Give me all the Sunshine vs. Corey Day! We'll talk about that, plus news from XR and Kevin Thomas Jr., the Summer Nationals continue, and addressing your Flo/MAV questions. Let's go!
Today is Tuesday, June 21st, two thousand and twenty two. Welcome into DIRTRACKR Daily. I'm Justin Fiedler.
So I've got to be honest with you, I was definitely sleeping on the 410 show at Skagit last night. It was a Dirt Cup tune-up, but I wasn't expecting 35 cars and the show we ended up getting. We've got $50,000 to win coming up this weekend, and a lot of teams made the trip early to get some track time. There was supposed to be the whole Road to Dirt Cup Series, but several of the shows were rained out, and the whole thing kind of deflated. But last night was a pretty good preview I think of what we could see starting Thursday night. The new promotion group at Skagit which includes Kevin Rudeen and Peter Murphy, have done a really nice job with upgrades and the facility was in top form last night. The field included Tyler Courtney in the Works Limited 57, Kerry Madsen, Tanner Holmes, Trey Starks, Seth Bergman, plus the NARC and California regulars like Dominic Scelzi and the Kaedings, Justin Sanders, the Carrick Brothers, Shane Golobic, and others. With Paul Silva on the wrenches Sunshine went quick time, won the dash and started on the pole of the feature. I believe he eventually led all 30 laps officially, but was chased through a lot of the event by Corey Day. Courtney got away at the end after Day hit the frontstretch wall trying to make a pass for the lead, but those two trading moves and a few sliders was really fun. They both emerged from their cars afterwards grinning from ear to ear. Hopefully this is just the start of an epic week at Skagit. An interesting note from last night, the backstretch restarts are a little strange. I'm not sure I've seen that a whole lot. Is that something they do regularly there? Maybe somebody watching or listening could educate me on that little wrinkle. But anyway, fun show at Skagit, I definitely need more Sunshine V. Corey Day in my life. Dirt Cup starts Thursday night and will be live on Flo through the weekend.
Elsewhere yesterday, they were a few news items to pick through. We'll start with the announcements from XR. Barry Braun posted to his Facebook account yesterday that the dirt samples they were waiting on from Texas to be analyzed came back unacceptable, so they are not going to race there in 2022, and are working towards resurfacing the race track for next year. So that means no Texas Dirt Nationals, but those dates will remain on the schedule for the XR Super Series late models, with racing shifting to Kokomo Speedway in Indiana. So the racing on September 19th and 20th now puts XR right in between the Lucas races at Knoxville and Brownstown. They also shortened the Fever Heat 100 at Stuart from four days to two, shortened the Sunshine State 50 at All-Tech from three days to two, and the Superior Showcase at Gondik Law is now two days, August 8th and 9th. The stock car division has been removed from the show at All-Tech, with the championship now concluding out in Las Vegas in November. All of these latter moves were made to better accomodate the racers because of travel and fuel issues according to XR's Dan Robinson. And as we could have expected with XR's involvement with the racing at North Wilkesboro, the XR Super Series will participate in the Racetrack Revival there, with two nights, October 28th and 29th. Those will both be $20,000 to win races for the super late models. So lots of schedule changes there in response to a bunch of different factors. They all seem to be the right calls based on the nature of the sport and the world right now. If you want to see these changes for yourself and the release, head over to racexr.com.
Kevin Thomas Jr's 2022 season has been in limbo since he departed Snow Racing and what was supposed to be his first full season out with the All Stars. We did find out yesterday that KTJ will contest all of Indiana Sprint Week as a teammate to Carson Garrett. The USAC speedweek runs July 22nd through the 30th, and KTJ is the defending mini series champion. These will be the first USAC National Sprint Car appearances for Thomas in 2022. Over the last few weeks we've seen KTJ run some local shows at places like Lincoln Park and Bloomington, and he's been in the Indy Race Parts 71. Garrett has raced 10 times with USAC's sprint car series over the past two seasons, with a best finish of 13th at Bloomington in April of 2021. His three starts this year all came at Bubba Raceway Park, where he failed to transfer out of B-Mains all three nights.
If you're in the market for some dirt racing today, the Summer Nationals continue with week two kicking off tonight at Springfield Raceway. Teams had Monday off to regroup, with five races scheduled this week. After tonight, we'll see them at Adams County Wednesday, Spoon River Thursday, and two nights at Pevely on Friday and Saturday. After the first week, Bobby Pierce leads Ryan Unzicker and Dennis Erb Jr. on the late model side. And Nick Hoffman is already hurting feelings on the modified side, leading the points by over 100 after just five races. I mentioned yesterday we've had eight drivers make all six late model features so far, and they are Pierce, Unzicker, Erb, Jason Feger, Brian Shirley, Payton Freeman, Logan Martin, and Joe Godsey. You can take Erb out of that mix for the championship, because there are Outlaw nights that conflict with the Summer Nationals in July. We'll still probably see him a lot though. As for the rest, I'm sure it will just depend on how they do and circumstances. For example, Ryan Unzicker told Connor Ferguson that they probably won't do the whole thing, as he's only got one car and two engines, and some of his crew guys have jobs to go back to. And I'm sure there are other similar stories like that out there. We know Pierce could do the whole thing, he's obviously won these championships before. Same for Brian Shirley. But the question going forward will be if they are enticed to race elsewhere in the coming weeks. The door could be open for maybe somebody a little unexpected to win this title. The racing all week will be live on DIRTVision.
In a few different places yesterday, I got asked about the ongoing situation between FloRacing and MAVTV Plus. Things like what will happen to existing subscriptions, when will the deal be announced, etc. Unfortunately though, I don't have any more details than those we've already talked about. All signs are still pointing to an impending deal, and those I've talked to around the sport are all in agreement. Some thought we'd see the announcement last Wednesday. Others thought maybe it would happen yesterday, but still nothing. The MAVTV Plus website is basically non-existent at this point, with only replays of last week's racing available there right now, and I think it's important to remember these deals can be complicated to complete. I am curious to see what the eventual ripple effects of this move are once it's finally announced. The streaming situation continues to be really fluid, and this consolidation isn't the last we'll see. There is no clear winner in terms of what the right business model is, there seem to be issues with revenue splits, some events are clearly profitable and revenue generators, while others are absolutely not. Can some of the smaller providers continue to exist, and where will there be growth for the bigger players? These are just a few of the questions and issues that surround the streamers right now. I still though do expect this move to be completed soon.
Speaking of streamers... Another pretty solid night on the streaming services is on tap. DIRTVision has the Summer Nationals from Springfield, Dirt Track Digest has racing from Five Mile Point, Speed Sport has shows at Park Jefferson and Cottage Grove, and there is FloRacing 24/7. To see the full daily streaming schedule with links to watch, visit dirtrackr.com/watchtonight.
If you somehow just can't get enough of hearing me talk about racing, you can hear me on the XR All Gas No Brakes podcast this week. We talked about my NASCAR career, DIRTRACKR, and a lot more. That show is available at podcast places, or you can find a link at dirtrackr.com/podcasts.
That's it for the show today, 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!