AND THE WINNER IS…THE WEATHER
Â Â Â Â How can it be that we are already into May, but have completed only a handful of races so far this season? And the winner is…the weather. Old man winter stuck around just long enough for the April showers to start, which wiped out racing for us in south central Pennsylvania, even in the neighboring states including “south of the border” Maryland. The few that have run have had no real surprises. The big guns from last year like Hodnett, Rahmer, and Dewease in the 410 sprints, Calaman and Herr in the sportsman, and street stocker Kory Sites are still running strong in 2006. There are some teams that are rising fast including Alan Krimes, Cory Haas, Steve Fanasy. Chad Smith and Billy Pauch Jr. to name just a few. However, with all of the cancellations, it is really tough to get a feel for how the season will unravel.
Â Â Â Â One item that still is under scrutiny is the car counts, especially with the competition for teams, and fans, between Williams Grove and Susquehanna Speedways on Friday nights. At the Grove were 39 sportsman, 40 late models, but only 19 street stocks for their April 29th show. It was a great turnout for the late models, less than average for sportsman, and poor for the street stocks. All three divisions had problems with controlling their speed, which resulted in numerous crashes all night long. It is just not Silver Spring, where the turn was a place that everyone got off the gas and onto the brakes. At these larger tracks some of the teams can set up their cars, and have the guts (did not use the part of the anatomy that is usually referred to in such a case) to flat foot it all the way through. This difference in techniques makes for interesting results, especially on starts and restarts where all the drivers are bunched tight together. And let’s face it…these guys, and sometimes girls, don’t get a lot of time to practice. It’s three or four hot laps, and then you’re into the heat races. Teams with not a lot of experience on these bigger tracks are still on the low end of the learning curve, and will just need time to get everything sorted out.
Â Â Â Â Speaking of sorted out…how ’bout “Happy” Harvick. Kevin is not only leading in the Busch series points, but is in the top ten in Nextel Cup as well. His team is finally gelling thanks to some off-season changes in Childress racing. His success could not come at a better time either, as his contract is up at the end of this year with his current owner. Hap wants to stay with Childress, unlike what he was saying for the past couple of years, due to his comfortability with the personnel over the past seven years, plus he really agrees with the changes that were made…but money talks, and hopefully Kevin won’t have to walk. There is not a lot of new drivers that will be available this year for struggling teams, so RCR better keep an eye on this vetern..or he may be wooed away. Also a quick note on another good guy doing good…how ’bout Kasey Kahne! The #9 never looked so good…well except when it was driven by the real #9 driver …Awsome Bill Elliott… I’m still old school…but then again, everyone, especially the girls, really loves KK.
Â Â Â Â Hopefully our weather will clear up, so we can go have some fast family fun on the weekends at any one of our great tracks in the area. The next time I see you…I hope it’s at the track.