The week started out rough enough on Monday because this old fart had yet another birthday. However, things got much worse on Tuesday when DFC Racing lost our offical mascot, Zed, to cancer. Anybody that has ever hung out around here surely got to know him and probably played ball with him at least once. He made many friends and lived a very good life right til the end. If they have dirt cars in heaven, I'm sure he's licking the clay off them right now as he always did here. This place will never be the same without him.
Now, onto the racing action. Hilltop was the place to be on Friday night, even though Mother Nature did her best to screw up the night. The pits were packed with heavy hitters, and the stands were full of very anxious fans. Just before the cars were to hit the track for hot laps the rains came which meant a late start to the action. The track record took a pretty good beating last night due to extra moisture in the track, and the heat races looked like they were racing for $5000 to win. These big boys were playing for keeps! The extra moisture didn't do any favors for the track surface and things quickly got kinda rough, so out came the grader before the B-Mains. By the time the track was ready, Mother Nature returned with more damn rain and that was the end of the racing action for the night. Now, I've read online that some folks weren't happy about the track conditions and that some think the show should have been cancelled before it got started. Let me first say BULLSHIT! Can you imagine what would have happened if Hilltop called the whole thing off with the pits full of cars and only a brief shower? We've all bitched about tracks getting people in the gates to collect our money, then calling the show off and only offering a rain-check for the next show. If you haven't experienced this, you must be new to this racing thing. Also, if you've never seen a dirt track get rougher than last night, then you must really be new to this sport. Sure the track turned to shit, but I've seen tracks get much worse than that on a fairly regular basis. At least Hilltop didn't hesitate to get the equipment out to make things better. You should all know by now that I don't hesitate to bitch when a track screws up (just keep reading below), and I've even mentioned that Hilltop is over due, but I think they made the right decision in the first place, and they did all they could with what Mother Nature gave them to work with. The track must have been decent enough for some folks by the looks of the heat races. Those boys were flying, and using every bit of the track while doing it. I'm reminded of an old saying, the track is the same for all the cars out there. What you do with those conditions shows what you're made of. Guys like Shaver and Miller showed what they were made of in the heat races. Donnie Moran showed what he's made of too I guess. Over the years I've seen and repaired plenty of damage caused by rough tracks, and I can honestly say that last night was nowhere near the roughest I've seen. I'd have to believe that Moran of all people has experienced much worse too. Hats off to those who stuck it out and put on one hell of a show. Congrats go out to Corey Conley too for setting the new track record! I can't wait to see the rest of this show when it's continued next week.
Saturday night brought a little better weather and a trip to Midvale Speedway. 3 seemed to be the magic number tonight for Mike Miller, as he qualified 3rd, and finished 3rd in the heat and feature. That probably sounds like it would only make sense that the 3rd qualifier finished 3rd all night, but of course it's not really that simple. The heat race was looking great until the grip started going away while running second and looking for the lead. A nudge coming off turn 2 sent him sideways, and working his ass off to save 3rd place before it was over. The feature started with Mike stuck in traffic and getting freight trained to the tail. That just let him get a fresh start towards the front, and he was once again on a mission. Lack of grip would again be an issue before the end of the race and would keep him from taking second place, but it was still one hell of a run. This week brought yet another controversy when the winning car turned out to be the only one in the field "allowed" to have an illegal carb. HUH???? What the hell kind of rules do these people play by? It's no fuggin wonder the car count sucks at these places. Way to go Midavale! Maybe you can get the Late Model field down to 10 cars before the season is over. And I thought I'd seen it all over the years when it came to making shit up as you go. ;-)
Rest In Peace Ol' Friend!