January 2007 Racing Article

Happy New Year,,,It’s “Old Guy” 2007

First off…let me wish all of my readers all the best for the New Year. I am amazed how many people come up to me and comment about my monthly column. Thank you, your comments are appreciated. Now to the headline…I thought he retired! Am I surprised that Morton Anderson was called back into action in the National Football League only to become the highest ever scorer…nope. Am I surprised that Ricky Rudd has been asked to rejoin his old teammates at Robert Yates Racing…not at all. Both of these finesse positions cannot be taught to a young upstart no matter how talented he or she is. A driver feels it in his seat, the field goal kicker senses it on the arch of his foot, the basketball player sees the hoop as big as a trampoline when it’s right, and a home run hitter feels it the second the ball leaves the bat…it’s a feeling that is there to stay in an athlete…and it never fades. That’s why Mark Martin, Dale Jarrett, Bill Elliott, and Kenny Schrader can still run with the young guys…it’s the feel…but with a lot more wisdom, and a little more patience. It may take that young gun mentality and aggressiveness to win races, but in some cases, it’s still the turtle, not the hare that crosses the finish line first. Let me just mention the name …Smokey Snellbaker…need I say any more about a guy that is well into his years, but with good physical conditioning, and equipment…still wins…despite the gray hair. Go get-em veterans in 2007!
     One place you will see a lot of these drivers is at one of the many shows that will be taking place in the near future. Motorsports 2007 will be held again this year in Atlantic City with the show and the racing taking place January 12-14th on the boardwalk, and run again by the Area Auto Racing folks. The York Dirt Trackin’ Show will be held January 26-28, and promises to be even bigger than last year. The big differences between these two shows is the local flavor and hours. The show in Atlantic City will close earlier in the evening than years gone by, in the hope that fans will migrate to the racing arena. Also with the huge well-spent dollars by the vendors, Motorsports 2007 can afford to attract more of the big NASCAR names, teams, and tracks. The 24th annual Dirt Trackin’ Show has more of a local flavor, with more varied entertainment for the dollar. Tony Stewart will be represented, the Kasey Kahne #9 will also be on hand, but the local dirt sprinters to go-carts are the big draw…as well as their drivers, crews, and fans. The hours are the same as last year too, and will give the entrant plenty of time to see the over 120 vendors and nearly 200 display vehicles with the Friday hours from 4-10PM, Saturday 10-10, and Sunday 10-4.  The third main show for our area is the Trailway Speedway sponsored Motorama Show at the Harrisburg Farm Show Complex. This show is also different in that it will be held on only two days February 17 & 18, plus has more of an emphasis on the fantastic racing in the main arena with dirt bikes and micros.
     The shows are a great way to renew friendships with those whom we have not seen for the last few months, talk about all the new drivers who have switched seats, try to figure out who’s going to be the dominant teams, and to just plain have “old” fun …while enjoying the beautifully prepared chariots for the upcoming 2007 season. I can almost smell the racing alcohol and tires burning!

Racing with the Wise Guy
The next time I see you…I hope it’s at A SHOW!

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December Racing Article…appears in the Guide Publication


     Where did the year 2006 go? It seems like just yesterday we were crowning Tony Stewart for his fence climbing efforts and Nextel championship for 2005. This year, he was not even qualified to compete in the top ten chase, but I still have not heard of anybody figuring out where he would have actually finished in the point standings if the NASCAR “biggies” hadn’t thrown in their ratings boosting play-off scenario. Jimmie Johnson was due, as he was deemed the driver to beat for the last two seasons, and he was consistent. He even survived losing his crew chief for four races after Chad Knause was caught cheating at Daytona. I just still have a hard time wrapping my arms around a team that is owned on paper by another competitor, but bank rolled by a fellow who did time for his business practices. Hey, I know, no one is perfect, but I’d much rather cheer for a good ol’ boy, than a corporation. I was however happy to see Brian Vickers in victory lane, also from the Hendrick stable, but he’s leaving at the end of the year. There were more than just a few drivers this year battling on the track with “late in the race” bumps and spins from behind, so I can’t point any fingers at any one team, but I do think I’d rather watch the wives that have started to scrap in the pits, over the Dupont slugger who likes to push drivers away rather than “get into it”…that’s actually a side ways compliment.
     Kudos have to go to the Childress teams this year, with Harvick dominating in the Busch division, and both he and Jeff Burton within striking distance of capturing the Cup championship. Evernham racing is struggling, especially when the team owner is rumored to be more than giving advise to a NASCAR Truck competitor…oh yea, the driver is a girl…whew! Michael Waltrip will be attempting to put Toyota on the map for next year with the help of some of his buddies like Dale Jarrett, and Bill Elliott..yea..we’ll see. Also congratulations must be sent to the Bodine family, as the youngin’ ,Todd, captured the Craftsman Truck Series for 2006. And to end this moment of quips…how ’bout the Cat in the Hat! Rousch racing is losing it’s elder statesman, as Mark Martin retires..oops, no he’s not doing that again this year, he’s going to another team for 2007 instead…come on boys..couldn’t you have worked something out! I mean, Mark was the owner of the Kenseth car..wasn’t he? A great competitor in the Nextel Cup, Truck and Busch series..so why let him go!
     Don’t worry race fans…Daytona is only about 90 days away…which will give the networks more time to figure out how they can jam even more commercials and less of the race into their broadcasts for 2007…o.k. I’m finished….
     Locally, it was the first year with no Silver Springs, and my heart still sinks every time I drive by and see yet another mall going up in our area. Williams Grove, Lincoln and Susquehanna Speedways all survived the year, but with no huge fan counts that you might expect with one of the tracks closing. In fact, the numbers were down especially for the Grove both in cars and fans…but 2007 will be a new year, and plans include racing both nights at the Mechanicsburg oval, an Outback track at SSP for micros and carts, and more divisions coming to Lincoln’s high banks for racing excitement. Trailway is adding more clayin Hanover and will continue two night’s of racing for the new year, South Mountain Dragway will see yet another season come April, and the Port and Selinsgrove, as well as Big Diamond will advertise for fans to come out next year. All in all, we still have the best racing around, and should not only be proud of it, but support it too. I, for one, plan to attend more events in the new year..as long as my wife says it’s o.k.
     Have a safe and happy Christmas, and New Year, and don’t forget to check out the new www.wisemotorsportmarketing.com site for information and applications for the upcoming Dirt Trackin’ Show sponsored this year by Jack Giambalvo Motor Company to be held at the York Expo Center January 26-28th, featuring the #20 Home Depot Car, PWE Wrestlers, the Ms. Dirt Trackin Contest, Jazz Me Band, and hundreds of cars, drivers, fans and vendors.

Next time I see you…I hope it’s at the track.
Kirk M. Wise

Racin’ with the Wise Guy is heard on over a dozen radio stations daily…check the website for broadcast times, or listen to the actual broadcasts at the site on the MP3 player.

October Racing Article

And the Champion…will not be allowed to compete again…

     It finally happened. Due to the new rules and interesting competitive wrinkle NASCAR has put on the Nextel Cup championship called the Chase, last year’s winner Tony Stewart, even if he had a great run down the stretch, will not be “allowed” to receive another trophy. What is going on here? I understand that other professional sports must have playoffs. The White Sox are out of the playoffs this year, so that they will not be able to repeat…but why do sports like basketball and football go to this method for determining their champion? Because they play at various places each week with the numerous teams…hello!…racers go to the same track all together…there is no need for a playoff grid when all the competitors play (race) at the same facility every week! The racing fraternity prides itself in the ability to be consistent. The long haul, being there at the end, and save the car are all the terms endeared in the pits. This transfers to our family cars, in that the innovations provided to the cars at the track, eventually end up going down Main Street. The final stretch at any track is what separates the men from the boys. Some teams can have a great spurt at the beginning, but falter when the going gets tough. Imagine in the Boston Marathon if after four-fifths of the race was over, the officials stopped the race, brought all the runners back together, and then finished the race. It would change the entire complexion of the event … and that’s exactly what NASCAR has done. If the driver is mathematically eliminated with only a few races to go..then there’s a chase in it’s true sense. It’s great to see Mark Martin in there, as well as Kasey Kahne and Denny Hamlin…but no smoke makes me sad.
     Speaking of close races, how ’bout the Busch series? Now that’s exciting…let a guy who’s team is in the Nextel Chase compete on a regular basis with teams that have one car in their stable, and are “learning” to drive at the tracks…what’s he got now a 600 point lead on second place Carl Edwards? There’s competition…let the varsity guy win everything from the J.V. competitors. I know it’s a great way for these up and comers to learn, but maybe limit the number of races anyone who competes in a Cup car can run, or maybe just the guys that don’t qualify for the main race get to run the Busch race that weekend…hmmmm..
     Locally tracks are feeling the autumn cold, and beginning to wind things down, but there are still a lot of events coming to our area. Susquehanna will be hosting the Pumpkin Enduro race on October 7th, the Fall Classic on the 20th and 21st, ARDC Midgets and micros on the 28th during the Candy Bowl, and the Turkey 200 Enduro on November the 11th. There will also be a race car flea market at Susqui on Nov 4th, and the Grove will be having one sponsored by the Williams Grove Steam Engine Association October 27 and 28. Trailway will be hosting their 4th annual Kart Classic on October the 21st, which will wind up their season. Lincoln will be racing in October up until the 21st and then hold their own flea market on November 11.
     It’s almost over…but as we all know in racing, as soon as the last checkered flag falls it’s time to start getting things ready for next year. The next time I see you…I hope it’s at the track…

Kirk M. Wise – the “Wise Guy”
check out our web site at
www.wisemotorsport.com for audio feeds of the daily syndicated Racing Report, photos, and news including information about the upcoming Dirt Trackin’  Show sponsored this year by Jack Giambalvo, being held at the York Fairgrounds January 26-28, 2007.



     As the racing season for this year enters into it’s final few months, teams have already begun to move drivers and teams around in preparation for 2007. The term “silly” has been attached to this phenomenon, as some of the moves just don’t seem to make sense…Mayfield’s out, Elliot is in and what the heck is a Gilliland? Even locally, cars and trailers are already being put up for sale as drivers have decided either to move into another division, or call it quits. All of these moves a calculated, based on money and results…both very serious topics.
     It’s always fun to watch the points leads vanish as the year rolls closer to it’s finale. The Chase for NASCAR has Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth locked in, but the rest of the eight positions are pretty much up for grabs. Jeff Burton had one bad week at Michigan and tumbled almost out of the “golden ten”. Kyle Bush is probably in, but past champion brother Kurt is nowhere to be found, same goes for Ryan Newman…so I’m sure Mr. Penske is a very unhappy camper. It’s great to see Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. up there in points as they are still fan favorites..and face it, the fans want to see their guys competing for the championship, not just driving for the fun of it. Kevin Harvick not only has over a five hundred point lead in the Busch series at the time of this writing, but is having one of the best years of his Cop career…two points…he’s had his contract extended by Childress – good move, and how many sports let the varsity players compete against those in the junior varsity – let the Busch guys compete with each other! Also making his mark this season for Joe Gibbs Racing is the young Denny Hamlin. Give him credit…he’s doing great, but his spot has taken away the chance for a name like Kahne, Biffle, Edwards, Labonte or Jarrett to be in the final run for the trophy. I still do not like this points “switcheroo” at the end of the year…let the boys compete throughout the entire season…and may the best man win.
     Yates Racing has begun to look like the Petty organization, in that they have years of expertise, and championships to boot…but are failing miserably on Sundays…er…Saturday nights. Things have got to drastically change in these two teams if they are to make their way to the top again.  Childress is now competing favorably with the likes of Rousch, Hendricks, and Gibbs…due to a changing of the guard, and good attitudes throughout the teams. I didn’t mention Evernham Racing…as I don’t think even they know what the future will hold. Finally I’m really looking forward to the Toyota flop next year. Sure, Michael Waltrip, Bill Elliott, and Dale Jarrett have names… but they are past their prime..I mean way past… and I really can’t believe Awesome Bill will now be eating at the Home of the Whopper instead of at the Golden Arches.
     It will be a wild finish for most in the racing fraternity from the Street Stocks at the Grove, to the 358s at Trailway, the 410s at Lincoln and the Super Pro’s at South Mountain…but that’s what racing is all about…the win and the trophy.

Next time I see you, I hope it’s at the track…

Kirk M. Wise – the Wise Guy
Check out our website at www.wisemotorsport.com for racing information, photos, the 24th Annual Dirt Trackin’ Show, and radio affiliate times. Actual daily broadcasts can now be heard on your computer by mp3…whatever that means…I still think albums sound great!

MAY RACING ARTICLE . . . for Fry Communications publications


     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.
     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.
     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.
     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.



     The 2006 racing season is upon us in south central Pennsylvania. Lincoln, Trailway, Williams Grove and south of the border Hagerstown Speedways have all completed their first races of the year. Hundreds of fans braved the chilly temperatures, but the big lines were involving the racers themselves. The car count is still up, and nearly all the teams come in enclosed trailers, which adds to the long lines at the pit gate. The super sportsman division, that will be regulars at both the Grove and at Susquehanna this year, showed up opening day with thirty-nine teams competing for twenty-four starting positions. The racing however was no the traditional close, side by side competition that the fans were hoping to see. The cold track was not conducive to racing. I don’t care how much preparation goes into it, the cold clay just does not work. All the divisions, especially the sprints, get in a line …and stay there. Very few passes are made, except for maybe one or two drivers who are willing to risk it all with driving or at the sacrifice of tires and car to move up in position. I just wish the promoters would start a little later in the year, and go longer into the fall, not only for the freezing fans, but for the cold motors, and the caliber of racing we are accustomed to seeing here in the mid-state. I have heard that the tracks don’t want to compete with high school football in the fall…o.k… I don’t go to local games…a lot of race fans don’t either, and they’re usually played on Friday nights…SO RACE ON SATURDAY OR SUNDAY. Now I’ll get off the soap box…
     The Nascar boys are going full steam ahead with Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth going neck and neck to the front of the points standings…even if they have to bump and bang to get there. Is it my imagination, or is the Nextel Cup starting to turn into a soap opera of who gets along with who, and who owes one to the other guy, and who’s gonna shove who in the pits after the race. Plus, if there’s a part hanging off of Jarrett’s car..nothing happens, but if one of the young guns has a piece of tape on wrong they are told to take it to the pits…exaggerated..a little…was it fiberglass …yes, but it was still gonna be debris flying through the air. It’s like the rules are being bent “kinda funny”…and it’s gonna snap sooner or later. The beauty of auto racing is it’s simplicity…the first one to the checkered flag wins…but now’s there’s all this other stuff going on during the race that takes away from the purist version of the sport. Finally, how ’bout Mark Martin! He was supposed to retire last year…thank God he didn’t. He’s winning everywhere, and tops in the points in every division he’s competing in…so much for retirement…GO Mark!
     Special thanks goes to the individual who mailed me my appointment book that I lost at the Hershey Convention Center…no return address, just a short note saying that this may be important so I returned it to you. Yes, extremely important..so thank you for being kind enough to spend the time and money sending it to me, with no way of thanking you unless you read this article…there are still genuinely nice people in the world.
     Next time I see you…I hope it’s at the track…

Kirk Wise – the Wise Guy
Go to www.wisemotorsport.com for a complete listing of radio stations airing the daily Racing with the Wise Guy reports, racing information, and photos.

March News


As the snow finally melts, giving way to the familiar smells and feels of Spring, one thing will be missing. It was one of Central Pennsylvania’s favorite race tracks…Silver Spring Speedway.  I always knew that race season was right around the corner when all the teams met on a cold dark morning at the Spring’s Racing Flea Market. It was a host of information as to who was driving for whom, who retired, and what young rookie was thinking it was to be his year. It’s all gone…except for a lot of construction vehicles and orange plastic barrier fence. The fans and teams will now disperse in a few directions. Some will just move their weekly vigil to Williams Grove Speedway where track promoters will now run their regular Friday night Sprint shows, plus the Saturday night divisions that ran at the Springs.

Continue reading March News


You have entered the automotive racing web site of Kirk M. Wise of Mechanicsburg, PA. We are into a  host of different venues including radio broadcasting, track announcing, team ownerships & sponsorships, and promotional activities including the annual Dirt Trackin’ Show held in January at the York Fairground’s Expo Center.

“Racing With the Wise Guy” is the longest running daily racing report in south central Pennsylvania.and is heard on over a dozen stations. Since 1988, I have been reporting and attending racing events everywhere from NASCAR to Drag Racing, locally at dirt tracks like Williams Grove Speedway to Susquehanna Speedway Park, as well as hosting various events.

Our site includes updated News, Monthly Articles, Images from all around, Dirt Trackin’ Show photos, a racing Links page and our current podcast.

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I hope you enjoy navigating through or various pages…next time I see you, I hope it’s at the track.

The Wise Guy