Dirt Racing’s Winning Moment: The biggest week in the history of sprint car racing kicked off with Kyle Larson doing Kyle Larson things, as he led all 40 laps of the Brad Doty Classic with the World of Outlaws at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio Tuesday night (July 11).
Sheldon Haudenschild closed to within a car length of Larson on two occasions in lap traffic in the first half of the feature, but developed a tight condition that prevented him from challenging for the feature win.
Larson’s victory means momentum for his No. 57 team as they turn their attention to Eldora Speedway tomorrow night for the preliminary night of the Eldora Million, a race that currently has 82 sprint cars entered.
Dirt Racing’s Dramatic Moment: Jonathan Davenport turned Tuesday night’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series feature at Davenport Speedway in Iowa into a tame affair by the track’s high standards, so it took a rewind back to hot laps to see the dramatic moment of the night. Not one, not two, but three late models all jumped the turn 1 cushion in succession.
Twilight Zone indeed.
What Dirt Racing Fans’ll Be Group Chatting About This Morning
Even the late model guy in me will admit this week is all about sprint cars, and with the Brad Doty Classic in the books we have two favorites heading to Eldora with the Million on the line – Larson, who comfortably won Tuesday’s feature at Attica, and Brent Marks, who swept both the Historical Big One and the King’s Royal at Eldora a year ago en route to being the top-earning sprint car driver in America in 2022.
It’s not an unexpected favorites list, but the two are taking radically different strategies entering the richest race in sprint car history. Larson and Paul Silva’s No. 57 team opted to race Attica, a track they’ve got all but figured out, and in doing so racked up a trophy and a battle rhythm heading into Million prelims tomorrow.
Marks, on the other hand, was nowhere to be found Tuesday night, with Larson even alluding to his absence during the pole draw at Attica Tuesday in saying the annual Doty race lost some cars this year with teams “saving it for the Million.” These two drivers are going to be worth watching, as these differing strategies may well allow race fans to put a literal price on momentum.
I’m not going to fault WoO commentator Johnny Gibson for doing what his employer tells him to do, but DirtVision’s decision as a streaming service to completely avoid making any mention of this week’s Eldora Million (a race that will be streamed on Flo Racing) is ridiculous.
Anyone watching DirtVision live means they have a paid subscription to the service. Anyone with a paid subscription to the service is a dirt racing fan. And any dirt racing fan not living under a rock with cotton jammed in their ears and a case of denial is fully aware that the Eldora Million is being run this week. Pretending their competitors simply don’t exist is a laughable position for the Outlaws, the premier level of sprint car racing, to take.
Speaking of said stance, yes, Larson did wear his Flo Racing firesuit in victory lane at Attica Tuesday and thanked them as a sponsor in his DirtVision victory lane interview. It would have been an enjoyable twist of the knife to hear him plug the Million, but he didn’t.
On that note, this is a twist of the knife that I would LOVE to hear Thursday night for the Million feature. It’s a cardinal sin to wish any sponsor would leave the sport of dirt racing, but if I could pick one it would be Whiskey Meyers. They have ruined the Outlaws four-wide for far too long.
Maybe I’m being a little harsh on DirtVision this evening, but it’s hard not to be when the audio from the track sounds like this. I have to agree, it was very hard to get an impression of the din at Attica when the cars were at speed.
Even if this wasn’t Eldora Million week, I really don’t have anything to say about Thursday’s LOLMDS feature at Davenport. We’ll leave this Tweet here and call it a night.
Lastly, the Proffitt clan that had been promoting Volunteer Speedway up until their dramatic attempt at a mic-drop exit from the track Monday didn’t make it 24 hours before acting like adults and explaining the rationale for their decision to close up shop, conveying to DirtonDirt that their car counts and crowds weren’t improving despite raising purses to start 2023.
There’s plenty of interesting threads to pull here from their comments to DirtonDirt. For example, of all the car classes the super late models, which commanded the largest weekly payout, actually had been drawing cars. In fact, it was a touring crate late model show that the Proffitts cited as their big money loser. That’s a major wrinkle to this story, given that the return of weekly super late model racing to Volunteer was the literal headline of the track’s offseason.
But, with the promoters opting to act like children on social media before telling the actual story, anything they actually had to say of value to the sport, the track or other promoters out there is forever going to be tainted by those remembering how they chose to carry themselves. It’s hard to be the adult in the room, I get that. But those that steward the sport have that responsibility.
Dirt Racing’s Hero of the Day
Another boring night, as the shoutout this evening is going to race winner Larson. But in this case, take away any considerations about the Million and just let the stats speak for themselves. Larson’s career numbers in the Outlaw ranks are stupid good and actually seem ti be improving even as he’s added late models to his responsibilities.
Dirt Racing’s Victim(s) of the Night
Home-state driver Tyler Bruening has had a rough homecoming to Iowa. Center-punching another car in an accordion wreck not of his making at Dubuque in the XR race last night, Bruening missed the green flag of Tuesday’s feature at Davenport with an undiagnosed problem, supposedly in the car’s suspension, during the pace laps.
There was a Big One in the Last Chance Showdown at Attica Tuesday, but it had nothing on this nasty pileup at Big Diamond Speedway in Pennsylvania on the Super DIRTcar Series circuit.
Fortunately no one was injured.
Number of dirt tracks in the US that ran an oval-track racing program Tuesday night.
The nation’s largest car count Tuesday night, the weekly racing program at Beaver Dam Raceway in Wisconsin.
The nation’s largest purse Tuesday night, paid to the winner of the Brad Doty Classic at Attica (Larson).
Up Next: Frontstretch will be back Friday morning with all the action from the Eldora Million. Coverage can be found on Flo Racing (you hear that, DirtVision?).
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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