DIRTRACKR Daily Podcast - Episode Transcript

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Orange you glad we are talking about Hunt the Front today? | Daily 5-15-2024

Coming up, we'll talk Hunt the Front losing a big sponsor, plus I have thoughts on the content creator game in dirt racing. We've also got news from Anthony Perrego, Willie Croft, Seth Bergman, and more. Let's go!

It's Wednesday, May 15th, I'm Justin Fiedler. This is DIRTRACKR Daily presented by Kubota Genuine Parts.

I have had a bunch of you guys in my audience this week ask me about the situation right now with Hunt the Front, so I thought I would touch on it today. If you aren't aware, their main sponsor posted a few days ago to Facebook that he was no longer affiliated with the team, and it's led to a lot of speculation about the team's future. I don't know all the details about why the two sides split, but just like many of you, I have read some of the comments on various social media posts. I didn't see anything egregious in what I read, which was obviously only from one side, and we'll never know 100% the full story of what went down anyway. On the HTF side, they posted to Facebook thanking the sponsor for their support, and wished them luck in the future. I do think it's important to note that sometimes these things just run their course. Deals don't last forever, and it can happen for all sorts of reasons. What I do know, is that the Hunt the Front guys have some exciting stuff coming, and an announcement is expected in likely the next day or two. The Hunt the Front series is at Whynot Motorsports Park this weekend for two nights, and the 10 car with Joseph Joiner in the seat just might have a very different look coming up. Joiner is currently fourth in the HTF standings, behind Brandon Overton, Chris Ferguson, and Sam Seawright. Through five races, he's got a win, a top five, and three top tens in series action. Overall in 2024, two wins, six top fives, and 13 top tens in 15 total late model appearances.

I do want to comment as well on drivers and teams utilizing social media and things like YouTube to grow their fanbases and better their situations. Had it not been for building their followings via social media, teams like the Hunt the Front guys or Tanner Holmes, or any of the other number of dirt racers using it, would have never elevated beyond what their own situations could afford. The Joiners would still be racing locally in Florida and scrapping just to get to the track each week. Tanner Holmes would still be racing in Oregon, and maybe making the scattered trip to California when his family could make it work. You would never know anything about them, or Tim Nash and Old No 7 Garage, or Chase Holland, or Billy Dietrich, or Ryan Missler, or insert your favorite YouTuber here. And what's the criticism you hear towards these guys? Oh, it's just about the money. They just do it for the money and the attention. Well guess what fam, of course it's about the money. I thought we were all on the same page in understanding that racing is expensive, and it's not getting cheaper. When you don't have a blank check available from a major backer, you have to find other ways if this is what you want to do. Building a social media following opens up all sorts of opportunities for these folks to secure funding for their programs. More fans means more t-shirt sales. More fans means more eyeballs on your team and potentially bigger sponsors. More t-shirt sales and more sponsors means better equipment. You can travel more. Race more often. Have more success. Those are all things that all racers want. Race more, run better. That doesn't seem to me to be a difficult thing to understand. And if you are a fan, isn't that what you should be rooting for? For your favorite teams and drivers to be getting better, having success, advancing their careers? I'll let you in on another secret when it comes to racers that are creating content. It's an absolutely insane amount of work. Capturing video and building out a piece of content with a story takes several hours for just one 15 or 20 minute show. The sprint car build series I did with Zach Hampton is a perfect example. It took Zach 13 hours to build that car and film everything with two cell phones. On the low end of a guess, I have at least three times that in on editing and putting it all together. So for about eight and a half hours of video that you get to watch, we have at least 50 hours in putting it together. If you want to be a fan of a hard worker in racing, be a fan of a content creator. Because they are grinding their asses off to race, work on cars, and shoot and edit video. One final point here. I'm not advocating for you to be a fan of any of these guys if you don't want to. I get it, some people you just don't want to support, you don't like their vibe, you don't like how they race, whatever. But I don't know how you criticize the grind. Racers race, and this is just how they've figured out how to make it work and get their cars to the track.

With the Short Track Super Series last night, Stewart Friesen went back-to-back, winning a rain shortened feature at Accord Speedway. Friesen was out front when the rain came with 17 to go, and was declared the winner, picking up $9000. Rich Ricci Jr and Mat Williamson were the rest of the podium finishers. Next up for the Short Track Super Series is a Tuesday night stop at Action Track USA in Pennsylvania on May 21st.

In some driver news with the northeast modifieds, Anthony Perrego revealed before action yesterday that he had departed the Brian Smith team and is instead competing this season with the Short Track Super Series north region in a car owned by Bob Hentschel. This ended a run of eight years together for Perrego and Smith. Perrego missed the feature last night, ending up sixth in the third B-Main.

Speaking of driver news, following the ASCS event at Red Dirt Raceway this past weekend, Two C Racing and driver Seth Bergman have parted ways. Bergman drove the 2C through the first two races this season, replacing the injured Wayne Johnson. Johnson was hurt in the High Limit show at Texas Motor Speedway, and in the aftermath, we found out that Johnson's driving career is likely finished. Bergman took the 2C to a win in the ASCS season opener, and was second over the weekend to Terry Easum. He currently leads the ASCS National Tour standings. Bergman will be back in his own car going forward, and the Two C team said it will announce driver plans in the near future. The national tour races again on May 31st at Rush County Speedway.

And out west, sprint car driver Willie Croft will car it a career after Trophy Cup later this season. He had planned on running full time at Skagit Speedway, but is scaling back to help get his son's racing career going. It looks like Cole has been doing some outlaw kart racing. Croft will run a handful of races, including at Skagit, Placerville with High Limit, Gold Cup, the Outlaws at Stockton, Fall Nationals at Chico, and end his career at Trophy Cup in October. Croft won Trophy Cup in 2014, and has won races in his career with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour, NARC King of the West, the Civil War Series, and more.

There is plenty to listen to around the other dirt racing podcasts this week. Winged Nation has Brent Marks and Dusty Zomer, Quicktime has Jeremy Huish, Hoogie's Garage has Andy Forsberg and Elijah Gile, Caution Free has Logan McCandless, and there are new episodes of the Dirt Reporters, Dirt Track Confessions, the Dirt Nerds, Dirt Tracks and Rib Racks, Turn 2 Terribles, Getting up to Speed, The Hammer Lane, and the Driver's Project. To see all the shows and their recent episodes, visit dirtrackr.com/podcasts.

That's it for the show today. There are a couple items on the streaming schedule today, so make sure to hit up dirtrackr.com/watchtonight.

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