Conversations episodes feature longer form chats with the people who make the sport of dirt racing what it is. Email the show at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you're a dirt late model fan and you keep up with the sport on Twitter, you've probably seen tweets from Jacqueline Rumley. Whether it be Lucas, or the Outlaws, or any number of other big tracks or events, you've probably seen her providing live updates, and especially so if the K&L Rumley number six is racing. But did you know that Jacqueline has an MBA and teaches in the motorsports program at Rowan Cabarrus Community College in North Carolina? Or that she helps run the business of Longhorn Chassis, including filling merch orders, keeping their website and social media updated, and helping with the books? Jacqueline joins me this time on the show to chat about her moving from her native Canada to North Carolina to pursue a career in motorsports, trying to network and find ways to work in racing, the many hats she wears during a typical week, and her coming full circle to teach at the program she was originally a student in. If you're interested in working in motorsports, or are curious about the business of racing, this is a great episode to check out.
This time on the show I'm joined by Speed Sport and Sprint Car and Midget magazine contributor Kyle McFadden to talk all things Central Pennsylvania sprint car racing. He gives us the run down on what's happened so far this season, what to expect this week and beyond, plus we talk about a ton of different drivers including Matt Campbell, Tim Shaffer, and many others. We also discuss whether or not there is currently a changeover happening to a new generation of racers between the area's big tracks.
When you aren't from a traditional dirt racing hot bed it can be difficult to get noticed on the national scene. You've got to win a lot, and shine on those rare opportunities you do get to race in front of important people. My guest this time on the show has done just that. Chance Crum is a sprint car and midget racer from the state of Washington who's won a ton on the west coast, and in 2021 got the opportunity to run at the Chili Bowl for Clauson Marshall with the Tony Elliott Foundation. He's hoping his impressive C-Main result will translate into more opportunities for racing this year, but for now is making some big changes. As we'll talk about, an upcoming move to Indianapolis will get him much closer to the action. He joins the show to chat about his background, running the Chili Bowl, getting sprint car opportunities, his education with digital media, and a lot more.
On this episode of the show, I'm joined by long time late model announcer and owner of MSR Mafia, Ben Shelton. We talk a ton of late model stuff, including all the parity we've seen this season, what's up with Brandon Sheppard, how common it is to see someone like Brandon Overton give up a points lead, the upcoming FloRacing Night in America Series and much more. Ben is a guy that's super locked into the late model community and I knew he'd be a good one to pepper with my late model questions. A quick note, I talked to Ben before this week's Flo Night in America season opener was postponed, so that's why you hear us talk like it's still happening. That series will now open March 31st at Tri City Speedway.
My guest this time on the show is about to start her rookie campaign with the IRA Sprint Car Series, and she's going to do it while still going to college and working anywhere from 20 to 40 hours per week. When you want something bad enough, you find a way, and Bailey Goldesberry is a perfect example of that struggle that many in dirt racing find themselves in. How do you earn a living, continue to grow as a human, but still go do that thing you love. In her case, it's driving 410 sprint cars. She joins me to talk about her career, rising through the ranks, learning from cousin Jordan, what her expectations are for her rookie season, working to find those all important sponsors, and a lot more.
My guest this week is a 17 year old racer from Oregon who recently made his 410 sprint car debut at the Wild Wing Shootout in Arizona. It's wild to think that even at 17, Tanner Holmes already has 11 years experience behind the wheel, between Outlaw karts and sprint cars, and that he's been successful at all levels. He joins me this week to talk about becoming the winningest driver in the history of Red Bluff Outlaws in California, getting sprint car experience on the west coast, making his 410 debut against drivers like Donny Schatz and Tony Stewart, and growing his popular YouTube channel to more than 40,000 subscribers.
On this bonus episode of the show, I'm joined by Kraig Kinser's World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series crew chief Mikey Kuemper. Mikey has been on the road with the Outlaws for many years, working for Tony Stewart Racing and the Kinsers. These days he and Kraig have to battle night in and night out against some of the toughest competition in dirt racing, and they are doing it with limited resources. We talked about the upcoming Outlaw weekend, his career, working with Kraig, and a lot more.
Not every path into and through dirt racing is the same and my guest this week certainly breaks the mold. After running winged and non-wing cars when he was younger, Tony Rost put a pause on his racing career to pursue his education. Now, with a Doctorate from the University of Nebraska and an MBA from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in hand, Rost is venturing back into sprint car racing and has plans to do things a little differently. He and two partners have started Catalyst Autosport, with plans to enter weekly 360 sprint car competition at Knoxville Raceway and some other events in 2021. Armed with his education and several years of research, Rost has some very specific ideas on how to market and promote his team and the sport of sprint car racing. This time on the show Rost joins to talk about his racing career, making the decision to step away and get his degrees, his ideas on motorsports sponsorship and marketing in these changing times and much more.
Growing up in a late model family, with a hall of fame father, Devin Moran was probably destined to be a successful racer. At 26, he's won with both the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. He was the World of Outlaws rookie of the year in 2017, and took down the $30,000 to win Prairie Dirt Classic at Fairbury in 2018. As of this recording, Moran currently sits third in the Lucas standings after nine races, and he picked up an Outlaw win and the DIRTcar Nationals Big Gator Trophy after a successful week at Volusia. He joins the show this time to teach us all about racing a dirt super late model. From the basics of how to start the car, changing gears, and what's on the dash, to more advanced aspects like choosing racing lines, dealing with changing track conditions, and how to race against certain competitors. I learned quite a bit from Devin in this chat, and I hope it will help advance your knowledge of late model racing as well.
When we watch or attend races, the voice calling the action is important to the experience, and over the years we develop relationships with those booming announcers. Hearing those voices is comforting, familiar and we come to expect a particular sound from our favorite series or race track. So, when things change, especially unexpectedly, it can be a jarring experience that conjurs negative feelings. For Tony LaPorta, my guest this time on the show, those negative feelings turned into a lot of adverse reactions on social media while he was trying to navigate his opening weekend as the new voice of USAC on FloRacing. LaPorta moves over to USAC from calling the action for series like the Road to Indy and IMSA, but his desire to announce for USAC has been years in the making. He joins me to chat about his journey to the mic, which includes delivering pizzas and sleeping on couches, dealing with online haters, speed dating with the USAC competitors, and a lot more.
If you listen to my daily show, you've heard me talk a bunch about the streaming platforms in the past, and this week there is a new player entering the space. Jeremy Elliott, who owns sprintcarunlimited.com is partnering with past conversations guest Mike Mallett and Dirt Track Digest to create SprintCarUnlimited.TV. Jeremy joins the show this time to talk about his new streaming venture, starting sprintcarunlimited.com, and plenty of sprint car topics including who we should be watching in Pennsylvania, what the All Star championship outlook looks like, why David Gravel seems to be getting left out and more.
Ashley Stremme grew up on the dirt tracks of Central Pennsylvania watching her dad race sprint cars, and has turned her passion for motorsports into a media career and a thriving dirt modified chassis company with husband David. Besides appearing regularly as a co-host on MRN's Winged Nation, Ashley has made TV appearances as a pit reporter for CBS Sports Network, with plans for doing more media in the future. She joins the show this time to chat about growing up in such a rich area for dirt racing, getting her first chances on Winged Nation, growing Lethal Chassis, her thoughts about the upcoming sprint car season and much more. Through the early part of the conversation, you might hear noises and equipment in the background, but that was because Ashley joined me from the grandstands at Volusia Speedway Park where they were doing track prep for DIRTcar Nationals. It should clear up near the six minute mark.
Being a crew chief on a race team is a difficult job. Not only is it on them to make setup calls and work with the driver, they are also responsible for building cars, managing team members, and getting the team from track to track. One guy who's been successful as a crew chief at an early age is Drew Warner. In his early 20's, Warner bursted on to the national scene in 2018 as the head wrench for Rico Abreu, with the duo teaming up to win the Ironman 55 at Pevely and the Gold Cup with the World of Outlaws. These days, Warner is the crew chief for California's DJ Netto and his number 88N Netto Ag team, and he joins the show this week to chat about being a young crew chief, working with different drivers, being responsible for cars and setups, and a lot more.
The USAC season kicks off this weekend with the midgets at Bubba Raceway Park in Florida for the first weekend of the Winter Dirt Games. To get you prepared for the weekend and the full USAC season, my guest on this episode of the show is USAC's series PR guy Richie Murray. We talked 2020, the schedule for the three national series this season, who to watch, and a lot more.
The Chili Bowl is a bucket list event for many drivers and fans, with the annual midget race in Tulsa, Oklahoma drawing hundreds of cars and thousands of fans every year. The list of past winners is a who's who of motorsports, and the entry list each year features the best of not only dirt racers, but accomplished racers in general. Each year though, there are great stories throughout the building, and on this episode of the show, we are going to bring you one from the 2021 edition. My guest this week is Zack Morgan, who has been around motorsports for a long time, but isn't a name you've probably heard. He got an opportunity this year to run a midget with Tommy Casson and Flea Ruzic for the first time ever and we documented his week. Zack has a unique set of challenges with his life, which I'll let him talk about, but for him, just getting a chance in a racecar is a victory in and of itself. This is sort of a two part episode, in which I talked to Zack before and after the event to tell his full story of the week. The opening half is pre event, and the closing half is post event. In a world that has been dark and difficult in recent times, Zack's story and attitude is uplifting and will show you the power of the racing community and the human spirit.
The Northeast modified season is getting ready to kick off this week with the Short Track Super Series in Florida. The Super DIRTcar Series will be underway soon as well, with the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia on the horizon. Mike Mallett of Dirt Track Digest dot com joins the show to preview the upcoming Florida swing, and we talked a bunch about what to watch for and expect this season with the two series and all the great northeast tracks. We also talked modifieds at Bristol, Dirt Track Digest's foray into streaming, and the expansion of northeast modified racing.
The Chili Bowl is in the books, and here to break it down with us is Clinton Boyles, who saw the event from both behind the steering wheel and in the announcer's booth for FloRacing. Besides competing all week with his RAMS Racing team, Clinton spent time in the booth on the FloRacing broadcast providing commentary, and was in the booth for all of the Tulsa Shootout as well. We talk how his Chili Bowl went, what it was like to be in the building this year, staying cool on track, how Larson got the win on Saturday, and a lot more.
Kevin Thomas Jr.
After a season that wasn't up to his standards, open wheel racer and USAC competitor Kevin Thomas Jr. is ready to put it behind him and get after it in 2021. He's got a busy season of racing planned, including the completed Tulsa Shootout, and the Chili Bowl this week. He joins the show this time to talk about his solid runs at the Tulsa Shootout, his expectations for the impending Chili Bowl Nationals, what changes are coming for this season with his USAC team, and much more.
On this bonus episode of the show we jump in with FloRacing and Dirt on Dirt's Dustin Jarrett to preview this weekend's Wild West Shootout out in Arizona, and take a look at what to expect this season with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and World of Outlaws Late Model Series. We talk about Brandon Sheppard, Tim McCreadie, Jonathan Davenport, Jimmy Owens, Brandon Overton, and many more drivers. We also talk FloRacing content and what to expect from their late model night in America series coming this year.
The Krikke family's history in sprint car racing in Australia started in the late 70s and early 80s after Peter Krikke bought a car from sprint car hall of famer Bob Trostle. Many years later, Peter's son Ryan runs the team, and he's my guest this time on the show. We dive into what the team has gone through during this pandemic affected season, the history of the team, which includes some familiar names, Ryan's time as a crew member on the road with the World of Outlaws, and much more.
The Byrd family has a rich history in motorsports and around the city of Indianapolis. They took names like Rich Vogler and Stan Fox from the dirt tracks to the Indianapolis 500. Over the years, a who's who of racing has driven a car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or dirt tracks around the country with the Byrd name on their car. This time on the show, I'm joined by Jonathan Byrd, who along with father Jonathan and brother David have been neck deep in motorsports for decades. Currently Jonathan is working to open Circle City Raceway in Indy with plans for a diverse schedule of dirt racing in 2021. We talk about the origins of the track, what to expect in 2021, and his family's incredible motorsports past.
If you were a Speed Shift TV subscriber or are locked into streaming coverage on FloRacing, you've no doubt seen Haley Shanley's work. She was famous for her help videos at Speed Shift and has done all sorts of on-camera work, including pit reporting for this year's Governors Reign at Eldora. Outside of dirt racing, she does work for motorcross, snocross, and off road racing as well. She joins the show this time to talk about her introduction to dirt racing, the early days of Speed Shift, getting on-camera opportunities, and a lot more.
As fans of dirt racing, it's easy to get caught up in the professional racers and the big names we all know. But the majority of dirt racers have normal jobs and race in their free time. One of those racers is Ryan Missler. Missler is a super late model competitor in Ohio, and has had plenty of success, winning races and the Attica track championship five times. In recent years because of his day job and family life, Missler is picking and choosing his schedule, and racing when it works for him. But along the way, he's decided to start documenting his racing journey with YouTube videos. He posted his first video in 2017, and has since added 148 more. Everything from onboard videos at the track, to him fixing damage in his garage, to a recent shop tour at Rocket Chassis. He's amassed nearly 7,000 subscribers and is closing in on three quarters of a million video views. He joins me this week to talk about his racing career, starting the YouTube channel, how it's affected his team, and much more.
He is a regular on the Central Pennsylvania sprint car scene, and drives for one of the area's iconic teams in Zemco Racing. In 2020, Wagner took down his third Port Royal Speedway track championship, and he did it in a unique way, needing to beat his dad to do it. On this episode, Wagner talks about getting to race against his dad, getting a later start in his racing career, driving for the Zemaitis family, his week day job as a private jet pilot, and more.
Life has a way of throwing you curveballs, and nobody knows that better than Brad Loyet. Right in the smack of his racing career, split between sprint cars and midgets, a freak accident in his shop severely injured his right hand and wrist and effectively ended his time behind the wheel. Since then, Loyet has been working on what's next. He joins the show this week to talk about his career, the accident and the aftermath, what he's doing these days, and more.
It's obviously been a wild year for motorsports, and few places have been as affected as the northeast. With race cancellations, postponements, and just general uncertainty, the racing community there has had to be very flexible. One of the drivers who's made the most of a bad situation is Mat Williamson. Mat was the 2019 Super DIRTcar Series champion and is one of the names you have to contend with on a nightly basis when running northeast modifieds. This season, amongst several other wins, Mat won $53,000 with the Short Track Super Series at Port Royal, then went a week later to Orange County Fair and took down another $20,000 at the Eastern States 100. He joins me to talk about getting back and forth across the border during the pandemic, what pushed him over the edge for a championship last year, and much more.
Jordan is from a dirt racing family in Arkansas, and together with husband Kevin Swindell, the two have built several businesses, including their Swindell SpeedLab brand, which sells apparel and driver gear, and their sprint car team which has featured drivers like Christopher Bell, Spencer Bayston, and Sammy Swindell. On a day-to-day basis, Jordan is busy with running the businesses, creating new merchandise ideas, and working with her team's partners. She joins the show to chat about the challenges of running a business in 2020, why she can't watch her sprint car when it's on track, how her and Kevin work together, and much more.
The combination of Josh Baughman and Aaron Reutzel has been an incredibly potent one over the last three seasons. With Reutzel driving and Baughman as the owner, the team has won three straight All Star Circuit of Champions titles, and a ton of races between the All Stars, Outlaws, and more. For 2021, the two are splitting as friends. Baughman joins me this time to talk about what's next for the team, his run with Reutzel, balancing racing and running a business, and a lot more.
The driver-crew chief relationship is vital to any successful race team, and Kyle Strickler knew he needed someone with experience when he made his foray into late model racing in 2020. And he'll need that experience even more when Strickler goes full time with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series in 2021. The experience he's relying on is that of Vinny Guliani. Guliani is a veteran in the late model ranks, with an engineering background, and plenty of success on his resume. He joins the show to talk about his pairing with Strickler, going full time with a series, the differences in late model chassis, and a whole lot more.
He's had success in multiple parts of the country, driving both non wing and winged sprint cars. He grew up in California, before heading east to Indiana to race against the best in the business. When he's not racing, Chad works as a rep for Capitol Renegade, helping racers find trucks and trailers to get their equipment to the race track. On this episode, we talk about his rise to the top series in sprint cars, trying to sell to racers in a difficult climate, handling the situation when your ride goes south, and so much more.
There are people all across the country working in various capacities that are vital to the health of dirt racing. They aren't household names, and you won't hear about them in the media much, but without them, racers don't have a place or series to race with. One of those people is Doug Lockwood. He grew up in California and spent time as the race director for the World of Outlaws. Currently he's the general manager at Merced Speedway, has taken on a co-ownership role with the USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series, and will manage and oversee other USAC activities on the west coast. He joins the show this week to talk about his new roles, running a track and series during a pandemic, working with the Outlaws, and much more.
It takes a ton of courage to step out of your comfort zone and chase your dreams, and it takes an immense amount of courage to strap into a 410 powered sprint car. Tori Knutson knew at a young age that she wanted to race sprint cars against the best and she's slowly worked her way up the ranks. 2020 has been difficult for many, but she stepped out of that comfort zone and joined 410 competition full time this season. She took on weekly competition at Knoxville Raceway and has made starts with the World of Outlaws, All Stars, and IRA. She joins this week to talk about her journey, dealing with the haters, realizing her dreams, and more.
He's a sprint car driver from the capital of sprint car racing, Knoxville, Iowa. He's a regular in weekly competition at Knoxville Raceway with his 5J 360 sprint car, and had a win and finished second in the standings in 2020. He's also no stranger to traveling competition with the ASCS and Sprint Invaders. Jamie joins this week to chat about his career, getting started at English Creek, selling real estate, and much more.
If you've been to or tuned into the Chili Bowl, the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour, or any number of other events, you've probably heard Bryan Hulbert on the microphone. He's got a recognizable voice and might be one of the hardest working people in dirt racing. Besides being an announcer, he also does press for the various series he works for, and a number of drivers. He joins this week to talk about his journey from New Mexico short tracks to today, his style as on the microphone, and much more.
Josh Holt, MyRacePass
If you are a dirt racing fan, competitor, or track or series official, you have no doubt heard of MyRacePass. The name MyRacePass is tied to driver, track, and series websites, a mobile app, race management software, and a lot more. The company provides technology solutions for a wide array of clients across the dirt racing landscape, and I wanted to find out more behind their rise. MyRacePass Co-Founder and Director of Sales and Marketing, and former racer, Josh Holt is my guest on this episode. He tells the full story of the company's formation and a lot more.
Part of the Northeast dirt racing scene for decades, Shane Andrews has been announcing for the Super DIRTcar Series and at many of the iconic tracks in the area. You've also seen him as part of the broadcast team for TV coverage featuring not only the Super DIRTcar Series, but also the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars, Late Models, and more. He joins the show this week to talk about his announcing journey, the northeast dirt racing culture, the current state of racing, and a lot more.
She's been a fixture with USAC for the last few seasons, working social media, appearing in series videos, and pit reporting for the various USAC divisions on the track PA and for Speed Shift TV and FloRacing. She's also worked events like the Gateway Dirt Nationals, Chili Bowl, the Brickyard 400, and the Indianapolis 500. She joins the show this week to talk about her journey to reporting, how to get opportunities in the sport, how to interview an angry driver, and a lot more.
On this episode, we move over to the modified ranks and talk to Mike McKinney, who's had a ton of success, including Modified Nationals wins, plus plenty of big local and regional wins, and he's regularly near the top of the UMP Modified National points standings. He also made a name for himself earlier in 2020, winning several of the World of Outlaws iRacing events across CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 1, and DIRTVision. Mike is also venturing this season into some super late model racing and has already made a few starts.
In episode 1 of DIRTRACKR Conversations, get to know Ayrton Gennetten, who has graduated from the micro sprint ranks and has quickly shown strong pace this season in 410 and 360 sprint car competition. You can see him with the World of Outlaws, Sprint Invaders, at Knoxville, and with ASCS Regional Racing.