1AM.
 

KTMLew01

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Ok. Three 20 laps races for no points but $3000 a pop. I think they said 6 out of each "feature" qualify for tomorrow night. Then tomorrow they will run X amount of B mains? And add Harry Gant as a provisional.

Obama shrug.gif
 

gnomesayin

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Just caught the beginning of the third feature, which featured a ridiculous pileup on the start when Moran's car stalled from the pole.
 
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