Race Weekend Central

This Day in Dirt: March Madness Destroys Late Model Field at Boothill Speedway

Dirt Racing’s Winning Moment: Cannon McIntosh used a multi-lap charge on the high side of the Southern Illinois Center to blast past polesitter Shane Cottle with seven laps to go, winning the season-opening feature for the Xtreme Midget Series Friday night (March 11) in DuQuoin, Ill.

Dirt Racing’s Dramatic Moment(s): Boothill Speedway in Louisiana proved the most dangerous place in America for super late models, with, count them, four ridiculous moments Friday. It started in a second B-main for the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series saw not one, but two nasty flips that led to extended red flags. The chaos started with Ross Farmer leaving the ballpark at pit entry in turn 3, landing on his roof.

A few laps later once the event was restarted, Tanner Kellick had a bizarre accident that, however it happened, ended up barrel rolling down the backstretch.

Fortunately, all drivers involved were not injured.

Boothill wasn’t done. Come feature time, an incident in turn 1 10 laps in saw the top-four cars in the running order all spin or wreck, bringing out a red flag for cleanup.

Finally, the closing laps provided some green-flag racing that set up a race to the finish, with Logan Martin running down Neil Baggett in the closing laps. But any hopes of a classic finish went out the window on the white-flag lap, when Martin absolutely doored Baggett to the take the race lead and win in turn 2.

What Dirt Racing Fans’ll Be Group Chatting About This Morning

Forty-one late models signed in at Boothill Speedway Friday night. After seeing how destructive Friday night’s program proved to be, it may be a while before the track sees a count that healthy again.

Take a look at the Flo Racing replay of the late model program from Boothill last night (well, earlier this morning) and look at how many people were streaming out of the grandstands as the track was announcing that preliminary action was completed. Yes, it was an oddball situation that saw the second late model B-main deal with two lengthy red flags for serious accidents, but considering the track spent the better part of two hours running through hot laps and qualifying, time management was still less than stellar. Quintessential Southern dirt tracking, and coming from a proud Southerner that’s not a compliment.

I was watching the second Boothill B-main with a fellow Frontstretch colleague when the first red flag incident occurred. Mind you, this colleague is an asphalt racer through and through, but when his incredulous reaction to that wreck was “that wall in turn 3 is a ramp” I was in complete agreement. I sincerely hope the track looks to raise that wall, immediately. 

Super late model racing has proven to be a zero-sum game in 2023. For all the instant classics (Vado, Golden Isles, Volusia), the season now is piling up some disastrous features. Cherokee’s tire-eating parade last week was followed by a laboriously long Comp Cams show at Boothill and a calamitous Southern All-Stars feature at Southern Raceway in Florida that resembled a demolition derby. The gap in competition level between the national and regional tours continues to grow.

Getting away from late models, Thomas Meseraull made some waves in his post-race remarks after the Xtreme feature at DuQuoin, calling out Jade Avedesian for refusing to leave him a racing line and forcing him to bump her out of the way in the closing laps. I can’t help but wonder if T-Mez had cracked the puzzle as to why midget racing has come to resemble automotive rugby in recent years as the sport continues to weather a youth invasion.

The DirtVision audio at the Southern Illinois Center Friday was about as grating as FOX’s ARCA commentary crew at Phoenix. Not in the sense that DirtVision’s commentary was bad, but between constant sounds of Windows operating system notifications and very audible microphone feedback I was making frequent use of my mute button this evening.

Dirt Racing’s Hero of the Day

I had initially slated Mitchel Moles for this evening’s “victim” shoutout after he jumped the cushion in turn 3 while running second late in the Xtreme midget feature at DuQuoin, costing himself a shot at the win. But, dirt racing Twitter offered a view on Moles’s driving that, upon replay, really hit home for me.

Clean racing in the midget ranks is an increasingly rare bird, and this may have been the cleanest move seen in midget racing since Tanner Thorson opted not to bump Logan Seavey out of the way in the Chili Bowl A-main. Well done.

Dirt Racing’s Villain/Victim of the Night

Logan Martin. Watch the tape above. Unintentional or not, he won the Ronny Adams Memorial Friday night with a filthy move. It is worth noting that he was contrite in his victory lane remarks.

Debate over whether this is a villain story or a victim story. Ashton Winger led 29 of the 30 laps in the Southern All-Stars feature at Southern Friday night. Surviving and leading that feature without damage to the racecar was a true accomplishment. But all that accomplishment was derailed after Winger was found to be light at the scales and disqualified from the win and a $3,000 payday.

Update: Winger light at scales. DQ. Air Force Ashton Winger goes 29 of 30 to catch $3,000 to win night #1 feature at Southern Raceway.

Posted by Paul Clayton on Friday, March 10, 2023

Numbers Game

13

Dirt tracks that ran oval-track racing programs in the U.S. Friday night (per MyRacePass and Race Monitor)

148

Nation’s largest car count Friday night, the Outlaw Nationals at Port City Raceway in Oklahoma.

$5,000

The nation’s largest purse awarded Friday night, paid to the winner of the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series feature at Boothill.

Up Next: Frontstretch will be back Monday morning (March 13) with continued coverage of the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series at Boothill, the Xtreme Outlaw Midgets at DuQuoin and the Spring Nationals at 411 Speedway in Tennessee. Coverage can be found on Flo Racing and DirtVision.

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