Bullring thoughts and predictions for the week:
1. Nice job, Joe: Did you happen to see Joe Bliven’s online comment thanking fans and drivers alike for their support of the track this season? Joe, who works as a tech man on Sunday nights, is a former driver at the track and currently runs a sport mod at Lee County Speedway on Fridays, made some great points. He talked about how past problems have been corrected, how positive the future looks and most of all how much he and others appreciated the fans and drivers who stuck by the Bullring throughout the process. Joe is absolutely right. There is now a positive energy at the track on Sunday nights that was missing. There is a new foundation being built at 8000 Broadway and it will be exciting to see how everything plays out in the next few years.
2. The crate debate: Hopefully, there is a credible turnout Sunday night of the crate late models. Last year the most we saw in their visits was (correct me, Dustin Griffin, if I am wrong) seven. That was not a fair amount to judge the class by, which is why I hope we have at least 15 on hand this week. Personally, I think a second late model class at the Bullring would be awesome, and this is definitely a growing division in this area of the country. I would also like to see sport mods added, but I am not sure track officials would go for seven weekly classes. Six classes, however, might be a possibility, with one having an off week every five or six times through the schedule rotation. That way we would have six classes, but only five would be running on any given week.
3. If not a sixth class in 2012 … : How about a return of the trophy dashes? I miss the dashes and would (still) like to see them in all classes. OK, maybe three classes. There was concern before this season that the program would end too late with the addition of a fifth class and trophy dashes, but the shows have been ending around 9:30 and old late model and modified dashes normally took no more than 10-15 minutes.
4. Good call: One more comment about last Sunday’s decision to cancel. Once again, it was the right call, and it was obvious the large majority of drivers and fans felt that way. The call was made a few minutes after 8, and there was no way the track would have been ready before at least 10 p.m. Sure, it was frustrating to have gone out there, waited for two hours (or in the case of some drivers, four or more hours) only to have to pack up and go home, but you can’t control the storm clouds. I live about five miles from the track and we did not get a fraction of the rain that fell at 8000 Broadway, so when I arrived and saw the racing surface I was shocked. And the mid-afternoon timing of the rain made it difficult for track officials to do anything but hope for the best.
5. Late model pick to click: Lonnie Bailey has been relatively quiet in recent weeks. This will be his Sunday to return to victory lane.
6. Modified pick to click: Steven DeLonjay’s streak reaches a record-tying six in a row.
7. Stock car pick to click: Get outta the way, it’s another checkered flag for Kevin “The Bulldozer” Tomlinson.
8. Hobby stock pick to click: Bobby Anders returns to the active list after a four-week suspension and collects his first checkered flag since early June. Anders will be driving Wes Mayfield’s No. 21 car.
9. Wild thing pick to click: If Todd Nelson is on hand, you can;’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him.
10. Amount of crate late models in the pits: I’m going with 13.