Ten surprises of this rain-plagued season

July 27, 2010 13 Comments

Driver Steven DeLonjay and "rookie of the year" Hope Cernea.

Once again, there is little to “predict” again this week after back-to-back rainouts, so this we’ll look at the 10 biggest surprises of this abbreviated season to date:

1. The emergence of Bobby Anders in hobby stocks: Anders had proven in recent years he had the ability to run up front, but mechanical issues — and dare we say temper? — seemed to get the best of him and regularly knock him out of contention. This year he has quality equipment and a much-improved on-track demeanor. If not for the DQ for illegal something or others he’d be the points leader. At worst, he should finish second in points, and with a little luck he might be able to deny incumbent Steve Carlin a fourth championship.

2. MIA: Two of the track’s biggest attractions, late model drivers Mark Burgtorf and Jason Frankel, have been on hand a combined six Sunday nights. This is totally selfish, but I miss watching those guys race.

3. Lack of stock cars: I’m not here to beat a dead horse, but I scratch my rather large head each week, wondering why this class hasn’t matured like expected. I’ve heard and read all of the reasons and excuses, but I’m still surprised the numbers are not comparable to at least the hobby stocks.

4. Jake Griffin: What fun it is watching this 11-year-old develop as a both a modified and late model driver. Take a trip back to the pits after the races some Sunday night and talk to this young man. He’s a pleasure to get to know, and in case you have never seen him he’s about the size of large Mountain Dew. I cannot believe he wheels those cars around the Bullring.

5. Rainouts: Nobody saw this wet of a spring and summer coming, and an offshoot of the lack of races is the apathy it is creating in some corners. I had one race team tell me this week after the two most-recent washouts that they have discovered other things to do on Sunday nights. “You know, with no mid-week shows or makeups and missing so many Sunday nights, we have discovered we really haven’t missed it that much,” was a direct quote. And that is not good. It’s probably too late this season, but I’m convinced there is a need for at least a handful of mid-week events and some sort of system to run a few (mid-week?) makeups if the need arises.

6. Comeback: It will be interesting to see where Jim Brown stands in second-half poitns at the end of the season. The veteran’s unexpected comeback in the hobby stock series has been one of the true positives of 2010.

7. Unexpected Rookie of the Year: Trophy girl Hope Cernea. There’s not even a close second.

8. Modifieds: For all of the grief they take, only two of nine features have been cut short by the time limit.

9. D.W.: It’s been a pleasant surprise to see Denny Woodworth run a full points schedule so far, which, I feel, was unexpected by most. The past three years had seen him do quite a bit of traveling to run in some different series. No. 45′s decision to “stay home” could not have come at a better time with Burgtorf and Frankel having been absent most of the season.

10. No brats at the concession stand: This has probably cost me three or four pounds.

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  1. missing racing says:

    Steve, Jason is building a new car, with all of the rain outs, he isn’t really missing that much. Let’s see, Bobby Anders, with the people from Hannibal getting him disqualified, what a bunch of crap. He was told at the beginning of the season that he didn’t need the rear tires covered. Just as long as they weren’t exposed to the drivers compartment it would be ok. I guess the Hannibal group can’t out run him so they protest him, I really feel sorry for them, it’s almost like NASCAR, you outrun me so I’m going to cry about it. (WHAAAAA).

  2. bullringfan says:

    I agree with the rain out dates for next year. This year is all shot to hell,but next year they could set a night during the week so that if Sunday night gets rained out,everybody knows the races will be on the night already pre-determined.

  3. Tim says:

    Steve,

    I also heard that Jason was injured. I do not know how valid that is or not. I believe something with his shoulder or ribs. Sure cant wait to see him back on the track though!

  4. Girl Mod Fan says:

    Hey a postive thing with all the rain outs! Look at how many “friendships” have been made on this blog… awwe, who wants to sit by the camp fire and sing we are friends…. =oD

  5. just a fan says:

    I miss the B and Frankel too but who don’t I miss since we never get to race anymore with all the rain. We need a dome.

  6. ladyteam4fan says:

    GirlModFan…I’m with ya…let’s sing!!

  7. Girl Mod Fan says:

    Stevie time to start a Q & A with different drivers, workers, pit crew people. There are always questions we have on our heads about certain tings. It would help us get to know others and maybe find some more respect that they werent getting due to us now really knowing what they have to go through…. Soooooo….. whatcha think

  8. seighinger says:

    GMF,

    We did that each Sunday in the print edition during 2008 and 2009, covered about 40 drivers … so I was taking a year off of that since we had kind of exhausted it. But I might resurrect it here on the blog, possibly in the offseason to keep the dirt chatter going strong. Thanks for the input, an excellent idea for a blonde girl! Bwahahahahahaahah!!!!

  9. DTRFAN 0F says:

    Jason is building a new car and I don’t believe the rumors of injuries are true.

  10. GMF says:

    Hmph…. Steve once we do get to race I hope they run out of your favoritest food!!! Muwhahahaha and you end up with a hole in your sock where your pinkie toe continues to pop out!!

  11. Charlie Bryson says:

    Steve, I just received some pictures from Ducky Vogel, He raced at Pittsfield, Moberly, Springfield, Keokuk,Kirksville, Memphis and Bloomfield Ia. Duckey set the track record at Kirksville and was track champion the first year he raced. All of this in his 36 chevy coupe with a 292 six Cylinder, I remember him blowing away the 327′s. This was from 1963 to 1967. Later on he drove a Late Model for Randy Friege at all of the above tracks. That late model was a 1955 chevy coupe. Man how things have changed. I hope we have enough (old) race fans out there to remember him. I know that Frankie Wellman does because his dad owned the 36. I will get copies of the pictures made and get them to you.

  12. ladyteam4fan says:

    Like the idea of talking with the drivers. I’d also like to see you talk with some of the “little known” guys who may not always finish in the top 10, but who are always out there giving it all they’ve got. I think sometimes these guys just get lost in the crowd, and I think it would be nice if their efforts were occasionally recognized. Besides, if everyone was as good as Burgtorf, Long, Dunker, Dieker, Carlin, etc…who would cause all the cool wrecks? LOL

    (is it obvious that I’m the mom of a “little known” driver?) LOL. Painfully obvious, aren’t I? LOL

  13. RaceFan20 says:

    I totally agree with missing the #7! I am a Burgtorf fan all the way! He is so consistent and he does it the right way! How many times have you seen him take somebody out for the win?
    Missing racing: I 100% agree with you about Bobby! I feel like, if you can’t beat him, how about try to figure out a way to be faster than him instead of whining about it and trying to get him DQ’d?! And then there is all the talk about claiming his motor! It just gets old! Bobby has been doing a great job this year and deserves to be able to enjoy some success instead of having to worry about what they are going to try to pull every week! All I have to say is: Kick some butt Bobby and bring home that points championship! You have lots of people behind you who know you can do it! :)

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