DIRTRACKR Daily Podcast - Episode Transcript

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Davenport? Madden? Overton? Nah. This guy is the hottest late model racer in the country | Daily 8-5-2022

You'll never believe it, but the midget guys actually played nice at the BC39. We'll talk about that, plus the USA Nationals and 360 Nationals results from Thursday, and the difference right now between David Gravel and Brad Sweet. Let's go!

It's Friday, August 5th, I'm Justin Fiedler. This is DIRTRACKR Daily.

The 2022 BC39 is in the books and Buddy Kofoid was your USAC midget winner last night at the Dirt Track at IMS. Kofoid started sixth and got to the lead inside the final ten laps. He and Cannon McIntosh got into a slider fest for a few laps, and Kofoid had some wild moves late including a wall ride, to grab the win and the chance to kiss the bricks. McIntosh ended up second, with Thomas Meseraull third, Justin Grant hard charging from 18th to fourth, and Kyle Larson completing the top five. Over the last few laps, with Buddy, McIntosh, TMez, and JG all right together, I figured there was no way all four would make it to the end. And I'm sure I wasn't the only one thinking that. We were one dirty slider away from all four being piled up, and we've seen all four make some bad decisions this season. But somehow they raced each other pretty clean and all ended up finishing up front. Mitchel Moles was also in the mix early in the show, leading 12 laps, but he eventually made a mistake on the cushion and turned over. Larson did finish top five like I said, but he seemed to be missing a little pace both nights. He was out of the pursuit race early, and it took him a while last night to move up from his 10th starting position. USAC did award feature points for the race last night, so we did have some movement in the standings. Leaving the BC39, Kofoid's lead over JG is now 86 points, with everyone else from TMez in third on back pretty far out of contention. The USAC National Midgets now go quiet for the next month. We'll see them again on September 4th at Angell Park.

Up at Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin, the first of three nights for the USA Nationals took place for the World of Outlaws Late Models. In the $6000 to win feature, Jonathan Davenport started on the pole, and he led the first 10 laps before he bowed out with ignition issues. That handed the top spot to Mike Marlar, who held off challenges from Brent Larson and Gordy Gundaker to score the win. I don't know if you can say that Mike Marlar is the hottest super late model driver in the country right now, but he's definitely one of the hottest. 13 straight top eight finishes with Lucas, including two wins, and eight podium finishes in his last nine appearances with the Outlaws, which includes three wins. Tonight's program at Cedar Lake will include a bunch of heat races and a dash to set lineups for Saturday's $50,000 to win main event. In the Outlaw standings, Dennis Erb Jr. continues to lead, but Tanner English is now second, with a nice 14th to 3rd charge last night. English doesn't have an Outlaw win yet in 2022, but he does have seven straight top seven finishes, and 13 top tens in his past 15 starts. I feel like with Erb's consistency this season, the championship is probably out of reach at this point for the challengers, but English has come on strong here in recent weeks. The prediction formula is actually giving English a slight edge for the win over Brandon Sheppard for tomorrow. That one surprises me a bit. I'm gonna go Davenport. He was really strong last night before the issues, and I think he'll be ready to roll come the main event on Saturday. One other series note for you, we were just talking about Steve Francis departing the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series as an official, and he certainly didn't take long to find his next gig. The Outlaws announced yesterday that they've hired Francis as their Director of Competition, and he'll work with series director Casey Shuman. Francis' wife Amanda will also join the staff, working in fan engagement. You can watch the USA Nationals from Cedar Lake all weekend over on DIRTVision.

The other big event that got underway last night was the 360 Nationals at Knoxville. 51 cars participated, with Sam Hafertepe taking the lead in the feature from Thomas Kennedy on lap seven and driving away to the prelim night win. Defending event winner Gio Scelzi was second, with Aaron Reutzel rounding out the podium. Reutzel is high point man following the first night of action. There were definitely some guys that had nights to forget on Thursday, but the worst may have been Shane Golobic. He went quick time on the night, but then very early in the first heat race, made contact with the right rear of McKenna Haase, which sent him for a wild ride into the turn four fencing. The car was absolutely destroyed and Golobic was done for the night. I'm not sure they were able to save much off that NOS Energy Drink ride after the crash. I'll be curious to see if that team even attempts to move forward on Saturday, or if they will just call it a weekend and get ready for the 410 stuff coming up. Tonight's second prelim program includes nearly 60 pre-entries, and the list includes Kyle Larson, Ian Madsen, Tanner Carrick, Blake Hahn, Justin Sanders, Daryn Pittman, Brady Bacon, Brian Brown, Ryan Timms, Tyler Courtney, and Buddy Kofoid. So another incredibly tough night coming up. And don't forget the Saturday night main event at Knoxville pays $30,000 to the winner. The 360 Nationals are live all weekend long on DIRTVision.

If you're a USMTS fan, Terry Phillips picked up his 37th career series win last night at 81 Speedway, leading 24 laps and topping Kale Westover and Dan Ebert. The modifieds are headed to Humboldt tonight and Lucas Oil Speedway on Saturday.

Before the World of Outlaws competitors roll to Knoxville for the Nationals next week, the traditional Ironman 55 weekend at Pevely is on tap for tonight and tomorrow. With the issues lately for several of the top five runners, the points battle right now is between Brad Sweet and David Gravel with the two separated by 36 points. Remember that's only about 18 positions at two points per spot. Carson Macedo and Sheldon Haudenschild have both fallen more than 100 points behind, and Donny Schatz and Logan Schuchart have continued to lose ground. Haudenschild is the defending Ironman winner, he swept the weekend one year ago. He also picked up wins at Pevely in 2020 and 2019. Macedo won at Pevely earlier this year, back in April. Kyle Larson leads the series in recent years in average finish at the Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55, but he's in Knoxville and Michigan this weekend. Sweet is second in average finish, sitting right about 4th over the last 15 races there. The Big Cat is the favorite from the prediction formula tonight, but I'm going Sheldon. This is a good track for that crew to bounce back from their issues at Weedsport last weekend. I think both Haudenschild and Macedo need to stack up some wins in the coming weeks if they are going to have any shot at catching Sweet and Gravel in the title fight. An interesting stat note about Gravel. He leads Sweet in wins and top tens on the season, and is tied in top fives, but trails in the standings because his average finish is just a tick worse right now. About half a position through 45 races. The real difference here between Sweet and Gravel is their stumbles. Sweet has seven finishes outside the top ten, but none worse than 16th. His average finish in those seven races is 12.86. On the flip side, Gravel has six races with finishes outside the top ten, with the worst being a 23rd. In those six races, his average finish is 16.67, which is nearly four spots worse than Sweet. When things are this tight, the championship fight could very easily come down to who was able to minimize the damage on those off nights. Right now, the edge in that category is very much with the KKR 49. If you want to dive into more stats and analysis like this, go grab a monthly or yearly subscription to DIRTRACKR Plus. $4.99 a month, or $49.99 a year. The yearly deal basically gives you two months free. Both nights of the Ironman 55 weekend will be live on DIRTVision.

We are north of 30 shows on the streaming schedule for today, with a lot more to come this weekend. That includes both World of Outlaws series and the 360 Nationals on DIRTVision, FloRacing and Speed Sport have a bunch of weekly and regional action, the USMTS is on RacinDirt, and more. To see what there is to watch, head over to dirtrackr.com/watchtonight.

That's it for the show today, enjoy the dirt racing weekend. 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!