FLETCHER: Wishes For 2011


EAST LEROY, Mich. — I’m not much on making New Year’s resolutions. I figure if a man wants to do something bad enough, he can get it done without playing mind games with himself.

I don’t make wish lists, either. But I was sitting around the farmhouse the other day thinking about things I’d like to see (or not see) in dirt-late-model racing.

If I were going to make a list of such things before the 2011 season, it would look something like this.

– Every driver to have the means to race the way they choose.

– No tire cheating.

– Two-time World of Outlaw Late Model Series champion Josh Richards to finally win a crown-jewel event. His career thus far has been nothing short of remarkable, but it likely would be a boon to get that one win before he moves along to something else, if he chooses to do that.

– Increased safety measures at some of the tracks I visit each season.

– The people who run some of those dirt-racing message boards to kick about half their users to the curb. I’ve never read such nonsense (I know, I don’t have to read it).

– Track promoters to make a nice deposit in the bank Monday mornings. If they’re not, find out why and fix it.

– Shannon Babb to be competitive again anywhere he unloads. He’s too damn good to struggle.

– No rainouts.

– Fewer drunks at the race track.

– Tim McCreadie to become Tim McCreadie again and win.

– Consistency across the board at all levels of the sport in dealing with rules violations, from the unholiest of local tracks to the national series.

– That reminds me, no tire cheating.

– The recently announced $25,000-to-win race at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb., next July to be a success. It wouldn’t hurt a thing to have more big events out that way.

– Jeep Van Wormer to win the UMP Summer Nationals title.

– More double-feature nights at the race track.

– Darren Miller to be racing full-time again. He has too much talent not to use it every weekend.

– More 100-lap races.

– Full bleachers at the next running of the Knoxville Late Model Nationals. That’s an event that needs to be seen by everybody.

– Dennis Erb, Jr. to go out and have the kind of year many of us know he’s capable of having.

– Veteran Indiana driver John Gill to be racing regularly in competitive equipment.

– Multi-groove competition everywhere.

– Have I mentioned no tire cheating?

– Everybody to support grassroots racing with full fields of cars and packed bleachers everywhere.

– Drivers to stop using their cars as weapons. That needs to be stopped and dealt with harshly. Somebody will pay dearly if that type of behavior continues. It happened several times in 2010.

– Scott Bloomquist and Billy Moyer to go head-to-head for 100 laps anywhere.

– A different winner for every race that pays $20,000 or more to win. Twenty of those races in 2010 had 13 different winners.

– More families and kids at the race track.

– Mike Marlar to land a steady ride he can familiarize himself with, then go and do what he does.

– Less talk about the so-called “next level,” whatever in the hell that’s supposed to be, anyway.

– Chris Madden to race more out of the southeast, simply because I’d like to see him more. Speaking of somebody being good. He’s got a nice little deal going on down his way, but I’m a selfish fan.

– Every driver out there to find their way to victory lane somewhere at least once.

– Safe travels and racing for all of us.

– And no tire cheating.

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