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Red Clay Report - Track Review & Preview Part 1 (Read 2278 times)
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Red Clay Report - Track Review & Preview Part 1
02/02/12 at 5:51pm
 





Track Review & Preview Part 1

Late Model Mark
Pinson, Alabama (February 2, 2012)
Time for another round of keyboard banging with the first Red Clay Report for 2012. After going to a record 60 races for me in 2010 I decided to cut way back in 2011 and go to a select few tracks. A little bit of race chasing burnout and high gas prices made the decision easier. Last year I only went to 23 races, probably an all time low. This edition I will give my personal viewpoint of what I saw in 2011 and what lies ahead in 2012 for the tracks I hit. In no order here we go.

Talladega Short Track. I ventured out to TST only five times, usually I make it out there over 10 times. When I was there I saw signs that many tracks had to deal with, lower car counts, somewhat smaller crowds and a track surface that was very tricky. Super Late Model car counts may have been on average, lower throughout the year. Dusty track conditions prevailed for most shows then later on near the end of the year, new clay was added and really threw track crews a curveball. Rain hampered many shows and some of the big shows were lost. Just seemed to me that the racing overall was not the usual brawl as years past. In 2012 the track has really stepped up the ladder a notch with many more Late Model specials with multiple visits by the Southern All Stars and a number of unsanctioned specials. Talladega has a very good and devoted staff that knows how to run the races, if the track and weather will be nice, Talladega can rebound from a odd 2011.

Moulton Speedway. I get that feeling every time I hop in the ole Dodge whenever when I know I'm going to Moulton, a feeling I will see a good show and be with some great folks. Moulton had one of it's best years, maybe the best in a decade. Super solid car counts and very good crowds all year long. This good ole country track is run by the Crumb family, a great bunch of people help the Crumbs run this joint. Everything is easy at Moulton, easy parking, good seats and lights and good racing. The announcing is well done by Robert "Catsvoice" Bradford who makes it look and sound easy. I made it to Moulton 4 times and every time I left very happy and pumped up. This track challenged Talladega as the top draw in the state for Super Late Models, many times having the best numbers in the state. The Street Stock and Mini Stocks had some fantastic action at each visit, very competitive each week. Even had the chance to fill in for Robert up in the booth and announce 2 shows, that was cool. The track has been for sale for a number of years and it has yet to be sold, so 2012 the gates will open yet again with the Crumbs running this speedplant. The track will have a couple of nice paying Late Model specials, unsanctioned however. The Crumbs just think they don't need a touring series to bring in the cars and fans, at their track, this works and works well. If the weather is decent thru the year, this track could have another rippin' year. I know I will make at least 3 events this year, opening night and the 2 Late Model money races. One last thing, when you announce at Moulton, you will have a great time up in the booth as Colleen Crumb and the gals up there are a hoot to work with.

Green Valley Speedway. This track that went to a specials only format after years of weekly racing had one of it's best years on the track and in the stands in my view. Track owner Dennis Harker tried the weekly thing for 4 years and tried for years with every kind of promotional gimmick with not to much reward so he went to specials and things went better. I went 4 times to the "Jungle," each visit had good action. The track prep done by Scott Morris was excellent, very racy conditions each time. The 2011 Bama Bash was one of the best shows of the year with a thrilling and super popular win by Ronnie Johnson. Twice last year I drove one of the Crown Victoria packer cars, that was fun to say the least, almost wadded-up the car once in turn 3 too!! Had the chance to announce a show alongside Ross Tingle, a S.R.R.S special in May was a thrill. This track needs nothing except more fans, 2011 had much better crowds, hoping 2012 puts more keysters in the seats. The track needs nothing, the surface, scoreboards, the whole facility has what it needs to be successfull. The track will once again open for specials only with the Bama Bash getting things rolling the first weekend of March with the $15,000-to-win carrot for the Supers. The track will run about once a month. In April the track will run a $10,000-to-win Crate special that will draw the best in the region. The track was up for sale or lease and talk was that there was some interest but nothing to date has transpired. This is a very professional and well run track, very fast and racy action make this place a winner.

So there is part 1 of my track review and preview. Next time I will give thoughts on North Alabama, Fort Payne, and Columbus Speedway. Bring a friend to the races this year and support your local dirt track, see a Dirt Late Model event, easily the best division on dirt!
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