Dirty Thoughts 8/25/06

Dirty Thoughts…North South Edition…

Ever been left wanting more???  If you were at Florence Speedway this past weekend and stayed for the
North/South feature you were, I know I was, heck I think I got blue balls I was so disappointed.  Now I’m not
talking about the entire weekend, I’m just talking about the last say 50 laps of the feature.  Someone said to me
that the feature was anti-climatic, of course that big word sent he dirty one searching for a dictionary, because we
all know I’m not the brightest bulb in the box.  What I found was exactly right, there was a big build up to the
weekend and then the last 50 laps were a dud. Thursday night got it started off just perfectly, then the Friday night
racing and the party was over the top.  All of these things brought the excitement for Saturday nights events to an
extreme High and the crowd was electrified as the first heat race hit the track.  Every pass, every move, every slip
or dip on the track caused the crowd to stand and roar, it was mentioned in the stands that the crowd was more
hyped and ready for this feature than this 30+ year Florence Speedway veteran fan had ever seen it.  As the cars
pulled out on the front stretch for driver intros, if is was at all possible the crowd grew more anxious and hyped in
anticipation of what has been the BEST Crown Jewel of the year for the past 3 years.  Then all of the sudden, about
40 laps in, without warning, all the air was let out of the crowd, as each and every driver that was still on the track
made their way down to the bottom of the track and the race became follow the leader.  From that point on, there
wasn’t much to cheer about, there wasn’t really even much to watch.  Ahh, unless you are a fan of “the Verona
vandal” Jerry Rice that is, the local wheelman, who had qualified good enough to earn a front row starting spot in
the last heat race in front of some guy named Bloomquist, parlayed that into a heat race win and a 3rd row starting
spot for the 2006 North/South 100.  In the feature Rice worked his way past, Darren and Matt Miller, Skip Arp and
Brian Birkhofer and settled into a 40-lap battle with eventual winner Steve Shaver.  In the eyes of many, Rice
looked to be faster than Shaver, but with the single file racing that was going on, couldn’t afford to step out and
attempt a pass on the outside and was relegated to waiting for a mistake by the West Virginia driver.  That never
happened, Shaver held on for his 2nd North/South win in 3 years and Rice finished a VERY respectable 2nd place,
ahead of some guys named Frank, Wallace and O’neal.  First off congrats to Steve Shaver and the entire Cosgrove
racing team on the second North/South win in 3 years.  But MAJOR congrats goes out to the team of Brooks/Rice
Racing on, in my eyes at least, showing everyone that last years great run in the Dream 100 was NO joke and that
their team has what it takes to run with the big boys in the sport.  In case you’ve been under a rock the past few
days and didn’t get a run down of finishing order for the N/S, here goes:

1. Steve Shaver                11. Earl Pearson, jr.              21. Brian Birkhofer
2. Jerry Rice                     12. Shane Clanton                22. Skip Arp
3. Chub Frank                   13. Darren Miller                 23. John Blankenship        
4. Wendell Wallace           14. Steve Francis                 24. Greg Johnson
5. Don O’Neal                  15. Jimmy Owens                 25. Donnie Moran
6. Matt Miller                  16. Brad Neat                       26. Steve Landrum
7. Shannon Babb              17. Chris Combs
8. Scott James                 18. Rick Combs
9. Jimmy Mars                19. Darrell Lanigan
10. Rick Eckert               20. Scott Bloomquist

When the feature ended, the dirty one sat in the stands stunned for quite a while, just wondering what in the heck I
had just witnessed.  I was extremely happy for Rice and his gang, but couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for the
management at Florence Speedway.  On their biggest night of the year, with their biggest crowd ever on hand, the
track let them down.  One can only hope that the folks that made this years N/S their first ever trip to the famed
Florence high banks, will give the track another chance, because we all know that what we witnessed on Saturday
night was NOT a typical Florence Speedway race.  A couple of quick highlights, the dirty one was filled with joy
when KID Rocket Josh Richards showed a little LOFT problem on the dry slick track.  Only bad thing was, Mike
Jewell got jobbed by the Richards spin which caused him to stop on the track and be sent to the tail, but rules are
rules and everyone knows that rule.  Another big shout out to Rick Combs for not only qualifying good on the heavy
track Friday night, but running a great heat race in the slick stuff Saturday night, way to go Rick.  Did anyone see
Jason Jameson come flying up on the HIGH side when Jonathon Davenport was having an  IDIOT moment and
caused the field to slow, now that was awesome.  The dirty ones dream of a local driver making the show from every
heat race was pretty much smashed by the track conditions Friday night.  We all know these guys don’t get to
qualify much, but they get to run on tacky stuff even less and it obviously hurt the locals.  I’d love to see Florence
Speedway qualify the Late Models the week before the North/South just to give the regulars a chance to get back
into the swing of qualifying.  Hey, everybody knows I love the Passing Point system, but I’m also for the drivers and
if it would help them out, then I’d be willing to set thru a round of qualifying, anything to help the regulars is what I
say.  Is the 2007 North/South here yet???

The Modifieds were also on the schedule this weekend and paying a cool $1,000 to win to boot.  Heat races and
consi’s were run on Friday night with the feature to come on Saturday night in between the LM heats and Consis.  
The dirty one was kind disappointed that only 31 mods showed up for the $1,000 to win show, but nevertheless it
was a good field of cars.  In heat race #1 “Racin” Dave McWilliams powered to the front of the field on the tacky
track and held off Matt Smallwood to get a heat race win.  Scotty Kincaid slipped into the #3 spot when Josh Scott
broke in that heat race.  In Heat race #2 Jason Collins turned hard left coming out of turn 4 and caused a huge pile
up, Steve Leonard and Nick Kurtz snaked thru the wreckage and when the race resumed held on to 3rd and 4th
place finishing spot.  Up front “wildman” Kevin Hartman was working hard to hold off Bill Arnold.  Last years Mod
Champion was able to do just that and grabbed the heat race win just ahead of the singing driver Arnold.  Heat race
#3 was stacked, rookie Ray Branscum took control of the race and was looking strong, but Mod veteran “the
hammer” Ted Nobbe and “big daddy” Shawn Tolson were coming and coming fast.  First Tolson began working the
lowside of Branscum, but Nobbe was the show as he flew by everyone on the outside coming out of turn 2 and held
on for another heat race win, big surprise right, it’s a $1,000 to win show and Nobbe is hooked up!!!  Branscum did
hold onto a very good second place finish just ahead of Tolson.  Mark Thomas held off 14 year old Trent Green and
grabbed the consi win, nice job by Thomas, but Green is extremely impressive, the youngster holds his line great,
drives thru the turns hard and is turning heads each week, keep up the good work young man.  The Mod feature
would see a bunch of the Florence heavy hitters having to come from mid-pack to try and chase down Nobbe and
Kevin Hartman.  And that’s exactly what happened, at the drop of the green flag Matt Smallwood headed toward
the front, with Tolson in tow.  Smallwoods car seemed to work anywhere while Tolson was working primarily the low
side.  Smallwood maneuvered thru traffic with great ease and snagged the lead from Nobbe, a lead he’d never
relinquish.  Hartman faded to 5th, while McWilliams and Tolson and Nobbe battled for position, at the checkers it
was Smallwood, Nobbe, Tolson, McWilliams and Hartman.  Tolson, taking advantage of another bad night by the
711 team, gained some valuable championship points and heading into next weekends Double Points night is only
15 points behind Spille, should be a very interesting night.  Congrats goes out to the Orange Crush and Matt
Smallwood on his 3rd feature win at Florence Speedway and I believe he said his 11th overall in 2006.  A special
shout out to “the Highlander” Ray Bradford on his good run from 18th to 8th in the feature, Ray’s had a BUNCH
of bad luck this year and I hope he’s turned that around now and will have a great rest of 2006.

The Super Dirts had the same schedule as the Modifieds, heat races on Friday night and feature on Saturday.  
They too had to deal with the difference in the track from one night to the next.  In heat race #1 Timmy Proffitt
continued his dominance of the SDS class in 2006, Proffitt started on the pole and stayed there for yet another heat
race win.  Paul Crowell gave Proffitt all he could handle and was right there knocking on the back door of the #1 car
when the checkers fell.  “Ironman” Stan Freeman, back in his familiar #2 car held off Jim Focht for the show
position in the running order.  Heat race #2 would bring back a battle of SDS veterans as Mark Robertson would
take control of the heat early, but a charging Dan “the dude” Dehner would soon come knocking at the back door
of the #3 ride.  After a couple of stop and go restarts Robertson would grab a lead and hold off Dehner for the heat
#2 win, Dehner was able to hold off Adam Dixon to finish second in the heat, but most importantly earn a Front row
starting spot for the feature.  In Saturday nights feature, Dehner would get a great start and take control of the
race for a few laps, however, the power was coming and Dehner wasn’t able to hold off Proffitt who took the lead
and held on for another feature win.  “Mr. Clean” Doug Wagner would come calling on “the dude” next, the two
would battle side by side for a couple of laps with nobody knowing who had the spot.  Wagner and Dehner battled
each other the entire rest of the feature neither wanting to give up, it was a classic Super Dirt race, at the checkers
Wagner would hold off Dehner to finish a strong second with Dehner third, followed by Paul Crowell and Jim Focht.  
Great racing once again in the Super Dirts, I love this class and it’s made a bit of a comeback this year, even
though Proffitt has won a lot of races, there has still be some good racing and I hope maybe the rules can be
adjusted just one more time to accommodate the ISS guys, now that would be cool.

The Pure Stocks ran their entire show on Friday night, and a good show it was.  In heat race #1 someone different
finally won a heat race, no it wasn’t a Gibson and NO it wasn’t Lanter, it was Tony Brewer, yeah that’s right Tony
Brewer held off Bob Lanter to get his first heat race ever (I think) in the PS.  He had to work for it, as Lanter would
pass him late in the heat only to slip up and have Brewer TRUCK right by him and hold on for the win.  Lanter
would finish a very close second with “Rooster” Jerry Gibson, jr rounding out the top 3.  I guess to make up for a
Gibson not winning heat 1 or even finishing in the top 2 the second heat would have a pair of Gibson’s on the front
row and they would finish 1-2 as well.  Brandon Gibson continued his strong second half of the 2006 season with a
convincing win over Billy Gibson.  Jason Miller was able to get to 3rd and hold off “wild turkey” David Willoughby
who had stepped back into the familiar #98 Pure Stock for the weekend-glad to see you back David!!!  In quite
possibly the best pure stock feature of the year, perhaps because the voice of the PS’s was back in the house, the
guys raced their tails off and put on a hell of a show for the crowd that had stuck around.  Tony Brewer and
Brandon Gibson started on the front row with Miller and Lanter in tow, at the drop of the flag Gibson charged to the
lead only to have the race halted by a quick caution.  Brewer didn’t let Gibson get the same jump on the re-start
and the two were side by side coming off of turn two with Miller and Lanter jockeying for position behind them.  
Eventually Gibson would get around Brewer and leave the #0 of Brewer to battle Lanter and Miller, and OHH DID
THEY!!!  Lanter was able to get around Miller and set sights on Brewer, and usually he’d just glide right by, but
Brewer’s car was working well and he wasn’t about to give an inch to Lanter.  The two battled for several laps while
Gibson began to pull away, contact was made and Lanter got around Brewer, but Tony was having none of that and
with a little contact himself worked back by the #5 of Lanter.  Finally after several laps the “Bullet” was able to get
around Brewer and set sights on Gibson who had a sizeable lead.  However, lapped traffic and what looked like
maybe a fading car was allowing Lanter to quickly gain on Gibson.  Coming to the white flag lap they were nose to
tail, but Lanter was NOT able to get around Brandon who held on for a nice win and a just what everyone needed to
get the party started off right.  Congrats to Brandon Gibson on his great run over the past few weeks, Brandon did
not drop his head when Lanter was winning every race and with hard work has shown that the #5 car can be beat,
way to go Brandon and team.  Also, gotta give a shout to Tony Brewer, it was nice to see him finally have a little
luck, stay together and race strong, way to go Tony.  

Speaking of the party, the King family put on a great party Friday night behind the back stretch grandstands.  The
pig was excellent; getting a DJ was a big hit with the dancing ladies (and the guys that were watching them).  The
dirty one took advantage of this time to finally put some names with some faces and to say thank you face to face
with some of the folks that I know read these thoughts.  There were so many great people I met this weekend, all of
them had so many kind things to say to me about my writing and continuing to keep writing I could never thank you
folks enough.  One in particular had the dirty one all red faced and tongue-tied, which is what usually happens to me
when I’m talking to a women, especially one that is as attractive as Heather Brooks is (here’s hoping Brian don’t
come kick my tail over that).  Thank you Heather for you kind words of encouragement, and thank you to the entire
Rice/Brooks race team for allowing me to give my opinion on things and even though we didn’t see it the same, still
being cool with me.  It was great to talk to Stan Freeman, Ted Nobbe, Jessica and Brandon Gibson, Ray Branscum,
Tony Brewer, Jason Miller, David and Renee (see I remembered your name-just hope I spelled it right)
Willoughby, Josh Scott and his brother, Brandy and Larry Moreland, oh I could go on and on and I know I’m
forgetting someone and I hope you don’t get mad at me for doing so.  Also, it was great to hang out with some old
friends as well; “big daddy” Shawn Tolson, my extended family Roger Williams and his crew (Steph, Gene, Todd,
Trent, Amanda, etc.), the entire DRC, Josh Wienemann and his dad, Dan and Sue Dehner, Jeff Davidson, Scott
James, Megan Adams, Ray and Dawn Bradford and again I could just go on and on here as well.  The dirty one was
all upset with how the weekend ended, but after I thought about the people I got to meet this weekend, and the
friends I was able to hang with again, well I guess it wasn’t that bad, matter of fact, let’s do it again next weekend,
what do ya say??   

In closing, once again let me say thank you to all those who come up to me and shared a story, a beer or just said
HI to me this weekend, I truly appreciate each and every one of you.  And finally, I wanna say is a big congrats to
all the NEW Inductees into the Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame.  Most of you are the reason I am hooked on the
sport like I am, I grew up watching some of you race, and it was an honor for me to sit in the stands Saturday night
and once again cheer for you all, as you were so appropriately honored by the Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame.  
Congrats to each and every one of you, and once again, thank you!  This weekend Florence Speedway will be
closed, and the dirty one is not sure if he’ll be heading somewhere to race or not, but you can bet one thing, I’ll be
at Florence next weekend for double points night, as we’ve got 2 classes where the championship is very close.  
Jesse Lay leads Steve Landrum by 27 points in the Late Models, and David Spille leads Shawn Tolson by a mere
15 points in the modified division, I cannot wait to see how this unfolds, can you???

So until then, keep in mind, the dirty ones comments are mine and mine alone. They are in no way intended to
offend or put down your favorite driver/brother/son or father. If you have anything you’d like to add please feel free
to email me at bryant.scudder@insightbb.com and I will be glad to do so. Remember to keep your racing clean and
your thoughts dirty!

The dirty one!