DIRTRACKR Daily Podcast - Episode Transcript

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Kyle Larson chasing Jonathan Davenport for FloRacing Late Model title, Justin Peck's step forward | Daily 10-12-2021

Today is Tuesday, October 12th, two thousand and twenty one. Welcome into DIRTRACKR Daily. I'm Justin Fiedler.

Coming up we'll preview tonight's FloRacing late model show at 411 including a points update, we'll take a look at the big step forward Justin Peck made this season, and we've got news from USAC and the Wild Wing Shootout.

Before we get going, if you'd like a free and easy way to support what I'm doing you can subscribe and follow the show and leave me a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you watch or listen. You can also follow @dirtrackr on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. And dirtrackr.com is home to a bunch of cool dirt racing content. Now let's do this.

With as bad as their luck has been, especially lately, I almost don't want to talk about the FloRacing Night in America Late Model Series. They haven't raced since September 13th at Fairbury, and much of the season has been plagued by weather related postponements and cancellations, including most recently at Farmer City and Tri-County being pushed until later in October. Hopefully things turn around tonight as the series heads to 411 Motor Speedway in Tennessee for a $20,000 to win race, which will be the richest in the history of the 3/8 mile track. With five races complete on the season and three still left on the schedule, Jonathan Davenport is leading the championship standings over Kyle Larson, Bobby Pierce, Mike Marlar, and Tanner English. We have yet to have a repeat winner, with Davenport, Devin Moran, Larson, Pierce, and Brandon Sheppard all picking up victories through the five previously completed races. We should have a very nice mix of national and regional cars in attendance tonight, with JD, Larson, Brandon Overton, Nick Hoffman, Boom Briggs, and Ricky Weiss all expected, along with guys like Cory Hedgecock, Jensen Ford, Pierce McCarter, and Donald McIntosh. It sounds like we may also get a Hunt the Front sighting with Joseph Joiner coming off finishes of 13th at Dixie and 12th at Rome with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. As for Larson, we haven't seen him in a late model since he finished third on the opening night of the Late Model Knoxville Nationals. He's coming off that incredible come-from-behind win on Sunday in Cup the race on the Roval, and while he does currently trail Davenport by 81 points in the standings, it's not outside the realm of possibility that he could grab a championship with this series. The final three races aren't far from Charlotte, and the midweek dates don't conflict with his NASCAR commitments. Something to keep an eye on for sure as he also chases his first Cup Series title. Also on the card for tonight are 604 late models and 602 late models, with hot laps scheduled for 6:30 PM. If you can't get out to 411, Flo will have the live stream tonight.

We talked yesterday on the show about Tyler Courtney and his incredible 2021 season with the All Stars that resulted in the series championship. He and his Clauson Marshall team were definitely the main storyline with the series this season, coming into their first full season of winged racing and capturing the championship in their rookie year. Courtney certainly wasn't the only driver to emerge this year though, and now that the season is over we can take a look at a few of the different names. The one I wanted to focus on today is Justin Peck. Peck's Buch team ended up second in the final standings, even though Peck himself was seventh after missing some races due to injury. Before the season started I talked on this show about possible championship favorites for the All Stars, and Courtney and Peck were not at the top of that list, and yet they basically ended up 1-2 on the year. Behind Sunshine, Peck was second best of the full timers in average finish, trailing the 7BC by about a position and a half. Peck also had the second most wins on the season with four behind Courtney's eight. Things for that 13 team got off to a hot start this year, with Peck winning the points paying opener at Attica in April. And that was after Peck ran strong in Georgia, Florida and Pennsylvania to start the season. There were definitely some tough nights through the season, but Peck definitely took a big step forward in ability and the numbers show that. His average finish with the All Stars was about four positions better in 2021 than previously, and besides those four wins racked up 19 top fives and 31 top tens in 48 appearances. He was also better with the Outlaws in limited starts earning a top five at Kokomo and finishing 13th in the Knoxville Nationals after grabbing a top five on his prelim night. Depending on how things shake out for 2022, if Peck were to return full time to the All Stars, he would definitely start the season as one of the championship favorites for sure. Finding some more consistency would be necessary for sure, and limiting those nights where he made mistakes and crashed. But he certainly showed plenty of speed this season, and I think the seat time really pushed him forward. He's definitely one to keep an eye on for the future.

There was some moderately unfortunate news yesterday for the dirt racing community with the announcement that Levi Jones is leaving USAC to become the new director for the Indy Lights Series. It's no doubt a great move for him, and certainly well deserved after a successful run with USAC, but it sucks for us because he's done a nice job elevating the USAC divisions as the VP of Competition. Jones spent six years at USAC and according to a release from the organization, we've had the largest car counts in decades and a record number of national events this season under Levi's watch. It sounds like he will continue to oversee the final few weeks of the season for the national series before transitioning into his new role, and USAC expects to announce leadership changes in the coming weeks. Hopefully Kevin Miller and the folks at USAC can put together a plan to continue the momentum they've had lately. I'm a big fan of that racing and I think it deserves to have a bigger spotlight put on it in the national scene. They've got some great characters and put on some fantastic shows and I don't think it gets nearly enough credit, especially when you put it up against the big winged series like the Outlaws and the resources that the late model series draw. Good luck to Levi in his new role, the Indycar organization got a good one.

In an announcement yesterday, we found out there will not be a Wild Wing Shootout in 2022. After debuting the event this season, back in January, promoter Chris Kearns has decided to shelve the event until 2023. Kearns also promotes the Wild West Shootout for late models, and he cited the event's move from the closing Arizona Speedway over to Vado Speedway Park as a big reason for the decision. A lot of work goes into planning and executing these events, and I'm sure moving the event from one state to another has added some extra challenges. Hopefully they can get things squared away for the future. If you don't know about Chris, he's been involved for many years out west putting on big shows like the Wild West Shootout and working with USAC, the Outlaws and other sanctioning bodies.

There are three shows on the streaming schedule today. DIRTVision has weekly Outlaw kart action from Millbridge Speedway, and FloRacing has the Flo Night in America Late Models and Flo 24/7. To see the full daily streaming schedule with links to watch, visit dirtrackr.com/watchtonight.

That's it for the show today, hope you have a good Tuesday. If you have thoughts about the topics on today's show, leave them in the comments below or tweet at me.

Thanks everybody for tuning in, I'll see you tomorrow for more DIRTRACKR Daily!