Today is Wednesday, October 13th, two thousand and twenty one. Welcome into DIRTRACKR Daily. I'm Justin Fiedler.
Coming up we are talking last night's FloRacing Late Model show at 411, plus I have some thoughts on Nick Hoffman, purses and car counts, and there are new podcast episodes and today's streaming schedule.
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The bad luck with the weather finally abated a little last night with the FloRacing Night in America Late Models and they were able to get the show in at 411 Motor Speedway after a season of tough luck. With $20,000 on the line, I was a little surprised they only had 26 cars in attendance. I get it was a midweek show and there are parts shortages ongoing, but that's a tough deal. As for the championship battle, Jonathan Davenport took a big step towards securing the title with only two nights left. Kyle Larson got behind early in qualifying, timing in just 15th quick, and then he was really up against it when he failed to qualify for the feature through his heat race. Larson was then forced into the B-Main, where he finished second, which lined him up 20th for the feature. In the 50 lap main event, the Rumley six was able to move forward ultimately ending up seventh, but with Davenport going 12th to second, Larson lost ground to the 49. Out front in the race, it was all Jimmy Owens. He started on the outside pole and led all 50 laps en route to the victory. As I said JD finished second, pole sitter Nick Hoffman was third, Brandon Overton finished fourth, and Cory Hedgecock was fifth. If you're a Hunt the Front fan, Joseph Joiner started 18th and finished 17th. With just Volunteer Speedway and Tri-County Racetrack left, Superman's points lead is now 96 over Yung Money. If you missed last night's action, replays are available over on Flo.
I continue to be impressed this season with how Nick Hoffman has performed in limited late model starts. Since getting the opportunity to fill in for Scott Bloomquist, he's really taken advantage of the seat time and put together some very solid races. We know he's one of the best in the business when it comes to building and driving modifieds, but I do hope we get to see him more often in a late model. Last night at 411 against a pretty stout group, he went quick time, won his heat race, and finished third in the feature after starting on the pole. There is no doubt he has the ability to compete at the highest level. He's also grabbed multiple top fives and top tens in national competition with the Outlaws and Lucas, and been strong in big events like recently at the double Worlds where he made both features. With the recent departure of Cody Sommer, I think there are probably still some question marks about the future of Scott Bloomquist Racing, but even if Hoffman doesn't get more races with SBR, I'd hope someone else would give him a shot.
Back to the issue of car count last night. This is something I feel like we keep hearing more and more about. A big money show takes place and the cars just don't show up. And the reasoning we often hear is that the smaller teams don't want to attend because they don't think they can make the feature, or run towards the front to actually make some of that money. It's not worth it to them to try and take on the powerhouse national teams, so they stay home or race in smaller local and regional shows. That in turn leads to owners and teams wanting the purses to not be so top heavy, and instead pay more money down the field. The idea being that if it paid more to run the B main or start the feature, more cars would show. It's an interesting thought experiment, because every track and series uses those to-win amounts as a marketing tool. Come see the best drivers race for $50,000! It's not so exciting to say come see the best race for $20,000 and $3000 to start! It obviously helps the smaller guy to make that money further down the field, but I think most fans don't care what 24th place pays in a regional super late model race. It also goes against the basic idea of competition. If you want more prize money, get faster and finish better. If you wanna be the man, you gotta beat the man. Purses and payouts are a constant topic of conversation in dirt racing, kind of like track preparation. Everyone has an opinion, but these are very complicated and nuanced situations. If it was easy to do, everyone would do it. Pay more to win! Pay more to start! Pay a better points fund! The economics of these tracks and series dictate what's possible for purses, and a balance needs to be struck between to win amounts and payouts further down the field, while also still being able to use them as a way to draw both competitors and fans to the track. Keep in mind that nobody is getting rich in motorsports. Not the tracks, the series, or the teams. The margins are razor thin across the board, if there are even margins at all. Things are obviously a little more difficult this season with tire and parts shortages when it comes to car counts, but this problem isn't unique to 2021. In this same vein, it's like when people want to know why a track can pay a few grand to win a 410 sprint car show, and the answer is because teams show up. If cars would stop attending races with smaller payouts, they would quit happening. It's hard to blame the tracks for smaller purses when they continue to be rewarded for offering them. Drop me a comment below, let me know your thoughts and feelings about purses and payouts. Are these things you care about? When you want to attend a race or watch a live stream, are you concerned with what the 17th place guy is going to make? Let me know.
If you want to check out some other dirt racing shows this week, Winged Nation has Craig Dollansky, Spencer Bayston and Cole Macedo. Open Red has Mat Williamson, LoudPedal has Robbie Rice and Ronnie Gardner, Stick Signals has Jack Lehner, Passing Points has Kelly Westphal, and there are new episodes of the Dirt Reporters, Dirt Nerds, Wednesdays with Wayne, and the Midwest Autosports Podcast. To see all the shows and recent episodes, hit up dirtrackr.com/podcasts.
There are three shows on the streaming schedule today. DIRTVision has micros from Millbridge Speedway, Speed Sport has the IMCA stock car world championship from Batesville, and there is FloRacing 24/7. To see the full daily streaming schedule with links to watch, visit dirtrackr.com/watchtonight.
A quick note before we shut it down, I said earlier in the week that the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars were back in action this Friday. That was a mistake. The series is off until October 22nd at Lakeside. So no Outlaw racing this weekend.
That's it for the show today, hope you have a good Wednesday. 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!