DIRTRACKR Daily Podcast - Episode Transcript

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No matter what Brad Sweet and Kyle Larson do, they just can't escape it | Daily 5-14-2024

Tyler Courtney cashes in, I just don't care that much about tracks taking rubber, and the one thing that Brad Sweet and Kyle Larson will never be able to escape with High Limit. Let's go!

It's Tuesday, May 14th, I'm Justin Fiedler. This is DIRTRACKR Daily presented by Kubota Genuine Parts.

Kokomo Speedway last night was the site of round three of the Kubota High Limit midweek championship series. Nice field, 42 cars, and like we talked about yesterday, just Buddy Kofoid in attendance as a World of Outlaws driver using a freebie. I had forgotten as well that yesterday was the Outlaw appearance at the Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania, so a lot of teams were taking part in activities there. Kofoid did sit on the night's pole and lead laps, but he ultimately ended up third behind winner Tyler Courtney and Spencer Bayston. Sunshine took over the lead in lap traffic and got the move done right before the rubber really got bad, and he led the final 19 laps to pickup High Limit win number three on the season. It was his first series win since Golden Isles on February 22nd, although he's led laps a bunch of places in between. His win and trouble for Corey Day, sees Sunshine now atop the midweek title fight, and the 7BC did make up a little ground on Sweet for the season long battle, with Sweet finishing fifth. Day led laps, but lost his right front wheel on lap seven, was involved in several more incidents through the night trying to fight back from the rear, eventually losing a tire late in the rubber and finishing P24. I've said this before, and I'll say it again, I don't think tracks taking rubber is that big of a deal. I know everyone loses their minds, but we still saw plenty of good racing, and if this stuff was easy, everyone would do it. You don't see that often at Kokomo, and I'm not going to kill anyone for it. It's just the nature of track prep and the sport of dirt racing, that periodically throughout a season, you're going to have tracks take rubber. You certainly hope it doesn't happen, but barring some sort of insane negligence on the track's part, you're never going to hear me get on this show and attack a facility for it. There are plenty of other places online you can go if you want that.

A couple of other notes for you. Dashes in these formats often take a beating for not offering much in terms of excitement, and I know that a lot of you have very strong opinions about them. Last night though, we saw something that had never previously happened before with High Limit. Corey Day's eighth to second charge was the biggest move ever in a dash with the series. The last time a driver went plus six in a dash was Brad Sweet with the Outlaws at World Finals in 2022. And looking back through the 2017 Outlaw season, we've had drivers go eighth to the win in dash three times. Cory Eliason did it at Stockton, and David Gravel did it at Eldora in 2018. The most recent example was Brad Sweet at Knoxville in 2022. So it is possible to start towards the rear in a dash and find yourself on the feature front row. It doesn't happen super often, but it does happen.

I also wanted to talk today about what happened with Kyle Larson and just some of the larger general feelings around High Limit. Larson didn't have a great qualifying run last night, and he started seventh in the first heat race. He needed to get to fifth to transfer, and he ended up tangling with fast timer Cale Thomas and going for a tumble. It was kind of a weird slow slider, Thomas stayed on Larson's outside, and I think Yung Money didn't know he was going to be there on corner exit. Thomas was able to salvage his night and make the feature, but Larson wasn't so lucky. He started at the tail of a six car C-Main and couldn't track down Kasey Kahne late for a spot in the B. Because he can't run the full midweek deal, he's lost access to provisionals, so the 57 was done for the night, third in the C. Career worst finish with High Limit, and his first C-Main exit since Eldora in 2022 with the Outlaws. There was criticism in the aftermath for Larson tangling with a driver like Thomas driving for Jay Kiser, but clearly we've forgotten that when you drive around 1000 horsepower go karts with airplane wings on the roofs, that sometimes stuff goes sideways. Especially when dudes are a just a tad desperate. Ask Zane DeVault about that. It very much sounds like the same comments we hear when people complain about Larson or Brad Sweet winning these races. Jeremy Elliott had a video this week about Brad Sweet conspiracy theories, and I think it's interesting to note how some of the reactions go with these two and High Limit. When they win, it's "I can't believe they started a series just to beat everyone and take all the cash." Those folks must have missed Larson's 30% win percentage with the Outlaws the last several years, or Brad winning five straight titles. Newsflash, they didn't need to start a series to win something. And when, god forbid, they don't win, it's clearly because they were just sandbagging and letting someone else win for appearances. Not because they just legitmately got beat. I will again point here to Larson's 30% win rate. That's really good, but it also means that 70% of the time, he didn't win. Because, you know, math. And that's really my main point here. As long as these two are racing, which is hopefully for many more years to come, some portion of the fans and industry are just not going to let this go. That they own the series and race in it. It's always going to be bubbling under the surface. Any time something happens, you're going to immediately have those folks firing away with comments. "See, I told you. This is why this is bad." It doesn't matter that they hired a respected officiating staff to address integrity. It doesn't matter that Larson doesn't race full time. It doesn't matter that they have a full time traveling safety team. It doesn't matter that they have a packed pit area with a bunch of drivers and teams who don't seem to care. It doesn't matter that they pay good money on a Monday night. The Outlaws certainly have a few criticisms and attacks that the haters always use and always bring up, and I guess this is just how folks are going to attack High Limit and these guys. It took exactly 25% of the first full season being complete for me to already be tired of it.

Looking ahead to tonight, don't forget the FloRacing Night in America late models at Brownstown are rained out. But there is racing tonight, as the Short Track Super Series will be at Accord Speedway for $9000 to win. This will be the start of the north region championship. Matt Sheppard won this race a year ago, and Mat Williamson, Anthony Perrego, and Andy Bachetti are all also recent past winners here. Sheppard will be looking to bounce back from the DNF the last time out at Delaware. And Bachetti could be a guy to watch, as he's already won at Accord this season. There should be plenty of other contenders as well, including last week's winner Stewart Friesen. If you aren't headed to the track tonight, you can watch the Short Track Super Series live on FloRacing.

That's it for the show today. Stop by dirtrackr.com for all the lastest news, plus the analytics section and the daily streaming schedule.

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