Dirt Racing’s Winning Moment: Polesitter Buddy Kofoid led flag-to-flag to win the World of Outlaws’ first visit to Talladega Short Track in over a decade Friday night (March 24), holding off persistent mid-race pressure from Brad Sweet before driving away.
The race also marked the debut of the newly reconfigured TST, which has had its dirt surface replaced and a retaining wall in turns 1 and 2 constructed since its disastrous Ice Bowl late model feature back in January. There were no obvious issues with the racing surface during the program.
Dirt Racing’s Dramatic Moment: The most intense race of the night at Talladega came not during the night, but the Last Chance Showdown. The three-car battle for the final transfer spot into Friday’s feature between Bryce Norris, Robbie Price and Bill Rose was frenzied but clean, and resulted in the Indiana racer besting two WoO regulars to qualify for his first career feature with the tour.
What Dirt Racing Fans’ll Be Group Chatting About This Morning
Friday’s feature had more cautions than race fans would have liked, but the new and improved Talladega was just that, improved. The jury will be out until the track hosts a multi-class late model program that is more representative of its weekly races, but the surface held up well and the track proved capable of side-by-side racing. Solid debut.
The grandstands at TST did not look good when DirtVision’s coverage opened early in the evening.
But I forgot to account for just how late-arriving the crowds at Talladega always are; my last visit to the track in 2019, I left the facility at near midnight and was fighting traffic trying to get into the parking lot. By race end, the crowd was looking plenty healthy.
I’m not sure there was a harder-working man in the state of Alabama Friday than the shovel man responsible for exposing stripes on the dirt-covered retaining wall in turn 1 and 2 after sprint car qualifying. Go back and watch the replay of that man at work, he was putting his back into it. Southern clay is thick as molasses folks.
Speaking of clay, it was discouraging to hear the DirtVision crew state that the track’s old racing surface had been repurposed to cover the TST campus’s go-kart track. Considering how worn out that clay surface was, they did their kart racers dirty keeping it as a racetrack in any form.
My biggest complaint of the night. I cited the LCS battle as the dramatic moment of the night. It may well have been the closing laps of the Dash, where Sweet went on a 6-3 tear. I can’t honestly comment on that though, because DirtVision spent the last nearly two laps of said Dash focused on leader Kofoid’s massive lead up front instead of the side-by-side action that Johnny Gibson was doing commentary on. For what DirtVision costs, I do expect better here.
Dirt Racing’s Hero of the Day
It’d be easy to cite Kofoid for his dominant performance, but to give readers some more to chew on from Friday night’s headline dirt race the shoutout goes to Carson Macedo, who rebounded from a spin three laps into the 35-lap feature all the way back to ninth by race’s end. That he did that in a caution-filled feature made it an even more notable drive.
Dirt Racing’s Victim of the Night
James McFadden had about as rough a night at Talladega as a racecar driver can have short of getting taken out in a Big One. McFadden went off the banking three laps into the feature trying to avoid Macedo’s spin in turn 3. A handful of laps later, McFadden went off the banking in the exact same spot on track, this time on his own accord. McFadden would eventually park the No. 83 Roth Motorsports entry with about seven laps to go.
Dirt tracks that ran an oval-track racing program in the U.S. Friday night (per MyRacePass and Race Monitor)
The nation’s largest car count Friday night, the weekly racing program at Heart O’Texas Speedway.
The nation’s largest purse Friday night, awarded to the WoO feature winner at Talladega (Kofoid)
Up Next: Frontstretch will be back Monday morning (March 25) with coverage of the World of Outlaws sprint cars’ visit to Magnolia Motor Speedway, as well as continued coverage from the King of America at Humboldt Speedway. Coverage can be found on DirtVision and Racin’ Dirt, 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.
A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.