DIRTRACKR Daily Podcast - Episode Transcript

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Danny Dietrich says it's "about damn time..." | Daily 3-12-2024

There are question marks around Gas City I-69 Speedway, and today I'll tell you everything I know about the murky future there. Plus the wicker ball situation continues with a driver saying it's about damn time, and much more. Let's go!

It's Tuesday, March 12th, I'm Justin Fiedler. This is DIRTRACKR Daily.

I've been asked in recent days about the situation at Gas City I-69 Speedway in Indiana, and unfortunately I don't have great information for you. Back in January, there was a Facebook post about how the promoter was departing the race track and that Gas City would be under new management for 2024. In the months since though, there hasn't really been a resolution here. The promoter that departed was Larry Boos, who's had maybe call it a tumultuous few years. This all started back in 2022 when past Gas City promoter Jerry Gappens was named the new general manager at Eldora after the departure of Roger Slack. Boos, who was already running Montpelier and Winchester, plus the Rumble in Fort Wayne, then took over at Gas City. Things didn't appear to go super well during 2022, and before last season, Boos shared a quote "open letter" to everyone via social media in regard to the issues and hopeful fixes for 2023. It was then just a week later that Boos' operation of Montpelier came to end, with Chad King taking over that track. And now Boos is out at Gas City as well. There was previously nearly an agreement in place for two new partners to take over operation of Gas City, but that deal fell apart, as did a subsequent deal in the aftermath. So now things are very much up in the air. I was told quote "it's not dead yet" but also that it's not looking great. I've never been to Gas City myself, but it sounds like the track facilities need some significant help, including the grandstands and parking. The track sits about half way in between Indy and Fort Wayne, right off I-69 if you couldn't have already guessed that. At the moment, just four events show on MyRacePass for the 2024 season. Two Great Lakes Super Sprint shows, one listed as tentative, plus two USAC sprint car shows. It's not entirely correct though, because the USAC midgets have two races there as well, Midget Week in June, plus the James Dean Classic in September. There is some thought that maybe USAC would keep those dates and promote them internally, but nothing is settled at this moment.

Moving on to the ongoing sprint car wicker bill situation, we've had several more tracks weigh in with rule changes. Just as a quick reminder, the World of Outlaws and High Limit are currently using a one inch wicker on wings, but this isn't a final decision. The series are in a testing phase, with an official rule coming in the future. There is no timetable though on when that could happen. The series had previously been using a two inch bill. Last week, we had two Ohio tracks go the complete opposite direction, and instead of cutting down the wicker like the national series, Fremont and Attica added an inch, so teams can go up to three inches if they'd like. You can get the full details on that change on last Thursday's Daily show. And then yesterday, Central Pennsylvania made their move, with Williams Grove, Port Royal, Lincoln, and BAPS all siding with the national tours, and implementing a one inch rule. Because this remains a fluid situation, their announcement did include that if more changes were needed, they would address them at that time. These tracks were previously in alignment as well with the Outlaws and High Limit, with the maximum two inch wicker allowed by the rules. Since two of the four tracks are scheduled to be racing sprint cars this week, we could be getting our first look at how this affects on track action. Port Royal and BAPS have events, but they don't include sprint cars. Williams Grove opens this weekend, and Lincoln is already a few races in. At least one area driver is on board with this move, as late last night Danny Dietrich tweeted quote "about damn time." He thinks it will lead to better racing, less rubber down tracks and tire wear, and less wear on engines. So if you are an aerodynamics fan, this will be an interesting weekend coming up. Outlaws in Texas and Central PA on one inch wickers, and the Attica opener on three inch.

The national midget season will get started this weekend when the Xtreme Outlaw series races indoors at Du Quoin, but several drivers got some action in this past week. Logan Seavey, Justin Grant, Jade Avedisian, Alex Bright, and Daniel Whitley all traveled down under to run at Perth Motorplex. Back to March 6th, Logan Seavey picked up the first win, holding off Grant and Kaiden Manders at the finish. It doesn't matter what country he's in, Seavey still finding victories. Unfortunately for him though, he didn't even get to race on Saturday night, as his midget wouldn't fire in the leadup to the main event. Local driver Tom Payet led a bunch of laps during that Saturday show, but both he and top running Alex Bright suffered flat right rear tires. Justin Grant went on to the win, with Jade second, and Michael Pickens third. Grant and Jade were driving those gray Dyson cars like we've seen Carson Macedo and Spencer Bayston run here in the US during that late season California swing. If you want to check out those races from Perth, full highlight packages are available on the Clay Per View YouTube channel. Thomas Meseraull also spent a bunch of time in New Zealand racing at Western Springs, but like these other drivers, he's back in the US now. We know him and Jade are racing this weekend with Xtreme, but I don't know what the schedules are for Grant and Seavey coming up. Neither driver has made a start with the Xtreme midgets, so I doubt they'll be in attendance this weekend. But the good thing about Du Quoin being indoors, is they'll get to race no matter what's happening outside.

If you're looking forward to this weekend at the Speed Showcase at Port Royal, the Short Track Super Series has released a preliminary entry list. 65 modifieds are on this list, that could obviously change here with a few days to go. All of the big names are represented, including Matt Sheppard, Mat Williamson, Larry Wight, Jimmy Phelps, Mike Mahaney, Anthony Perrego, Andy Bachetti, Ryan Godown, and a whole lot more. Max McLaughlin will be back in a modified, in the middle of his transition to late models. A bunch of guys. The one name missing here is Stewart Friesen, but that is because the NASCAR truck series is at Bristol on Saturday. He won this event in 2021, while Williamson won the first in 2020, and Sheppard is the most recent winner. $50,000 is on the line, and this will be the richest pay day so far for the modified teams. As I said earlier this week, Friday is practice and qualifying with racing set for Saturday.

Alright, that's all for today. There is racing on the streaming schedule over at dirtrackr.com/watchtonight, as Millbridge is back rolling with their weekly outlaw kart and micro shows. I've had a bunch of people reach out to me as well about merch, and the ball is rolling there on some new apparel options. Look for those in the next few weeks.

Hope you guys have a great Tuesday out there, we'll see you back here tomorrow!