This weekend’s sprint car races – 07.14.12.
This weekend you’ve got two choices, both of which are in the greater Tampa Bay area. If you’re down with sprints (and history in the making) you’ll be at Showtime Speedway and if you think pavement is for getting to the track and dirt is for racing, then off to East Bay Raceway Park.
First, the biggie, the return of sprint cars to the track formerly known as Sunshine Speedway, now known as Showtime Speedway. Best guesstimate has roundabout 22ish cars confirmed with a couple more maybes. Drivers we are hearing will be in action will include defending TBARA champ Johnny Gilbertson, 2010 TBARA champ “The Bushnell Bullet” Shane Butler, Stan Butler, Mark Gimmler, Brian Gingras, “Big” Jimmy Alvis, Dude Teate, TBARA ROTY campaign Rex “Boneman” Hollinger, Larry Brazil Jr., “Slick” Ric Voisey, the return of Ray Bragg Jr., Tony Carreno in a Team Gilby entry, “The Smooth Operator” Mickey Kempgens has got a deal cooking and more. We even hear “The Rocketman” Bruce Durden will be knocking the dirt of his driving shoes and taking a run on the pavement.
The race is $1,100 to win, $300 to start and if you know of any push truck drivers who like sprint cars, send them to the track. Your webmaster is planning on attending as I’ve never been to the track and this is a pretty big deal for the pavement sprint cars.
Pit gates open at 3:00, hot laps at 5:00 racing at 7:00. For more info, call 727.561-9646.
If you want somewhat live updates, you can follow me on Twitter at @OpenWheelTodd .
But if you’re down with the dirt scene, East Bay Raceway Park is your huckleberry. Stephen Darvalics currently leads the points in the Shaw house car, followed closely by “The Ladies Choice” Kerry Gilbert and Billy Boyd, Tim George and Capt. Tony Agin round out the top five. We also hear Haulin’ Collin Cabre will be in competition, looking to pick up his first dirt win. You might even see a few Top Gunners tune up for their event next week at “The Clay By The Bay.”
All in all, you will go to the Tampa Bay area and WE CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH - if you take any sort of sense of enjoyment in watching pavement sprint cars, for the love of God/Allah/Budda/Dave Steele, get yourselves to Showtime Speedway Saturday night. This is another “soft opening” race to gauge interest, so we the sprint car faithful must mobilize and show this “new” track that sprint cars draw fans and make money.
And thanks to everyone for the podcast questions. We did record the dirt version, which clocked in at an hour plus and now your webmaster gets to splice together hundreds of audio files as once again the software crashed after we stopped. To quote a Queens of the Stone Age song, “the fun machine took a shit and died.”
Not since Superstar Billy Graham returned to Florida has a return to action been so hotly anticipated.
Okay, maybe that one didn’t turn out too good for Mr. Graham. Maybe we haven’t seen an event so big in Florida since Blackjack Mulligan agreed to an African Death Match, not even knowing what he was getting into.
Hopefully the racing won’t be a one-sided affair like this Kevin Sullivan match, but hey, Denny Brown did go on to be NWA Junior Heavyweight Champion in 1985.