Dirt Racing’s Winning Moment: Austen Becerra came up one spot short of a Clash on the Coast sweep at Northwest Florida Speedway Tuesday (Feb. 28), coming up two car lengths short of local racer Joseph Joiner in the modified feature.
Becerra again used the high side of the racetrack to make up ground through the field during Tuesday’s feature but was unable to carve through lapped traffic the same way he mowed down the top five en route to a win Monday.
Dirt Racing’s Dramatic Moment: See above. Tuesday’s racing program at Northwest Florida was frankly a lot more pedestrian than the opening night of the Clash on the Coast.
What They’ll Be Group Chatting About This Morning
The pure stocks replaced the stingers as the third class on the ticket at Northwest Florida Tuesday and drew only three cars, two of which actually started the feature. The race program ran as scheduled, with a heat race and a feature including the exact same cars racing against each other.
The entire idea behind most race programs is a crescendo, building from heats to urgent B-mains to the main event. In cases where the car count is that low, I’d love to see tracks set the A-main by single-car qualifying, add heat laps to the feature lap count to make sure drivers that paid their entry fee get their laps, and then turn them loose. Otherwise it’s just the same show twice.
I’d be remiss not to compliment IMCA TV for the streaming program they put on over the two nights of the Clash on the Coast. The streaming service made liberal use of video replays and had telemetry up and running (accurately) for all competition on the track. Job well done.
Stepping away from Northwest Florida Speedway, bad weather forecasts made sure that dirt racing as a sport (at least from a streaming perspective) will now stay dark until Friday. The scheduled opening night of the Spring Nationals at Rocket Raceway Park in Texas (the season opener for the United States Modified Touring Series) was preemptively canceled, with the USMTS tour opting to to move the show to a Saturday-Sunday affair.
I can appreciate this from a driver’s perspective, as the move means the opportunity to race multiple times (and collect multiple payouts) is preserved. As a fan, I can’t help but admit that once the big-money race runs, it gets a little laborious to tune in for a smaller show at the same track with the same field the next day.
A huge thank you to RaceXR, which has finally decided to offer an annual streaming package that is discounted from their $39.99 monthly rate, which alongside DirtVision was the most expensive in dirt track racing. Here’s to saving money!
Dirt Racing’s Hero of the Day
Yes, two straight nights of picking the race winner for this shoutout. Not my best creative streak. But it’s worth giving Joiner a tip of the cap for opting to hop out of his late model and into a modified car to run at a fledgling event. Joiner and his Hunt the Front crew have become a household name in dirt late model racing and between their efforts on track and on Youtube (and now streaming/promoting live races as well), they’ve done a lot for the sport. Joiner having the guts to race a car he’s unfamiliar with and win it is worth commending.
Dirt Racing’s Victim of the Night
I don’t know if there’s a more ignominious distinction than finishing second in a two-car race, but that’s what happened to Nolan Frady, who fell short to Milton, Fla.’s Owen Barnhill in the aforementioned pure stock feature at Northwest Florida on Tuesday.
The number of dirt tracks contesting an oval-track racing program in the U.S. Tuesday night.
The nation’s largest car count Tuesday night, the Clash on the Coast at Northwest Florida Speedway.
The nation’s largest purse Tuesday night, awarded to the IMCA modified feature winner at Northwest Florida.
Up Next: Frontstretch will be back Saturday morning (March 4) as late models invade the South, with the World of Outlaws series tackling the reconfigured Smoky Mountain Speedway and the Southern Nationals opening their 2023 at Swainsboro Raceway in Georgia. Coverage can be found on DirtVision and Flo Racing, respectively.
About the author
Richmond, Virginia native. Wake Forest University class of 2008. Affiliated with Frontstretch since 2008, as of today the site's first dirt racing commentator. Emphasis on commentary. Big race fan, bigger First Amendment advocate.
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